Backstage – II

Welcome to Wednesday’s Update, August 26, 2020. Where has the year gone? Hopefully, The Marisol Deception should be finished by late September. I hope I can stay true to that. Things have been so busy. I realize some of you experience the same situation, but keep going – a little each day.

Okay, let’s head backstage with Pinpoint Analysis.

I published Pinpoint Analysis in May 2019. To date, it’s been one of my best-selling fiction books. And if I may say so, it’s my favorite, too. The setting takes place in Miami, Florida, with the major action happening off the coast in the Bermuda Triangle. We know the Triangle is known for strange, unexplainable happenings and seemed to make a suitable backdrop for another thriller.

I’ve forever been a panster, so the tale unfolded day by day as I wrote. I never knew what would happen next, and I tried to keep it that way for my reader. A story of faithful love willing to pay the ultimate price pitted against the master of hell was the result. A little sci-fi, including time travel, popped on to the pages. Scientific research by the protagonist, Les Griffin, added to it. I threw in family dynamics and a few twists and turns.

I enjoyed doing my own research for the project. Usually, that’s the part that weighs me down, but I learned much about the waters of the Atlantic, the theories on the many missing planes above the Triangle, and the workings of the naval base off the Bermuda coast.

I wanted to create a story that would get people thinking about the more serious questions in life, or in this case, the afterlife. We don’t hear much about hell these days, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. And there are real consequences to pay.

If you’re interested, you can get the book by going to the Books and Resources page where shipping is always free. Or you can order through Just a little of the backstage business today, and we’ll see you next week!




During the next few weeks, I want to give you a glimpse of “what’s behind the book – a sort of backstage pass”, if you will. There may be some new to the site and it’s always good to get to know each other. For now, this is the best way I know. So let’s take a peek behind the scenes of Cadeyrn’s Tale.

Cadeyrn’s Tale was published in December of 2019, and is the story of a young shepherd turned king. The story developed after listening to a song where singer David Byron voices these words –

Just a man in my prime
Love was there but I had no time
I was cheered and adored
And I thought fame was all the world . . .
. . . Love or war I could not choose
And so both I had to lose

That was the secular influence, but as a Christian author, I also expanded on some of King David’s successes and failures in the person of Cadeyrn, intertwining biblical themes. My purpose of writing the story was to explore how easily innocence can be lost, and the heavy price tag that accompanies that loss. I suppose that in one way or another, we’ve all been there.

The last name Kovacic speaks nothing of Ireland, but I’ve always had a fascination with the country, especially its link to the Druids. What could make a better setting than 5th-century Ireland? The beauty of The Emerald Isle brought together with the blood-thirsty tribes warring for dominance seemed to be an intriguing thought to me. The natural beauty of the moors drenched in the blood of war changed the landscape drastically. The blood of war changed the landscape of Cadeyrn’s mind – forever.

I couldn’t get the character of Cadeyrn out of my mind. He traveled with me everywhere I went. Maybe because he was a lot like me. In the end, It’s so easy to trade a pearl of great price for a husk of corn from a pig’s trough. Sometimes, it seems 5th-century Ireland isn’t so far removed from 21st-century living.

If you’re interested, you can order the book on Amazon or on the Books and Resources page. Shipping is always free when ordering directly from me.

Hey, that does it for this Wednesday. Have a great week, and I’ll see you in a week!


The Not-so-fun Part of Writing

Well, Pennsylvania is in the yearly time of hot August nights and hotter August days. It’s a good time for swimming. It’s a good time for writing, too. Just make sure the air conditioner is running on high. Writing is the fun part. Other parts may not be as interesting – like editing.

But we must do it. Here are some thoughts about self-editing to get you through these humid days.

1. Learn to be ruthless.

If you are using a professional editor, that’s easy. Take his advice. Don’t question it. Just do it. He knows better than you. If you’re self-editing, learn to be ruthless. Criticize everything and fix what needs fixed.

2. Avoid a long story introduction.

You may get 30 seconds of an agent’s or publisher’s time. Make it count! Don’t keep us waiting. Hit us right from the beginning.

3. Choose the simple over the complicated.

There’s no need to try to impress. It doesn’t work anyway. Unless you live on Vain Avenue, there’s no purpose to show off your extraordinary vocabulary. Keep it clear. Keep it simple or you’ll lose your readers. Is showing off worth the risk?

4. Get rid of needless words.

My guess is we often add unnecessary words to the story or piece. Get rid of the excess.

5. Eliminate subtle repetitions.

Jerry Jenkins lists the following examples in his article How to Edit a Book.

“’She nodded her head in agreement.’ We could delete the last four words. What else would she nod but her head? And when she nods, we need not be told she’s in agreement.

‘He clapped his hands.’ What else would he clap?

‘She shrugged her shoulders.’ What else?

‘He blinked his eyes.’ Same question.

‘They heard the sound of a train whistle.’ The sound of could be deleted.”

6. Stay away from the words up and down…

…unless they’re really needed. “He fixed [up] the car.” “They went [down] to the store.” Less is always better, especially when it’s not needed.

7. Don’t overuse the word that.

This is one of my pet peeves. I hate the overuse of that – probably because I have a tendency to overuse it. Most of the time it just doesn’t belong.

“He believed [that] his friend was lying.”

”Was it possible [that] he could escape?” Get the point?

Okay, maybe we’ll look at some more next week. Until then, no matter what the weather, write on! See you in seven!


The Sounds of Silence

Have you ever noticed, some things are better left unsaid. Our words can have a healing effect or a damning effect. We read about it in the book of James, chapter three. At times, we would do well to listen more and speak less.

But how do you write? Often. we just spew words onto the paper, not considering the result. We have a story to tell, so we tell it using any choice of words we determine. We both know that’s not creative writing. When we write creatively every word matters. The way we frame our words becomes the reason for writing.

That’s where silence comes in. Stop spewing and relax. Take a deep breath and listen. Turn off the phone. Shut off the TV and stereo. Just listen. Listen to the sounds of silence. Let your mind shift gears for a few minutes. Allow your thoughts to take you where they take you.

Be silent and observe. Observe people. Observe situations. Observe relationships. There is so much to learn in life – to learn about life. Be still and take it all in. Notice the hummingbird by the window or the morning dove cooing from its nest. Pay attention to the azure blue sky and white puffs of clouds as they drift by. Listen carefully to the sound of a sleepy stream as it trickles down its mountain path.

We writers are passionate about we do. We are so passionate that there are times we must slow down and dwell in silence, if only for a moment. Learning to write isn’t always about the newest webinars or the latest courses. Sometimes it’s just about being quiet and listening – to the sounds of silence.

See you next week.