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On game design, creativity, agency, and The Beginner’s Guide

I recently played The Beginner’s Guide by Davey Wreden. It left such an impression that I wrote this piece exploring the theories behind game design and playability. The letter below contains spoilers for the game. Please play the game first.

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4 Seasons, 4 New Year goals for authors

Here’s my New Years resolutions, but to help make them a reality, I’m setting due dates on them: each of the four seasons. Feel free to steal them and make them yours.

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It’s time to have the book cover conversation

I’ve rubbed elbows with self-published, independent-published, and even vanity-published authors on a daily basis. I’ve gone to conventions and browsed the author’s alley, and I’ve spent countless hours scouring the web for new reads. One thing influences my decision to buy more than anything elseā€”the cover.

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Yes, self-published writers need a business plan

I recently came across this article by editor Rob Bignell, an esteemed editor and owner of Inventing Reality Editing Service. And I thought I might offer another perspective.

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5 rules for writing a plot twist

Think of the best twist you’ve ever read or seen. That incredible plot twist that blew you away. A perfectly-executed twist can make your readers scream “Aha” and pull them deeper into the climax of your book. A badly-executed twist, on the other hand, has a tendency to make your readers close the book and never open it again. So how do you do the former?

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Is it a vanity press?

It’s one of the most common questions for new writers who are querying their novel. “I got an offer! Is this a vanity press?” “Is this publisher legit?”

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Advance Reader Copies: What they are, why they’re important

If you’ve ever worked in a bookstore, you’ve probably seen a stack of books labeled “Not for Retail Sale” sitting in a back room for people to peruse. What you may have not realized is that these books are an important part of distribution and marketing called Advance Reader Copies. So how do you use ARCs, and why are they important?

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FAQ for writers looking for advice on Social Media (Updated January 2019)

I belong to a handful of social media groups that target writers of all kinds. I see a lot of the same questions posted a lot, and wanted to do my part to help answer common ones. feel free to share this post to any new writers looking for advice. But be aware: my answers are honest, and honesty is sometimes hard to hear.

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The Trust (Lampert Files #1)

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Many years ago, a wealthy businessman left behind a trust whose sole purpose was to investigate the paranormal activities of a small Kentucky town. After the murder of a researcher performing routine demographic surveys, journalist Kyle Lampert investigates.

This is the first in a short series of novellas featuring the trouble-magnet journalist Kyle Lampert and the incredibly clever Marcie Teeter.

“Your Criticism is Lies”, or “Why I stopped giving advice to writers online”

Recently, to broaden my horizons as a writer, I joined a bunch of writers’ groups online. I’ve learned a few things.

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