Category Books and writing

Grammar is credibility. (So is spelling!)

Grammar is credibility “Grammar is credibility. If you’re not taking care of the small things, people assume you’re not taking care of the big things.” Amanda Sturgill (Associate Prof of Communications at Elon University) Right on, Dr. Sturgill!  Every independent author should post this quotation above their desks. At this year’s RWA conference, I received a […]

SFR Brigade Showcase for March

 Some Thoughts Inspired by Judging a Contest Mr. Valentine (aka me, Edward Hoornaert) recently finished a big pile of books in order to judge them for the Rita contest sponsored by the Romance Writers of America. While ethics (and contest rules) keeps me from naming any book or author, the experience inspired a few thoughts I’d like to share. Please keep […]

Triumphant Cover Reveal

And now, alas, for some shameless commercialism. Amazing how different it feels, though, when it’s my commercialism … noble, almost, or at least artistic and marvellously important, as opposed to crass. Without further apology, here’s the cover reveal for The Triumph of Tompa Lee, my upcoming science fiction adventure with dollops of romance. Leave a […]

The Trials, Tribulations, and Triumph of Writing Sequels, part 2

In my previous post, I introduced three issues I found I needed to be careful of when I began writing sequels. Issue #1: Lots of names from previous books Issue #2: Lots of recapping Issue #3: Assuming that readers identify with protagonists because they read previous books For the beginning of this article, originally published at Savvy […]

The Trials, Tribulations, and Triumph of Writing Sequels

My last post, Top Ten Thing Readers Hate about Books, has turned out to be the most popular post I’ve ever done on this blog. That popularity inspired me to follow up with a related article I wrote recently for Savvy Authors  (which is a great resource for writers–I recommend it). You see, many of […]

Top Ten Things Readers Hate about Books

The Paranormal Book Club recently asked their readers what is the “ONE thing you CAN NOT stand about a book when reading it?” While this is not a scientific survey, the results are nonetheless interesting. In a classic example of procrastination, I spent way too much time categorizing the issues, and I hereby present the results […]

Beauties of Nature

It’s often humbling to me as a writer to realize that no matter how beautifully I write, Mother Nature is going to kick my butt. Take sunsets. Spectacular sunsets are free, and they’re all around.  The one above is from my backyard. Beauty abounds even in the most unexpected places. Take swamps. An international team voted […]

Thoughts on the End of Breaking Bad

Reviews sometimes open with spoiler alerts, right?  While this isn’t a review and I’m not about to spoil anything for anyone, I’ll post my own version of a spoiler alert: Mr. Valentine rarely watches television. Time for writing and music has to come from somewhere.  One of the best and, I’ll admit, hardest decisions I made […]

My Next Big Thing

Time for an update on Mr. Valentine’s latest big thing.  A bunch of writer friends are writing similar posts about the books we’re currently writing, so be sure to check out their blogs, as well: Celia Breslin, author of Haven Amber Belldene, author of Blood Vine Paula Millhouse, author of Dragonstone Tricia Skinner, author of Angel […]

Notes from the Past

Live in the moment, philosophers and gurus tell us. For a novelist, that is rotten, horrible, no good advice! The past fills the present and the future.  Its tracks and traces are everywhere, if we can but read them. Remember that whack I took from a baseball bat when I was nine?  I sure do. […]