What I’ve been up to

October 29, 2014 Rob 0

I’ve been fairly shitty about keeping this blog updated, but I’ve got a pretty good excuse: for starters, I just finished another novel, called The Big Sheep. I think this marks the first time I’ve written an entire book around a pun, Schrodinger’s Gat notwithstanding. (The title for Schrodinger’s Gat actually came to me after I’d started writing a “quantum physics noir thriller.”) The title of this book is, of course, a reference to the classic noir film and Raymond […]

Help me make City of Sand a reality!

September 22, 2014 Rob 0

Wow, that was quite a hiatus. Between health problems, money problems, and various other personal problems, I haven’t had the time, energy, or inclination to post much lately. The past few weeks have been very productive for me, though, so I’m cautiously optimistic that the worst is behind me. I’ve been working on several different writing projects, and a few days ago I took a look at an unfinished manuscript that I’d started a while back for a mystery novel […]

Amazon, Hachette, and the progressive obsession with the Big Mean Corporation

July 10, 2014 Rob 2

As a conservative-leaning libertarian, I find myself at odds with most other novelists on a lot of political issues. Whether it’s minimum wage laws or Obamacare, most creative writers tend to favor progressive ideals over the rights of individuals to enter into voluntary business arrangements without government intervention. So it’s a little unsettling to find myself in agreement with someone like bestselling thriller-writer Barry Eisler in the Amazon-versus-Hachette squabble. Eisler, who is about as progressive as one can be, reacts to the latest over-the-top melodrama […]

A way for authors to get reviews and reviewers to get free books

July 9, 2014 Rob 0

One thing I found frustrating when I self-published my first novel, Mercury Falls, in 2009 was the difficulty in finding people willing to review the book. I knew I had written a good book and I was convinced that if I could get it in the hands of a few dozen influential people, Mercury Falls would be a success (at the time, I defined “success” as 1,000 copies sold; since then Mercury Falls has sold over 60,000). After the success of […]

How to think like a libertarian

July 7, 2014 Rob 0

Problems on the premises Several years ago, I built a house on a piece of vacant land. There was some work to be done before the electrical service could be wired up, so I sent a contractor over to my neighbor’s house to ask her if we could plug an extension cord into an exterior outlet on her house so we could run some power tools. The contractor later showed up with a gas-powered generator, explaining that the neighbor refused to let […]

How to add links to your books to your author website

July 2, 2014 Rob 1

This is the third in a series. In part one I showed you how to set up a basic WordPress site. In part two, I explained how to connect your blog with social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. In this post, I’m going to cover a few different ways to use widgets to display your books on your WordPress site. Probably the easiest way to display your books on your site is to use one of the custom widgets offered by one […]

How to Set Up an Author Blog (part 2): Integrating with Twitter and Facebook

June 27, 2014 Rob 0

In part one, I explained the basics of setting up a WordPress website. Now I’m going to show you how to integrate your blog with Twitter and Facebook. Adding prominent “follow” buttons to your site At the top of my site, I’ve got several buttons that allow visitors to connect with me on various social media sites: To do this, I used a widget called, appropriately, Social Media Widget, from Blink Web Effects. In WordPress, go to Plugins => Add […]

How to Set Up an Author Blog (Part 1)

June 25, 2014 Rob 2

I recently set up a new WordPress-based website, SFAuthor.net (the site you’re on now), in order to increase my visibility as an author. To assist other authors out there, I thought I’d do a post on the process I went through to set up this site. The first thing I had to do was determine exactly what I wanted the site to do. I came up with the following list of requirements: Home page with basic information about me, including links […]

Be Pepper Melange in “Deep Space Huntress”!

June 23, 2014 Rob 0

A recent review of Starship Grifters complained that the book needed more Pepper. I agree. For those who haven’t read Starship Grifters, Pepper Melange is the feisty female bounty hunter who pursues Rex Nihilo and Sasha. I like the character so much I’m working on a novella featuring Pepper right now called “The Ursa Minor Gambit,” which I hope to release in a few weeks. But you don’t have to wait that long for another Pepper adventure. In fact, you can […]

Why Bowe Bergdahl makes us uncomfortable

June 20, 2014 Rob 2

When it was first announced that Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was being released by the Taliban, the American media embraced the news as a feel-good homecoming story, and the President himself made hay of the occasion, claiming that “Sergeant Bergdahl’s recovery is a reminder of America’s unwavering commitment to leave no man or woman in uniform behind on the battlefield.” Bergdahl’s home town organized a parade in his honor. But then the official narrative of Bergdahl’s release began to unravel amid […]

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