LAST YEAR of NaNoWriMo Night of Writing Dangerously

I just received this email from the staff at NaNoWriMo. If you have been holding off to join us on this fun adventure, then this is the last year to get in on it.

Hi everyone,

For twelve years, the Night of Writing Dangerously has been an important fundraiser for NaNoWriMo, but equally importantly, it has been an opportunity to connect in person with the writers for whom NaNoWriMo has been a guiding light and a shining star. The community-building aspects of the event were always as important to us, if not more so, than the fundraising side.

But over the course of the last five years, the fundraising side of it has become increasingly challenging. The total amount raised by the Night of Writing Dangerously has been steadily decreasing, while costs to put on the event have risen sharply. The number of people able to attend the event has also decreased, as our necessary price increases have put ticket prices out of reach for more and more people. Costs are slated to increase again this year, and we’ve had to sit down and wrestle with the realities of being a small non-profit organization.

And as a result, we have made the difficult decision that 2018 will be the last Night of Writing Dangerously.

We know many of you will be incredibly disappointed to hear this news. We are disappointed as well; we love this event, and have worked hard to try to find ways to make the math work. We hope that in the future, we’ll be able to plan a new in-person event that will be accessible to more participants, with all the joy and inspiration of the Night of Writing Dangerously.

Let’s send the Night of Writing Dangerously off on a high note

And in the meantime, we hope you’ll join us to send off the Night of Writing Dangerously with our biggest, best event ever. We’ll be pulling out all the stops to make our final Write-a-thon one to remember, and we’d love to see you there. We know that not all of you will be able to join us this year and were already planning to attend in future years, and we’re sorry that won’t be happening. We’ll keep in touch as plans for future events develop, and we hope to see you at a NaNoWriMo event down the road.

But if you can attend this year, we recommend getting your fundraising up and running or buying your ticket as soon as you’re able to, as we suspect there’s going to be a full house this year.

The Night of Writing Dangerously has been an incredible event for our organization and for the writers who have attended it. We will miss it greatly, and we will remember it fondly. We are so grateful to you for the support you’ve given our organization over the years, and we hope this decision won’t dim your memory of past events or dampen your enthusiasm for future NaNoWriMo events. The future is bright, friends, we just have to give it some time to reveal itself.

Sarah Mackey
Director of Community Engagement

Romance Genre

I am curious, what is it about romance which makes it such a big seller? I don’t write romance, though I would like to try. According to a group I am a part of contemporary romance is the top dog for booksellers. Which, to me, sounds really boring. I have never been into romance. I have owned one romance book my entire life and that was to try it out as a teen and had somehow tricked my mother into allowing me to buy it (Sorry mom, it wasn’t from the teen section, I was just really curious). So, what is it about this genre which makes it so enticing?

Even when summer comes around one of the things which is kind of a summer thing is to hit the beach with a steamy romance novel. I have never actually seen anyone do this, though I have never really paid that close attention either. I would prefer a mystery on a summer beach, personally, but again, I am apparently not the targeted audience.

Romance, contemporary romance, is it because it allows us to touch upon a primal part of ourselves which may not be receiving what we need? Or perhaps, not that we aren’t receiving what we need, but allowing us to see something even stronger than what an everyday real-life relationship can even bring to us? I mean, these stories, at least from what I have seen, are about everyday men and women finding a connection which just reaches through the ages and through the depths of their souls. Is it the idea of a soulmate which entices the readers to pick these books up? Do all contemporary romance books actually have a soulmate type of story? Or is the main thing even more primal? Is the main thing they want to consume is that passion in the sexual fantasy which you only get every so often in real life? That feeling of utter and full living within the other person. To almost feel like your skin is one and the primal instinct of still wanting to be closer and deeper pouring into every pore it can find. I will admit, those moments I have had with my partner are intoxicating. Is that what it is which pulls readers into these books? Is THAT feeling? It is hard to get every time you have sex, but in a book, you can feel it through the pages if it is written well.

