When will My Stories be Discovered??

TS. I wrote this post back in 2012….seven years ago. But most of it still holds true today.

Okay, so now you have a publisher…your books will fly off the shelves or through cyberspace, right?  Au contra, it’s still going to take some time. Or at least, that’s certainly been my experience….

Samuel French (biggest publisher for stage plays)  picked me up in 2004 and has since published four of my stage plays.  I am so grateful to be in the same publishing house as  Louisa May Alcott, David Mamet, Anton Chekhov, and Tennessee Williams. And the staff is so nurturing to their authors.  But, here’s the reality: No sales the first year, a few the second year, more the third year and so on…….but, sadly, no BIG immediate discovery of this playwright!  Not like in the movies!!

So I kept writing and editing and submitting……and writing more!

I am happy to share with my readers the news that I received a nice fat check from French with reports that reflected my biggest sales period EVER, the first quarter, this year (2012)!  Over the last six months they have sold seventy scripts of mine.  Most orders were in multiple quantities which means a theatre company was buying enough books for cast and crew.  And that means that somewhere, out in the world, theatre companies are producing my work!  You might be saying to yourself, ‘that’s not so many’  but think about it.  That’s 11.6 scripts per month. And like I said, most of them were NOT perusal copies (of one) but the number that they would need to produce a show! One production in Bangor, Maine and the other in Phoenix, AZ.

Last year (2018) a play of mine was produced in Iceland and the UK.

My books are finally selling with some welcomed regularity on amazon.com (USA and Europe) and other book outlets. After eight long years!!

So my message to you is: Keep writing, fellow writers.  Keep editing, rewriting. That’s where a really good story/book is born.  When you get rejection after rejection  (as I did) let that be the spur to write more! Use ‘Self publishing’ . ‘Vanity’ books are a thing of the past…or almost.  Most of us, as writers, have something important to say and vanity is far, far away from our thoughts.  With the advent of ‘print on demand’ self publishing is not the huge investment it used to be.  I self publish for less than $100. plus the wholesale cost of the finished book.  Sure your publisher takes a cut…but!  You’re published!!

Writing is a lonely business but keep at it.  I’ll believe in you if you’ll believe in me!

MY BLOG features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!  December: Australian mystery writer, Dervla  McTiernan
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Motivational Moments #40– Dust off a book you’ve written…

…and put out a new ‘edition’. I wrote Book #1 of my true crime series, Art of Murder, back in 2011.  Circumstances (I fired my publisher) led me to review and rewrite this book. Adding a new dynamic cover, new title  (Brush with Murder) and added 6000 new words. A love interest walked into Ben’s life and I pulled that thread. 

Most indie publishing platforms allow you to change the ‘interior files’ post-publish and change the cover when you’ve rewritten the book. In my case, since I was also changing the title, I issued the book as a new ‘revised’ edition. The new cover, by my illustrator, David White, is sexy and hot! He does such terrific work for me.

I recommend to all writers to review things you’ve written and even published. Only good things can happen! 

Now available!  Brush with Murder and Shadow of Murder 

Coming Soon!  Book #9, Triad of Murder

 Coming Soon in Audio-Books:
(Beneath the) Bridge of Murder
Video of Murder
Shadow of Murder 


 MY BLOG features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   August: Mega best selling author, Susan Mallery. September: Jonathan Rabb.  October: Alretha Thomas. November: Joe English. December: Molly Gloss. Coming this winter: Jayne Ann Krentz (Amanda Quick) and Patrick Canning.
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To PurchaseTo Purchase


My New Best Friend….my Editor!

Like most writers I thought I could write fairly well, trying to improve with every new book.  UNTIL I met my editor, Cindy Professional Editors Davis.  She is not only my watch-dog for grammar, punctuation and such, she urges me forward by asking key questions about my characters and story line.

She keeps me in my character’s head and always, always seeking their point of view.

It took me a couple of tries to find the exact perfect editor for me.  A professional who does editing as a full time job and not some hobbyist that call themselves an editor.  Meanwhile, always making excuses about not responding to me, the client.  ‘I have to run into town’, ‘I have to go and get my truck serviced’, ‘my truck was stolen’ …..every day a new excuse. Meanwhile I was five chapters ahead of her trying to get work done. Continue reading “My New Best Friend….my Editor!”

Calling All Writers!!!

ProofingWrite, edit, PROOF and then….PROOF your writing AGAIN…and again!! 

I believe in the old adage that if I can’t say something nice, then keep my mouth shut. Especially with other writers.  But, (the BIG but!)  I ordered a book with the intention of interviewing the author in the months to come, because he has lived such a fascinating life.

A few days later I sat down to what I anticipated to be an intriguing story.  If you have been with me awhile, dear reader, you know my fascination with the transport, export of human beings, especially children. The story could have been a good one.  I don’t know if the author is inexperienced but the story was so rushed, with little detail about what made the characters click and why they should win in the end.  I didn’t care about the separated, young lovers. I didn’t care that the heroine was in shackles over a length of red ribbon.  The author did not take the time to flesh out these characters.   I can recognize this flaw as I am a ‘rusher’ too….but after I have ‘slammed down‘ the story outline, I go back and, slowly, create characters that matter to the reader.  After the first draft of your story?….well, that’s when the REAL WORK begins.

the do's and don't's
the do’s and don’t’s

Format your book correctly. I never realized before how distracting poor or NO formatting can be for the reader’s eye.  Subconsciously our brain and eye expect to see a well formatted book like the dozens we’ve read before.  This book had ‘indents’ in the middle of dialogue, poor or no punctuation, and hundreds of typos’. Incorrectly capitalized words, and

no page numbers.  Really?  It appeared that NO ONE had proofed this book before publishing.

In no way am I saying that my books are perfect.  We are human and we miss stuff as writers.  But you, as a writer have got to do the work!  Do I like reading and then re-reading my own work.  Hell, NO!  But it’s part of the job for a self published author.  Your eye will get stale so have someone else proof your writing too.  I am blessed with a friend in Texas, who is extremely busy, extremely smart and a writer too.  He always takes the time to proof my work and act as my editor.  Wow!  He’s caught some of my worse doozies!!

And guard against Clichés, please!  If you use them, use them sparingly.Indents.use.Scan

This book really came alive in the last 50 pages when the author wrote about a sea battle and this is what I saw:  (1786) A French frigate dashed out from the coast and attacks Her Majesty’s transport.  The sloop, Sparrowhawk, light as thistledown, skipping across the waves, swooped in and drove the French away.  This was the strongest part of the writing.  Hence, what I have said time and again, ‘write about what you know!


Tip: When I moved from play writing to my first novel, I was self taught when it came to formats.  I took a couple of books from my own library and studied the formatting of best sellers by traditional publishers.  To get a very professional look, I employed the

Justify Key:  Left and right margins are crisp and consistent.
Justify Key: Left and right margins are crisp and consistent.

justify key‘ for margins. (compare this sample to the left with the page above.) I counted out the indent spaces, made certain that my paragraphs were not too long, and above all I PROOFED the document and then proofed it again.

where to find the justify key
where to find the justify key




DON’T MISS UPCOMING BLOGS featuring INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS! April’s author is Jodi Thomas.
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