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And here it is …

For more than a decade I've tinkered with a book. The title has changed. The main characters' names have changed. The plot has changed. But finally, it is finished. Now, at long last, I've published it. And here it is ... FLEURINGALA, a novel that opens in Southwestern Virginia on the cusp of 1940, is …

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Deadlines wooshing by …

As an writer, I'm accustomed to deadlines. They are a necessary evil of the publishing business. Usually, I'm fine with deadlines. Actually, I appreciate them. Deadlines help me manage my time and keep me on track. Writing a book is an exercise in determination and patience. To do it right, a writer must allow sufficient …

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So I obsess …

Finishing a novel is a challenging task, one I've undertaken during the months of our corporate COVID-19 shutdown. My newest novel, Fleuringala, is now in the hands of my very able graphic designer Stephanie Pierce. She has designed a beautiful cover and, as I write this, she is formatting the interior for me. Writing a …

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The real CAIRNAERIE …

Tucked into a grove of centennial oaks atop a rise that is a slight quarter mile off Route 100 in Pulaski County, Virginia, is a beautiful old house. For readers of CAIRNAERIE, it should look very familiar. Chimneys punctuated the steeply pitched slate roof and rose as if large birds were perched atop. Ornate cornices …

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Tiptoeing into the marketplace …

Anyone who knows me, knows I'm not a fan of marketing. In fact, I'm terribly cynical about advertisers and all their tricks to get me to buy their products. Yet ... Yet, I understand the need to stand out in a marketplace that is as crowded as it has ever been. In the book world, …

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How to outwit writer’s block …

Talk to any writer or read any number of writing blogs and you will likely find one universal fear: the dreaded phenomenon of writer's block — that moment when your brain goes blank and a great chasm opens up between your head and your fingers. Thankfully, I can say I never have writer's block. Never. …

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Thank you, Southwest Times …

I'll soon be off to my favorite place on earth — Southwest Virginia — to speak to a book club. Today, I'm especially grateful to writer Brooke J. Wood and The Southwest Times for running a great story about my book and the event. With Brooke's permission, I'm reprinting it here: Writer pens novel about historic …

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Tacking with a new wind …

An announcement: This week I'm leaving my job of the past eleven years. My job has been the latest iteration of one I've held off and on for decades. As a staff writer for James Madison University, I've written about international students, philanthropists, autism, dams, archeology, engineering, international affairs, intelligence, education, pioneers, cyclists, museums, business, …

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