I am curious to see what those of you who read or write contemporary romance think. I am trying to understand and I have a very narrow sense of the genre in a whole. Which probably means I need to pick up a book or two before trying my hand at it. But, seriously, what is it which makes it almost a given that you will make at least a few bucks on a book written in this specific genre?

2018 NYC Midnight Short Story Challenge

Last year I was introduced to NYC Midnight short story challenge. They give you a genre and two other criteria to incorporate into a short story piece. If you write a unique enough piece which follows the necessary pieces then you move on to the next round. There are three or four rounds (I forget now) but I was unable to pass the first round last year. You can see my piece here. It was supposed to be a comedy and I failed miserably at doing that.

This year I entered early for two reasons. One, they were offering $5 off the entry price. Two, I was worried I would chicken out when the time came at the beginning of the year to actually sign up. I had actually forgotten I had signed up and was trying to decide if I even wanted to when I received a reminder email about the event. After searching my email I found the receipt showing I had paid early to enter. Well, I guess I knew what I was doing and knew myself pretty well since I had not planned on entering it at that point.

I figured there was no way I would receive comedy the second year in a row and was ready for what the committee was going to give me. Well, comedy was apparently going to see if I had learned anything over the past year since that is again the genre I was given. The other two pieces being teacher’s assistant and recycling. Those two lend themselves hand in hand actually pretty well, but I keep thinking of making it a social commentary rather than a comedy. I know I can do both, but I have a hard time not making something like this into a drama.

So, I have been doing some research and landed on 10 Ways to Improve Your Writing While Thinking Like a Comedy Writer. I think I may have found it last year since some of it sounded familiar, but the ten ways make a lot of sense in just writing in general. Hopefully, it can help me through this challenge well enough to move on to the next challenge. And hopefully, I will not receive another comedy genre.

New Year / Catching Up

Hello and welcome to the year 2018! I am hoping this year this webpage will have a ton more things posted to it for multiple reasons.

  1. I really want to have it up and running like an actual website (I pay for the domain after all)
  2. I am going to be writing a ton more this year

Ya, those are the two main reasons. And while my writing definitely kicked up its pace in November with National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) we bought a new house in October and were packing until about a week and a half before Christmas to move. Needless to say, life has been a bit chaotic.

But now with the holidays behind us, 2017 behind us, and my house more or less put together, I can put some time into keeping this blog up and doing more writing.

In that vein, I have decided to try doing 85k90 challenge again this year. I tried doing it last January but just did not have the energy to keep up with it. I wasn’t the healthiest and having two little ones just wore me completely out by the end of the day. I have lost over 20 pounds now and have a ton more energy for myself and my kids. It is day two (actual day three but I have only written two days worth so far) into the challenge and with this challenge you only have to write 912 words a day to keep on track rather than the 1667 words you do for NaNo. My word count is at 2000 solid right now and I will add more to it soon. Along with the challenge, I am also keeping reminded by the emails which come in from 750words where you write at least 750 words each day and they just keep track to how many days in a row you actually are able to do it. You can challenge yourself at the beginning of the month and write out a sort of promise to yourself, ie: If I write for the Month of BLAH then I will treat myself to BLAH. However, if I do not complete the month my punishment is BLAH. I actually challenged myself this past November and while I won NaNo, I did not write every single day so technically I lost my 750words challenge to myself. Though I didn’t punish myself like I said I would, I was too pleased with myself for finally winning NaNo.

Yes, I won NaNo this past November, which means I wrote 50k words in the month of November. I even finished a few days early, it felt marvelous. This was my seventh year doing it, but my first win. It was also the first year I went to Night of Writing Dangerously and I will definitely be going back. That was an amazing evening. I think I will post up more information on both NaNo and Night of Writing Dangerously later as I have come to realize that while I have posted quite a bit about NaNo people did not realize it was an organization nor a non-profit. So when I do that I will post a link to that post so you can go check it out.

