Stephen King: Can a Novelst Be Too Productive

THERE are many unspoken postulates in literary criticism, one being that the more one writes, the less remarkable one’s work is apt to be. Joyce Carol Oates, the author of more than 50 novels (not counting the 11 written under the pseudonyms Rosamond Smith and Lauren Kelly), understands perfectly how little use critics have for prolific writers. In one of her journals she wrote that she seemed to create “more, certainly, than the literary world allows for a ‘serious’ writer.”

As with most postulates dealing with subjective perceptions, the idea that prolific writing equals bad writing must be treated with caution. Mostly, it seems to be true. Certainly no one is going to induct the mystery novelist John Creasey, author of 564 novels under 21 different pseudonyms, into the Literary Hall of Heroes; both he and his creations (the Toff, Inspector Roger West, Sexton Blake, etc.) have largely been forgotten.

The same is true of the British novelist Ursula Bloom (over 500 published works, under many pseudonyms), Barbara Cartland (over 700) and a host of others. One is reminded of Truman Capote’s famous bon mot about Jack Kerouac: “That’s not writing, that’s typing.”

Read the rest at New York Times

Fridays 5 with T.L. Clark

 So, who am I? I have a full time ‘day job’ in an office, and I’m a wife. I’m also a holistic therapist and Reiki Master. So, being a romance novelist somehow slots in around all this.

I started writing because of Fifty Shades (don’t roll your eyes at me!). Honestly, it was because I was so disappointed when I read it. I really thought it was badly written. My arrogant inner voice spoke up, “Surely even I can write better than this!”, so I tried. There is actually a BDSM romance in my collection, and it’s been noted by others “it makes EL James look like Enid Blyton” (I’ll leave you to decide). I just like looking and writing about different types of love.

In my spare time (*laughs*), I like walks in the forest and sadly all the food that’s bad for me.

My ultimate dream is to have a farmhouse retreat so I can help people who are frazzled out by the rat race, as well as helping horses and other animals. I would like to live as self-sufficiently as possible, and have more time to write. Wow, I sound dull and ‘good goody’! I’m a nice person, but have a wicked temper and an even more devilish sense of humour.

Have I wittered on about me enough? I think so.

1.) When did you first get serious about writing?

A.) I suppose I'll put that as two year's ago, as that's when I first self-published my first book; it's my birthday this week!

2.) What is the hardest part for you about writing?

A.) Publicising my work! The books flowed out of me, and it was a joy. The editing/re-editing/cover design choices etc. were all a bit of a challenge, but it's definitely the 'trying to get my books noticed' which is the hardest.

3.) How did you feel upon publication of your first completed project?

A.) Euphoric! I felt a massive sense of achievement. I was naïve though and didn't realise that was just the start of the hard work.

4.) What is more important to you, story, or character? Why?

A.) Can I go with secret option c - the emotion! My characters and story are both nothing without the raw emotions I fill my books with. I have been known to cry whilst writing; and I know what's going to happen! And I know my readers have cried too; sometimes sad, sometimes happy tears. That's love for you!

5.) What is a typical day like in your world?

A.) Early start to get to the day job (I have to pay my bills!). Get home around 17:00, hop onto laptop and catch up with social media, maybe stop to make/eat dinner (dependent on my husband's desire to cook, which he does most of the time).

I then spend the rest of the evening of various social media sites these days.

Sometimes I have holistic therapy clients to help.

Occasionally I get to write some of book 5!

I sound like I'm moaning, but I wouldn't swap it for anything (well, except for my farmhouse retreat dream, which would also allow more writing time).

I have four books out. Each is stand alone and looks at love from a different angle. Please feel free to browse and select whichever speaks to your innermost desire.

My books are available on all good eReaders including:




I love hearing from people so please do pop along and say hi.





Friday's 5 with Naylene Rondon

Naylene Rondon's love for reading encouraged her to practice writing since she was in elementary school. The ability to put her thoughts, ideas, characters and dialogue on paper is a rewarding challenge. Putting life, action, and building characters in story lines is an art form that she takes pride in, and sharing it with the world is a blessing. Everyday Naylene continues to grow and learn about writing and all possibilities it presents.

1.) When did you first get serious about writing?

