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.
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.
To me, being an author at my present age of 89 is a life saver. It enervates me and makes life interesting. Looking around me at people my age, many seem to be just existing. Often we are too old to play golf, swim, travel, or go fishing. There’s very little to look forward to.
Every morning I wake up having much to look forward to. I’m working on my fourth novel, re-writing my “how to” book, writing blogs, working on my newsletter, e-mailing to my friends and readers, and more. All because at age 82 I decided to try writing as my second career.
I’m not saying everyone should become an author, other things work for other people. Yesterday I complimented a woman on an attractive and different jacket she was wearing. She turned out to be ninety seven years old and had made the jacket herself. She designed and built the very unique jacket entirely by herself. What a hoot!
The point is that everyone- everyone should wake up with something to look forward to. Cooking, knitting, hiking, gardening, whittling, whatever. For me it’s become writing.
Writing can be very fulfilling all by itself. Even if never published. Many have spent years researching family history or writing personal memoirs. My book, “A Practical Guide to Writing & Publishing a Novel,” might give you some ideas in that direction (Amazon). Or take a look at my Channel 5 TV interview.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO DESCRIBE YOURSELF AS AN AUTHOR.
It doesn’t matter if you’re working on your first or tenth book, you ARE an author. Referring to yourself as an author can open important doors for you, particularly in research. Don’t be afraid to say, “My name John Doe. I’m writing a book about people that have names that are hard to remember. I need a little information that I think you can help me with.” It’s amazing! People will go out of their way to help authors!
EXAMPLE: I wrote my first novel at age 82. I based lots of it on personal experiences and memory. However there was a section involving a homicide and the city morgue, neither of which I’ve had any personal experience with, I called the San Francisco Morgue, reached an attendant, described myself as an author with a problem and spent a delightful half hour getting more information than I actually needed.
EXAMPLE: I wanted to place a banquet scene at a world famous Chinese restaurant in San Francisco. Even though I had eaten there I had never seen their banquet room. I made a luncheon reservation for my wife and myself and asked for a mini-tour of the premises as an author seeking authenticity. Upon arrival we were greeted by the owner who sat with us at lunch, conducted the tour himself and also told us the history of the restaurant. Perfect! (We also were treated to a free lunch, also perfect)
EXAMPLE: Even tho I’ve had much personal experience in Yosemite, I needed information about the Park Rangers I didn’t have. I called the Yosemite Park Administration Office and identified myself as an author needing information. They asked me to leave my number and someone would return my call. Two weeks later I received a call with the caller identified as U.S. GOVERNMENT. To my surprise it was the Yosemite Park Superintendent himself on the phone. He was more than happy to answer all my questions.
POINT: In order to give your novel authenticity and also give yourself confidence in your text you need to be as knowledgeable as possible about places and people. The best source of knowledge is personal experience, next to that is someone else’s personal experience, borrowed. Don’t be afraid to ask. Don’t skimp on research. AND, don’t be afraid to take your hero or heroine someplace you’ve never been. BUT do take the time and make the effort to authenticate the location through interviews, maps, guides, travel bureaus, phone calls, whatever. Then identify yourself as an author seeking knowledge. You will be surprised at the reception you get.
A MOVING EXPERIENCE A MOVING LETTER TO ALL AND SUNDRY
After 57 years of living at the same address, we've decided it's time to move to the flatlands, (literally) From some 30 plus stairs from sidewalk to upstairs bedrooms in Oakland to 0 (zero) stairs in Lafayette. This drastic (for us) move will take place on July 14th, this year. We will be in a 3 bedroom house on our daughter and son in law's property and have access to their multi-acre site plus 2 horses and a donkey. Address and phone # changes will follow for those interested. We're sad to leave our home with so many great memories, but excited at the new adventure.
Love to all,
Richard and Betty
March / 29 / 2014
A little more publicity for CASEY. Please forward to anyone you think might be interested. CASEY'S SLIP will be featured in the Sunday News and features Digest of BOOKDAILY tomorrow (Sunday March 30th) starting at 2:00 PM. I'm still looking for information about any stores or businesses on lower Broadway (Oakland) from 4th. street to the waterfront during the WW2 years of 1940 to 1945. Any memories you may have or names of friends or relatives with memories of those times would be appreciated.
HISTORY OF BROADWAY CIRCA 1940-1945
I've been approached to write a history of Oakland's Broadway during the war years. (1939 to 1945) I intend to do this as a continuing blog, eventually making it available as either a newspaper or magazine article. It will be similar to an article I've already written entitled "A Walk up Piedmont Avenue 75 Years Ago" My research so far has uncovered a 1940 map that lists every storefront, business, theater, restaurant etc. on Broadway from 4th Street to 22nd Street. I also have all the key route maps, train stations. I will be depending on my memory and the memories of all Technical High Graduates to go beyond that point. Right now my biggest problem is the lack of information on Broadway from the waterfront to 4th street. I know there was an emporium with a small restaurant at the foot of Broadway. (I have a copy of the menu). I know that there was a train that ran from San Jose to a 1st street station at Broadway at that time. So-------I need your help. PLEASE mail, phone or email any memories you have of Broadway below 4th Street, no matter how trivial, during the years 1939 to 1945.
In a Dutch study of a large group taking Aspirin to prevent heart problems the group first took aspirin in the AM for a long period. A second group took the same dose in the PM for the same period. The results indicated that the evening dose reduced platelet activity significantly. Bottom line? By simply switching from AM to PM you may get more protection from your Aspirin. Source: "HealthDay" News for Healthier Living. Richard Wren, Author CASEY'S SLIP JOSHUA'S REVENGE K.I.S.S.: The Keep It Simple and Successful Way to Easily, Inexpensively and Finally --- Write Your Novel www.rlwren.com
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]