Tuesday, January 31, 2012


In the frantic pace of building an online brand -- since the surprise launch of A Perfect Husband last Tuesday -- I've been consumed with the daily chores, seriously... chores of keeping up with my Twitter account, my Facebook page and all the other components of 'social media' that make for a world-class, well-traveled current online writer trying to create a career in this new-fangled business called publishing... digitally. Do any of us actually know? Really? We write the best stories we can... we pray to the god's of fiction that the 'people,' the real readers out there, the ones who actually pay cash and download our books will read them and then actually take the time to write a blessed review that is positive... 5 STAR POSITIVE! Enough to encourage other readers to take the plunge and follow suit. I thank the writer's god... (if there is one) that I received one such review today, as well as a wonderful email from my agent in New York regarding a European sub-agent he uses for foreign rights and Hollywood and movies. Oh, it is all so provocative... exciting and exasperating... all at the same time! Anyway, what I really wanted to blog about today was the writer's wall. That dubious space away from all the so-called glamour of reviews, sales and movies and back to the essentials... writing! When I'm actually at my computer in pajamas, up early, smelling rank, two cups of hard, black coffee digesting in my gut and wondering why am I doing this? The writing sucks, the words stink, everything is the pits! I carry an ongoing mental discussion with myself over syntax. Syntax??? I read a multitude of novels, weekly, that read far better, are exquisitely written, the poetry of language perfect, pure music. And then, I spend two days on one chapter of Encounter. An exhausting 10 hours on 13 pages. The rewrite that I so clearly outlined, dedicated, made careless marks on my calendar to schedule two chapters a day to...ONLY! Ahhhhh the trials of the dreaded rewrite. Gone is the chase for a story, the quick daily pace of continuity and action. Now, the whole story's there, looking up at me in numbers highlighted at the bottom of the page... waiting... teasing me to 'make it all better!' I KNOW the damn story... all I'm supposed to do at this point is clean it up. But, I look at the clock, well before 6 AM. I feel  my ass hard against the wood seat, the computer blaring at me post-sunrise waiting for answers... Today, the writer's light stay's off. For some reason, I don't have the energy to deal with my characters. I don't have the compassion, the warmth. I take the day off. I grab a martini at Gulf Stream in Century City and some lunch and read a classic: Susanna Moore's 'In the Cut.' Susanna got it all right! A better day is ahead of me.
Yesterday, the compassion came back... the gratitude of my Life, what I'm allowed to do as a profession, the joy of the written word. A writer's life, the creative pit falls of living it and the roller coaster of the artist's wall! Yes... yes... yes... at least it's honest!
Keep writing... keep creating!  

Saturday, January 28, 2012


A Perfect Husband went from being listed at #42 on Tuesday, (launch day) to #39 yesterday and I'm pleased to report this morning my book has generated enough heat to go all the way to #14. Thank you for all the support. I'm looking for #1!!
Keep writing... keep creating!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Page 63... ENCOUNTER

Okay, so I'm at the beginning of my rewrite on Encounter... page 63 to be precise... enough celebrating! I have found in order to be at my best, 100% effective when I sit down at my computer I cannot have a freaking HANGOVER!!! Which, unfortunately I woke with on Wednesday morning after far too much celebrating on Tuesday after the initial launch of A Perfect Husband. Ouch! I'm an early riser, sometimes before 5 AM so it doesn't work for me to be in bed past 8. I feel my entire day is shot. Today I felt better. I woke with a full agenda. I got busy on the rewrite by 7:30 AM and when I looked at the clock it was already 1:30 PM. What??? Where did the time go? It flew by so quickly I had to drop everything, jump in the shower, do a quick pit-stop at El Compadre for some late lunch then meet up with a PR person at Coffee Bean on Sunset for some media work on APH. Somebody said, I don't know who... I'll paraphrase the gist of it 'if you're passionate about the work you do, you won't notice the passage of time...' I am so grateful to have finally found that space!
Keep writing... keep creating!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


WOW! What an accomplishment? You can find my just published novel, A Perfect Husband on any online, Ebook search engine. Whoo hoo!!!  I just checked amazon and it's there. Ready to be bought!!! I have friends in London who just contacted me, they've already downloaded their copy and are tweeting to their friends tomorrow! Thank you, thank you, thank you! I don't want to be too ingratiating... but, the support is wonderful and obviously as a new writer launching my brand... very much needed. And necessary. If you do download the book and take a day or two to actually read it... please write a review!! The word of mouth is invaluable. Again, thank you and as I always say... keep creating... keep writing!!!


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

E-books, Kindle and the romantic association with a hard cover book!