A.) I was probably thirteen when I decided I wanted to write a novel. I used to have all these ideas that I wanted to share. However, I never was serious enough to actually write anything more than a few chapters. It wasn't until about three years ago, when I started to write a story out of boredom. At first, it was just a story to pass the time. Then, I found myself getting really invested in it. I started writing day and night for over two months until it was complete. Though I've never published it, it was when I realized I could write a full novel.

2.) What is the hardest part for you about writing?

A.)  The hardest part is actually sitting down to write. Once I'm down a few paragraphs, I get into this zone that could last hours. Though, the effort of putting myself down in a chair and starting was another story. Even if I have the story right in front of me, I could go about fifteen minutes with writers block. Every sentence I try to write, I'll end up erasing. It takes a while to get my mind in the right setup again.

3.) How did you feel upon publication of your first completed project?

A.)  It was shocking. My family was so excited and I still was in a state of disbelief. I never really thought I would ever be published. Even when I was working on the publishing, it always felt like something so far away.

4.) What is more important to you, story, or character? Why?

A.)  The characters are the most important. The story is about them. Characters are the people that the readers would love and hate. They are the temporary people that you get to meet while you read. Most of the stories I've written usually came from the character. I created the person in my mind and then develop the past that made them into whatever I imagined. Then, I write that past. Stories revolve around people.

5.) What is a typical day like in your world?

A.)  It consists of mostly studying, housework, cooking, procrastination, and writing. Also, helping my little brother with his homework.

Naylene wishes to maintain her anonymity hence the reason no picture or social media links have been provided.

The Streets by Robert Dunbar

Now available for pre-order, part three of Robert Dunbar's Pines Trilogy, The Streets.

Click on the cover for more info or to order


THE STREETS is the final part of Robert Dunbar's THE PINES TRILOGY:

In a desolate city, as ravaged and dangerous as a post-Apocalyptic wasteland, horrors prowl the back alleys. Struggling to survive, a group of young people find themselves trapped in a decaying asylum ... where unspeakable evil lurks. 

Do the streets offer escape? Or death? 

"THE STREETS is like ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST, shot directly into your veins like a speedball."
- Greg F. Gifune, author of THE BLEEDING SEASON
"Robert Dunbar has the unique personal vision, command of language, and atmospheric style to enrapture you in the wildest, deepest nightmare."
- Tom Piccirilli, author of THE LAST KIND WORDS 

The Pines Trilogy:

The Pines

Click on cover for more info or to order

A series of gruesome murders shocks the Pine Barrens of New Jersey. Could it be the legendary Jersey Devil? 
The Shore: 
Click on cover for more info or to order. 


As a winter storm grips the coastal town of Edgeharbor, a series of horrible murders terrorizes the residents. A young policewoman and a mysterious stranger are all that stand between the tiny town and an ancient evil. 

About the Author:

"The catalyst for the new literary movement in horror." ~ Dark Scribe

"A literary craftsman, a stylist." ~ Shroud Magazine

"One of the best authors working in dark fiction today." ~ Literary Mayhem

"Easily one of the best dark fiction writers around." ~ The Black Abyss

"In a word: brilliant." ~ Hypnos

ROBERT DUNBAR is the author of several novels, a collection of short fiction, and a nonfiction book about the horror genre. His stories and essays have appeared in numerous publications. For more information, visit

"Unconventional and totally unique in his approach to the genre." ~ Nights & Weekends

"Spearheading the movement to infuse the modern horror genre with more literary sensibilities." ~ Serial Distractions

"Writers like Robert Dunbar don't materialize every day. Let us give thanks for his continued attempts to bring professionalism and craft back to an ailing genre." ~ HellNotes

Friday's 5 with Caleb Monroe

Caleb Monroe is a high school math and science teacher who never quit reading comic books.  Writing is something that I have always wanted to try and after being a teacher for a few years I decided now is better than never.  To be honest, I went to school with the idea of making sure to stay away from English courses because writing has never been something I felt I was good, at least from the technical side.  I decided to go the science route and got my degree in biochemistry and found out along the way that teaching the material is something I am pretty good at.  So over the last few years of teaching, I got the itch to try to take a story I had come up with and put into a book.  This idea has turned into New Beginnings. This is the first book of a trilogy that I am writing called the Quarantine Series.  I am not looking to be the next big thing, but I wouldn't mind if it happened.  I really just want to keep doing what I hope I did in the first book, and that is write something that makes you care about the characters and the journey they are on during the series. 

