Posts

Showing posts from April, 2014

HOW TO KEEP YOUR READERS READING

Image
“Nobody reads a mystery to get to the middle. They read it to get to the end. If it’s a letdown, they won’t buy any more. The first page sells that book. The last page sells your next book.” __Mickey Spillane


“The first page sells that book.” Mickey Spillane understood the concept that the job of the opening lines of a book, a short story, or an essay is to grab the reader’s attention so that they have no choice but to continue reading. Spillane sold over 225 million copies of his books.

I’m a FFLR - a first few lines reader. I sail through bookstores reading the first few lines from an assortment of books—classics, not so classic, and bestsellers alike. The first few lines (or paragraphs) should attract the reader’s attention, set the stage for the rest of the story, and should be an indication as to the theme and genre of the story. The first few lines are also a way in which the author introduces himself. It’s his/her way of saying “hello.”  Sometimes an author will start his story …

DONALD BARTHELME - SHORT STORY AUTHOR WITH A SHARP, PLAYFUL WIT

Image
April 7th. Today we celebrate the birthdate of author Donald Barthelme (1931-1989).

Barthelme was a postmodernist short story writer with a sharp wit.

"There's nothing more rewarding than a fresh set of problems." Donald Barthelme from The Guardian Book Blog.

To learn more about this terrific writer visit Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Barthelme and The Guardian Book Blog: http://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2009/apr/01/donald-barthelme-short-story

ROBERT E. SHERWOOD - SCREENWRITER OF "THE BISHOP'S WIFE" & "THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES"

Image
April 4th. Today we celebrate the birthdate of playwright, editor and screenwriter Robert E. Sherwood (1896 - 1955).


Sherwood received numerous literary awards throughout his career, including the Pulitzer Prize in 1936, '39, '41, and '49, and the Bancroft Prize for distinguished writing in American history in 1949.

Sherwood had a fascinating career screenwriting such hits as The Bishop's Wife, Rebecca, The Best Years of Our Lives, and Lincoln in Illinois to name a few.

"To be able to write a play a man must be sensitive, imaginative, naive, gullible, passionate; he must be something of an imbecile, something of a poet, something of a liar, something of a damn fool." Robert E. Sherwood from Brainyquote.com

To learn more about this artist check out his page on IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0792845/

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

WASHINGTON IRVING - AUTHOR OF "THE LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW" & "RIP VAN WINKLE"

Image
April 3rd. Today we celebrate the birthdate of American author Washington Irving (1783 - 1859).

"Great minds have purposes; others have wishes." Washington Irving from Brainyquote.com Learn more about this artist on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington_Irving

HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN - A GIANT OF CHILDREN'S LITERATURE

Image
April 2nd. Today we celebrate the birthdate of author Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875)

The son of a poor shoemaker, Hans Christian Andersen is one of the world's greatest storytellers. Although he wrote novels, poems and plays, he is and always will be most fondly remembered for his fairytales. "Now when her sisters thus rose arm in arm through the sea, the little sister would remain below alone looking up after them, and she felt as if she must cry; but mermaids have no tears and so suffer all the more." From "The Little Mermaid." Learn more about this artist on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans_Christian_Andersen

"A TATTOO" PUBLISHED BY BURNINGWORD LITERARY JOURNAL

Image
"A Tattoo," one of the short stories from my collection A Sharp Bend in the Road, has been published by Burningword Literary Journal. Here's the link. I hope you enjoy it!  http://burningword.com/2014/04/a-tattoo/