Yesterday, after a full day of rewriting I rewarded myself with lunch at one of my favorite spots, GULF STREAM in Century City. It is true that Houston's, or should I say Hillstone's closed quite a while ago, which left a deep loss in my gut. I was forlorn and melancholy, a huge loss since I would go to the mall during the week (weekends are the pits for parking) and have a leisurely lunch at Houston's then go see a movie, or visa versa... anyway, after a wonderful lunch at Gulf Stream I headed to the Landmark Cinemas at Pico and Westwood to watch La Bella. Unfortunately, it wasn't playing so I thought I'd go to Barnes & Noble to stall some time, peruse some books... CLOSED!! What??? There was a feeling of... okay... Douglas you're an author, a writer, an E-book person, why does this affect you so strongly?  And, I guess it's the 'old school' in me. That hard back edition is the coveted book for me. Soon, there  won't be bookstores selling books anywhere. Then I'll consider myself fortunate for beginning my writing career in E-book publishing. I am truly sorry about B&N closing. I loved that store. Now, where do I go? I recently bought a Kindle in Portland (no tax, 20% off at Office Depot). Anyway, I, who thought I would never appreciate nothing except a HARD back lopped on my lap have converted. I LOVE IT!! I am currently reading STATE OF WONDER by Ann Pratchet and the book is, undoubtedly beautiful in its writing and context, but above all else, it is there, in front of me, in a font I chose, ready when I am... sort of plug and play. By the way, due to all the closures of big, conglomerate bookstores, Miss Patchet is opening her own bookstore... Yes. I love that. Anyway, i can't advocate the graces of technology any longer. Do yourself a favor, go out and grab yourself a Kindle, a Nook, an IPAD and see what I'm writing about. Let me know. Otherwise... it's your life... keep writing, keep creating!

Monday, January 23, 2012


I spent my Sunday in Palm Springs, a pleasant retreat from the cold, snowy weather I'd encountered last weekend in Portland. I enjoyed lazy time with my adopted family, rested by their pool, took a nap in the afternoon sunshine and relaxed. Returning home late last evening, I checked my emails (an unnerving, neurotic habit I acquired from my past work position) and received a message from my publisher with new cover art attached. Of course, I immediately opened it! And, instantaneously, I knew the new art was the right fit. While doing the edits on A Perfect Husband, I realized my book wasn't the grisly, hacker, serial killer thriller of that genre, but more, a coming of age story about my main character, Sami. The new cover represented that... a bit literary with an intriguing title. Hopefully, buyers will be interested enough to enter into the world of Sami Saxton and discover the small township of Montague, New Jersey and be swept up in an absorbing mystery. A 'cozy thriller' as I like to call it. Whew! Now, I must ramble a bit about my existence as a full time writer. I LOVE IT! My days whiz by, the hours fly. I start early, most mornings by 6 AM and by the time I look at the clock it's already 2 in the afternoon. It's a daily agenda. I write every day. There is NO exception. Doing the rewrites on Encounter has taught me the arduous task of rewriting. When I began the novel in September I wrote everyday, a chapter each morning, no matter what. The pages got printed after each session and were deposited into a white, cardboard box. I would watch the pages materialize, the stack getting wider, the fold growing. It fueled the process. Some days I would create two pages, other days, ten. It didn't matter. I went to the end, printed them out, and then left the computer. Now, the pages take time. Last Thursday, I spent six hours on four pages. And, when I went back to it on Friday morning, I worked on the same pages another two hours. Even today, I read aloud the opening chapter and made slight adjustments, changes. So, the lesson in this... REWRITES take time. Give yourself the JOY of living your dream. Don't hurry the creative process. Nurture it! Finally, I can take the time I need to realize the words, my words, my characters, the coming together of plots, action and setting without the hurried glances at clocks, places to be, somewhere to go with people expecting me on time and in uniform... Ahhh!
Keep writing... keep creating!!
I attached the cover art page to A Perfect Husband. I would love some constructive feedback!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Artist's Conundrum

Today, I began the rewrite on ENCOUNTER. I am excited, withdrawn, perplexed and apprehensive... the artist's roller coaster, as I've called it, can be so fickle. I was up at 4:30 AM, drank strong coffee, read the NY Times, then took to the pages. Some days... I am the Viking warrior; confident, stoic, self-congratulatory... a gladiator, and then other days... I am depressed, confused, my work sucks, I can't find the words to describe... why am I a writer anyway? Then, something wonderful happens... an omen, a pleasant word, a  nice review... I sit back, take a breath and continue. It's only a rewrite for God's sake! Not the final edit, which I've now accomplished on my first novel. Still, the CHOICES linger... the career I've used to subsidize me, or, the career I have genuine passion for. Why did it take so long to make these stoic, confident, self-congratulatory choices? Why?  I sit in wonder at the artist's conundrum... I sit in wonder at where it all comes from... where it all came... and how I've become such an amazing transcriber of the WONDER.
Keep writing... keep creating!

