J. Scott Savage Reveals His Surprise

ImageEarlier, I promised you a surprise from J. Scott Savage. Scott is a master writer with the heart of a teacher. Before I knew him, I had heard about the quality of his teaching. During the Writers for Life Workshop, Scott will take you through the journey of becoming a writer, from idea, to manuscript, to agent, to editor, to published book. It’s going to be a great class. What’s better, is that there are many other authors who have incredible things to teach you.

Seating is limited to 100 people. We’re down to 50 seats, so register now.

Remember, ALL money raised goes to the Huntsman Cancer Institute.

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Writers for Life Schedule

We’re a little more than a month away from the Writers for Life Workshop. Time for some more details. Here’s the schedule for the June 7 event:

8:15 a.m. Registration and bookstore opens

9 a.m. Welcome—Cheminant Flitton

9:10 a.m Lisa Mangum—So You Want to Be a Writer

10 a.m. Break

10:10 a.m. Josi Kilpack—Internal Versus External Characterization

11 a.m. Break

11:10 a.m. J. Scott Savage—A surprise, but his presentations are always amazing.

12 p.m. Lunch break—Go find some food. Josi Kilpack signing (She has some urgent business and has to leave).

1 p.m. Larry Correia—Writing action

1:50 p.m. Break

2 p.m. Jenni James—Marketing secrets

2:50 p.m. Break

3 p.m. Brandon Mull—Creating Quality Stories

4 p.m. Book Signing

Don’t recognize a name? Read the presenter biographies.

The event will be held on June 7 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Clark Auditorium of the Northwest Plaza at the Utah Valley Regional Medical Center (map) in Provo, Utah.

All of this awesome is available for a tax-deductible donation of at least $35 to the Huntsman Cancer Institute through my fundraising page.

Remember, seating is limited to 100 people, so register now.

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Brandon Mull joins Writers for Life

Mull, BrandonI’m very excited to announce that New York Times bestselling author Brandon Mull will be presenting at the WRiters for Life workshop on June 7.
I’ve been working with his scheduling agent for some time now and was surprised and pleased that he can work this into his schedule.
Brandon is the author of the Fablehaven series, the Beyonders series, The Candyshop War Series, Pingo, Pingo and the Playground Bully, Spirit Animals: Wild Born, and the newly released Five Kingdoms Book 1: Sky Raiders.
To register for what is going to be an amazing workshop, go to tinyurl.com/w4lregistration,
But act quickly. Seating is limited to 100 people.

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Josi Kilpack has joined Writers for Life

This workshop is going to be fabulous. Josi Kilpack is the latest speaker. She’s going to teach about internal and external characterization at the Writers for Life Workshop on June 7.

Josi S. Kilpack

ImageJosi grew up in Salt Lake City, graduated from Olympus High School in 1992, and was married not quite a year later to her high-school sweetheart. She began her first novel in 1998 and hasn’t stopped. Her novel, Sheep’s Clothing won the Whitney Award 2007 for Mystery/Suspense and she was the Best In State winner for fiction in 2012. Book eleven in the Sadie Hoffmiller Culinary Mystery series, Fortune Cookie, was released in spring 2014 with the final book in that series, Wedding Cake, to be released in Fall 2014 along with a cook book containing all the recipes featured in the series. Josi currently lives in Willard Utah with her husband Lee and three of their four children—the fourth lives on campus at the University of Utah.

 

More about the Writers for Life Workshop

You’ll learn how to improve your writing and marketing from some pretty awesome authors. All money raised through the workshop will go directly to the Huntsman Cancer Institute to fund research and treatment for those fighting this horrible illness. The cost to attend is a donation of $35 or more to the Huntsman Cancer Institute through my fundraising page. Below are some of the authors who are attending. You don’t want to miss this. Attendance is limited to 100 people so register now! will be held on June 7 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Clark Auditorium of the Northwest Plaza at the Utah Valley Regional Medical Center (map).

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Writers for Life Workshop

Mark June 7 down on your calendars. It’s a special day when you can do good and learn from some pretty incredible people at the same time. That’s why you need to participate in the Writers for Life Workshop.

You’ll learn how to improve your writing and marketing from some pretty awesome authors. All money raised through the workshop will go directly to the Huntsman Cancer Institute to fund research and treatment for those fighting this horrible illness. The cost to attend is a donation of $35 or more to the Huntsman Cancer Institute through my fundraising page. Below are some of the authors who are attending. You don’t want to miss this. Attendance is limited to 100 people so register now!

