Technical writers or non fiction writers scribble to pay the bills and for the love of the analytical or the exercise of truth or deception.

Fiction authors write to illuminate their world or escape it.

Whichever kind of writer, it's all about staying alive and helping or entertaining others.

The Writing Life

Like most writers, I have a love of reading and the power of words. When I was younger, I read everything I could get my hands on, but I don’t consider myself well read. I consumed books like a starved person, so quickly I hardly knew what I had read. By some strange process of osmosis, I learned from everything I read, but I cannot give you an erudite discussion of characters, plots, or authors. I can only tell you it’s lodged some where in the core of my being and informs my writing.

In addition to reading, I’ve spent a life time writing---from that first elementary school composition to my college days when I studied French literature and wrote explications de texte. Along the way, I fell into technical writing--to put food on the table and pay bills. In the 90s, I had the good fortune to take a dialog class with Sol Stein, former owner of Stein & Day publishers in New York and a prolific author. That led to his California-based writers’ group, Chapter One. It was a rigorous, ego-bruising experience, but I was intent on learning everything I could about fiction writing. A few years ago, I also had the good fortune to study with another writer, Louella Nelson, an experienced romance writer and teacher of fiction writing. She provided a different perspective and balance to my writing.

My novel, DREAMING OF LAUGHING HAWK, a mainstream, Sixties era novel, is available on Amazon in print and ebook (also available in Canada, Europe, Japan, and Brazil). Download a free sample. If you like it, I hope you'll download the book and post a review on Amazon.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Design a Book Cover Contest

Teralyn Pilgrim of A Writer's Journey is hosting a book cover contest. This is my entry. I recently did this sketch to represent my work-in-progress. I figured I needed something to shoot for--target practice while I'm editing and rewriting. I have no idea what the final cover might look like, but this primitive sketch will have to do for now. I hope you like it.


  1. Hi,

    For a sixties era novel, the cover is great! The young man implies a devil-may-care attitude, and the overall effect kind of smacks of nostalgia. ;)


  2. A great concept! I like the feel of it.

  3. I love the sketch concept, and it is good too. Well done.

  4. I kind of like it as a "primitive sketch." Maybe you should keep it that way. I'm also impressed that you drew it yourself instead of just writing on top of a picture (guilty). Thanks for participating!

  5. I love how every cover tells as story. Great hook! I want to know more. :)

    Can Alex save Winter from the darkness that hunts her?
    YA Paranormal Romance, Darkspell coming fall of 2011!

  6. Thanks everyone. It's been a treat and a great learning experience to see all the different approaches to cover art.

  7. I love that you did your own artwork! Very impressive!

  8. Fellow contestant stopping by on my tour of the covers. You are very talented to be able to not only write but draw as well. Your sketch makes a great cover!

  9. Wow, I really admire that you actually drew the piece of artwork yourself. You are pretty talented to come up with that out of thin air. I can draw all right if I have an image to go by, but I can't produce anything visual through putting it on paper from my mind.

    Awesome cover. It reminds me of a youth novel meant for middle graders. Definitely looks like a book I would recommend to others. :)


  10. I'm glad you all like the cover. While my frustration got me pointed in the right direction, I think I need to figure out how to get a professional cover done at some point in time. Any suggestions are appreciated!