Writers Kickin’ It Old-School

Writers Kickin’ It Old-School

Today was one of those days when I thought I might have to start kickin’ it old-school.

Not even halfway through the afternoon, my brand new modem/router went on the fritz. Suddenly, I couldn’t work. My day was already well-planned out, with social media posts for both my own accounts and a client’s accounts – mainly Facebook and Twitter, but also Instagram, and, of course, this post right here on the ol’ blog. Without warning, I couldn’t use the internet on my desktop. I couldn’t use the internet on my smartphone, because it’s also set up through my company wifi network. And I couldn’t even call for service on my landline because, yeah, the modem/router. Argh.

Of course, if I’d thought of it, I could have switched my smartphone wifi off and gone pure data suck, since I use a different provider for the smartphone than the landline and desktop setup. But I never even thought of that. I was in full apoplexy mode, calling my wife at her job from my smartphone to get a customer service number, because we don’t even own a Yellow Pages book anymore. All of this made me miss the old days, when I did everything with pen and paper or, at most, an electric typewriter. I am proud of myself for resisting the temptation to throw my iPhone across the room.

Nonetheless, something good came out of this jarring experience. I remembered that I wanted to blog about an article I’d seen recently that discusses a variety of benefits to writing by hand. I find this topic fascinating as a writer, not only because I want to keep my brain active, but also because I have some experience with writing books both by hand and by typing. You see, I wrote my first and second novels, Brothers’ Hand and Jana, respectively, by hand. However, I wrote my third novel, Miles of Files, entirely on the computer. It seems there are a variety of benefits to using the old pen and paper, from coordinating your left brain and right brain to improving your memory. Cool! (For writing an entire novel, though, I gotta say I love the iMac.)

Having everything stop working made me think about that article, but it also reminded me of what a fortunate thing it is to be a writer. If I want to write something, and all the electronic toys in the world are out of order, I can still do it. Even in the event of a major power outage, I can write with pen and ink by candlelight and feel like, I don’t know, Thomas Hardy or something.

Oh, and the end of the story? After two tech support reps couldn’t figure it out, and we set up a service call a full 48 hours from today, my modem/router started working again. No explanation, no idea why it went out. Maybe some Halloween gremlins? Anyway, I’m typing fast here, just in case. But if the thing goes down again, I’ll most likely go old-school and pick up that pen and paper.

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Indie Authors & Literary Fiction

Indie Authors & Literary Fiction

Back in July, I posted an interview with fellow indie author Jay Lemming.  Jay has a terrific ongoing project simply called “Survey: Indie Writers of Literary Fiction.” In his survey, he asks fellow lit fiction authors about one of their novels, and in particular, what great theme they treat in the novel. He also asks how they decided to treat the theme.

As part of the process of submitting the questionnaire, the author can then choose to be interviewed for Jay’s online author roundup. Who wouldn’t want that kind of publicity? And of course, Jay’s interview allows the author to expand on the above mentioned topic while answering questions like Did your perspective on the theme change as you wrote the story? and Did you find yourself less in control of your narrative than you expected? Interesting stuff indeed. (You can find Jay’s interview with me about my novel Jana here.)

This might all sound like arcane shop talk for authors, but nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, this type of author roundup is a great way to get authors to not only read each other’s work, but also to cross-promote each other. And it’s reader-friendly, too: after all, what better way to get to know something about a book you might want to read than an interview with the author about that particular book?

Best of all, the survey process gets the reader/author thinking about literary fiction the way we did back in our university days: themes like The Individual vs. Society, and The Nature of Reality, which, let’s face it, we don’t often go around thinking about.

Thanks to Jay’s work, I’ve got a whole new list of current authors to read, including Dan Holloway, Rohan Quine, and Rosaline Riley, just to name a few. After emailing back and forth with Jay about our books, and seeing his posts about his own novel, Billy Maddox Takes His Shot, I decided to buy a copy and give it a read. It’s great stuff, and well worth picking up.

These types of cross-promotional efforts are not just worthwhile marketing ventures for indie writers. They also represent a great way to find a new favorite author!

Short Story Contest

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About Brothers’ Hand

About Brothers’ Hand

As Sahno Publishing continues the marketing campaign in upstate New York for Brothers’ Hand, I want to check in both with readers and potential readers. Like the blurb on the back of the book says, this is a story about Jerome Brothers, who comes from a small town in upstate New York. He becomes an amputee when he loses his right hand in a tragic fall, then falls even harder for his physical therapist, Maria Santisia.

How does such a terrible accident happen? Well, in part, it happens because Jerome’s acquaintance, Johnny Caruso, “doses” Jerome with LSD at a party. As radio host Robert Batista said when he interviewed me on his show The Funky Writer, “With friends like Johnny Caruso, you don’t need any enemies!”

Amputees will perhaps be fascinated (or repelled) by the fact that Jerome stubbornly refuses to test out prosthetic options. And that’s true throughout the duration of the novel; readers can only wonder whether he will ever change his mind. In fact, I’m curious to know what amputee readers think about this aspect of the book – so if you’ve got feedback, please add it to the comments section below.

Now that I’ve ramped up the marketing campaign for the novel, I do want to encourage folks to buy a copy. The more we sell, the bigger the check I can write to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes fund on the one-year anniversary of the novel in December. However, if you can’t afford to buy a book, ask your local library. In upstate New York, I’m encouraging readers to pick it up from any of these fine libraries: Binghamton’s Broome County Public Library; Vestal Public Library; Elmira’s Steele Memorial Library; Apalachin Library; or the Alfred Box Of Books Library.

If your local library doesn’t have it, you can go to our Novels page and download a one-sheet with information for your librarian. Tell them you’d like to check out their copy of Brothers’ Hand. If enough people do that, there’s a good chance the library will buy a copy or two for their collection.

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