Yes, I’m still writing blogs about research. But this one serves a greater purpose.
I’ve got essays in two books out currently.
The first book is the new edition of the NOW WRITE! series, called Now Write! Mysteries. The book features essays from loads of outstanding mystery authors and each author includes a set of exercises designed to give the reader the opportunity to learn the skills discussed in the author’s essay.
I’ve attached a link to my contribution, so you can get a sense of how the book works. I haven’t really given anything away that cannot be found by clicking on the “Look Inside!” button on the book’s Amazon page.
Some of the many talented authors in the collection include Aileen G. Baron, James Scott Bell, Rhys Bowen, Rachel Brady, Robert Browne, Rebecca Cantrell, Reed Farrel Coleman, Deborah Coonts, Bill Crider, Meg Gardiner, Gar Anthony Haywood, Harley Jane Kozak, William Kent Krueger, Robert S. Levinson, Sophie Littlefield, Tim Maleeny, Christopher Moore, Kelli Stanley, John Lutz, Louise Penny, Lorenzo Carcaterra and many, many more. I apologize for not including every contributor; the names themselves would fill a book.
The NOW WRITE! series includes other notable publications, such as Now Write! Fiction, Now Write! Nonfiction, and Now Write! Screenwriting.
The books are edited by Sherry Ellis and her niece Laurie Lamson. Laurie took over finishing the new book after Sherry passed away unexpectedly last year. It was a terrible loss to our community. And I’m honored to have been part of her last creative effort on this planet.
The other book I’m in is called WRITERS ON THE EDGE: 22 Writers Speak About Addiction and Dependency.
My essay here finally answers the big question I get when I’m on panels at conferences. The question: “How the hell did you do your research for Boulevard and Beat?”
When I don’t want to get into the specifics, I go with the answer I have in the Now Write! series. I discuss the passion I have for boots-on-the-ground research, how I love to meet and interview people and learn the details of their lives.
When I get down-and-dirty, I talk about the struggles I had with my own sex-addiction, how I went to twelve-step meetings and marriage counseling and therapy and took a potentially life-threatening problem and turned it into something life-affirming and creative. My essay in this book is open and honest and, ultimately, uplifting. I discuss the things I did, how the addiction began, how it affected my psychology, my relationships, my marriage. It’s the most personal discussion I’ve had on the subject. I was actually reluctant to write the piece, but the editors, Diana M. Raab and James Brown, convinced me that my experiences should be shared with others who might be struggling with their own addictive behavior. After all, it’s Twelfth Step stuff – helping others along the path to their own sobriety.
All the essays in the book are fabulous. The authors speak from their hearts and I admire them for the vulnerability they exhibit.
The book also features a forward by Jerry Stahl, author of PERMANENT MIDNIGHT.
For those of you in the Los Angeles area, we will be launching the book from Book Soup on Saturday, February 25, at 4:00 pm.
That’s it for now, folks.