The event will be held on June 7 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Clark Auditorium of the Northwest Plaza at the Utah Valley Regional Medical Center (map).

Check out our presenters below. Here’s our schedule.

Brandon Mull

Mull, Brandon

Brandon Mull is the author of the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall
Street Journal bestselling Beyonders and Fablehaven series. Brandon resid
es in a happy little valley near the mouth of a canyon with his wife and four children. He spent two years living in the Atacama Desert of Northern Chile where he learned Spanish and juggling. He once won a pudding eating contest in the park behind his grandma’s house, earning a gold medal.

 

 

Larry Correialarry

 Larry Correia is the award winning, New York Times bestselling author of the Monster
Hunter International series, the Grimnoir
Chronicles, and the Dead Six military thrillers. 

 

Jenni JamesJenni James

Jenni James is the author
of the Jane Austen Diaries and the her Faerie Tale Collection. She is a mom of seven rambunctious children (including teenagers!).  They live in Utah. A few years ago they moved back to the States after living nine awesome years in the Azores Islands of Portugal and England!  Her kids love the USA!
When Jenni’s not writing up a storm, she enjoy reading, acting, portrait painting, directing plays, cooking, planning eleborate parties, and chasing her kids around the house. She also finds time to practice her awesome ninja skills and expert pirating techniques—She secretly dreams of becoming a master at both.

Josi S. Kilpack

ImageJosi grew up in Salt Lake City, graduated from Olympus High School in 1992, and was married not quite a year later to her high-school sweetheart. She began her first novel in 1998 and hasn’t stopped. Her novel, Sheep’s Clothing won the Whitney Award 2007 for Mystery/Suspense and she was the Best In State winner for fiction in 2012. Book eleven in the Sadie Hoffmiller Culinary Mystery series, Fortune Cookie, was released in spring 2014 with the final book in that series, Wedding Cake, to be released in Fall 2014 along with a cook book containing all the recipes featured in the series. Josi currently lives in Willard Utah with her husband Lee and three of their four children—the fourth lives on campus at the University of Utah.

Lisa Mangum

author photoLisa Mangum has worked with books ever since elementary school, when she volunteered at the school library during recess. Her first paying job was shelving books at the Sandy Library. She worked for five years at Waldenbooks while she attended the University of Utah, graduating with honors with a degree in English. An avid reader of all genres, she has worked in the publishing department for Deseret Book since 1997.

Besides books, Lisa loves movies, spending time with her family, trips to Disneyland, and vanilla ice cream topped with fresh raspberries. She lives in Taylorsville, Utah, with her husband, Tracy.

She is the author of four award-winning books: the Hourglass Door trilogy and After Hello.

J. Scott Savage

bioscottsJ. Scott Savage is the author of the Farworld middle grade fantasy series and the Case File 13 middle grade monster series. He has been writing and publishing books for over ten years. He has visited over 400 elementary schools, dozens of writers conferences, and taught many writing classes. He has four children and lives with his wife Jennifer and their Border Collie, Pepper, in a windy valley of the Rocky Mountains.

The Writers for Life Workshop will help writers hone their craft while raising money for a worthy cause. The event will be held on June 7 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Clark Auditorium of the Northwest Plaza at the Utah Valley Regional Medical Center (map).

This is a great lineup and the awesome will keep on coming. Register now.

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Married white male seeking companionship