I think that is all for now. Keep me honest people! If you do not see me post in a while shoot me a message and bug me.

750words

Alright, so I apparently forgot that I can actually sign up and get something out of this, for myself. I have now “signed” up for next months challenge, which shouldn’t be too hard as long as I keep up with writing for NaNo as well.

So, here is the thing. 750words.com is an amazing website to help you get into the habit of writing every single day. You only have to write a mere 750 words, which for some people may seem like a lot, but once you start doing it, it will feel like it is not enough to accomplish really anything. They send you an email each day, I believe you can set up the time it is sent to you as well, though I may be wrong, will have to double check that. There is no time you have to write the words in, specifically, you just have to finish writing your 750 words by 11:59P that day. At midnight it resets and you are on to the next day.

This website is great for people who are trying to learn how to write, or for veterans who just want a quick soundboard for ideas or even people who have not written for some time who wish to get back into the groove of writing. Life changes us all and with that our routines can get thrown out the window. Sometimes we need to reassess when we can fit in what we love back into our lives. I know that this happened when I became a mother and that was five years ago! It hasn’t been until recently that I have begun to really focus on me and on what makes me happy once again. Which is not only reading and trying to feel better physically, but is writing, and this website is bringing that love back to me.

It is really helpful if you have been trying to figure out when you have time to write. Because it will send you the email and remind you and when it keeps doing it, you start to think about it during the day. You may find you can sit down for five minutes in the morning, another five at lunch, and maybe another five before going to bed. It doesn’t take much to write 750 words. And it doesn’t have to really do with anything! It can be a journal entry for the day or perhaps you need to vent and INSTEAD of being that arse on the Internet, how about posting it here where it is just for you and you do not have to be the person everyone hates on the Internet. Not that most people will take me up on that advice, but I can be hopeful. But yes, as long as it is 750 words no one is checking content. So you could just write out the numbers in word form: one, two, three, etc; but really that is a waste of your time and creativity.

National Novel Writing Month is coming up, as I have said before, and this will be a wonderful reminder each evening if I have not gotten a chance to sit down to write yet. I am hoping to use the 750words.com more for writing pieces for my webpages like I have been, but it may come down to using it as a soundboard for what I am writing at that moment in the story. Who knows, but that is the great part of having this option.

As I said before, no one reads this, it also doesn’t save your work from previous days (at least I have not seen it do so), so if you are using it as a journal or soundboard, you may need to save what you write to an outside source so you have it for future reference. Otherwise, if you do not care to ever see what you write here again, do not worry… POOF! it is gone.

If you are a beginner writer or a veteran writer, I recommend using 750words.com. For all the reasons I have listed above. I have used it off and on for that past few years, but this is the first time I am really dedicating time to it and I am remembering why I loved it to begin with. Truthfully, I do not remember how I found it, but I did and I guess that is all that matters.

With that, I wish you all luck and good writing.

NaNoWriMo

National Novel Writing Month is next month and this month a ton of people are starting to gear up in their own way for it. I have always been a pantser which means I would always just write what came to me rather than sitting down and making a plan. I have tried to do a plan but it typically always went off on its own and left the plan lonely on the sidelines.

This year, I am doing a different type of writing and I am more or less planning out what I want to write. I came up with an idea over the summer and slowly I have worked up what I want to write about. I even wrote down all the chapters I want to do and what would be in them. Granted I have NO CLUE where that outline ran off to so this month will be frantic cleaning and trying to find it while also probably having to try and write up a new version of it.

There are different groups around the country (and I believe around the world now) which get together for what is called “write-ins” which is when the local people meetup at a coffee shop or somewhere quiet to write and give each other encouragement. Sometimes there are things called “word wars” which are timed quiet sessions where all you do is write and until the timer runs out, you are not allowed to do anything else. (Actually I am participating in one right now as we are trying to get back into the groove.) Some groups do online versions in case not everyone or a lot of people cannot meetup. There are also unplanned one where someone will just post in their Facebook group or on the NaNoWriMo website that they are at some location and will be for this amount of time and to come and do a write in with them. They can be a nice way to meet new people in your area.

