Dawn Colclasure's Blog

Author and poet Dawn Colclasure

Saturday, July 28, 2012

When will people stop demonizing POD publishing?

Recently, a writer friend shared a link to this article.

I wanted to share some comments on that article:

1. Print on demand (POD) publishing and self-publishing are NOT the same thing.
2. There are POD publishers that will not charge you to promote the books. One POD publisher does zero promotion for my book. On the other hand, an independent press which uses POD technology to publish print books, promotes my books like there is no tomorrow. You just gotta find the right people and I did with Gypsy Shadow Publishing (the independent press).

3. I agree, self-publishing IS expensive. Pretty much the big reason why I won't go there anymore. You need to pay thousands in total to get a business name, set up your web site, get your book edited, hire a cover designer, hire a proofreader, etc., etc. What's interesting is that I have found POD publishing as well as indie publishing to be A LOT less expensive. And self published authors get more respect than POD authors. Go figure!

Finally, I felt that this comment was really unfair:

"Today, the economics of the POD business model allows for more low-volume specialty and niche publishers to exist, but it also allows for the existence of the pseudo author mills, publishers that seem very much like normal small presses at first glance, with owners who genuinely care and do not set out to scam authors. Yet, in the end, these POD-reliant publishers can't offer you much more than the typical author mill."

Oh, really? And has the author of this article done her homework with every single press out there using POD technology to back up such a claim? Gypsy Shadow Publishing, which uses POD technology, does promote their authors – without charge. They have also provided FREE cover art, FREE editing, FREE promotion and a nice personalized page on the company site. All of the POD-reliant presses out there are not "pseudo author mills" and can actually offer their authors a fair deal.

Additionally, some POD publishers, as well as the indies, cannot be labeled as “author mills” because they do not publish everything sent to them. There are gatekeepers out there. They may accept or reject a submission, but this is not true of every POD publisher.

I have been published by traditional publishers, independent publishers (one of which does not charge for publication), and a POD publisher. I have also gone the self-publishing route, but that one failed miserably because I was not very handy with cover design, layout, typesetting and design. That stuff is a HUGE headache which, thankfully, I don't have to worry about with POD or the independent press. Also, my indie publishers have created AMAZING cover art, got the EAN barcodes for my books, ISBNs and CPNs. And they edited my books for free. I didn't pay a penny to them for cover art or editing, and GSP is using POD technology to print their books. Until I signed on with Great Minds Think Aloud Publishing, an independent press that DOES NOT charge authors, my other traditional publishers really haven't even tried to promote my books; one of them even shut down. (I have not had to pay a penny to Great Minds Think Aloud for cover design or editing, either.) So I have had better experiences with independent publishers. But like I said, if you want to go with POD (and Booklocker is the only POD publisher I have had a book published with), you gotta find the right fit for you and your book.

If I waited to get a contract with a traditional press for all of my books, I'd be waiting until I was an old lady. I have had two literary agents and both of them ended up doing a lousy job, so I have no interest in trying to find a third literary agent.

Also, the article notes how authors who go the self-publishing route will need to put in a lot of legwork for promotion, creating press kits and other advertisements. Well, guess what? This is true no matter who you publish your book with – traditional, self, vanity, POD. This is true because, nowadays, a lot of traditional publishers won't bother to put the money and time into promoting a new author UNLESS and only UNLESS that author is a celebrity. These days, authors have to do the bulk of promotion for their books, especially new authors. That includes scheduling a reading and creating their own web site. (Some indie publishers will create a site for authors free of charge.)

Here is another truth: Not all POD publishers out there are churning out books just for the sake of having MORE books. They are not interested in getting money from authors thanks to what an author is willing to pay to get into print. These POD publishers actually reject submissions. The one POD publisher I have signed with (Booklocker) carefully goes through submissions. They don’t just publish anything. I am saying this because a lot of people assume that the books published by a POD press are unedited, unprofessional and of very poor quality. Not so with Booklocker; they DO care about what books they will publish. The same goes of the indie presses, including the indie presses that use POD technology.

