For better or worse, with my previous three novels I’ve known the ending before I started writing. I appreciate those authors who say they just start writing and go where the characters take them. I’m not one of them. I know where the novel ends and usually where it starts—it’s what’s in between that’s difficult.
I’m almost at the point where I’m about to start writing. This time around I’ve taken a much more measured, deliberate approach to laying out the book, characters, plot, sub-plots before, in the old adage, ‘putting pen to paper.’
Having written and published three novels, as well as one business book, I’m getting the hang of this writing thing. It doesn’t mean I’m any good at it, but I’ve got scars and lessons that I’m applying to the fourth novel and that I believe can be of interest and benefit to anyone embarking on their own fiction-writing venture.
Jews are vermin—a physical threat to our society that needs to be exterminated. (Nazi propaganda drilled into the everyday German during the 30s.)
The U.S. government, media and financial worlds are controlled by a group of Satan-worshipping pedophiles who run a global child sex trafficking operation. (Q-Anon theory believed by 1 in 5 Americans today.)
Eighty years on, the Holocaust still has plenty to teach us: about how obsessing over past and present losses can poison our futures; about how quickly bizarre theories and delusions can become established political beliefs; and about how suddenly a democracy can morph into an autocracy.
NOTE: Having just published a book on the Catholic Church and its pedophile scandal, I’ve been asked what the state of American Catholicism is today. As I considered it, I realized that the question of identity extends beyond religion these days into new regions.
The question above is neither rhetorical nor psychological: it’s practical. It’s not an existential question about how much you really want it but how much are you willing to invest in time and energy. It’s a matter of money: how much are you willing to...
“The one this morning, it’s like he had gills. Not that he liked the water, but he…”
“… accepted it,” the woman said, spearing the onion. The skin on the back of her hand was abraded. “Let me guess. More than his tenth time?”
With The Empty Confessional coming out at the end of this month, I’ll soon be the proud author of four books: one business book (The Ultimate Startup Guide) and three novels (Left for Alive, The Devil’s Breath, and The Empty Confessional.) The business book was published in the traditional manner (by Career Press), the novels all self-published through Amazon KDP.
The reason I cite the above is to give my credentials in the writing/publishing world because I’m approached on occasion by the earnest author-to-be who ‘has a book in me’ and wants to know whether and how best to go about getting it published. Here’s my advice to them—and you.
When it comes to comparing religions, both historically and currently, I’m in the relatively unique position of having spent time in or around both Protestant and Catholic seminaries. And as a result—and as part of writing The Empty Confessional, which will be out later this month—I developed a visual that explains the differences between the two traditions when it comes to their ministers. It also explains, in part, why Catholic priests have so many more issues—sexually and otherwise—than their Protestant contemporaries.
Back in 2003 I submitted an article about the Church’s problems with pedophilia to Newsweek. They liked it and said it would run in three weeks. They sent a photographer out to my house, where we spent three hours getting just the right ‘thoughtful’ pose for a serious topic like that. But then the Iran War broke out and the next two months of articles were dedicated to war and politics. My editor called and said she had to de-commit, that I was free to shop it around to other outlets. I told her to keep it, that the Church had a way of blundering its way back into relevance at any moment.
Left For Alive
Two brothers and their ex-con cohorts are investigated at every turn by press and police. Their violent mysteries start to unravel, until a final revelation gives one brother a new life while ending the life of the other.