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Bespoke Data Scrubber

When I’m not writing and editing my bestselling novels and short stories, I actually work a day job with numbers and spreadsheets and databases. I found my niche in that market. Think of someone who has to write, edit copy and make improvements to a manuscript. What skills do they possess that could possibly be […]

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The Baptism

I met Bill Rasmussen in Fourth Grade at Mills Elementary School in Benicia, California.  Bill came from a large, poor family who lived in a big house on East J street. His mother, June, was very good at stretching dollars.  She baked her own bread, served Carnation powdered milk, and forced the family to go […]

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Transgressive Fiction

A Revelation I recently stumbled across the term “transgressive fiction” while researching my genre. I was baffled because my books were too far out to get into a mainstream genre like “Young Adult” or “Gay Coming of Age”. Coming of age locked up in jail and the mental hospital is too far out for that […]

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Ready, Fire, AIM!

Sometimes I get so excited to finish a cycle of edits on a novel, I decide it’s ready to go without giving a holistic read. The solution for this is to order review copies and pass over with a red pen. In the process of fleshing out 7th Avenue South (prequel to 5150) I inadvertently […]

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Pathetic Fallacy and Other Literary Devices

It sounds much harsher than it is. Pathetic fallacy is a story-telling technique in which the environment surrounding a character is an extension of what is happening inside their head. My first introduction to pathetic fallacy was in Wuthering Heights when Heathcliff is raging somewhere on the moors while thunder and lightning crash and flash. […]

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Grammar

Readers ask me how I manage to construct complex sentences without grammatical errors. My answer is always the same: ‘Warriner’s English Grammar and Composition’. In Junior High, I had two great English teachers. They were night and day when it came to their teaching style and curriculum. The only constant was the cursed Warriner’s grammar […]

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You Gotta Have a Hook

I discovered that all four of my book blurbs were lacking “the hook”, that killer first line that makes a casual book shopper want to read the rest of the book description. I added hook lines to all my blurbs a few days ago. It should not be “keyword optimized”, but rather a well-crafted plain […]

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The Quartet Is Complete

I started 5150 in 1997. It’s taken 22 years to go from a single manuscript to a complete series. I honed my craft. I learned to self-publish. I opened my inner life up to public scrutiny. It has been a rewarding journey. As I pen the last words to the fifth book (a prequel to […]

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