Clark's Eye on Books

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Sunny Frazier's Blog (21)

THE AUDACITY OF AUTHORS

While attending a recent writers conference I overheard a woman say “That author's ego is really out of control.” The catty remark was aimed at an author who did seem pretty full of himself. But it got me to wondering: Is there room for humbleness when it comes to writing?



The dictionary definition of “humble” is “Not proud or haughty, not arrogant or assertive; offered in the spirit of…

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Added by Sunny Frazier on April 15, 2011 at 1:00pm — No Comments

IF I COULD TURN BACK TIME

Would I? I have thought of this question many times as I push forward. I think it’s good to stop and evaluate once in awhile. Am I on the right track? Could I have avoided the pitfalls? Can I learn from my mistakes? Here’s what I came up with:

  1. I wish I’d started earlier. I wrote every chance I could, in secret as a child. My mother thought it was a waste of time when I could be…

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Added by Sunny Frazier on March 15, 2011 at 12:30pm — 3 Comments

WHY I'M NOT WRITING

I'm very adamant on the Internet and elsewhere that I don't believe in the notorious “writers block.” Most former journalists and newspaper people will agree with me. We couldn't couldn't look up at the editor in despair and whine, “I don't know, sir. The words just aren't coming to me right now.” That doesn't fly when there are column inches to fill and lay-out people impatiently tapping their…

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Added by Sunny Frazier on February 15, 2011 at 12:30pm — No Comments

CRIMINALLY GOOD SKILLS

I realized the other day that I was taking many of the skills I used as a secretary for an undercover narc team and incorporating them into my writing career.



I'm not taking about discipline or keeping a filing system where I can find things, never my strong suit in the office. I was the type of worker who looked at the big picture and saw opportunity to go beyond my job description. I was…

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Added by Sunny Frazier on January 15, 2011 at 12:30pm — No Comments

YEA SAYERS AND NAY SAYERS

To cyber-socialize or not to cyber-socialize? That is the question.



My New Year's resolution for '09 was to finally, seriously and extensively take a look at all the social sites I kept hearing about. My Space. Face Book. Crime Space. Twitter. Blogs. No more letting the info slide by, no more shaking my head and saying, “Who's got time for all this bulls__t?” I would do an investigation, just like my sleuth Christy Bristol. I would finally find out what all the fuss was… Continue

Added by Sunny Frazier on December 30, 2010 at 10:00am — No Comments

I HEAR VOICES

I wrote a column in my local newspaper about a former English teacher who passed away. The article generated emails from other former students with their own stories to share. But one reader, a woman in my graduating class (1969), wrote to tell me that she not only enjoyed the article, but liked my writing enough to buy my mystery novel, FOOLS RUSH IN.



Compliment accepted (as well as the check).



What this reader responded to is something all writers are told to strive for… Continue

Added by Sunny Frazier on November 30, 2010 at 10:00am — No Comments

READING BETWEEN THE LINES

READING BETWEEN THE LINES

by Sunny Frazier



I heard a quote the other day stating that fiction is more “real” than non-fiction because, in writing fiction, it's easier to tell the truth.



Think about it. If you're writing non-fiction, you have to stick to the facts. There's no way a writer can go inside the mind of the subject and detail how decisions are made. Only actions and consequences are recorded. One can surmise, conjecture, and deliberate, but will never really… Continue

Added by Sunny Frazier on October 30, 2010 at 10:00am — No Comments

CONFESSIONS OF A CONTEST JUNKIE

I love writing contests. When I hear of one or come across a contest on the Internet, my heart starts racing and ideas flood my mind. My competitive spirit kicks into high gear. I may never run a marathon or win a ballroom dance competition, but give me a theme and a deadline and I'm up for the challenge.



Short stories are a terrific way to start a career in writing. Just ask Stephen King. It hones writing skills and forces writers out of their comfort zone. I wrote a story about a… Continue

Added by Sunny Frazier on September 30, 2010 at 10:00am — No Comments

YOUNG AT ART

You've heard the phrase “If I only knew then what I know now.” This doesn't apply in the writing world. Everything I thought I knew about writing has changed in the last 20 years. Oh, not the basic rules of grammar and punctuation, that's still in place even if sometimes ignored. But how I write, and more importantly, how I publish has come out of the dark ages.



I knew I wanted to be a writer from age 13. I had good teachers, learned what I needed to know to put sentences together… Continue

Added by Sunny Frazier on August 30, 2010 at 10:00am — No Comments

TELL ME A STORY

Remember when the day ended with a bedtime story?



I remember my mother reading a picture book I already knew by heart. When he was home from sea duty, my father would spin stories of his childhood in the South. Sometimes he'd recite scenes from “Gone With the Wind,” changing his voice to fit each character. Okay, that may have been a little over the top. Does an eight-year-old really need to go to sleep with Scarlett's “As God is my witness” speech ringing in her… Continue

Added by Sunny Frazier on July 30, 2010 at 10:00am — No Comments

SPEEDING DOWN THE INFORMATION HIGHWAY

SPEEDING DOWN THE INFORMATION HIGHWAY

When does promotion start?



