Thursday, January 31, 2013

Being a New Dad – Week 6

Yup, that’s my little boy! My wife and I have officially survived the first six weeks since his birth. Whew, now only another sixty years or so to go!

Having a baby in the house has definitely made me put everything else on the back burner, but slowly we’re getting into a routine. I don’t think I’m at a point where I can speak objectively about fatherhood (maybe I never will), but in short…it rocks! Every day my son does cute little things like you see in these pics, and that more than makes up for the lack of sleep.

Time keeps on churning by for everyone, and now that I’m more aware of it I realize that many of my fellow bloggers have families as well. How do your little ones inspire you to keep going? How do you learn from them? I often find that children teach us as much as we teach them. 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Professional Edits Done! Critique Partners Wanted!

Many thanks to all of you who gave me great feedback on my query pitch yesterday!

I recently had my entire historical thriller, Caesar’s Revenge, professionally edited. An agent I know recommended his favorite editor to me and the editor liked my work so much that she cut me a discount after she finished! Needless to say, I’m pleased with the changes, but I’m also continuing to put my manuscript under the eyes of trusted Critique Partners. 

If you’re interested in earning some good karma points or just like to read a good story, I’m passing around my first chapter in order to gain more feedback. It’s only 10 pages (double-spaced), and I’m more that happy to reciprocate with any of my fellow authors who need a second pair of eyes on their own opening pages. You can check my previous blog post for a quick blurb on the gist of my historical pirate novel.

If you’re interested, just respond on my blog with your email or email me directly at Thanks!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Query Pitch

I’m working up a new query pitch for my newest novel, Caesar’s Revenge. Please give my blurb a quick read and let me know what you think. Thanks! 

In the era of Caribbean piracy,  a slave named Black Caesar turns pirate when he captures his master's ship and renames it the Revenge. He sets the ship's slaves and criminals free, including a sultry native named Corinna. But he gets more than he bargains for when his former master, the Spanish Viceroy, puts a price on his head. Hunted by the Spanish navy and captain of a mutinous crew, Caesar allies himself with Port Royal's duplicitous Governor Morgan. Together they plot a risky raid against the Viceroy's impregnable treasure fortress of Las Marinas, from which no pirate has ever returned alive. Gold, vengeance, and the beautiful Corinna all seem tantalizingly within Caesar's grasp, so long as the Spanish Viceroy doesn't hang him first.

Monday, January 28, 2013

49ers Going to the Harbowl

It’d be an understatement to say that it’s been a great sports year where I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. In baseball, the Giants won their second World Series in three years, and now in football the 49ers are going to the Superbowl for the 6th time in their franchise history. Needless to say, people have been wearing a lot of sports apparel around here lately.

This also marks the first time that two brothers are head coaches of both football teams in the Superbowl, Jim Harbaugh vs. John Harbaugh, and as a result the sports writers have dubbed the event the Harbowl.  The brothers themselves say the story is really about their players, not the coaches, but the sport writers are filling the gap nonetheless with anecdotes about the two brothers. Since it’s often a sports writer’s job to make a story out of nothing, it got me thinking about how much fiction writing often asks writers to do the very same thing. Make a story out of nothing.

Maybe you’ve written about actual events in memoir or based your novel on something that happened, but we all need to make up quite a lot of material in order to make a story truly engaging for the reader. Perhaps, change events to happen closer together in the plot or condense three characters into one. Stuff like that. So how do you go about generating the additional content you need when making up a story? What sticks and what doesn’t? 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Martin Luther King’s Day and the Writer’s That Led the Way

I think even today people undervalue the power of the pen when it comes to provoking social change. On this Martin Luther King’s Day, I’m reminded of authors who contributed to Civil Rights, especially since I’ve been watching PBS’ The Abolitionists special. Just think about all the writers and artists who have swayed people’s minds in a way that any other force of will could.

Fredrick Douglass’ slave narrative and autobiography helped awaken the conscience of a nation. Subsequent authors from W.E.B. Du Bois to Langston Hughes continued to contribute to the movement. And of course Dr. King’s own speeches are masterpieces of oratory, worthy of admiration by any artist or activist.

Which authors, reporters, or orators have altered the way you perceive the world? Do you find yourself swayed by the arguments of people long past as well as contemporary artists? How have these people affected your own writing and your daily life?

Monday, January 14, 2013

Newborn Son

So, yup. One of those great life-changing events has occurred for me. My wife and I had our firstborn last month, and our little son is doing quite well.

Needless to say I’m thrilled, and happy, and sleep-deprived. But it’s all good.  Fatherhood definitely resets one’s priorities, and definitely in a positive direction. However, it also tests my resolve to continue my writing.

I know lots of you writers and bloggers out there are also parents, so I’d like to ask…how do you balance it all? When do you get your writing in? Your reading? Your editing? Your blogging? I eagerly await your experienced advice:)