Friday, September 11, 2009

It's not even fall, and I'm already seeing dizzying colors. Wish I could blame it on the leaves, but it's my schedule.

I hope you will be able to come see me at one of my many appearances around the Midwest this fall ... I start as a featured speaker at the Wisconsin Book Festival and end at the Chicago Public Library. I'm so looking forward to getting out, speaking, signing books and meeting more of you! Go to my Appearances page to see all my upcoming events.

And I'm thrilled to announce that -- due to demand and the success of my first writing seminar -- I will be conducting two more workshops: One October 12-14 (Mon-Weds), each night from 6-9 p.m., again at the fabulous Saugatuck Center for the Arts, and the other Friday November 6 (from 6-9:30pm) and Saturday November 7 ( from 11am until 4pm) at the incredible Saturn Booksellers in Gaylord, Michigan.

I love helping emerging writers ... so come spend a few nights with me doing what we love to do best (OK, second best).

Cost is $150.00 for the seminars. To register at the SCA, please call 269 857-2399 or e-mail: [email protected]

For more on my class at the SCA, go to:

To register at Saturn, please call 989-732-8899, or go to:

(There's a link to e-mail on the page, too)

Following is more on my seminar ...


“Finding Your Voice”
Whether writing your first novel, mystery, or memoir, “voice” is the key to your success. Before you write a word, find out not only what you want to say but how you want to say it. Voice – not topic – is what sets every writer apart and serves as his greatest chance of success. Creative exercises to help each writer find his or her own unique voice.

“Finding Your Way”
Now that you’ve found your voice, you need to find your way to the end. In addition to loads of courage, talent and time, you need structure. What makes a compelling plot? How do you create compelling characters? How do you write a memoir? How do successful writers channel that narrative flow? Tips and creative exercises to finish that first book.

“Finding Your Agent”
Now, you have a book. But it doesn’t have a home. Publishing sources report that 99.9 percent of all queries to literary agents are rejected. And you thought writing was the hard part? So what makes the perfect pitch? The perfect query letter? How do you beat the odds, and become part of that elite group? Learn how to craft the perfect query, approach agents, and secure a reputable literary agent who can sell your book to a major publisher. Also learn what it’s like after your book is published: What to expect when working with a major editor and publisher, how to market yourself, blog and deliver your own publicity.

Bundt It, Baby!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

So, I go to this Food Festival, the Taste of Saugatuck, over the weekend, where I not only run headfirst into a buttload of kabobs but also Bump-Its.

Our riverfront and boardwalk was just sick with women who looked like a kitten fight was going on in the back of their hair.

Now, I'm addicted to those late-night medical shows, where they show people who have wings instead of arms, or a mole so big it's drinking a mojito, smoking a cigar and winking at you ... Well, this was worse. I mean, I'd seen the Bump-It commercials on TV, but I'd never really paid attention to what the product made you look like up close. Here, in broad daylight, it looked one out of every five partygoers had suffered a severe head injury. Worse? They kinda thought they were rockin' the house. From the side, they looked like they were about to give birth through their noggins, like some sort of whacked-out, overly made-up Zeuses (in tunic tops).

So, I FB about all this on Monday, and the response is overwhelming. My literary agent (the whirlwind that is Wendy Sherman) notices this and e-mails me, noting all the activity. "You should do a Bump-It video!" she says.

Lesson: You never want to give an exhausted gay couple (one with a broken toe) that's just been on tour all summer and whose family has just departed a bad idea. They will jump all over it like lions on elk, simply to blow off steam.

I head out that afternoon to a meeting for a writers seminar I'm conducting this fall, and when I return I'm greeted by Gary -- in full drag, our dogs going ape-shit -- posing with the BUNDT IT on top of his head which, as he said as I emerged from the SUV, "This kicks the Bump-It's ass all over the place."

A homemade video (not porn, sorry to say ... I mean, a toe ensconced in tape and an orthopedic shoe is so not hot) ensued that very night. And the results? Well, see for yourselves. Just meander over to my home page, click on the YouTube link at the bottom and then on the Bundt-It video.

We'll see you on HSN, Joan Rivers!