The minute you take yourself seriously as a writer.



When my first book, FOOLS RUSH IN, came out in 2006, I was a novice at promotion. I did pretty well, but the Internet did not have much blogging or all the websites available for promotion. I felt much was a waste of my time. I had more important things to do than sift through the Internet.



My attitude changed earlier this year. My New Year's… Continue

Added by Sunny Frazier on June 30, 2010 at 10:00am — No Comments

SLOGGING THROUGH BLOGS

I'm late to the blogging game. The first blogs I read seemed to be a waste of time. Personal info on what other people are doing doesn't interest me. I wondered why writers spent time with this format and who the heck has time to read it?



I've come around. In fact, I encouraged my Kings County writers group to create a blog. No other groups in our area had picked up the idea and run with it. We saw it as a way to explore our various levels of writing, from the newbie to the… Continue

Added by Sunny Frazier on May 30, 2010 at 10:00am — No Comments

AM I A WRITER?

Last week at my writing group, one of the aspiring authors had a bit of a breakdown. She suffered from what all writers eventually go through. Her faith in her abilities was shaken, the struggle to get her story on paper seemed overwhelming, and the awful question loomed: Am I really a writer?



This rite of passage is crucial. Writing a book initially seems like fun. The potential novelist thinks, “Oh, I have stories to tell, I have a great imagination, I got an 'A' in English class… Continue

Added by Sunny Frazier on April 30, 2010 at 10:00am — No Comments

WELCOME TO YOUR WORLD

One of the curses of being a writer is when people say “I've had a fascinating life. You should write about me.”



I've had a fascinating life myself. I caused a small riot in a train station in Hanover, Germany, and another riot in a marketplace in Haiti. International misunderstandings can happen when you're 23 and clueless. Seventeen years working in law enforcement gave me plenty of plots.



According to a New York Times survey, 81% of Americans feel they have a book in… Continue

Added by Sunny Frazier on March 30, 2010 at 10:00am — No Comments

PRICELESS PUBLICITY

Wouldn't it be nice if the writers in this group each had their own publicity agent? Publicity can cost money—but it doesn't have to.



I'm signed up on BookTour.com. This nifty website is the brainchild of three San Francisco authors who use technology to connect authors with audiences.



In 2006, they launched the idea to the world. Authors create a page with their bio, books, and tour dates. Venues looking for speakers list their site on BookTour.



What happens… Continue

Added by Sunny Frazier on March 2, 2010 at 10:00am — No Comments

HOPE AND A HANDFUL OF CHANGE

Last year mustered in a new president, a sad economy, and plenty of unemployed people.



As a writer, I'm self-employed and living creatively close to the poverty line. The idealistic days of soulful writers in Parisian garrets, swigging cheap wine and pounding out the Great American Novel are gone with Hemingway and Fitzgerald.



Modern writers once worried people would stop reading altogether. The success of Harry Potter defied that theory. The public willingly paid money… Continue

Added by Sunny Frazier on January 10, 2010 at 10:00am — No Comments

DAVID VS GOLIATH

Small publishing vs. BIG PUBLISHING.



Every Author sets out with high hopes of publishing their book and seeing it on the shelves of the big chains. They deserve to be there. After brain-sweat and sacrifice, the reward should be wonderful book signings and lines of buyers waiting for an autograph.



That's the carrot that keeps writers pounding away at the keyboard. It happens to a lucky few. But sometimes the author published by a major publishing house is a one-book wonder… Continue

Added by Sunny Frazier on December 15, 2009 at 10:00am — No Comments

BOGGED DOWN WITH BLOGS?

Marketing. Promotion. Tooting your own horn. The bane of the writing life--or a boost?



You're hoping to hear someone say, “I'll take care of that aspect of the industry. Your job is to write.” Am I right? Someone who will take the burden off your shoulders, tell the world about your book, make sales for you so you can spend your valuable time sitting at your computer cranking out the next novel.



Fugetaboutit!



I'm a writer too. My second Christy Bristol Astrology… Continue

Added by Sunny Frazier on November 30, 2009 at 10:00am — No Comments

WHOSE FAULT IS IT ANYWAY?

I have a friend who, after two decades of writing several novels, is ready to throw in the towel.



This person has published a non-fiction book in the distant past. You would think she would have some inkling of the changes in the publishing industry since then.



The reason she's failing is that she has bought into the mantra: "I need an agent. I need a major publishing house." Because the blinders are on, she has failed to notice that the publishing world is in the same… Continue

Added by Sunny Frazier on October 30, 2009 at 10:00am — No Comments

BAN THAT BOOK!

There are weeks devoted to a variety of causes, but September 27 to October 4 “celebrates” Banned Books Week. The festivities are brought to you by the American Library Association along with other bookish groups and is endorsed by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress.



To prepare for the week-long event, order your BBW kits now. This includes three posters, a set of bookmarks, a list of banned books, and a button that announces “I Read Banned Books.”



What… Continue

Added by Sunny Frazier on September 15, 2009 at 10:00am — No Comments

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