This week I’m back to blogging about the love of my life – no, not my lovely wife, Sunny, although I must admit she’s the true love of my life. I mean I’m blogging about my fiction again.

People know me for a few different things: author, speaker, publisher. And since I ghost write books for entrepreneurs, a fair number of people have come to know me for that. Sure, I do smaller projects – blog posts, social media, marketing articles, and so on – but I really like working on the bigger canvas of a book.

So when I blog about writing, it could be about different types of writing projects. But, as my Twitter profile says, “When I’m not writing fiction, I help entrepreneurs write their marketing.” In other words, the fiction comes first.

How do I do it? Well, there was a time when it was a compulsion to write. My inspiration came from everywhere, and I wrote hundreds, if not thousands, of poems, songs, short stories, and then novels. I fell into fiction the way any writer does, I suppose – reading a wide variety of classics, falling under the spell of great writers, and wanting to weave those same kinds of spells on others.

It’s kind of interesting, but I never got any real accolades for my fiction; I was too young. In school, I was Class Poet, then editor of a high school and a college literary magazine. But those magazines featured mostly poetry of mine. It wasn’t until I’d finished grad school that I began writing my first novel.

Shooting for the Stars

At 25, I started writing Brothers’ Hand. Within about a year, I started Jana. I’ve told the story too many times, but suffice to say that I spent the next 20 years working on Brothers’ Hand, Jana, and finally Miles of Files. All told, each book represents around seven years’ worth of effort.

When I write effort, though, that doesn’t really express it. I mean labor, as in the kind of work that takes everything you’ve got. While my peers were going off and getting married and raising children in their 20s and early 30s, I went home night after night from my day job and spent the majority of my free time and effort working on my novels.

I’m proud of the results, and pleased that readers have responded to them. Of course, the only way to continue to sell books is to write more…and that means I’ve got to get busy on the next work-in-progress, Whizzers. I have a ways to go, but I’m going to keep shooting for the stars with it, just as I did with the first three novels. And I hope the final product is even better than the others.

Books As Extended Business Cards

As I mentioned on here a couple weeks back, my freelance copywriting gigs feed my addiction to writing fiction, not vice-versa. However, my copywriting business is just part of a larger vision for Sahno Publishing, and that's a publishing company that provides...
cost

What Books Cost Their Authors: A Tale of Blood, Sweat & Tears

…”Books that cost more to write than their sales ever could repay.”  - Alan Paton   Lately I’ve had my nose in a couple of books. One is a history book on the JFK years, the other, Alan Paton’s most famous novel, Cry, the Beloved Country.  I have a curious, even...
slow

How Fast Is Too Fast? And How Slow Is Too Slow?

Do you crank out copy at a fast and furious rate? Or are you “the slow one,” the writer who labors over every word, phrase, or even punctuation mark? Or, even more weirdly, are you one of those writers who strikes a happy medium between racing and plodding? I must...
copyright

When Do You Need To Copyright Your Work?

​Over the past few weeks, I’ve written a couple of well-received blog posts on the publishing process, one of which is about the importance of having a Library of Congress Control Number (LCCN) and the other of which is called What’s the Risk to Not Having A...

Who You Gonna Call? or Being Your Own Tech Support

I wrote my third novel between about 2007 and 2015. I can’t say it took a full eight years to write – I got stuck in the final third for a couple years – but it was an ambitious project. I’d gone from a third person novel to a first person novel, and now I was going...
isolation

New “Writer Problems” Series, Topic #4: Isolation vs. Solitude

I’m a loner With a loner’s point of view —Bruce Cockburn, “Loner”   Writing a novel is a solitary activity. We all know this. And while there are some exceptions to the rule—screenwriters who work on a team in a “writer’s room,” partners who write a book...
black friday

From Thanksgiving Day to Cyber Monday: A Reflection

​Not so long ago, it was easy to think of the week of Thanksgiving as “Gratitude Week.” In fact, I actually did that: back in 2016, Facebook reminds me, I posted an entire week’s worth of “Things I’m Grateful For” to my timeline. It was fun, and certainly provided...
famous

Almost Famous—And That’ll Have To Be Enough

Last week I was on the phone with someone who asked me, "Are you the same Mike Sahno who wrote Whizzers?" I must admit, my initial reaction was not a confident, “I certainly am.” In the almost three years since its publication, no stranger has ever asked me that...

Memorial Day 2019

I don't have a special message for Memorial Day. I never do.In fact, looking back through the archives for previous years' messages, I see I don't have any. Maybe I deleted them to save space on the server. Perhaps I deleted something in an effort to avoid courting...
serial

If You Don’t Write in a Serial Format, Good Luck With Amazon Classifications

This week’s topic is one near and dear to my grizzled, cynical old heart—adjusting to the nightmarish landscape of book classifications. Some writers have no problem with this stuff, and hey, more power to you. But as I wrote in What I’ve Learned In Six Years of...