I have shared this article and the comments with Charlotte Holley, CEO of Gypsy Shadow Publishing, LLC. Here is her response:

“Most indie publishers use POD because that's the only way it's affordable for them to play the game. Mega publishing companies are going broke on the "traditional" publishing game, and several of the big guys are also utilizing POD now. Macmillan comes to mind, and there are others.

Some people like to cling to the past and cut down the innovators in the business, but the facts are incredibly in favor of using POD printers for all print books. POD is the GREEN solution for print books. In the past, publishing houses did huge first runs of 50,000 books of each title . . . (some more and some less, but you get the point). Most new authors won't sell more than a few thousand copies (and that's being very generous, believe me!), so what happened to the other 45,000 copies? Destroyed! All those trees up in smoke, which is just as tragic as the wildfires that spread across the country this time of year--more tragic, really. Millions of trees literally gave their "all" for those books that few people ever got to see. What a waste!

What else? Warehousing costs were a huge expense because all those thousands of books had to be stored somewhere until they were trashed. Returns (we recently got a taste of that!) ate into profits and caused publishers to become even more unapproachable for a novice author, or even a seasoned author who may have had a run of low sales. And what about those authors? They were often released from their contracts (read that as dumped) and sent packing. The next book they submitted was at least twice as hard to sell. It's often as hard for a seasoned author to sell a book to a trad publisher as it is a first-time author. I'd say roughly 50-75% of the literate (and some NOT so literate) adults in the world are aspiring authors. For every manuscript we accept right now, we probably get another 5-10 we can't accept, and the number grows all the time. The competition for an audience has never been greater, and at a time when fewer high school grads are literate . . . reading is in danger of becoming defunct. (What the kids are writing and reading is cyber slang that's almost not recognizable, except by the cyber-savvy of us who bother to keep up with the times!)

eBook and POD publishing make sense now more than ever, and for thousands of authors, it's the best opportunity they're ever going to get to make their dreams of being published come true. Times change. Businesses that don't change or adapt are doomed to go down the tubes, whether they are large trad publishers or small presses. Everything out there is subject to the same laws of obsolescence. Everything!”

I have nothing against people who want to go with traditional publishing or get agents. That is all fine and dandy for them. And I’m not against landing a contract with a traditional publisher myself, either. But please don't look down on anyone who uses POD or start bashing POD publishing. Just like the self-published authors out there, we POD and indie authors deserve a chance.

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Monday, July 23, 2012

Marissa Carmel guest blog post and book giveaway!

o celebrate the publication of her novel, iFeel, by Great Minds Think Aloud Publishing, author Marissa Carmel is running a blog tour until August 31st. Please welcome her as she shares a guest post on my blog today.

One lucky person who comments on this blog will win a free e-copy of iFeel. Drawing will take place on Friday, July 27th. You must leave a comment on this post in order to qualify for the drawing. Please check back on Friday evening to see if you are the lucky winner and contact me with your email address.

Good luck!

You plan, God laughs. This is the story of my life.

There are ideals and expectations I assume everyone has; whom you will marry, what your career will be like, where you will raise your kids. And yes, I had all those ideologies in my head, except mine were more like, have a career, don't get married and absolutely no kids. Boy was I wrong. Today I am married with two kids, and living in a state I only passed through on occasion. And my career? Well let’s just say, I have more than one, and I never saw that coming. Who needs more than one career? Apparently me. To make a long story short, I started my first career as a logistician, yawn, I won’t bore you with the details. The second career came shortly after.

I've always loved to write. Always. My imagination constantly runs away with itself, and I am without doubt following it. My best subject was creative writing. So when I would write, it was primarily for me (or a good grade). As time went on though, I found myself imagining more and more and wanting to create, but my life was so busy, and what would it get me anyway? Until one day my mother-in-law dropped a bomb that would change my life. She was talking to one of my husband’s cousins who was complaining about getting her college degree (she was already married with 4 kids. Yikes. I’d be complaining too.). And my MIL, the wise woman that she is, simply said, “Honey, time is going to go by, anyway, so you might as well do it.” Well, it felt like the sky fell on me. The advice wasn’t even directed at me, but it resonated. I started writing that night. And never stopped.