1.) When did you first get serious about writing?

A.) The very first story that I ever wrote was a short story about a group of kids who went to a scary amusement park.  I wrote this in fourth grade for an English assignment and I still remember that I fell in love with the story and the process of writing it.  Over the next couple years I would come up with some more stories but I never really made it a serious practice.  I went on with my life and eventually I became a teacher and last year I finally decided to get back to writing.  I live in Louisiana and last January we had about a week off due to freezing rain so one day I simply decided it was time to write the story I always promised myself that I would write.  It was during those off days that I remembered how much fun it was to create a world that people could fall into and lose themselves.  From that week forward I begin writing what has become my first fiction series call The Quarantine Series.

2.) What is the hardest part for you about writing?

A.) I always thought that hardest part would be the actual writing part.  I always saw in movies or on twitter that writers would talk about struggling to get started or just making their word count for the day, but that actually came easy to me.  I had no problem, on an off day, writing five or six thousand word.  I just loved telling my story and once I started it was hard to not stop.  So for me the hardest part of writing would be proofreading.  I have always struggled with grammar and things of that nature so having to proofread my book was a very horrible experience.  You never realize how bad you are those things until you try to read through your own writings.  I am constantly second guessing myself about punctuation or spelling and it can often bog down my writing.  I will get into a great rhythm and then hit a snag which will derail for me a little while.  I have learned while writing more that the best thing for me to do is just write and then once I am done with a book I go back and check over it.  That is the best thing I can do to keep my writing from becoming sour.  I also apologize for what I am sure are the multiple mistakes you will find while reading my responses.

3.) How did you feel upon publication of your first completed project?

A.) When I finished my book I felt as if I had done the impossible.  I had actually completed the first part of my trilogy and there was nothing better than that at the time.  Unfortunately for me, after getting my first review that all changed.  I got a review that was really harsh and somewhat accurate.  The harsh part was just an opinion, but the accurate part was something that talked about my grammar.  I was almost broken after seeing that the reviewer was right.  I almost took my book down out of embarrassment, but then I decided to use this to my advantage.  I published my book amazon independently which allowed me to take the book down and rework it.  I spent a month going over it and doing my best to fix the mistakes that were pointed out.  I ended leaving the whole experience with an even better appreciation for what I had done.  I had taken something that almost broke me and made my book even better.  I walked away from it feeling as if I was back on t0p of the world again.  It even pushed me to get back to writing again and now I am a few weeks away from finishing the third book and beginning to get it proofread professionally so that it can be for sale by the years end.

4.) What is more important to you, story, or character? Why?

A.) I think that character plays a much larger role in how I like to write stories.  I spend a good amount of time coming with a story, but at the core of each of my books it comes down to what my characters are going to be forced to do and how they would handle it.  I designed my characters in a way that my story had to flow in a specific way because there was only one way they would handle certain situations.  The story had no other choice but to unfold in the manner that it did because if I wrote it any other way then the read who never believe that my character would do those things.  I wanted to write a story that made the reader stop and think about why my characters were acting the way they were.  I never wanted at any point for them to think that the story is just moving along the characters are just a long for the ride.  My characters actions are what push everything forward.  If I had used different characters then I have no idea how my story would have progressed.  The best example I can think of is that while writing my first book I wrote something that changed the whole outcome of the series.  I simply wrote down a thought that my main character had and I knew what he had to do.  It changed the ending that I wanted to do, but it was the only natural ending that my character could come to while on this journey.   

5.) What is a typical day like in your world?

A.)  Being a teacher means that my days are pretty standard.  I wake up, go to school, teach algebra 2 and honors chemistry, then go work out, I go home to my wife and dog, and then the next morning I do the same.  I really do love my job, but free time is something that I do not have a lot of between preparing for the next day and all of the clubs I run.  What little time I do have is spent either playing music or writing, or reading comic books.  I am a hug comic geek so I always make time for that during the week.  I am a very busy person but I have found ways to sneak in some time for those things that are an outlet for me like writing and music.  I may only get a little each day with them, but they are some of the most important parts of my day.  

Caleb blogs at:

New Release: Left to Darkness by Craig Saunders

I'd like to introduce you to Craig Saunders, and his latest release, Left to Darkness. If you haven't read his work before, you're missing out.


