The 8th annual 2014 National Independent Awards recognized CASEY'S SLIP in the category of mystery/adventure as a finalist in this year's competition.
Out of literally thousands of entrants, to have ended up as one of two finalists is indeed an honor.
This prestigious National award, based in Los Angeles is open to all English language books in print from small, medium, university, self and independent publishers.
The National Indie Excellence Awards exists to help establish independent publishing as a strong and proud facet of the publishing industry. Recognizing authors that put their heart and soul into their work, the NIEA is proud to be a champion of self-publishers and small and independent presses that go the extra mile to produce books of excellence in every aspect. Awarded since 2007, the NIEA competition is judged by independent experts from all aspects of the indie book industry, including publishers, writers, editors, book cover designers and professional copywriters."
Winners and finalists are determined based on overall excellence of presentation in addition to the writing. "CASEY'S SLIP" is a winning example.
Tune into KPIX-TV (Channel 5) on Sunday morning for my appearance on BAY SUNDAY with Frank Mallicoat. The show airs a bit early, from 5:30-6:00 AM, so for all of you who are not early risers (me included), set your DVR or what recorder you have. If they load the video on the KPIX website, I'll be sure to post the link --- so check back here if you missed it!
JEFF BRIDGES poll a success! So successful that I’ve decided to become a full time pollster. Name of my new company is---------
“TONGUE IN CHEEK POLLS, VERY LTD.”
(Poll subject: “We Want Jeff Bridges to Star as Smitty in film adaptation of “CASEY’S SLIP”)
First poll results: A dead heat.
1) Jeff Bridges-----------------50%
2) Mr. Jeff Bridges------------ 0%
3) Jeff Bridges, the Dude—50%
If you have not yet taken the poll, it’s still open and don’t forget this poll is stringently dishonest. You do not have to have read the book to take the poll.
Have some fun! Take the Poll! Approximately 10 seconds! Help Casey snag Jeff!
Click here https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/B9B3W2T
We want Jeff Bridges to star in CASEY'S SLIP!
My first novel has been adapted to screenplay, and we think Jeff Bridges would be perfect to start as "Smitty."
Please click the survey link below and do the very very short poll. The poll is "unbiased" (okay, not really), and we're hoping to use it to get the attention of Mr. Bridges. To give you an idea of how “unbiased” this survey is please do the poll even if you have not read Casey's Slip yet (but why haven't you?).
In 2007 I decided to start writing a mystery novel. Having earned my living as a salesman and with 4 daughters to whom I had become accustomed to spinning bedtime tales, it seemed a natural and comfortable thing to undertake as a hobby. After all, I had finished my allotted number of bird houses, there were few home projects to undertake and the community volunteer projects we were active in did not take up much time.
Surprise! It came easy for me. In a little over a year I had my first novel completed, I thought. 350 pages of brilliance, I thought. The rest would be simple, I thought. Send it off to an agent and wait for a contract and kudos, I thought. Needless to say that wasn’t what happened.
Roadblocks began to emerge.
First roadblock: Answering advertisements replete on the web I innocently sent outlines of my book and information about the famous author I was about to be to several. Almost immediately I received several laudatory letters offering a contract for publication. Several? Contracts? Luckily I decided to do some research and found tons of complaints lodged against these companies. They were all rip off artists.
Second roadblock: Next I started contacting legitimate agents on legitimate lists but none were interested. I religiously mailed 2 requests daily for a number of weeks and kept careful records. I received replies saying they were not interested but wishing me luck. VERY few agents respond to requests out of the blue.
Third roadblock: I decided to self-publish and found out that what’s said about writing and publishing is TRUE. Writing’s easy, publishing’s a bear. Now I had to juggle all the following:
Chaptering. Editing of both content and grammar. Cover picture. Cover design. Spine design. Title page. Chapter listing page. Formatting. (Did you know that the pages of a book are formatted differently in the center than at the beginning). Printing. ISBN, Copyright, e-books, paperbacks, and much more. Scary isn’t it? If I had known of the sheer volume of work involved I might never had started!
I did it. And I kept track of every source I needed to get them all done as easily and cheaply as possible. AND all those phone #’s, e-mail addresses, names, mailing addresses, sites that warn you of dangerous publishers to stay away from, and much more are in my A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO WRITING & PUBLISHING A NOVEL for you to use.