There is also the Night of Writing Dangerously which is towards the end of the month. People fundraise or pay for it themselves to go to San Francisco and spend a very long evening with a ton of people and write and gossip and…. well truly I am not all that sure. I have never gotten a chance to go, but I WILL be going this year and I am so excited!

If you wish to learn more about NaNoWriMo then check out their website NaNoWriMo. I hope you join us and have fun creating a world and characters which wish to come alive before your very eyes… fingers… ummm… anways, come join us.

Brandon Sanderson Book Signing

This evening was a nice treat for my husband and me as we whisked our 5 month old son out of the house for a few hours to go to the next city over to the Barnes and Noble.  We had put this on our calendar a month or two ago and thankfully I remembered it before falling asleep last night.  So, my husband got home from work and we packed Jackson up and headed over to the Barnes and Noble in Citrus Heights.

Upon walking in I was afraid that we weren’t going to get to the front of the line any time soon, but that worry was apparently foolish.  A moment after we walked into the store an employee asked if we were there for the signing and said that due to us having a little one in a stroller we would be able to bypass the line.  We weren’t sure if she was joking or not, but after grabbing a couple of books to have signed (we forgot to grab them while at home and there was a book we had never seen of his out on display), we went to find the back of the line.

Just as we got comfy to go through the line a man in a red shirt (don’t go on any missions!) came up to us and told us to follow him.  He zigged and zagged through the line and I embarrassingly apologized every step of the way for going through these cramped books shelves full of people waiting in line.  At least one person said to not be sorry and said that I had enough to deal with besides being sorry for having to do what I needed to do, but I still felt bad.

We finally got to the end of the shelves and out to an open area that we could bypass the rest of the line.  We were told to wait next to the front of the line and when the person asked for next we were told to go ahead.

Brandon Sanderson is quite nice on his Facebook page and actually answers questions when you post.  So, I was curious how he would be in the real world.  He was just as nice if not nicer.  We walked up and he first off thanked us for showing up at all.  I told him I did book reviews and gave him a card and he actually looked at it and looked very interested.  When he was done signing the books he pointedly asked if we had any questions and since I hadn’t been planning on writing anything I hadn’t thought of any.

However, my husband and I had talked about a few things in the cars and he asked the question that brought an answer I would never have guessed.  My husband’s question was, “When did you start writing?”  In the car we had meant when had he begun the first book that was then published and he was known for, but he took it as in general when. His answer was that he had begun writing when he was 14 years old, but didn’t write his first novel until he was 19.  He joked that he was not like some of these other authors who began writing when they were 4 years old.  My thought at the time was, dang, I still haven’t produced anything yet.  The next part of his answer was the part that really surprised me, though, he continued his answer with the fact that he didn’t particularly like to read until he was in his teens.  For some reason this shocked me as with well as he writes, and especially in the Fantasy/Sci-Fi genre, he had a great handle on how to produce a wonderful, entertaining book.  I told him just that and he thanked me.

It was a wonderful experience and I would love to get to know him better.  I hope he does like my page at some point and perhaps in the future he and I can work on something together, even if it is just a simple interview.

NaNoWriMo Event


Dear Friends, Family, and Righteous Supporters,
 
On November 20, the Office of Letters and Light will be bringing together the most mighty of endurance novelists for an event that will define our generation forever.
I’m speaking, of course, of National Novel Writing Month’s Night of Writing Dangerously. It’s a write-a-thon, and it will take place at the beautiful Julia Morgan Ballroom in downtown San Francisco. I will be there, writing my heart out and raising money for the Office of Letters and Light, NaNoWriMo’s parent nonprofit.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Attendees like me must raise $250 to get in the door, and from there, a rich array of prizes, delicious food, and sumptuous writing time awaits. But this is not about me getting a treat-filled night of literary abandon. This is about children and adults getting the encouragement, structure, and inspiration they need to achieve their creative potential. Proceeds from the event will fund National Novel Writing Month’s free creative writing programs in hundreds of schools and communities around the world.
 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The Office of Letters and Light does inspiration like nobody else (did I mention I’m writing an entire novel this November?). And on their behalf, I am asking you to donate.
 