My husband once asked where my creativity comes from, and in return I asked him if he ever heard voices in his head. His reply, I needed to see a shrink. I told him a keyboard and a cursor is the best therapy. I have always loved the supernatural, thanks in part to my mom; Charmed was one of our favorite shows to watch together and still is. So when I started writing, it only felt natural that it took on a paranormal feel. But I didn't want to write about vampires or werewolves or really anything that had been done. I'm like that; I always tend to steer towards the opposite of popular and then proceed to make fun of it. So I started researching, and brainstorming, and concocting my mix of love, humor and emotion. Liv was already an entity in my head, festering. I'd often imagine a dark-haired girl with amethyst eyes, suffering and alone. When I finally established who she really was, and what kind of supernatural elements she would possess, (an Empath – someone who can feel the emotions of others – with active abilities) I asked myself, what would it be like for someone like that to carry the world's emotions? Torrential, I thought. What would it be like for her to fall in love? Even worse than torrential. The story evolved rather quickly after that, but I didn't rush it. It took me a little over a year to write, over two years to edit. I learned a lot about my writing style during that time, developed my voice and really tried to give it a life-like feel.

So here I am almost four years later, a husband, 2 kids, and a home in what feels like a foreign country; a daytime career and a nighttime career, all jumbling together, fighting for a piece of my time. Go hard or go home, my husband and I always joke; if we have a story, it needs a theme, and that is it. I wouldn't change it, though, not for anything. Life is nothing, if not a venture - (I have no idea who said that).

Book Blurb:

Lust. Anger. Hate. Desire. Love. Happiness. Joy. iFeel.

Liv Christianni is isolated, alone, tortured and withdrawn, saddled with the torrential downpour of the world’s emotions. Accepting of her providence Liv has lost all hope, until one day fate steps in and spins the course of her life like a spiraling top. Hunted by a Spirit Stalker, Liv is forced to gain control of herself and her surroundings, threatened by the touch of her immortal love; she must find a way to survive both physically and emotionally as her reality is shaken up like dice on a Craps table. Can she find the courage to accept her true self? Can she love unconditionally cognizant of the condemning consequences? Can she rise from the ashes to become the person she was always meant to be?

Funny, witty, real, and poignant, iFeel rips into your soul, and sets your emotions on fire.

If you are a fan of Charmed or Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries or The Secret Circle, this series is for you!


I direct my anger towards the mocking bottles of crazy pills settled in the cabinet. I attack them; clearing all the glass shelves in one angered fit. Tiny orange bottles fly all around my white tiled bathroom, exploding an array of colored pills against the walls and floor. It feels like I am bombing my past; liberating my future and releasing myself from whatever binds me. I want to be free, and if that means destroying my whole apartment in the process to get there, I am willing to do that.

I can feel the rage course through my veins; my head throbs and my throat burns as I thrash at my tiny bathroom. All I can hear are the voices of people who mean the most to me, those who encourage me, those who support me. To my surprise, the loudest voice is the one who is farthest away. Justice’s words echo against the tiled surface, telling me to let go, to accept my fate, to be magical and not mental. It makes me miss him all the more, but what he said finally makes sense.

My breaths pulse quickly in my lungs, as if the air is thinning. I have worked myself up into a crazed frenzy to expel my true self. My enraged fit has resulted in a bathroom bloodbath, me versus myself.

And I won.

Win an e-copy of Marissa Carmel's novel, iFeel! You must comment to participate in this giveaway. Drawing will take place on Friday, July 27th, and the winner will be announced on this blog on Friday evening at 8 p.m. PST!

UPDATE: Poppy Herrin is the winner of the e-copy of iFeel. Congratulations, Poppy!

The giveaway is now over.

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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Working titles

Last week, I was reading the issue of WritersWeekly when one of the letters to the editor caught my eye. In the letter, the author thanked Angela Hoy for her piece on the importance of watching out for trademark infringement in our work. The writer noted that she did research on her book’s title and discovered that another book out there already has her title. She therefore proceeded to change her book’s title, just to be on the safe side.

This reminded me of my own ongoing love/hate relationship with book titles.

