Papa’s Got a Brand New Brand

(Here’s a distilled version of the author talk I gave at the Great Valley BookFest in Manteca on October 8. Thanks to Toni Raymus for inviting me.)

I’m skeptical about branding. Sure, everyone knows that 15 minutes can save you 15 percent on lizard skin. But I’ve sat through enough branding meetings over the years to decide a brand wasn’t relevant for me as an author.

Until I came up with one.

This past summer, I was asked for a title for my talk here at the Great Valley BookFest. Four words or less. I came up with “page-turners with a conscience.”

The Failure of Free

How and Why I Gave Away My First Book to Attract New Readers to My Second   Despite the headline, I’d prefer to frame my book giveaway as an experiment, not a failure. I tested the strategy of making my book free and got definitive results — fewer sales or...

Making of Bones in the Wash, Part 2

First Draft to Publication (Here’s Part 1: Ideas to Pages)  I planned from the beginning to self-publish. For two reasons: One, I had already failed to get an agent and I feared that might happen again, but the main reason was that I could get to market faster...

Making of Bones in the Wash, Part 1

Ideas to Pages As I’ve been shamelessly promoting Bones in the Wash — did I mention you can read the first three chapters at — several people have asked me how it came to be. Here’s how: New Mexico: Not Really New, Not Really...