One of the beta-readers for my forthcoming novel, FIREWIND, took me to task (which is what I expect beta-readers to do) for using several “big” or “obscure” words when more common words would have sufficed.  He pointed out, correctly, that readers get annoyed if they have to constantly refer to a dictionary.  In truth, novelists are…

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As I touted the Southeastern Writers Association annual workshop (June 16-20 on St. Simons Island, Georgia) to a fellow writer recently, he interrupted me by saying he thought it “presumptuous” to assume that a professional author could “teach” writing to someone. That took me aback, but in way, I suppose he was correct.  I’ve listened…

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It’s kinda cool when someone remembers specific scenes from the books you’ve written . . . even if that someone is your brother. My brother Rick and I were chatting a few weeks ago about novels and movies, and he brought up a particular scene he remembered from Plague. “That building with no windows,” he…

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As disruptive as Hurricane Matthew was for St. Simons Island, Georgia, my favorite spot on the Atlantic Coast, it was not a worst-case, Eyewall-type scenario. Matthew, most importantly (and obviously) was not a Category 5 monster.  But there was also a bit of luck that factored into things not being worse: the hurricane jogged slightly…

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I believe there are two different ways Cascadia, my newest novel, is being read.  It’s dependent, I think, upon where the readers live. When I do a presentation on Cascadia in the Southeast, where I reside, I’ve discovered I need to do a little extra.  I have to set the stage for the drama, because most…

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The opening scene in my newest novel, Cascadia, is set in a Clatsop Indian village on the Pacific Northwest coast over three hundred years ago.  Based on research, I placed the village on the present site of Seaside, Oregon. I’m not entirely certain there was an Indian village there in 1700, the date of the…

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As an author, you’re a public figure.  Whether you like or not, your works—your books—become a free-fire zone for public opinion. I don’t disagree with that.  People spend their hard-earned money to buy your products and thus have every right to express their thoughts about them. Your books will be both acclaimed and denigrated.  It’s…

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CASCADIA isn’t totally a novel.  By that I mean it’s not completely fiction.  The event the novel is set against, a massive earthquake and huge tsunami in the Pacific Northwest, is something that’s really going to happen. In my previous novels, EYEWALL, SUPERCELL and BLIZZARD, I depicted major weather events that, while certainly possible, are…

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Where will you be on “C-Day,” the day the Cascadia Subduction Zone blows a gasket?  Yeah, yeah, I know.  Maybe we’re all six feet under or blowing in the wind by then. Or maybe not, not if Cascadia lets ‘er rip tomorrow or over the Fourth of July weekend, like in the novel, Cascadia. So,…

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