A Consultation with David Henry Sterry



I had a chance to talk with David Henry Sterry – bestselling author and all-round superstar of books that help writers get it done and sell it.

I’ll let his Wikipedia entry and his own website speak for themselves.

I was given a free 20 minute consultation with him after buying The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published from The Book Doctors.

I told him about my ongoing project. I won’t (yet) give away too many specifics, but it’s a serial fiction project that will be released in flash-fiction sized chunks. Like David Wong did with John Dies at the End, I will publish parts of it and try to gather up fans and hype as I go.

Sterry liked my idea, remarking that it is a very modern way to get published. There was nothing so wrong with the idea itself, or the concept of its release. The main problem was pitching it! After I described my story in broad terms, he had me recite my pitch for it. My pitch fell flat, to say the least!

The problem with my pitch (and so many others) is that it removed the danger and the excitement – the scope of the story from the characters’ perspectives was utterly lost! A good pitch should get into the action, in medias res, and convey the consequences for characters worth caring about.

I also learned that, along with a good pitch, artwork is essential. This is a major obstacle, since I can barely draw a stickman. I will have to hire artists for my covers – no ifs, ands, or buts. This website is overdue for some decent graphics – I’m currently talking with artists I know.

Social connections are the final key he told me about. Interviews with experts in the field are essential, and I should be running them regularly on my blog. Only through lots of good connections with writers, editors, and publishers can I hope to succeed with any writing project.

My next post, due this time next week, will tell of the best advice Sterry has to offer modern authors!

May #IWSG – Fatigue

I have a vision. A book that won’t leave my mind. I finally have what I feel is a workable plan to get it out there.

I also have work. I teach during the day, and I often add extra hours to pay the bills.

If I don’t take on enough teaching, I don’t make enough money to pay bills. If I try to stay up all night writing, I can’t teach very well the next day. My wife and kids also need me to be wakeful and alert.

But I don’t have any other time!

I was looking at this link about Writer’s Fatigue, and I’ve been trying all of those steps. I’ve experimented outside my comfort zone, and I’m exercising and reading, a lot.

And because of this extra reading and exercising, I have almost no time left to write.

When I have a 5 minute break, I don’t want to spend it writing. I feel I’ve earned the 5 minutes, dammit! I shouldn’t have to work every second, my brain tells me.

I know there’s a way. I know that I’ll pretty much have to stay up all night long, at least 2 nights of the week – no matter how ridiculously tired and irritable that leaves me.

Anyway, there’s my little despair today.

I’ll have to find some way of managing my time.

Repost from IWSG, 2015-05-04 by Lynda R Young:

There are many reasons a person can experience writer’s fatigue. It’s that feeling of being spent, used up, and drained of creativity. It can happen after any intensive session of writing, editing, battling deadlines, and even taking part in online challenges like the April A-Z Challenge. While we gain a lot from all these activities, they can also wear us out. If this has happened to you, then below are my suggestions on how to refill that creative well.

1. Take a short break and stop trying to “be the writer.” Be something else for a while. Turn off the computer and experience some life. There is no better well-filler than life. Even mundane life. We get our ideas and creativity from those unexpected places, the bland, the interesting, the unusual places that life has to offer.

2. Read a good book. Not a book you have to read because you agreed to write a review. Not a book you promised to read because it was written by a friend. Just a book you enjoy. One that brings with it little to no pressure. No matter the subject matter or genre, good books inspire.

3. Write something new. Step out of your comfort zone and try writing within a different genre than you would normally. Try non-fiction. Flash fiction. Explore a different topic.

4. Learn something new. Feeding the brain with new and interesting information or different approaches to an old method, can open the mind to new possibilities, new ideas, and new avenues of creativity.

5. Get physical. Exercise gets the blood pumping and pushes those cobwebs away to make room for new, energized thoughts and creations.

Read the rest.

Photo: sleeping writer by cactusowa on DeviantArt.





April 2015 #IWSG – A-to-Z put aside this year for other pursuits

Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Andromeda_Galaxy_(with_h-alpha).jpg

I did the A-to-Z challenge this time last year…

It was fun, challenging, and time-consuming. It was work – and I have a lot of that. I’m busy with the Busan Writing Group following the release of our book – the group has talked about doing more content to share on the group blog. Some other members are doing Camp NanoWriMo for April. I know what I want to do – I want to write serial short fiction!

I’m taking it as a reduced-word-count NaNo – I’ve set 500 words as my daily goal in April. Sounds like a low number, yet it’s more than I normally get done per day. I write in huge, infrequent spurts, what can I say?

Instead of A-to-Z, I’m drafting around 10 short pieces, all set in the same universe, all following an overall arc, but each story will serve as an ‘episode’ of sorts. When pieces of this are revised and ‘approved’ by the writing group, they will appear as content on Write, or Else!, and I will link to them from the Writing Group Blog. We need more content to show off, so I’m getting ready to contribute.

Once pieces are drafted and revised at least once without help, I will run them through our regular weekly workshops. Only after a few runs through the group will they be posted – I’ve vowed never to publish anything that hasn’t seen critique from others. There is work on this very website that I published without help, and … it shows.

So that’s my excuse. As for why I haven’t gone and used the A-to-Z research I did last year on evil spirits … I don’t have a good excuse for that. I’ll only say that the research has fueled my creative process and will definitely be used in the novel I’m currently, s l o w l y, writing.

To all those who are doing A-to-Z – I’ll be stopping by your blogs! Keep up the good work – it’s a great experience and I do highly recommend seeing it through. You’ll be glad you did – I know I am.




Image: Andromeda Galaxy, from Wikimedia Commons

The Busan Writing Group is in Busan Haps

Just a quick one – the Busan Writing group and its book have been featured in this article on Busan Haps!


Busan Haps is an entertainment magazine edited by expats in Busan, and is pretty much the magazine us expats look to when we want to know what’s going on.

I’m really glad the Haps staff were so helpful in our shameless promotion of our book!

An excerpt from “The Faces They Wore”, my part of “Nothing Too Familiar”

I’d like to share an excerpt from my work in Nothing Too Familiar – Vignettes of Korea.

More about this book can be found at the Busan Writing Group website.

This book can be bought in digital form at Smashwords or Amazon Kindle, or you can get a print copy from me or any other member of the Busan Writing Group.

The Faces They Wore explores the collision of two very different worlds within Korea – that of a Korean woman whose circumstances have forced her into prostitution, and the comparatively privileged life of a foreign English teacher.

I was supposed to read this part of the story at Wordz Only on February 28, but my wife and kids were sick that night. Instead, I present it here:

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The Busan Writing Club book is now on Kindle!

I’ve just confirmed – the group publication by the Busan Writing Group is now live and avaialable for sale through Kindle.

More information over at the Busan Writing Group:

Our First Publication!

I’m really glad to have been a part of it, and to have figured out all the formatting needed to get it looking great on Smashwords, Kindle, and in print!

Our first book is out!

TCC Edwards:

An Amazon Kindle release will be added soon!

Originally posted on The Busan Writing Group:

It’s been a long time in coming, but the Busan Writing Group is ready to announce our new book, Nothing Too Familiar. This is a collection of works reflecting writerly experiences in South Korea. These works were selected and compiled from our group of writers over the past several months.

This book includes the work of Michael Geer, Chris Edwards, and Stephan Viau.


This is the first of what we hope will be an annual publication – that means that YOU can have your story in the next one. Come out and join us, work with us, and we’ll all be a part of this writing and publishing adventure together.

You can find Nothing Too Familiar at fine digital retailers such as:


Printed copies of Nothing Too Familiar will be coming to Busan soon!

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