The Production Code

It may be the single most famous line in movie history:

Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.

And yet, Rhett Butler’s iconic farewell to Scarlet O’Hara at the end of Gone With the Wind was in violation of the motion picture Production Code, a rule book of do’s and don’ts adopted by the film industry […]

Write, Rewrite, Repeat

Remember the movie “Amadeus” about the 18th-century composer Mozart?  There’s a phenomenal scene in which Mozart’s rival, Salieri, portrayed by Oscar-winner Murray Abraham, scrutinizes one of Mozart’s draft scores.  Salieri’s face assumes a look of incredulity as he realizes that the immature, obnoxious Mozart has written a masterpiece in his first pass—there is not a […]

Great Writing

 
Great writing comes in many varieties. Here’s an example that seems particularly appropriate for today.

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among […]

A Week of Book Publishing Deals and Book Publicists

It was a really interesting week.  I signed on to work with book publicist Natalie Obando of Do Good PR whom i found because she had worked on another writing colleague’s campaign.  Natalie is a source of great knowledge and provides her clients with sound advice gleaned from working with many authors to promote their work.  […]

Keeping Score

Writing is a great hobby. I enjoy the research which precedes writing and I like the actual process of pounding the keys on my laptop and assembling words in order to tell a story. While writing isn’t a hobby like golf or tennis where a match ends with a score and a winner, I still […]

Best Man

When I got married, 24 years ten months and 30 days ago, my best man stood by my side. That was nothing new; he’d been at my side since I was born.
I’ve made some really great decisions in my life (along with some pretty lousy ones), but none has turned out better than choosing Harry […]

Why I Write — Part 2

Have you ever heard of Bill Donovan? How about Mildred Gillars? Robert Jackson? Jimmy Byrnes? Each is a real person who influenced affairs and who also influenced my books—yet is little remembered today.
Bill Donovan, also known as “Wild Bill,” was a football star at Columbia University just after the turn of the 20th Century. He earned a […]

Why I Write — Part 1

I’ve long been fascinated with World War II and the innumerable stories arising from it. The conflict reached from tiny villages in remote places to the major capitals of the world and ensnared hundreds of millions of people–and every one of them had a story.
Growing up, the stories that first captured my attention were those […]

Eight Years

I read one of those self-help articles once which advocated writing out your goals. The idea was if you committed that goal to paper, you were more likely to actually do the work to achieve said goal. Being young and impressionable, I took the advice and made a list, long since vanished, of what I […]

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