Category Archives: Books and writing

The strange journey of an Empress

At the Pope’s Tavern Museum a small, out of the way place in Florence, Alabama, amid the Civil War relics and antique furniture, a visitor suddenly encounters an exquisite bisque bust of a European woman from the 1800s. The bust … Continue reading

Posted in Books and writing, History | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Rumrunners and book pushers

If you are a writer, you never know who is looking at your stuff and how they are reacting, but sometimes it leads in unexpected directions. Here I am a couple of weeks ago, talking about Chesapeake Bay rumrunners at … Continue reading

Posted in Books and writing | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Dashing through the snow

Thousand Islands Life online magazine has just published an article I wrote telling the story of a little known prisoner of war escape attempt across the ice of the frozen St Lawrence River in 1942. I corresponded with the escapee, … Continue reading

Posted in Books and writing, History | Tagged , | Leave a comment

How Amazon makes it unnecessary to eat a rotten egg

Fashions change in writing as do readers’ tastes. Some of this is just popular culture preferences and some is the result of technology. One technology driven change is the increasing importance of a book’s beginning. Of course, savvy writers already … Continue reading

Posted in Books and writing | Leave a comment

The Undiscovered Country

When fiction is set in a specific time and place, getting the details right can be enriching; getting them wrong can be distracting, like a constant reminder that it’s just make-believe. (See my post about the Pizza Theory of Historical … Continue reading

Posted in Books and writing | Tagged | Leave a comment

The Pizza Theory of historical exposition

Too many historical novels, or stories that are set in some other time and place run afoul of what I call the Pizza Theory of Historical Exposition, or simply the Pizza Theory for short. (BTW, please feel free to use … Continue reading

Posted in Books and writing | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

“What the Hell…” endings

Many readers will say that the purpose of reading a book is the experience of reading, not the ending. Otherwise, why not just skip to the last few pages? It would be like skipping to the last few minutes of … Continue reading

Posted in Books and writing | Tagged , | Leave a comment