Harvest of Ideas at Lehigh University’s Linderman Library

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Last month the Friends of the Lehigh University Libraries hosted the Sixth Annual Harvest of Ideas at Lehigh University’s Linderman Library, in which faculty who published books over the previous year were showcased. I was deeply honored to have been one of the authors in attendance for my novel Maledicus: The Investigative Paranormal Society Book 1.

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This was a lovely and genial event, and I am proud to have been a part of it. Congratulations to all the authors involved, and thank you to the Friends of the Lehigh University Libraries, to Linderman Library, and to Heather Simoneau, Humanities Librarian.

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Again, to all involved, thank you!

 

 

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Please follow the following links to find my novel:

ebook

Print book

Thank you!

The book trailer:

Maledicus:Investigative Paranormal Society Book I

My radio interview:

interview

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More Reviews of Maledicus: The Paranormal Investigative Society Book 1

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“I loved this book and could NOT put it down! Written by an English professor, it is an absorbing, addictive story that left me continually wondering what would happen next. (Even while I WAS reading, I had to keep myself from glancing ahead to find out!)
I was once told the earmark of a successful novel is that the author has created characters the reader really cares about, and this certainly was the case for me. I worried about them. Putting the book down made me feel I was abandoning them to their suffering and keeping them in limbo.

Maledicus is clearly a thriller filled with the stark and chilling reality of evil — but, in its delicate balance, I found that it also reassures us of the enduring power of love.”

                                                                                                          Vivien L. Steele

“This is a layered, entertaining tale. Opening the action in ancient Rome gives depth and mystery to the present-day plot. Unlike the protagonists, the reader knows how inhumanly evil Maledicus is from the beginning, which boosts the suspense. And as a Boomer, it was a kick to see three retired gentlemen of varied backgrounds work together, all bound by the losses of loved ones. That adds a touching and sad dimension to interesting characters.”

                                                                                                         Mike Tuggle

 

“This book was recommended to me. Initially, I downloaded the digital sample to my IPad from Amazon. Other people I spoke to who had read it were impressed and one Sunday afternoon this past Fall I decided to check it out. The book is realistic, engrossing and fits well in the horror genre. Before I knew it, I got to the end of the sample and looked up to a totally dark apartment. OMG! The combination of the scariness of the book and my environment caused me to shiver. I was so freaked I had to turn on all the lights in my place.


I have since bought the paperback and reread the whole thing. It’s great escapism and I recommend it if you’re looking for a good scare.”

                                                                                             Amazon Customer

 

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Please follow the following links to find my novel:

ebook

Print book

Thank you!

The book trailer:

Maledicus:Investigative Paranormal Society Book I

My radio interview:

interview

J.K. Rowling on Writing

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“Read as much as you possibly can. Nothing will help you as much as reading.”

 

“There’s no formula.”

 

“There’s always room for a story that can transport people to another place.”

Beautiful Writing: Part I: Ray Bradbury

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One of the reasons that I love to read, in addition to experiencing other worlds, walking in the path of other characters, learning about the world around us, and escaping from reality for a short time, is to enjoy the beauty of words. Some writers are able to elevate their writing to a level of poetry and beauty that is exhilarating and joyful to read.

One writer, whose use of words, reaches poetic levels is Ray Bradbury. He is a writer not easily confined to one genre and whose work is defined by love of story. I have taught his work in several college classes in both Muhlenberg College and Lehigh University, and his writing has been an influence on me as a novelist.

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I will offer two passages from his brilliant novel Dandelion Wine, a BildungsRoman or coming-of-age story, set in late 1920s in Green Town, Illinois. These passages are from the perspective of a boy who is beginning to see possibilities in life, both the external world and in himself.

The first passage is the opening of the novel:

It was a quiet morning, the town covered over with darkness and at ease in bed.

Summer gathered in the weather, the wind had the proper touch, the breathing

of the world was long and warm and slow. You only had to rise, lean from your

window, and know that this indeed was the first real time of freedom and living,

this was the first morning of summer.

Douglas Spaulding, twelve, freshly wakened, let summer idle him on its

early-morning stream. Lying in his third-story cupola bedroom, he felt the tall

power it gave him, riding high in the June wind, the grandest tower in town. At

night, when the trees washed together, he flashed his gaze like a beacon from

this lighthouse in all directions over swarming seas of elm and oak and maple.

Now . . . (1)

That is an extraordinary opening to a novel. It pulls the reader into the story with a seemingly simplistic prose, but within that simplicity is beauty and the poetry of the world being seen through young eyes.

Another passage shows Douglas at night time:

Douglas sprawled back on  the dry porch planks, completely  contented

and reassured by these voices, which would speak on through eternity, flow

in a stream of murmurings over his body, over his closed eyelids, into his

drowsy ears, for all time. The rocking chairs sounded like crickets, the crickets

sounded like rocking chairs, and the moss-covered rain barrel by  the

dining-room window produced another generation of mosquitoes to provide

a topic of conversation through endless summers ahead. (33)

 

Both excerpts, in my view, are beautiful, compelling, and poetic. All writers should read and study Ray Bradbury.

Works Cited

Bradbury, Ray. Dandelion Wine. New York. Avon Books. 1999.

Stephen King on Revision

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“To write is human, to edit is divine.”

“When you write a book, you spend day after day scanning and identifying the trees. When you’re done, you have to step back and look at the forest.”

 

“Your job during or just after the first draft is to decide what something or somethings yours is about. Your job in the second draft— one of them, anyway—is to make that something even more clear. This may necessitate some big changes and revisions. The benefits to you and your reader will be clearer focus and a more unified story. It hardly ever fails.”

 

All quotations are from

Stephen King On Writing: A Memoir Of The Craft

 

 

Back From the Writers Digest Conference!

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I have not posted anything in the last few days because I have been busy at the 2017 Writers Digest Conference in New York City, and it was a great time! If you are a writer, and you want to learn more about the world of publishing and to have an opportunity to pitch to agents, then I recommend this conference to you.

I attended many sessions with publishing professionals and writers, and I learned something useful at each session, including about writing, marketing, and various other aspects of the world of publishing.  I met and networked with other writers, and that was also extremely important and valuable. To those I met, it was delightful, and I hope we keep in contact.

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Perhaps the most exciting event was the Agent Pitch Slam, which is essentially like speed dating, with a strictly enforced 3 minute maximum with each agent, and then the writers move on. If a writer does well in pitching his/her book, then they might see 6-8 agents. I was able to pitch to 7, and one requested my entire manuscript–my YA novel The Ameriad: The Monastery of Knowledge by Charles F. French! Now, I know that is not a guarantee, but it is a major step forward, and I am excited about it.

I also want to say thank you very much to my in-laws, who very graciously opened their home to me while I attended the conference. They are wonderful people, and I love them.   Again, thank you!

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Book Lovers’ Week!

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I realized that I had somehow missed that August 9 was the day of the unofficial Book Lovers’ Day. So, I have decided, without any authority, of course, that I am declaring the entire week of 8/9/17-8/15/17 to  be the unofficial holiday of Book Lovers’ Week!

Why should we celebrate only one day?  Let us embrace the week as a period of declaring to the world that we love books!

If you are with me on this idea, please spread the word!

I love books!

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