Tips for Writers from Mike Wells

There is no finish line in writing. That’s what makes it so fascinating for me. You can improve all the time, whether you are a novice or a published author. The objective of most writers is to have their stories published. This process is, as you will find out if you haven’t done so already, is a long one and is by no means as easy as it sounds.  Today, I share a few articles that caught my attention on this topic from Mike Wells, in his website/blog Mike Wells Books/The Green Water Blog.  Continue reading “Tips for Writers from Mike Wells”

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“Show or Tell?” : James Thayer

Have you as a writer felt dissatisfied with the quality of your output? Have you experienced a sense of inadequacy when your writing did not turn to be as great as you would have liked it to be? The chances are that your writing fell flat because you did excessive “telling” and very little “showing.” Continue reading ““Show or Tell?” : James Thayer”

“Assault From The Sky”: Dick Camp

I didn’t grow up in the US of those times, not did I grow up in North or South Vietnam. I grew up in the relative shelter of Madras in the South of India but as a kid  I was fascinated by the Vietnam War. Looking back at those times, some four decades later, I think some of the visual images  stayed in my mind, thanks to the pictures in “Life” magazine which we looked forward to most eagerly.

In this context, I was thrilled to recently read, “Assault from The Sky” by Dick Camp. The byline says, “US Marine Corps Helicopter Operations in Viet Nam.” This book was recently published in the US and Great Britain by Casemate Publishers.  Dick Camp himself is a war Veteran who won the Purple Heart and  served 26 years in the U.S. Marine Corps before retiring as a Colonel in 1988. Camp writes, “I wrote Assault from the Sky as a tribute to the U.S. Marine Corps helicopter aircrews that performed so heroically during the Vietnam War.  Their bravery and intrepidity throughout a decade of war set new standards of the Marine Corps motto Semper Fi, Always Faithful.” Continue reading ““Assault From The Sky”: Dick Camp”

“Disrupt! Think Epic. Be Epic” : Bill Jensen

Actually, ” Disrupt! Think Epic. Be Epic” is not the full title of this very interesting book by Bill Jensen. The title goes on to succinctly describe the book, “25 Successful Habits for an Extremely Disruptive World.” Published by Net Minds Corporation, this book was released to very positive reviews earlier this month, August 2013. Continue reading ““Disrupt! Think Epic. Be Epic” : Bill Jensen”

“Plotting Hitler’s Death” by Joachim Fest

For most who have followed accounts of the Second World War, the only story that comes to mind when we talk about plots to kill Hitler revolve around Count Stauffenberg. I was delighted to come across this book, “Plotting Hitler’s Death” ( The German Resistance to Hitler) by Joachim Fest. The book translated into English by Bruce Little from the original, “Staatsstreich: Der lange Weg zum. 20. Juli”  was first published in Germany in 1994, almost 50 years after Stauffenberg’s attempt to kill Hitler on July 20, 1944.

Continue reading ““Plotting Hitler’s Death” by Joachim Fest”

“Chicken Soup For The Soul: 20th Anniversary Edition”

A few days ago, I had a terrible toothache and had to rush to my dentist for treatment. Writhing in agony, I kept thinking of just one thing. How important it was to take good care of my teeth. It underscored to me something that we tend to forget ever so often. Why do we so easily take so much for granted? How often we forget we are more fortunate than many others. That we should be thankful  for what we have. My teeth may not be the best but heck, at least I have teeth! I need to count my blessings. Continue reading ““Chicken Soup For The Soul: 20th Anniversary Edition””

“Lost Victories” by Erich von Manstein

I used Grammarly to grammar check this post, because I want to become a complete writer.

If you are a Second World War buff, like me, I am sure you would have read many biographies and autobiographies from the Generals, Admirals, and Air Chief Marshals who led the Allied troops to victory over the Axis forces.

Continue reading ““Lost Victories” by Erich von Manstein”

Writers and Advances

So, what’s the deal about being a writer? How does one get to be a  writer in the first place? Let me try to give a quick summary of what can be a long-drawn and torturous process.

Firstly, you write a book. Yes, a complete one, duly edited, proof read and the rest of it. You then try to sell the book to a publisher. At times, and this make happen only after you are an established writer more often than not, you could be represented by a literary agent who sells your work. On publication, you get paid royalty based on the contract you sign with your publisher.

On occasion, and here’s where the glamorous image of being a writer comes in, you could sign a multi-book deal. The publisher signs you up to deliver a couple of books, without seeing what is in them. This is based on your track record and largely on what the world thinks of you, as evidenced by your book’s sales figures.

If you are good, you could be paid  an advance too. Renowned writers have been paid huge advances and a few such cases inspire every writer to believe that someday, somewhere, someone might sign them up on very lucrative terms.

But the world of publishing is becoming increasingly competitive, and I am not even talking about the self-publishing world. This too churns out a huge number of books into an already crowded market place.

As the traditional publishers seek to improve their profitability, they tend to consolidate through mergers and acquisitions at times. They seek various means to improve their business results. One move can be in the matter of advances. Here’s news that the famous writer Vikram Seth has been asked to pay back an advance. It’s only for $ 1.7 million !!!

“Chicken Soup for the Soul: Inspiration for Writers”

Has something come up when you least expected it and done you a lot of good? This happened to me recently.

I got an opportunity to review, “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Inspiration for Writers”: Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Amy Newmark & Susan M. Heim;  Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing, 2013;  405 pp; $ 14.95. Continue reading ““Chicken Soup for the Soul: Inspiration for Writers””