June 28, 2017

From the outside looking in--and sometimes the inside looking in--the road to publishing your first book can seem labyrinthine, fraught with obstacles both seen and unseen. When should you query agents? How should you query agents? What does an effective query letter look like? How do you find agents who might be interested in your book? How many submissions should you send out? Should you grant an exclusive? When an agent off...

June 12, 2017

To those who have never written a book, writing the book probably seems like the hardest part of the process. Guess what? It's not! For those who are interested or who might find this helpful, I thought I'd break down the process so far.

July 2015: Dreaming

This is about the time I started fumbling my answer to the ubiquitous question, "What do you do?" I'd stepped away from my longtime role as executive editor of Round Table Co...

July 8, 2016

Photo by Adrian Collins Photography

Recently, I found myself deep within a writing slump. It starts with winking, conspiratorial denial: you've been working hard, you deserve to take a couple of days off, don't feel bad! Then it goes to self-flagellation: you haven't written in a week, what have you been doing with yourself? Then excuses: well, we had that big trip, it's not as if I was going to work while we were on ...

March 3, 2016

"So what does one wear to a gathering of law enforcement and mental health professionals?" I texted my sister Amanda, only half joking.

"Hmm, jeans, a cute top, and heels?" she suggested. 

"Good call," I said.

A few minutes earlier, Officer William Kasberg of the San Antonio Police Department's Mental Health Unit had invited me to attend a presentation he was giving the following morning. "I think it could be a lot of help to you...

February 4, 2016

 Photo by Adrian Collins Photography, Yosemite National Park

First, let me address the elephant in, at least, my bedroom: It's been four months, almost exactly, since my last post. When I last wrote, I was still sitting on the cozy sheepskin-covered chair in a downstairs corner of the Maine house my mom and I had rented for three weeks. We were a week from returning home, two weeks from a wedding in Mexico, six weeks from Thank...

October 5, 2015

Today marks the start of our last week in Maine, and I'm already feeling nostalgic for a trip that hasn't finished. After next week, Maine won't be a dream or a joke or a myth; it'll be a word wrapped tightly around memories of my mom and I building a closeness that we didn't have before--not to this extent, anyway--and building our books at the same time.

And for now, at least, it's the books I want to talk about.

It feels weir...

September 24, 2015

Maine has a sort of mythology in my family. "You just have to go to Maine!" I can hear my dad saying back when I was in high school, maybe even younger. "I'm telling you. If you go to Maine, you'll write a bestseller."

I don't know where he got that idea. I assume he saw a movie once, long forgotten, in which someone holes up in a cabin surrounded by far-reaching pines, perhaps some water, and thoughtfully composes sentences on...

August 30, 2015

Yesterday, I went to see my brother on the set of Dead Awake, the indie horror movie he's producing and acting in. A whole hospital wing had been closed off for filming, and Caro--AJ's girlfriend--and I had to wait before a walkie-talkie-brandishing crew member ushered us up the elevator between takes. From there, we were shuffled into a hallway where half a dozen crew members huddled before a small screen, watching the scene...

August 25, 2015

I'll be honest: Until yesterday, I'd started dreading that question. Not that it was coming from all directions, of course, swarms of eager readers hungry for a progress report. It was usually Adrian, asking casually but interestedly over dinner. Or either of my parents; maybe a friend here and there. In the last few weeks, my responses turned vague: "Oh, it's going," with a laugh, or, rolling my eyes, "You know, still stuck i...

July 31, 2015

There was a time in college when I told my mother that if I were deadshe'd hear about it,so could she please stop calling all my friends--I was fine, it wasfinalsweek, I had told her about this! She'd been calling me for days, and I'd been either missing her calls or ignoring them, frantic and caffeine-high and sleepless as I wrote one long-delayedfinals paper after another, hoping they sounded coherent. My mom had resorted to...

Older Posts >

Please reload

© 2023 by The Mountain Man. Proudly created with Wix.com