This is an opportunity that will help me get a novel written in a short amount of time and will help push me into finishing it.  November starts a marathon of writing for many people where we all write 50,000 words which is equivalent to a short novel.  With this event it will give me the final push for the month along with allowing me to collaborate with other authors and have people backing me and helping me during the event.
 
Also, I will let you touch my raffle prizes if I win some.
 
Thank you for supporting me in my novel-writing quest, and for helping the Office of Letters and Light create a more engaged and inspiring world.

Kickstarter – A Polaroid Adventure in Marrakesh, Morocco

Some of you may have seen this before, but the artist has FIVE DAYS left to earn the amount of money she needs to go on her dream trip.  I am pulling for her because she is a friend, yes, but also because she is a FANTASTIC artist and deserves this chance.  Please donate even a dollar and it will help her on her way.

One of the great things about Social Networking is I am able to meet wonderful new people and introduce others to these wonderful people.  I have had the great fortune of knowing a few artists before I even began to write this blog and their skill and beauty has grown through the years and it is wonderful to be a part of that growth.  One of the great things about having a blog like this is I can share with you all the wonderful people I have met through the years and also help them out with projects they may be doing or at least get their information out there.
I have had the good fortune to have known Briana Morrison before I really even got into doing these blogs and I have watched her work grow and become more of who she is through her Etsy.com store “The Dizzy Pixie”.  She recently posted on her Etsy.com store and on her Facebook of an excursion she is wishing to undertake which she needs some help on.
Three of her mentors: Susannah ConwayAmanda Gilligan, and Jen Altman, are a part of a 12 like-minded group who, for a week, will be roaming Marrakesh, Morocco and documenting their experience.  They will have workshops and work with one another to grow their talents and share their gifts with each other in hopes to be able to share the experience and their talents with all of us.
Brianna has already taken it into her own hands to be able to attend this excursion in February 2012 by putting down her $500 deposit.  She is asking me and anyone else to help her on the rest of the expenses.  She has started a Kickstarter project and is asking to raise $5,000 which will cover air fare, the workshops, film, and other material she will use once she comes back from this magnificent journey to put it all together into an exhibit she wishes to share with all, up and down California.
You do not need to break the bank to help her out on her dream, it only takes $1 to donate and if you share this information with others we can get her out to Morocco and help her with her dream.  If you do not have the means to donate, please share this information on your Blog, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Email, etc.  Every little bit of money will help.

Interview with Jeremy Tarr author of (S)mythology

Jeremy Tarr, debut author of (S)mythology, will be doing two book signings in the Sacramento area come Saturday, July 30th.  But, before he sits for hours signing books he sat and answered a few questions about his book and about who he is.
 