Several years ago, I wrote a novel (unpublished) with the title Dead Ringer. The manuscript caught the interest of an acquisitions editor at a publishing company but, unfortunately, the editor didn’t do anything with that manuscript for 5 years. (There was no contract; she did express interest in it and wanted me to rework it before a contract was signed.) During this time, the popular bestselling novel with the same title by Lisa Scottoline came out. I was devastated because now I’d have a title problem if my own book came out. So I got to work finding a new title for my novel. Fortunately, I was able to come up with one, but I was still steaming because I liked the original title best. (And everyone tells me they like the original title of November’s Child best, too, but the new version of this novel, which will be published in the near future, must have a new title, so there’s not much I can do about that. At least the new version does have a “part” of the story called “November’s Child.”)

But it was no huge loss, really. That novel remains unpublished (never got the contract with that publisher after all) and so there’s no harm done, really. I’m not upset over this anymore and I look forward to fixing up that manuscript and submitting it when that time comes.

This still had me thinking about the whole title thing, though.

So the next thing I did was a little research on proposed titles I have for WIPs (works-in-progress). One title was already taken and the scary thing is that, when I read this book’s description, it sounded a lot like my WIP with the same title. (This book was published in 1989 and written by a psychologist.) I had never read this book. Never seen it. But here we were with a book eerily similar to mine. So I’ll have to not only change the title of my own WIP but also check out that book JUST to make sure mine is not the same as what he wrote. (Gosh, I hope not! But, I’m not a psychologist, so maybe my approach as a layman can benefit this work.)

With this in mind, I decided that maybe it was best to remove proposed titles I have on my web site, on the “Current Projects” page. No title is set in stone, and I just may change a book’s title when it’s time to submit it. So I removed all titles from that page on my site, saying only what the book was about. (I also removed the title from Martha’s book, which I am helping her out with. I never asked her if it was okay to share that title, anyway. I don’t know how she feels about that.)

While it’s true that two books can end up having the same title, I think it’s best if the author tries to have a title for their book that stands out. Something that can stay with the browsing customer. Something that is a little bit more different than the competing title. You can’t copyright a title, true. Just as you can’t copyright an idea. But I think it’s better to try to have a new and “fresh” title for your book all the same. After all, your book is different from that other book, and having a different title than its competitor is just one way to let readers know they won’t be reading the same thing in your book as the other book that has what used to be the same title.

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Friday, July 20, 2012

Get the FREE Kindle download of The Necro Device today and tomorrow only!

For today and tomorrow ONLY, get the FREE Kindle download of M.T. Dismuke's horror novel, The Necro Device, published by Great Minds Think Aloud Publishing.


A page-turner of darkest depths, betrayal, fear, and layers of hidden agendas all play parts in this intense, pulse-pounding thriller." The story of The Necro Device begins several decades in the past with the Mandiev brothers. They were extreme circus performers and traveled the world with an amazing, yet daring, show. Their stepfather - Vince Stevens trained them in the arts and taught them everything they knew, but it was for another reason, one that will later haunt and control the community for years to come. Vince built a device that required elemental energy, human energy, to power it. It required four types total, and like a combination, depending on the four elements used, it produced a specific result. In the case of the Mandiev brothers, each of them was trained in a specific element: Marcus was trained in the arts of physical endurance and regeneration - Body. Phillip was trained to master telepathic and mental abilities - Mind. Christopher was trained to withstand extremely cold temperatures - Ice. Ryan was the master of hell itself - Fire. The combination of elemental energy determined the machines output. If every requirement was met and it was designed correctly, it could then be powered up and operated one time before it would ultimately destroy itself. The device was never meant to be built. After constructing the machine, Vince later meets an untimely death, and somebody begins charging it. The Mandiev brothers are killed, and the machine is primed. 30 years later, Mary and John Hilt are hired to restore the Mandiev estate and begin to unravel decades of betrayal and a diabolical plot. Something has gone wrong with th
e machine, and it has been operating for years. What is it? What does it do? Who's operating it? These questions and more will be answered as Mary discovers her fate and the secret behind The Necro Device. It has a purpose...

Go here to get your download -- FREE for July 20-21st!

