Tuesday, November 26, 2013

a NOOK FIRST for Silencing Sapphire!

Happy Nook First day...

is what I told myself when I woke up this morning.

Today I have the honor of announcing that SILENCING SAPPHIRE is featured as a NOOK FIRST at Barnes and Noble!

Some of you may remember that Stalking Sapphire got Nook First (compelling reads from emerging authors) in April this year and I'd never imagined the sequel getting it as well!

For every non-author out there, perhaps I should explain what Nook First means.

Let's put it this way: To get Nook First feels like being six years-old and waking up on Christmas morning to find that Santa brought his good friends, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny, along last night. You find your stocking plump full of toys, candy, and money...which you'll eventually use to buy even more toys and candy!

In short...best day EVER!


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Syd Field & Three-Act Structure

Hi Everyone,

As some of you may know, I studied screenwriting before I decided to jump into books. The name Syd Field was the first name I learned while attending the New York Film Academy in L.A.

Among other books, Syd Field was the author of Screenplay: the foundations of screenwriting and The Screen Writer's Workbook. These books break down the three-act structure to the very basics of storytelling. Unfortunately, Mr. Fields recently past away. He left behind a legacy of screenwriters--including James Cameron and Judd Apatow--who benefited from his teachings.

The three-act paradigm above was Syd Field's baby. It's an amazing tool that can help you plot out your story.

Though I haven't touched a screenplay since I started the Sapphire series, I still use the same structure for my books. To me, the three-act structure, and all it includes, isn't only for film and plays. It is the very essence of how a story should naturally unfold. There is a reason the three-act structure has stuck around since it originated in ancient Greece with Aristotle; it works.

A novel might run to be around 300 pages while a screenplay only runs to be 110 pages. Because of this, you can't use the exact page count structure for novels that is used in screenwriting, but the acts are still the same, and the way the story should unfold still holds true.

RIP, Mr. Field, and thanks for enlightening us.


Wednesday, November 13, 2013


Hi Everyone!

Due to a lot of requests to update SILENCING SAPPHIRE on Wattpad, I have now added the 3 first chapters of the Published preview.

For those who read the Pre-Published preview, know that several things have changed in the first 2 chapters. The pre-published preview will remain on Wattpad, so feel free to compare the differences between of the early draft  the final, published version.

A GIANT thanks to everyone who wrote and urged me to update Silencing Sapphire! Though Sapphire is merely a figment of my imagination, she is a huge part of my life. To know that others have taken to her and decided to let her into their lives as well, brings me such immense joy that I can't even begin to describe it.

First 3 chapters of SILENCING SAPPHIRE



Saturday, November 9, 2013

Does Size Matter?

Hi All,

With Silencing Sapphire's release behind me, I've now started testing the waters on my next project.
As I began working, the age-old question popped into my head: does size matter?

And no, sorry to disappoint you, I'm NOT talking about the various sizes of male genitalia. I'm talking about book length: page count/word count.

My own books generally don't run long. Perhaps this is because I was trained as a screenwriter and not a novelist (One golden rule of writing a scene in a screenplay is "get in, get out.")
Or, perhaps it's because of my greatest pet peeve as a writer and a reader: FILLERS.

What are fillers, you ask? An easy way to describe fillers is when the author suddenly goes into a two page description of a building despite the fact that it holds no importance to the storyline.
To set the tone is one thing, it draws the readers in and paints a picture, but to describe every detail of a dress, face, building, street, or car (again, unless it holds importance to the story) doesn't only slow down the pace, but robs the reader of using their own imagination to fill the gaps of what the author chooses not to show.

I don't like to bash other authors, but I once read a novel by someone who shall remain nameless, *cough, couch, Nicholas Sparks* where he spent pages upon pages describing the characters making tacos. This included, but was not limited to, how they cut every single vegetable and the exact pound of meat that was used. I don't know about you, but I already know how to make tacos and since the book was written for adults, I'd assume his other readers do as well.

A few chapters later, when my brain had just recovered from the taco ordeal, the characters started making ice cream...from scratch. It nearly killed me.

Like I said, I'm usually not one to bash authors, but I have a feeling Mr. Sparks--who I still think is an extremely talented writer despite adding extensive recipes to a work of fiction--would carry on with life just fine. Odds are, he'd laugh full-heartedly while pointing down at me from his sky-high mountain of books, money, and success.

So, does size matter? Does a book need fillers? Does the reader walk into Barnes & Nobles with a scale under the arm so that they can weigh a book and decide whether or not it's worth purchasing?

My conclusion: No! Size does not matter; it's how you use it! I'm still talking about the pages, get your mind out of the gutter.


Friday, November 8, 2013

My Nemesis & The Reviews

Hi Everyone,

The reviews for Stalking Sapphire's sequel, SILENCING SAPPHIRE have started rolling in!

I'd heard about authors who struggled with the second book in their series and while rewriting Silencing Sapphire, I understood why.

When writing the first book in a series there are no expectations. The only pressure that came with Stalking Sapphire was that I knew the readers would compare me to all other authors out there.

Click here to read REVIEWS of Silencing Sapphire

While working on the second book, I realized--in horror--that I wasn't about to be compared to other authors with Silencing Sapphire, I was about to be compared to someone much, much worse: ME.

I was terrified of disappointing everyone who enjoyed the first book and I felt the second book needed to be equivalent. Or preferably, better than its predecessor. Basically, I had to make sure to tie, or beat, myself.
Since I've never been in competition with myself before, I can honestly say, it freaked me out.

Mia Thompson surpassed my previous enemy--the glazed donut--and took the spot as my new No. 1 nemesis. I spent the following months fighting to one-up her. I'd regularly shake my head at the framed cover of Stalking Sapphire above my desk, wrinkle my nose, and imagine I was listening to Eye of the Tiger.

Though this may sound somewhat, if not, all the way insane, I have a feeling other writers out there know exactly what I'm talking about.

On the book's release day, I was convinced I had lost the battle. I sat down, head in hands, and waited for the bad reviews to pour in.

Surprisingly, and to my relief, I haven't disappoint anyone yet. Silencing Sapphire's reviews and ratings have all been 4 and 5 star so far. This phenomenon is also known as 'Author Heaven'.

The glazed donut has crept back to its well-earned No. 1 Nemesis spot and is sitting safe...for now.

There's always the third book.


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Stalking & Silencing Sapphire in PRINT


It's my pleasure to announce that STALKING SAPPHIIRE and its sequel, SILENCING SAPPHIRE will be available in PRINT!
The estimated time for the both books' print release is the end of November 2013.

I'm absolutely thrilled as this means two wonderful things:

One: The Sapphire series will now be available to everyone who hasn't gotten into the world of eRaders yet.

Two: One of my favorite things about getting a new book is the 'new books smell'. I can't wait to get to crack open my own books and take a good whiff. That's right folks, I admit it, I'm a book whiffing addict. For the record, I have no plans of attending Book Whiffers Anonymous anytime soon.

Soon Available in Print
Soon Available in Print

As the date of the release gets closer, I will share details of how, and where, you can get the books!


Friday, November 1, 2013


Hi Everyone!

As most writers know, the yearly National Novel Writing Month has kicked off. With that, my publishing house, Diversion Books have put together posts from several authors, myself included,
that could be helpful when you are whipping together a manuscript in a month.

Here is the link:

As some of you may recall, Stalking Sapphire got featured as a Nook First at Barnes & Noble last April. I'm happy to say I just found out the sequel, SILENCING SAPPHIRE, will be a Nook First as well! I couldn't be more excited about this and its feature day, November 26th, can't get here soon enough.