I’ve been cruising the personal ads behind my wife’s back.
I’m looking for someone with a quiet temperament, who loves the outdoors, and preferably someone who has already been spayed or neutered. I want a dog.
That may sound silly from a grown man, especially from one as ambivalent as man’s best friend as I am. But I do.
I like the idea of a dog, but I hate drool, poop, and dog food. I’ve written columns about neighbors who let their animals do their duty in my yard. I’ve also written about the abominable punt dogs that have bitten me over the years. I’ve never been bitten by a big dog, just by yappy little ones. I can’t stand those kinds of dogs.
I had a dog when I was a child, a dog of undetermined heritage that wandered onto my dad’s farm. I saw that dog every other weekend and two weeks in the summer. My wife had a dog that was part German shepherd, part wolf. She has stories about that dog that border on the supernatural, especially when it comes to candy.
About a decade ago I started trying to get a dog for our family. I could see myself taking this animal out on hikes with me, sleeping next to it, playing with it… You get the idea.
The first two my wife didn’t like–don’t buy a dog when you’re wife is pregnant and she’s home all day with it. Trust me. They were out quick. About nine years ago my wife took the children to the shelter and brought home Hawkeye, the world’s smartest dog. He’s part Aussie shepherd, part border collie. He takes commands in two languages, finds children when asked, tattles on children and keeps them on task when cleaning their room.
He’s almost perfect–except I can’t touch him. If I touch Hawkeye he pees all over. There will be a huge puddle, and he’ll run off leaving a trail of wet child’s cursive on the carpet behind him. I’ve tried working with him. For awhile we had special treats that I was the only one who gave them to him, I have taken him running with me, I’ve tried waiting for him to approach me, which he will. But, it’s always a game of Russian roulette of I try to pet him. He’s not really my dog. He fears me, but loves my wife.
Shortly after getting Hawkeye I went to an animal shelter to do a story. My contact wasn’t there yet so I wandered through the cages looking at the dogs. I wandered up and down the aisles as dogs jumped and barked. One dog caught my eye. He was a medium-sized yellow dog. He sat quietly watching me. I knelt down in front of the cage and he pressed his head against the cage. I scratched his ear for a few minutes. I looked at my watch and realized it was time to meet with my contact. I stood up to walk away. The dog turned around and put his paws up on the cage. With his eyes he said, “No! Wait! We made a connection.” I knew he was right, but I didn’t dare bring home another dog. I’ve missed him for years.
So, that still leaves me wanting a dog. Part of me wants to go to the shelter hoping for another such experience. Another part would love to find a wolf hybrid and raise him to be my dog. Either way, I’m cruising the listings on KSL hoping my wife doesn’t check the browser’s cache.

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On learning to write well.

It’s been a little while since I last wrote. I’ve been to Scout camps and trying to catch up. Someone recently asked me for advice about writing, and I sent the following. I thought it was sound advice (but we usually feel that way about our own work) so I thought it could go here.

If your goal is to sell a novel, you’ll need to improve your craft. As far as time management is concerned, take something with you everywhere you go. I write my novel for 45 minutes each day on the bus. I use my iPad with a wireless keyboard. I read books on the elevator, at lunch, even when I’m walking.
What I’m going to suggest won’t sound like writing, but if you sharpen your ax first, it cuts the tree down faster.
1- When it comes to spelling, look it up. There are two kinds of really good editors. Those who know everything, and those who check everything. If you’re not certain, look it up, and don’t trust spell check. I think that’s how captor became capture.
2- Read a book on style. Just pick one and use it. I started off learning Associated Press style. Now I use Chicago. I’d suggest buying a Chicago Style manual and reading it. Mark everything you don’t know. Underline, write in the margins, make it yours. Don’t worry about the important principles you already know. Just mark the things you don’t know but should. You’re not going to remember all of this, but hopefully when you come across the situation as you write, you’ll stop and say, “I know I saw something about this,” and go look it up.
3- Keep a notebook. Make a list of words you commonly misspell. Write them in the notebook and look there. It will be faster than using the dictionary. Write grammar rules in the notebook, too.
4- Study the craft of writing. Read books about writing. Read books about grammar and usage (Eats Shoots and Leaves is a great one, so is Lapsing into a Comma).
5- Read good books. These books will help you learn how to write. You’ll absorb phrases, turns of language and characterization and plot development.
6- Read in your genre. If you’re a YA fantasy writer, then read YA fantasy. See what successful authors are doing. Don’t copy them, but see what works. J.K. Rowling is a master of internal consistency. Trivial details in book 1 are hugely important in book 3. Throwaway comments in book 5 are vital clues to book 7. Don’t write Harry Potter. Learn to add such great elements of foreshadowing in your own novel.
7- Read critically. You should read like you eat. Make it varied, and really taste it going down. Once you do, you’ll realize you really like certain things, and really hate other things. Stop and ask yourself why. Analyze what you’re reading. Ernie Pyle is a master of show don’t tell. Neal A. Maxwell was the king of alliteration. If something really bothers you find out why. I detest Claire M. Poulson novels because he artificially creates suspense by withholding details from the reader—details that are painfully clear to the reader. I can’t stand Tina Monson’s Liahona Legacies because none of the children in the books use contractions. It’s like they were all raised by Data from Star Trek.
8- Copy the style of the masters. If you’re stuck, ask yourself how Hemingway, Faulkner, Muir (or even Poulson if he’s you’re hero) would write this passage. It will help you uncover a distinctive voice. I’m not telling you to go rewrite a book by Dickens. I’m telling you to borrow his voice to find yours.

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