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

For two days only: FREE Kindle download of The Three Letters

For today and tomorrow ONLY, get the FREE Kindle download of Robert Ruisi's novella, The Three Letters, published by Great Minds Think Aloud Publishing.


A loving tribute from a father to his three daughters, this is a short novella but one that will stay in your heart forever. A father finds a way to express his deep love and pride in his daughters in one of the most beautiful ways.

Go here to get your download -- FREE for July 18-19th!

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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Lots of work to keep me busy

Recently, I updated the “Current Projects” page on my web site. This list includes books I am currently working on that may or may not be under contract. Nevertheless, I am still working on them all the same.

The list looked something like this:

  • Writing a book on haunted cities.
  • Writing a MG paranormal mystery series. (Currently revising Book One.)
  • Writing a book on prayer. Working title: The Praying Life. (Ongoing.)
  • Writing a health book on making positive changes in your life. Working title: Change Your Life NOW! (Ongoing)
  • Co-writing a book with Martha Jette on alien abductions titled Terror in the Night. (Ongoing.)
  • Wrote a children's book about upcycling. (Illustrations pending.)

As I reviewed that list after that site went live again, it struck me that I was juggling 6 books at a time.

Wow! Six books?? Really?

I try to keep that number low. But, alas, that has not happened.

What was a small book that I thought I’d just whip together and throw out to my publisher ended up becoming a BIGGER project. New chapters have been added and more research will need to be done. So this is a book project that is actually going to take me a while to complete.

And while I had plans to submit a book every month this year, it seems those plans have been changed, as well. I won’t be able to complete everything in time to have a submission ready to go for this month as well as following months, so I no longer will be submitting something every month for the rest of the year.

Also, because I work offline as well as online, I keep printouts of incomplete work in my “writing notebook.” This way, I can pull something out when I have the time (and the computer is not available) and work on it there. In order to stay on top of things, I made a list of all of the ongoing and nearly-complete book projects I am currently working on. This list of projects includes books I am not planning to submit for several months (like late next year).

And that list looked pretty different from what’s on my web site!

Because, it turns out, I have other ongoing book projects as well:

  • A poetry book for soldiers
  • The essay collection on deaf parenting (I am adding new essays)
  • The second and third installment in the “Revise Your Writing” series (I count this as one manuscript).
  • Another poetry book (Wandering Soul – it is semi-finished but I am leaving this one “open” in case I want to add more poems).

So, in essence, that is 10 books altogether which I am juggling.

Wow! Ten!

Of course, this does not mean that some projects will “slip through the cracks.” Some books take priority over the others (haunted cities, Terror in the Night, revising the first GHOST Group book and the health book), and when I have work for them, I will of course make that book a priority and work on it as often as I can.

And, at least in this way, I will ALWAYS have work to do. As it is, while I’ve worked on the GG revisions, the health book, TITN and haunted cities, I’ve had essays for the deaf parenting book stuck in my head for days, as well as ideas for stuff to write/research for the praying book. So I will get around to getting caught up on that eventually. There is work waiting for me, all right. More book work. A lot of book work, actually.

A friend once remarked that being an author is a lot like a job for me. Boy, she wasn’t kidding. Maybe it’s not so bad that I can’t get a job or a gig right now, or that the publishing company doesn’t have any manuscripts for me to edit right now. Because right now, I am indeed busy with this “job.” (I am also a mother, housekeeper, chief cook, bottle washer...) The only difference is that anything I earn for this job will come to me long after they are complete and published, and not before.

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Thursday, July 05, 2012

Why write? Guest blog post by Matt Frend

Fellow Great Minds Think Aloud Publishing author Matt Frend has a book out today, LIFE BEFORE DEATH. To celebrate the occasion, he is sharing a guest post on my blog today. My reasons for writing are as varied as the desire to get stories in my head onto paper (or the screen) and because it's something I feel that I must do. Something that I am called to do. In this guest post, Matt puts a reason for writing into perspective and really hits home on why we toil and labor at our art day after day.

Welcome, Matt! Congratulations on your book.


There’s something you need to know - there's more to life than living. A road trip across the wilds of the Northern Territory, Australia, is a spirited ride through late-twentieth century Australian counter culture. Then an event occurs which gives an insight into the other side of life itself, and provides a message. A message which resolves the ultimate unknown – why are we here?

