Does a Writer’s Background Matter?





Yes, if you’re going to write an autobiography and claim to jump out of planes, you’d better damn well be jumping out of those planes.

But what about writing fiction?


Wait, did someone gasp, “I don’t know anything! I work in an office and come home to have dinner with my husband and dog and watch TV. I’m boring!”

Ridiculous. No, not the part about your day. The part where you say you’re boring.

Everyone has a story to tell. That’s the true stuff. When comforting a child who froze in front of the class, it helps to have a similar story of how it happened to you (or your sister) and how it got better.

What a fiction writer does is take that experience and say, “What if?”

What if, when remembering the story of how you got called to the front of the classroom as a kid and didn’t know the answer, a slug crawled through the window, expanded, and ate the teacher?

What if it happened in college, and as you stood there in misery, someone screamed down the hall that the despised administrator was found slumped over his desk with student IDs stuffed in his mouth?

What if you sat in your cubicle trying to read a mindless report and armloads of fake roses suddenly littered your area with a note asking you to have lunch with the cute guy you liked on the next floor?

What if the above examples were descriptions of the human offerings listed on a menu at a vampires restaurant, Flavors of the Night?

You’ve got stories. Some are true, some are complete figments of your imagination. But the main thing to remember is that you are unique. Your stories and thought processes are based on who you are. Go have fun.



* Image courtesy of Just2shutter at



Meet Indie Poet Esther Lazarson


Self-published at 89 (yes, you’re reading that right), poet Esther Lazarson gave a reading this past weekend at the Bloomingdale branch of the New York Public Library. Now a sparkling 91, Esther read from her book Everyday Poems for Everyday People and included her latest works as well.

After she read the first poem, we applauded and she held up a hand. “Please don’t applaud, it wastes time!” We laughed but she was right—she had a wealth of material to read and it ranged from the funny to the poignant to the startling.


A friend was with her to read when her voice grew hoarse but time and again Esther took the sheaf of pages back to read, usually with a comment that made me laugh. “Oh, that’s one of my favorites.” Or “I like that one!” Her glee could turn serious in a blink as she read a poem that made us remain silent at the message.

One poem I enjoyed, titled “Birthday A and Birthday B,” was, sadly, not in her current book. Afterward, I approached and told her she needed to write a second book. She waved a hand and said, “I don’t know, it’s such a lot of work!” I repeated that conversation to one of the librarians there and she winked and said, “She’ll write another.”

You can find Esther’s book at Amazon at and if you enjoy it, please do leave a review. I just bought my copy and will be doing that soon.


Does Your Writing Make a Difference?

  • April 13, 2015
  • Blog




That’s the good news.

The bad? You may never know it.

I know of someone who’s a trauma nurse. Reading romance novels helps her keep sane and centered at her job. That’s pretty important stuff.

A friend was stranded far from home in a crappy motel while a family member healed from an accident. Books were her lifeline. They helped pass the time and made things bearable.

Cover Reveal!

I’m absolutely thrilled to unveil the cover for my forthcoming book Magical Ties by cover designer Freddy A. Polanco. Click on the picture below.


Freddy A. Polanco can be found on Twitter @Zone82Customs.




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