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Writer's Digest presents an excerpt from my webinar, "Three Secrets of the Greats: Structure Your Story for Ultimate Reader Addiction."

Joanna Penn of The Creative Penn, one of the Top 10 Blogs for Writers, interviews me about storytelling, writing, independent editing, and the difference between literary fiction and genre, with an impromptu exercise on her own Work-in-Progress.

Editing client Stu Wakefield, author of the Kindle #1 Best Seller Body of Water, talks about our work together on Memory of Water, the second novel of his Water trilogy.

  • By Victoria Mixon

    So today Apple announced its new e-reader that it’s been priming the press on. I love that they think it’s news they’re opening a new e-book store to go along with it. “Really? And can I get fries with that?” But my favorite part of Steve Jobs’ talk is him “[taking] a jab at netbooks, which, according to Apple, aren’t really good at doing anything,” unlike an iPod (which we, frankly, got as a gift from my husband’s work and are still keeping in the kitchen hutch until we decide we actually need it, you know, to screen out all those pesky real sounds out there in the real living world).

    Digital Book World opened today, unleashing a whole plethora of talks about e-books on the interested masses. That’s all reported in the Publishers Lunch email I get from Publishers Marketplace.

    Here are some interesting notes taken on talks by four different small publishers on the future of e-books.

    Hey, did you know Kindle’s definition of “best-seller” now includes the category most-often-accepted-as-a-freebie? Funny. In my dictionary it says if you give something away for free, technically, you didn’t sell it. They’re going to have to change that to Kindle’s “top-giveaway,” which I’m afraid doesn’t sound nearly as complimentary to the writer.

    But, lest we get too cocky about freebies, try these confessions of a book pirate on for size. Piracy: it’s not just for e-books anymore. Maybe this guy’s never heard of second-hand bookstores.

    And, on the writer’s side of the picture, someone has written a pretty interesting analysis of using sci fi as a tool for human survival. Are you writing speculative sci fi? Maybe you should be.

    Me, I’m going to keep waiting for the retro backlash, when someone says, “You know what I really want? Something small, flexible, and indestructible enough to tuck in the back of my belt when I go for a walk; something that allows me to see multiple pages simultaneously in real-time; something that acts on my brain to build links between perception and understanding without by-passing essential cognitive functions for intelligence; something made of recyclable materials that don’t give Third World children cancer from digging through dumps looking for scrap to sell for food; something that doesn’t off-gas toxins but, in fact, when it gets old smells good in its own distinctive little way; something I can drop, even in the tub, without destroying or even damaging that badly; and something people tend to re-sell constantly, making it cheaper than a Big Mac for us poor folks, so if I do accidentally destroy it or loan it out and never get it back or leave it on a park bench because I’m so blown away by what I just read. . . I can just replace it. Man, I wish someone would invent something like that. They’d totally take over the market!”


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11 posts. . .because this blog goes to 11


MILLLICENT G. DILLON, represented by Harold Ober Associates, is the world's expert on authors Jane and Paul Bowles. She has won five O. Henry Awards and been nominated for the PEN/Faulkner. I worked with Dillon on her memoir, The Absolute Elsewhere, in which she describes in luminous prose her private meeting with Albert Einstein to discuss the ethics of the atomic bomb. Read more. . .

BHAICHAND PATEL, retired after an illustrious career with the United Nations, is now a journalist based out of New Dehli and Bombay, an expert on Bollywood, and author of three non-fiction books published by Penguin. I edited Patel’s best-selling debut novel, Mothers, Lovers, and Other Strangers, published by Pan Macmillan. Read more. . .

SCOTT WILBANKS, represented by Barbara Poelle of the Irene Goodman Literary Agency, is the author of the debut novel, The Lemoncholy Life of Annie Aster, published by Sourcebooks in August, 2015. I'm working with Wilbanks on his sophomore novel, Easy Pickens, the story of the world’s only medically-diagnosed case of chronic naiveté. Read more. . .

LUCIA ORTH is the author of the debut novel, Baby Jesus Pawn Shop, which received critical acclaim from Publisher’s Weekly, NPR, Booklist, Library Journal and Small Press Reviews. I have edited a number of essays and articles for Orth. Read more. . .

SCOTT WARRENDER is a professional musician and Annie Award-nominated lyricist specializing in musical theater. I work with Warrender regularly on his short stories and debut novel, Putaway. Read more. . .

M. TERRY GREEN enjoys a successful self-publishing career with her three sci-fi/fantasy series based on her dual careers in anthropology and technology. I worked with Green to develop a new speculative fiction series. Read more. . .

DARREN D. BEYER is an ex-NASA experiment engineer who worked on every Space Shuttle orbiter but Challenger. In Casimir Bridge, the first novel of his debut sci-fi series, Beyer uses every bit of his scientific expertise to create a galaxy in which "space bridges" allow interstellar travel based upon the latest in real theoretical physics. Read more. . .

ANIA VESENNY, represented by Beverly Slopen Literary Agency, is a recipient of the Evelyn Sullivan Gilbertson Award for Emerging Artist in Literature and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. I edited Vesenny's debut novel, Swearing in Russian at the Northern Lights, and her second novel, Sandara. Read more. . .

STUART WAKEFIELD is the #1 Kindle Best Selling author of Body of Water, the first novel in his Orcadian Trilogy. Body of Water was 1 of 10 books long-listed for the Polari First Book Prize. I edited Wakefield's second novel, Memory of Water, and look forward to editing the final novel of his Orcadian Trilogy, Spirit of Water. Read more. . .

GERALDINE EVANS is a best-selling British author. Her historical novel, Reluctant Queen, is a Category No 1 Best Seller on Amazon UK. I edited Death Dues, #11 in Evans' fifteen popular Rafferty and Llewellyn cozy police procedurals, which received a glowing review from the Midwest Book Review. Read more. . .

JUDY LEE DUNN is an award-winning marketing blogger. I am working with Dunn to develop and line edit her memoir of reconciling liberal activism with her emotional difficulty accepting the lesbianism of her beloved daughter, Tonight Show comedienne Kellye Rowland. Read more. . .

LISA MERCADO-FERNANDEZ writes literary novels of love, loss, and friendship set in the small coastal towns of New England. I edited Mercado-Fernandez' debut novel, The Shoebox, and her up-coming The Eighth Summer. Read more. . .

JEFF RUSSELL is the author of the debut novel, The Rules of Love and Law, based upon Jeff's abiding passions for legal history and justice. Read more. . .

LEN JOY is the author of the debut novel, American Past Time. I worked with Len to develop his novel from its core: a short story about the self-destructive ambitions of a Minor League baseball star, which agents had told him to throw away. Read more. . .

In addition, I work with scores of aspiring writers in their apprenticeship to this wonderful literary art and craft.