A meteor strikes the Earth. Dirt and dust fill the air. Only a few people remain under the setting skies, and those who still live find it's not God's England anymore.

It's the Devil's turn.

Lines are drawn between the dark and light. For the darkness, James Finley and his cult for the end of days. On the side of light, Paul Deacon, the lost policeman, and Dawn Graves, the last mother.

To survive, they must put their lives in one man's hands: Frank Liebowicz, a killer with a soft spot for lost causes. Because come Armageddon, God won't choose his champions.

They'll choose themselves.

About the Author:

Craig Saunders is the author of over thirty novels and novellas, first published with 'Rain' in 2011. Stories include 'Flesh and Coin', 'The Estate', 'Deadlift' and 'Masters of Blood and Bone', called 'A rare treat from a master of horror' by The Examiner.

He writes dark fiction/horror with an element of crime or mystery, and epic fantasy. His shorter fiction appears in various anthologies and magazines. Sometimes he dabbles with humour - but only when he's feeling serious.

Born in 1972 in London, England, Craig did some stuff (like growing up - abridged version), then studied Japanese and Law in Cardiff, Wales. After deciding the legal side of the law wasn't much fun, he left British shores to live and work in Japan. He has experimented with jobs as diverse as a translator and interpreter, English teacher, editor, dog walker, carpenter, doorman, and others besides.

He lives in Norfolk, England, with his wife and children, likes nice people and good coffee.

Find out more at:

Praise for Craig Saunders:

[Masters of Blood and Bone] '...combines the quirkiness of Dean Koontz's Odd Thomas series with the hardcore mythology of Clive Barker to create an adventure that is both entertaining and terrifying. This is horror adventure at its finest.' -

'Saunders is fast becoming a must read author in the realms of horror and dark fiction.' - Scream.

[Bloodeye] '...razor-sharp prose.' Wayne Simmons, author of Flu and Plastic Jesus.

'Plain and simple, this guy can write.' - Edward Lorn, author of Bay's End.

[Deadlift] 'Noir-like, graphic novel-like horror/thriller/awesomeness.' - David Bernstein, author of Relic of Death and Witch Island.

'A master of the genre.' Iain Rob Wright.

[Spiggot] 'Incredibly tasteless, shamelessly lowbrow, and very, very funny.' - Jeff Strand.

[A Home by the Sea] 'Brutal and poetic, like good horror fiction should be...' - Bill Hussey, author of Through a Glass, Darkly.

[The Estate] 'A tale that you are unlikely to forget in a long time.' DLS Reviews.

[Rain] 'I'd say it's the best book I've read in a year.' - The Horror Zine.

[The Estate] 'A horror novel full of emotion and heart.' - Ginger Nuts of Horror.

Coming Soon:

Left to Darkness
Unit 731
Death by a Mother's Hands
Spiggot, Too
As Craig R. Saunders:
Beneath Rythe

E-Books are changing the way we read and the way novelists write.

Re-Blogged from The Guaridan
Written by Paul Mason

If you hand me the original paperback edition of Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow I can, quickly and without too much scrabbling, find you the page where the hero loses the girl. My disappointment on his behalf has lingered physically on that page for the past 20 years. Likewise, in Vasily Grossman’s Life and Fate, there is a long section where a platoon of the Red Army defends “House 6/1”, establishing a temporary zone of political freedom there. For me, this freedom seems to live in that chunk of pages. If I look at the book end-on, I can see, roughly, where House 6/1 exists.

Yet with the coming of ebooks, the world of the physical book, read so many times that your imagination can “inhabit” individual pages, is dying. I’m not the only person in my circle who has stopped buying new books in anything other than digital form, and even the cherished books described above are now re-read, when I need to, on Kindle.

But what is the ebook doing to the way we read? And how, in turn, are the changes in the way millions of us read going to affect the way novelists write? This is not just a question for academics; you only have to look at people on a beach this summer to see how influential fiction remains, and how, if its narratives were to change radically, our self-conception might also change.