Thank you Jeremy Tarr for taking the time in sharing a few minutes of your time in answering some questions about yourself and about your book, (S)Mythology.  I know my readers will enjoy this interview immensely.
Question 1: Firstly, can you tell us a little about yourself and how it came about that you wrote (S)Mythology?
In the Autumn of 2004, I fell completely in love with a girl – head-over heels, violins-playing, clichéd “in love.” She was going through a rather tough period in her life, so I wrote a short story for her called “A Tale for Sophie” to cheer her up. That story consisted of much of the first Act of (S)mythology. I started writing it on a Friday night and I’d finished it by Monday morning. I spent the next several days drawing illustrations for it and gave it to her by the end of the week.
Question 2: What is (S)Mythology about and who do you believe will enjoy it?
At heart, it’s a fairy tale about love and the mythology that we interweave into the process of falling in and out of love. But because it’s a fairy tale, it’s also about witches and sorcerers and devils and heroes and villains and mermaids.
I think the book can be enjoyed by anyone from ages 10 to 110 with any sort of longing for whimsy and a liking of the fantastic.
Question 3: Where did the idea come from, to have such a tragic occurrence happen if someone looks at her?
I blatantly ripped it off from Medusa. No doubt, I’ll be expecting a lawsuit from her shortly.
Question 4: Did you know Katy Smail before the project or did the project bring you together?
I was shown Katy’s work by a friend of mine in 2007. If it’s possible to fall in love with illustrations, I did right then and there. She was living in Edinburgh at the time and I was in Los Angeles. We wrote back and forth. I’d send her short stories and she’d send me illustrations. We share a lot of the same loves and inspirations, so our work seemed to instantly connect. I brought (S)mythology to her in December of 2008, by that point she had moved to Brooklyn. We worked on it through all of 2009 and we didn’t actually meet each other face to face until last January in the dead of freezing winter in the East Village in Manhattan. We drank gin and talked for hours.
Question 5: Had you always wanted to have illustrations in your book or did that come later?
As I mentioned earlier, I’d originally created my own (somewhat crude) illustrations for the book – so I always knew it needed them. But it wasn’t until I saw Katy’s work that I knew it not only needed them, but they had to be hers!
Question 6: Was there any other consideration to location for this story or was London a serious part of the story?
I was living in London when I wrote the book, so it just came about naturally.
Question 7: Now that your book has been published and been out for a few months have you gotten used to being a published author?  or is it still surreal?
Writing is such a private and lonely thing, that it’s a bit weird when others – strangers – read what I’ve written. Until now, all the characters in the book lived exclusively in my brain and they had their adventures and conversations up there – it’s a bit schizophrenic, really – but now they’ve popped out and people read about them, so it feels very odd for strangers to know who my imaginary friends are.
Question 8: Was writing one of those things you had always wanted to do?  Had you always wanted to be published?
I’ve written for as long as I can remember. It’s one of those things that have always made me happy.
Question 9: And just to get to know you a little bit better, If you had a yard sale tomorrow for all but 3 of your belongings, what 3 items would you absolutely keep?
There are so many practical things that I’d have to keep, like my phone and laptop. And I wouldn’t sell my underwear as I wouldn’t want shoppers rummaging around through my unmentionables. My father gave me a fountain pen that I would have to keep. And I’d also keep my grandfather’s pocket-watch and my other grandfather’s wristwatch. That’s more than 3, isn’t it? Let’s sell the underwear then!
Question 10: When you aren’t writing, what authors do you like to read and did any of them inspire you to write (S)Mythology?
My favorite author is Anthony Burgess, specifically Earthly Powers, the Enderby series and Kingdom of the Wicked, but he didn’t inspire any part of the book. I’d say the books that most inspired (S)mythology are Alice in Wonderland, The Little Prince and Master and Margarita. Some of Terry Southern’s nonsensical insanity may have rubbed off in the book occasionally as well.
Question 11: Are there any books you are currently reading?  Which books are your top favorites? And what authors would you recommend to people who read your book (S)Mythology?
I go through phases where I read a book a week and then I don’t read anything for a couple of months. I’m currently slogging through Tropic of Cancer because it’s one of those books you’re supposed to read. I just recently finished Twenty Thousand Streets under the Sky by Patrick Hamilton and Augustus by John Williams. Patrick Hamilton and John Williams are two of the most underappreciated writers of the 20th Century. Everyone ought to read Hangover Square by Hamilton and Stoner by Williams – they’re unbelievable, out of this world, mind-shatteringly amazing! There aren’t enough adjectives to describe how amazing they are.
