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I have no definitive favorite first line of a novel, though I am partial to the first line of Slaughterhouse Five: “All this happened, more or less.” Also, Fahrenheit 451:  “It was a pleasure to burn.” Of all my books, I like the first sentence of Chicken Shack, my unpublished novel that will hopefully see…

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One of my wife’s friends told me yesterday that she reads this blog daily and feels like she has an oddly intimate relationship with me as a result. Then she said that there have been times when she has told my wife that she loved something I wrote on my blog, only to discover that…

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I’m not sure if other authors feel this way, but most days, I don’t feel like a real author. Its ridiculous but true. I’ve published three novels – two with Doubleday and one with St. Martin’s Press – and I have a fourth publishing in September. My last book was translated into more than 25…

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My son asked me to read my novel, Unexpectedly, Milo, to him. “Too long,” I told him. “No pictures. Let’s find something else.” It also has an awkward and explicit sex scene in it (which I didn’t bother to mention), so I think he’ll be reading that one on his own some day.

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My wife was checking out books at the library when a woman stepped up beside her and handed Unexpectedly, Milo to the adjacent librarian. “That’s my husband’s book,” Elysha said. “What?” the woman asked. “What?” the librarian asked. “That’s my husband’s book,” she repeated. “He wrote it.” “He did?” the woman said. “He did?” the…

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A few years ago, I posted a list of all the jobs I have held in my life in chronological order.  It was an interesting exercise that I highly recommend. Things have changed since I first posted the list, so here is my updated list: 1. Farm laborer, Blackstone, MA: When I was 12-years old,…

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I’m often asked where I get my ideas for books, which is an understandable but impossible question to answer. There is no well of ideas. There is no secret formula. There is no one answer to that question, as much as fledgling writers seem to want there to be. Simply put, I hear something. I…

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Once you publish a book, you never know where it will go. A friend found a copy of my second novel, Unexpectedly, Milo, in a second hand store last week. I can’t help but wonder about it’s journey from bookstore to secondhand store. Where was it originally bought? How was it chosen? Did a kindly…

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You may have heard that Amazon has a new policy when it comes to online book reviews. From a piece in The New York Times: Giving raves to family members is no longer acceptable. Neither is writers’ reviewing other writers. But showering five stars on a book you admittedly have not read is fine. After…

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Long after I finished writing my first novel, SOMETHING MISSING, I discovered, only after my wife and therapist pointed it out to me, that I had written a book about my battles with post traumatic stress disorder, my hatred toward my evil step-father and my longing for my absent father. I didn’t know any of…

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