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Today, I finished reading the first draft of ENCOUNTER. As I walked along the manicured lawns of Hancock Park, I thought about theme, the central subject that resonated in the work. It wasn't a surprise. I had come upon it while immersed in writing the first draft months ago. In fact, at that point, I celebrated! It gave the novel a foundation, a dramatic pulse, a sturdy fuel. At the core of my characters was a truth... each one was acting out their lives in escapism, distraction, compulsion and/or addiction. Whether it was lovely Rhonda from Chicago, dutifully devoted to her pristine life with children and husband, or Master D., the body builder gym rat using steroids and narcotics to dull the roar from his past, or the splintering of a personality to such a breaking point that a psychopathic killer was unleashed upon the City of San Francisco... it became their painful truth. And I, the ready recorder of it! ENCOUNTER!
Cover art from A PERFECT HUSBAND arrived yesterday. I sent my suggestions back to the publisher... it feels as if the book will be launched soon. Fingers crossed!
Keep writing... keep creating!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Back from a relaxing weekend in Portland, catching up with friends, enjoying (kind of) the cold, wet winter of the Pacific Northeast! Ah, the Alpine's... then back to Southern California for a wonderful, relaxing day in Santa Monica at a spa overlooking the ocean. My post birthday treat to myself. Today, up early, a bit apprehensive at the looming job ahead of me. A large, white box filled with 423 pages of manuscript sits at the base of my desk. It has sat there for almost a month now, awaiting my return. The rewrite!  Now, the work begins. First, a quick read through. Not one to read the pages as I write, I tend to be a 'go to the end' sort of storyteller. I want to keep the pace, continuity of character and follow my hunches as I amble steadfastly toward the denouement. Afterwards, I go through the manuscript with a fine toothed comb, adding the 'magic,' as I call it. So, today I started reading, aloud, the words, the pages, the story. After reading 128 pages, I decided to go on my walk. I am ecstatic. The book has a strong start. Of course, there will be changes, development, additions. But all-n-all, it WORKS. Details come to mind as I walk. Minute observations that will be added when I go back to the computer. Today, I celebrate. It makes me look forward to tomorrow...
Keep writing... keep creating!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Taking some long deserved time off and running to Portland, Oregon for my birthday weekend. New City, new experiences... who knows... a new book may blossom!! Everything is a possibility!!! Keep creating! XO

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Daunting! The task before me! A novel, my novel needing final author's approval. The tedious, meticulous detail, reading it aloud, finding the poetry in the written words. DONE! Final edited version sent today!  Here's to writing. Here's to creativity. Here's to friends who support the artist way! Keep creating! Cheers!

Monday, January 9, 2012


I received a questionnaire from my publisher today regarding the cover art for my soon to be published novel... A PERFECT HUSBAND!  Do I need to say, YELL... HOLLA... how ecstatic I was??? I've been registering my emotions after exiting my position at a prominent hotel in the City, questioning the structure in my Life, how important the day-to-day jostling of hours and creative time kept me focused, alert... working! Not that I don't work now, I do. In fact today I logged anther twenty chapters, on my way to sending the completed edit back tomorrow... BUT, I have never known a Life without work, a Life without balance, a Life without STRUCTURE...I thought my existence would be different with out the boundaries of a ten hour work day... surprise!!! It will take some time to adjust. I AM READY!!!  Peace! Love! Keep creating!

Saturday, January 7, 2012


Just finished my first read through of the edited manuscript A PERFECT HUSBAND. Subtle changes, here and there, but, WOW the book works! It's an amazing feeling to read my work again, with so much time in between, almost a year to the date that I sent my completed draft to my agent for submission. Every thing feels fresh, the characters, like old friends, jump from the page welcoming me back. The small county of Montague, New Jersey with its rolling vistas and winding tributaries, a sanctuary. It kidnapped me back, relishing the months of research I did for accuracy. Now, the real work begins. I will go through the novel again, combing for detail, reading aloud the passages, making corrections where needed. I must admit, I'm loving the process!!!

Thursday, January 5, 2012


There came a moment, months ago, when I fully STEPPED into my life; independent of worry, without the FEAR, abandoning the languished history of my family's bankrupt plot. Somehow, in this new found autonomy, in this rediscovered land, I felt protected... by a fragile thread, delicate and worn, weary of all the baggage I had stowed for far too long on shoulders not meant to carry. Then came grace. The acceptance of who I am and where I know I must go. Warrior words. Spoken bravely before the summit of this journey! WATCH WHAT HAPPENS NOW!!!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


Just received my post-edited version of A PERFECT HUSBAND from my publisher. So, I will be taking some time to go through the proof and make corrections as necessary. Also, while reading this week my pile of research novels as well as others, I happened upon a book by Bradford Morrow titled The Uninnocent. I read a review in the New York Times Book Review a few weeks ago and went out and grabbed a copy. WOW!!! If you really want to read dark, lush, provocative prose directed toward damaged, bruised people, who might quite possibly live next door to you... this one is for you AND one hell of a book. I had several ah-ah moments while reading. You know, the times you just shake your head and are grateful for artists who really know how to draw their sword and create magical, toxic  worlds. Hats off, Bradford. I will be reading everything you scribble. And taking notes... for tonight... good night!