Question 12: I know a lot of Fantasy writers love to play Dungeons and Dragons or like to participate in Role Playing Games, are you one of those writers and which games if so?
I’ve actually never played a role playing game in my life. Though I did go to the Renaissance Faire a couple months ago. When I was a kid, I was always more into comic books than role playing fantasy. I used to be obsessed with comic books – mostly the villains: I always found them more interesting. Especially Dr. Octopus, the Red Skull and the Penguin. Batman was the only superhero I liked – mainly because of the Tim Burton movie. All of the other superheroes I thought were ridiculous: too gumdrop, go-get-‘em, goody-two-shoes.
Question 13: There are a lot of my readers who are writers and have the dream to be published one day, what are your words of wisdom to them?
You will meet rejection and you will meet failure, and it will hurt like hell – but writing is one of those things that some people just have to do. We’re like drug addicts. So, you keep going, like the last line of The Great Gatsby, “so we beat on, boats against the current…” That’s maybe a little cynical – but I would say, don’t worry about being published, just worry about writing well. Don’t try to please anyone but yourself. And, it’s a cliché, but you mustn’t give up. 
Question 14: Has your life changed at all since you published your book and how?
Not really. Sometimes I get fan mail – that’s new.
Question 15: Are there any other books brewing in that brain of yours and will they be similar to (S)Mythology or are you going to try something different?
I’ve finished writing a book that will be part novel and part graphic novel. I’m working on it with one of my oldest friends, Louis Pieper, who’s a comic book artist. The novel is written and Louis has designed all of the characters, and now we meet weekly at a pub to thumbnail the actual boards. It’s completely different than (S)mythology and is about mobsters, terrorists, musicians and fashion models.
Katy and I have discussed a few ideas, as well, as we both want to work together again. I’m also about two chapters into something new, but I really don’t know what it is yet.
Question 16: Do you have a process for writing and can you describe it to us?
One of my favorite lines from Alice in Wonderland is when the King of Hearts instructs Alice on how to read a poem by saying, “Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop.” That’s pretty much how I write.
Question 17: Do you believe writing is a skill or a talent?  Do you have any suggestions to beginning writers which will help them on the path to becoming published?
I think the writing aspect is a bit of a skill – you can learn by writing and writing and writing some more. You can be taught, or you can teach yourself, how to string together some interesting sentences. I think storytelling is more of a talent. Scholars can debate on and on as to whether or not JK Rowling or Stephanie Meyer or Dan Brown are good writers – are their prose beautiful and meaningful and substantive? – but it’s undeniable that they have a certain amount of genius to be able to tell stories that can completely captivate millions and millions of people across a wide swath of ages and races and socio-economic statuses. And when the talent of storytelling and the skill of well-honed and beautiful writing come together, that’s when you get the best kind of book: that’s when you get that rare thing that goes on the list of “classics.”
Question 18: Was there anything that had to hit your proverbial cutting room floor when you were working on (S)Mythology, which you really wish you could have incorporated better?  And will you use it in another book down the road?
There were a few chapters that were tossed – some bits about a doppelganger, something else about a strange snowstorm in Los Angeles – I have no idea if those things will pop up again, but probably not, because I don’t think they were all that interesting.
Question 19: Is there anything else that I have forgotten which you would love my readers to know about your book or about yourself?
Let me think… Oh! I know…. I’m not English. Some people think I’m English. I wrote (S)mythology as if I were an Englishman. But if people want to think I’m English, I’m very happy to indulge them in their beliefs.
Again, thank you for this opportunity.  I hope your trip to California is safe and enjoyable.  We will see you in Sacramento on July 30th at 4p and in Davis at 7:30p.


Sacramento Book Signing
Date: July 30, 2011
Time: 4:00p – 5:30p
Where: The Avid Reader at the Tower
1600 Broadway, Sacramento
Telephone: 916-441-4400
Davis Book Signing
Date: July 30, 2011
Time: 7:30p
Where: The Avid Reader
617 Second Street, Davis
Telephone: 530-758-4040