Back in CT from Alabama in the nick of time…

to sign copies of THIRST at Barnes & Noble in Waterbury.

Come by on Wed., Oct. 17th, between 6 and 8 p.m.   Books are already available at the store, and I’ll be thrilled to write a personal note to any of your novel-reading friends and families. 

See you there!


Tomorrow, THIRST and I are flying to Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama, to participate in the Auburn Writers Conference. 

I’m looking forward to meeting with and learning from a bevy of fellow writers.  It has been a treat to converse in advance via email with writers who will join me in a workshop about developing character from the geography of body and setting.

Thanks to Chantel Acevedo for this generous invitation!

As Always, a Nod to Kurt Vonnegut…

…who reminds us writers of some practices that lead to drafting effective stories:

1.  Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.

2.  Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.

3.  Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.

4.  Every sentence must do one of two things–reveal character of advance the action.

5.  Start as close to the end as possible.

6.  Be a Sadist.  No matter how sweet and innocent your leading character, make awful things happen to them in order that the reader may see what they are made of.

7.  Write to please just one person.  If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.

8.  Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible.  To hell with suspense.  Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.

Thanks, KV!

Now, back to work.