Roppongi, Tokyo, on New Year's Eve

Roppongi, Tokyo, on New Year's Eve
Among other things, I am writing a detective series that takes place in Tokyo. The first novel, "Be Careful What You Ask For," centers on a much-admired Tokyo police inspector being forced to confront his ties to a crime family while investigating a murder in Roppongi.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


One of my favorite learning tools comes from 'The Book Doctors,' who posted this:

‎"I met a young woman the other day, and she said, what advice would you have for a writer, and I said it would be to work every day. But then she said, and how do you get to know someone like Ira Glass? And I said, that's not the point. You don't befriend people for that reason. . . . Your job is to write. The rest of it will take care of itself. But, generally, it seems ... you know how that is, you meet people and they have a talent for self-promotion. Those are the pushy people. And you know their writing's not going to be any good, because that's not their talent." - David Sedaris

I knew this was true in print journalism. It's good to hear someone say it who is a part of the other writing world.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Here's a great idea

If I haven't mentioned it before, Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass was exactly the book I needed to read after writing the first draft of my detective story, whose working title is Be Careful What You Ask For. In a recent Guide to Literary Agents column, guest columnist Angela Ackerman uses Maass' book as a guide for writing 'the breakout blog.'
As I boldly attempt to whip this blog into shape, her column serves as an inspiration to me. I hope it does for you, too.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Another great writing reference

After reading the first 15 pages of "The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published" by Arielle Eckstut and David Henry Sterry I knew I was going be schooled on what I needed to know to take the next step toward getting my detective series published. Nearly every page is pencil-marked with notes and reminders. And that's in the first two chapters.
Chapter 2: World Wide Wonderland brings together information on what social media can do for a writer in a way that is useful and humorous. As a writer breaking into publishing and a novice at social media, it's encouraging to learn that it seems simple to take advantage of these tools.
Can't wait to learn more.

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Write (fill in the blank)

I have to admit I've been uneasy about blogging. Brave New Deadline is the progeny of a column I wrote while editor of a weekly in the B.C. Rockies, After Deadline. As I shift from daily journalism to writing novels and, with hope, luck, sweat, luck, good karma and luck, I have been focusing on creating a blog about writers, writing, publishing, the whole magilla.
So I thought I'd start with this:
Nine Writing Milestones: Let's see...
1. First completed piece: Done.
2. First readers: Done
3. First critique: Done
4. First publication online: Not so fast. I know I should be paying attention to this, but here I am, with my blog, putting this out into the ether. So I have some catching up to do.
5. First publication print: I've had plenty of things published in newspapers. I count this.
6. First payment: I earn my living writing and editing stories. Call it a back-door entry, but I'm counting this, too.
7. First book-length draft: Now I'm into what the writer is talking about. I've written three book-length drafts. Several times. Over and over. And it's a bitch. In a good way.
8. First completed book: Taking into account what the writers's definition is: Yes. Twice. And the one I'm working on now is the one closest to meeting my personal level of "it's ready to go."
9. First published book: The author promotes the notion that if one's manuscript is published in ebook form this satisfies Milestone No. 9. Perhaps. And perhaps I'm still a hidebound traditionalist that wants to go the author-editor-publisher route, get the contract, the advance, proof the galleys, see the book in print, and send that to my Mom, who won't care a fig if it's on the Internet. You know what I mean.
My own 'big step': I'm in my first writers group. I've never taken a creative writing class, never even sniffed an MFA. Journalism major, like I said. And I'm transitioning to what I hope is a writing career. So yep, I am in writer's group. And it was a great time. I look forward to the next one.
I'll be checking out other writing blogs and sharing what I like. I hope you do the same. Let me know. We're all in this together.