A $2.00 MUST FOR ANY AUTHOR? A STENOGRAPHER’S NOTEBOOK!!
The most important, basic, overlooked and totally necessary tool any author needs? A STENOGRAPHER'S NOTEBOOK!!!
In a narrow left hand column enter the date and the page numbers you wrote on today. In the center enter words that briefly describe what you wrote and in the right column enter names of characters appearing in that days writing. Do this religiously every day you write and you will thank yourself many times over in the future, you will be able to refer back and avoid repetition much easier plus avoid mistakes in descriptions etc.
To further the effectiveness of this idea I highlight all names with yellow to make them even easier to find. Additionally I leave empty space on the first page of the notebook and fill in the name, description, and first page they appear on of every character in the novel as they appear. It is next to impossible to remember the names and descriptions of all the characters as you invent them. Once again I guarantee you will refer back to a listing of this sort over and over again.
Each book has its own file folder in which all other information related to the book is kept. Reference material, information sources, reference books plus names and phone numbers of people that have advised me, all are kept there for future reference. I devoutly wish I had been much more thorough in this type of record keeping while writing my first two books.
My steno notebook is a mess. Scribbled all over. But it works and saves me much time and many headaches. More good ideas? A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO WRITING AND PUBLISHING A NOVEL.
I’ve been asked to share items and ideas from my author’s guide book, A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO WRITING AND PUBLISHING A NOVEL, now in its 2nd updated edition. I’ve agreed to answer questions posed to me on line in an author’s group site and most of the bi-weekly blogs I do are about either the booklet itself or things that resulted from ideas in it.
A large part of the booklet can be accessed for free on my website either by clicking on the YOUTUBE button for several visual presentations or by clicking on the picture of the booklet and getting the free e-book version from Kindle Unlimited.
For those interested, the 2nd edition should be out within weeks and an additional version for non-fiction books is in the works. Below is a quote from the 2nd edition cover page.
“So simple, yet so instructional. Not only have I adopted this book for my Media and Publishing class at the university and other sites where I teach, but I used it for publishing the latest book I co-authored.”
-Loyd Auerbach, Adjunct Professor, JFK University, Co-author of ESP WARS: East and West (2014)
I’m always surprised at the questions I’m asked when people discover I write mysteries. How long does it take to write a novel? How much time do you spend each day writing? Where do you get your ideas? Why write mysteries? Do you plan it all out ahead? Do you outline the story first? How did you get started?
Answering the last question first, I think my four daughters got me started. Instead of reading bedtime stories when they were very young I made up stories on the fly as they gathered together in their PJ’s just before bedtime. It became a ritual and for some reason was easy for me. I would ask them to name a subject, any subject, and I would make a story. I remember one time they gave me hamburger as the subject and I made up a story about a hamburger whose lifelong ambition was to become a T bone steak. I just let my imagination run wild. Of course it helped that I had a very young and adoring audience. I could do no wrong. Sometimes I still do that when I’m writing. I pretend I’m writing for a very young and adoring audience. I’m allowed to make silly mistakes.
Maybe the most often asked question is “where do all those ideas come from?”
Answer? I force SITUATIONS, not the story, exactly the same way many mystery authors have done. The situation dictates the story!
Example. Perhaps the most famous example ever created is the much used “ locked room murder” case. The author puts the deceased inside a room with all doors and windows locked from the inside. Now he has to solve that mystery.
Put your hero in an impossible situation and then figure out how to get him out. Often the solution requires you to go back and make material changes in the previous work to justify your solution. One thing leads to another. The story grows. Yesterday dictates today. Challenge your imagination.
Richard L. Wren
IN HIS NEW CAREER AS AN AUTHOR, RICHARD DESCRIBES HIMSELF AS TALL, DARK, HANDSOME AND A LIAR. A FOURTH GENERATION CALIFORNIAN, A SAILOR, FATHER OF FOUR BEAUTIFUL AND SUPPORTIVE DAUGHTERS, AND HUSBAND TO ONE OF THE BEST WIVES OF ALL TIME. [MORE]