Read the rest at: The Guardian

Hope Book Cover Feedback

As children we were taught to never judge a book by its cover. Yet when a reader goes online, or into a bookstore in search of their next read, the first thing they look for is a cover that draws their eye and speaks to them on an emotional level. For nearly everything we buy, from our cell phones to our automobiles, appearance is one of the top five considerations that factors heavily into the buying decision. Beyond ensuring your cover does not look like an amateur's first attempt we have very little control over how the public will perceive our work. We can look at what's currently in the genre for our upcoming release and see what's selling well. But that is no guarantee as readers taste are subjective, and there is no magic formula out there to tell us what will sell, and what won't.

With that in mind I come before you today to ask a favor. I have a release coming soon and in addition to working on the editing I've also been putting together the cover. I'm looking for some solid, honest, feedback.

Original cover

What do you honestly think of this cover?

Give me your thoughts in the comments below and after Hope is released I will happily provide you with a free copy in the electronic format of your choice. Shoot me an email after you have commented to and when Hope is released later this year I'll send you a copy absolutely free, no strings attached.

Thanks for stopping by. I look forward to your feedback.

Thanks everyone for your feedback, I also posted this cover on Facebook and Goodreads, the feedback from all sources has been great, thahk you everyone.

I've updated the cover, what do you think?

Updated 8-10-2015

The latest version updated 8-11-2015

The latest version, updated 8-12-2015

Version 11, updated 8-13-2015

Change of direction here to better illustrate the story. Don't worry hte hope cover will still be used.

The finished cover. Thanks everyone for your honest feedback. It helped tremendously.

Fridays 5 with M.E. Tudor

1.) When did you first get serious about writing?

A.) I've gone through serious spells with writing from junior high into adult hood. Fifteen years ago I became serious enough to complete a book and try to sell it. I didn't get any takers so I posted on an online site for my genre. I developed some fans from that. Then, in 2010 I started writing a new young adult lesbian fiction romance. I finished it in 2012 and found a small publisher to publish it. I've been going full steam ever since.

2.) What is the hardest part for you about writing?

A.) Editing. I hate editing. I have people who help me with editing but it is still my least favorite thing to do.

3.) How did you feel upon publication of your first completed project?

A.) I was elated for about a minute. The publisher had not properly formatted the book so the first round of print copies were messed up. I only had a handful of sales until it went digital and then it went crazy. I still have really good sales on that book despite there still being a lot of editorial problems. That experience is what prompted me to self-publish and I won't look back. I love having complete control of my work.

4.) What is more important to you, story, or character? Why?

A.) For me, my characters are the most important part of the story. If you write characters that people fall in love with everything else will fall into place. I've read a lot of books that I can't tell you much about the plot, but I can tell you about the characters and how they effected me.

5.) What is a typical day like in your world?

A.)  My life is beyond insane. My partner and I both work full-time jobs, we're raising and homeschooling three of our nine grandchildren. Most mornings I try to get up between 5:30 and 6:30 so I'll have writing time before my 21 month old grandson gets up. Once he's up, I start cleaning and getting homework together for his 10 and 8 year old brother and sister. The most of the rest of the day is doing homework, going to my job as a librarian, and coming home after 8 in the evening. I usually work during my lunch break and for a few hours after I get home. I try to work 4 to 6 hours on my days off. Despite all the craziness in my life, I manage to get a lot of writing done.

The Myth of The Lazy Writer by Hugh Howey

Re-Blogged from Publishers Weekly.

The hardest part of getting a book published is the actual writing. All it takes to see this is the number of people who dream of publishing a book but never manage to hammer out a rough draft. I spent 20 years trying to write my first novel before I finally pulled it off. It’s not unusual for an aspiring writer to struggle for years and never produce a finished product to submit to agents or editors.

Once the hard part is done and a draft is written, there are two basic routes a writer can take. Much ink has been spilled over the past few years about the rise of self-publishing—even though the route predates Mark Twain and Benjamin Franklin. To self-publish requires hiring cover artists, editors, and typesetters or learning to do these things on one’s own. The difficult task of emailing a cover artist to hire her services is often used to frighten authors away from self-publishing. That’s because there’s a myth that authors are lazy, and a myth that some authors merely write for a living. No such creature has ever existed.

The alternative to self-publishing is to sign over your work to a traditional press. It sources the cover artist, editor, and typesetter for you. In exchange, it takes most of the income. This is sold as a fair deal, especially since it is said that publishers support authors while they write their novels by providing a livable advance. This is yet another myth: authors produce their first works while working another job; they are not given a year’s salary because they have an idea.

Read the rest at Publishers Weekly