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Advice for Potential Authors

A mysterious visitor, a secret parcel, and globe-trotting spies

For the first time, I was going to see the bold, courageous, and mysterious Matt Barnes. He disappeared from civilization for years at a time. Where had he been—the Mendenhall Ice Caves in Alaska? Pharaoh’s Treasury in Jordan’s Petra? Wherever he had been, he suddenly reappeared.

What would coax Matt Barnes to return to the civilized world?

Then Matt Barnes stepped into view. Under a brimmed hat and long leathery overcoat, the superhero globetrotter was here. But Matt Barnes came and went in a single night. He disappeared again, leaving me a mysterious package—the wrapping had no name, address, or markings to show where it came from. And I quickly discovered I wasn’t the only one who desperately wanted what was inside. …

The process of authoring The Mysterious Matt Barnes fiction book has been a long experience. I met Matt Barnes in 1997 in our college dorm room, and from there the book idea was birthed. I just didn’t start writing it until 2014.

I have been surprised how many people tell me they would like to write a book, or have a book idea, whether fiction or nonfiction, a novel or a memoir.

I tell these people:

  1. They have a major task ahead, both in terms of words, storytelling, and salesmanship.
  2. Writing is detailed and intricate.
  3. They must enjoy the writing throughout the process and not simply dream of the finished book.
  4. They should start small. Try writing a single scene or one situation in a memoir. This suggestion is good for everyone, but particularly those with little writing experience. They will quickly learn whether they want to put in the effort to write their book. For memoirs, they will figure out if their family alone cares.
  5. Finally, they should join a writers group and be ready for blunt feedback. But its benefits are great.

The Mysterious Matt Barnes is available on Amazon.

“Fun is contagious. I firmly believe if the writer is having fun writing, the reader will have fun reading.”  Derek Landy, bestselling children’s series about a sharply-dressed skeleton detective, Skulduggery Pleasant.

Published inWriting

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