Category: Writing

Dec 29, 2012
By Michael Rupured

In My Wildest Dreams

Getting my first novel published was a huge accomplishment. That Dreamspinner Press would publish paperbacks in a genre dominated by e-publishers was an added bonus. I’d never become a household name, but at least I’d have a book to autograph for my friends. To temper my expectations as the release date drew near, I kept telling myself that I’m in this for the long haul. Thanks to my day job, I don’t need the income to pay my bills. No big deal if nobody buys my book. At least it’s out there, and that’s an important first step. Building up a base of readers takes time. Shortly after it was released, Until Thanksgiving broke into the top 25 on Amazon’s …

Dec 23, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Joining a Writers Group

The start of another year is like Christmas for the resolution industry. The gym will be crowded and meetings at Weight Watchers will be standing room only. January is also when we see a big influx of new members in our local writers group. Seems there are lots of aspiring writers out there. Some have maybe only thought about writing a book. Others have finished works that keep getting rejected. They want to know if I did something they didn’t do that made a difference. That’s not what they say, of course, but that’s what they really want to know. Quite a few successful writers–far more knowledgable and experienced than I–have written books about how to write a novel and/or …

Dec 19, 2012
By Michael Rupured

The Next Big Thing

I’ve been tagged in the Next Big Thing—a blog hop that started back in October and has gone viral. To participate, I need to answer questions about the novel I’m currently in the process of writing. Thanks to Charlie Cochet for inviting me. What is the working title of your book? After Christmas Eve. Yes, another holiday title, and I’d be willing to bet you’ll see more holiday titles from me in the next couple of years. Where did the idea come from for the book? In Until Thanksgiving, available from Dreamspinner Press, Thad’s Uncle Philip–one of the supporting characters–mentions a lover who killed himself thirty years earlier. After Christmas Eve is set in 1966 and begins with that suicide. What …

Dec 16, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Totally Cool

The big day has finally arrived. At midnight tonight, Dreamspinner Press will release my first novel, Until Thanksgiving, as a paperback and in multiple digital formats. I’m walking on air. That the editors at Dreamspinner Press liked my first novel enough to offer me an advance blew me away. But four months ago, I had no idea what was in store for me. Signing the contract was just the first of many thrills, and I’m pretty sure this is only the beginning. I’ve had an amazing career in academia and achieved success beyond my wildest dreams. Over the last quarter century, my work has garnered numerous awards, recognitions, and accolades from my peers across the country. I tell you this …

Nov 27, 2012
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on The Devil is in the Details

The Devil is in the Details

Over the weekend, I finally finished writing After Christmas Eve. Finding time to write had been the biggest obstacle–never mind that I had loose ends all over the place and no earthly idea how to tie them all together. I had time to write this weekend and along the way, figured out how to end the book. Hallelujah! I sent the draft to my beta readers for general feedback, two technical consultants to look at specific things, and some of the folks in my writers group. At this point, I just needed to know if everything makes sense and fits the characters. And with my technical consultants, I want to make sure details about guns and explosives are correct, as well …

Nov 23, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Channeling My Inner Romance Novelist

Yesterday I wrote the first draft of what may be the last chapter of After Christmas Eve. The ending has always been a little hazy in my mind. Because the story continues, part of the challenge is deciding where to stop. I decided when I sat down to write it that the last chapter would revolve around two of the main characters hooking up for dinner a few weeks after the climax of the story to tie up all the loose ends. I had no idea they would be so glad to see each other or that so much would have happened since they last saw each other. Their conversation took off in a completely unexpected direction. I was shocked! …

Nov 04, 2012
By Michael Rupured

How to Write a Novel

If you ask me, there are two basic ways to write a novel. You can either make it up as you go along–a style known as pantsing, as in flying by the seat of one’s pants. Or you can plan the story out from start to finish and then start writing. No doubt there are endless permutations and combinations of these two approaches. The essential difference is you either make it up as you go along or plan it out ahead of time. Or at least, that’s what I thought. Seems maybe I was half right. I’ve done it both ways, pantsing my way through Until Thanksgiving and outlining my second novel. Having just about finished After Christmas Eve, I’ve been …

Oct 29, 2012
By Michael Rupured

The Unveiling

We all know not to judge a book by it’s cover, right? But whether you’re browsing online or in the bookstore for an ebook or a paperback, the cover is the first thing you see. And it’s often the reason you decide to buy (or not buy) the book. A good cover tells the reader something about the story and should be attractive, interesting, and/or intriguing.  The cover can make a big difference in sales. All the writers tell me that seeing the cover for the first time is one of the most exciting moments in the publication process. I filled out a survey for the cover in mid-September with details about the characters and plot of Until Thanksgiving, my …

Oct 25, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Another Step Closer

It’s been two months, one week, and two days since I signed on with Dreamspinner Press. The initial email message from them explained all the steps leading up to a December or January release for Until Thanksgiving. The long list was intimidating and a little frightening. The message from the editor said to be patient. My manuscript was in the queue, and I might not hear from them for a while. Since then, whether by accident or design, I’ve heard from someone with my publisher just often enough to keep from losing my mind. That first message also included instructions for connecting with other Dreamspinnner writers via a dedicated message board. I can’t say enough about how warm, welcoming, and generous …

Oct 06, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Stressed!

Okay. I admit it. I’m stressed out. My upbeat, positive attitude has helped me to cope. But the quantity of major life events I’ve experienced this year has just about depleted the sunshine I’ve managed to set aside for dark and cloudy days. In graduate school I remember reading studies about a stress scale that assigned points to various life events. The higher the score, the more likely you are to experience stress-related illness. Thanks to my friend, Google, I found the scale this morning and filled it out for myself. Click here to check your own stress level. My score is a few points shy of 400. Scoring over 300 means I “have a high or very high risk …

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