The book is available as a Kindle here.

Why write?

By Matt Frend

Why write?

Why not play music, make a film or be a game developer. The key for me is imagination. Although music, film and gaming have their own magic, giving people the recipes to make their own imaginary banquets is something special again.

In a sense, characters belong to the reader as well as the writer, much like having acquaintances whose actions of course we have little control over. I like to think I write with respect for the reader in mind. I don’t feel this is in conflict with an artistic commitment to be free of popular or commercial influences; it’s more of a guideline to assist with staying within the bounds of reason or good taste. I sometimes have to rein the fast gallop back to a working trot, listening instead to the reader looking over my shoulder.

When I start reading a novel I feel there’s a bond of trust I’m entering into – an expectation that I’ll be going on a journey with the writer at the helm. So now in return I aspire to meet that expectation when I write.

As a side note to this, Life Before Death had its own motivation for being written. It was more out of loyalty than fulfilling any personal dream. It is a heavily fictionalized memoir, the purpose of which is to deliver the primary message contained in the book.

I make no excuses for the controversial nature of its content. It’s life as it happened. Much like that saying, life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.

One benefit writing a novel has given me is a goal to keep on writing after finding I enjoy it so much. Unlocking the imagination and finding an outlet for it has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my altogether too short life. The bouncy puppy of inspiration must be played with or it will burst.

I highly recommend writing in all its forms to anyone – keeping a diary; jotting down a simple rhyme - even scribbling away with your personal history as I have done. Apart from being a lot of fun it can have a therapeutic effect.

I am very thankful for it.

BIO: Matt Frend has lived in the cities of Adelaide and Darwin, and assorted country towns in Australia. In addition to extended periods conducting social research while unemployed, he has worked in a variety of areas including racing stables, factories, construction sites and farms, before most recently attending university and becoming a computer programmer. He regards himself not as a horse lover, but a horse lifer. He has a particular affinity for thoroughbreds, and has been involved with dressage and eventing at the grass roots level. Other interests have included surfing, cycling, and he is an avid music fan.

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Monday, July 02, 2012

Get the FREE Kindle downloads of Doug Lucas' books from July 2-4!

FREE for 3 days!

Get the free Kindle download of Doug Lucas’ books from July 2-4!

Conversations with a Dead Man

A stroll through an old cemetery will reveal very little about the people buried there. Their headstones will whisper of father, wife or lost child----but they don't sing of the lives those men and women led. Even our national heroes are lucky to have one or two of their life's accomplishments inscribed on their markers for future generations to marvel at.

Cemeteries are filled with forgotten people. They were people who had lives rich with or empty of the joys that just being alive creates for us.

Once we are dead and gone, our lives quickly fade into small morsels of oral history and are slowly forgotten by family and friends as time and generations pass.

What would these forgotten souls tell us if they could talk?

Conversations With a Dead Man answers some of those questions from a dead man's point of view. John Wesley Elder will share his loves, failures, accomplishments and the simple life he led with you.

The Man in the Mountain

For most of us, we have mental pictures of just what and how our favorite authors live. Their lives must be far richer and more interesting than ours, because they have the ability to engage our minds and thrill our souls with their visions of what life was, is or could be.

These word smiths can hold our imaginations in a vise grip with the grace and skill they weave action, love, adventure, and science fiction genres into a whole cloth we can clad ourselves in for an hour or a life time.

This magic cloth allows us to escape our own truth and absorb realities that thrill, intrigue or titillate us. At times authors can: relieve boredom, fear or want, and offer the grace of comfort to our mundane day to day existence. Most at one time or another has sought the company of our favorite author's work to do some or all of those things.

Poets entice us to spend an hour On Walden's Pond, historians teach us the lessons of The Rise and Fall of The Roman Empire, theologians interpret The Last Days of Christ for us, and humorist show us The Redneck Dictionary is really us as others see us.

We think we know these word smiths, those tellers of tales who will join, entertain and instruct us with the turn of a page or the touch of a screen. To one degree or another, we are what we read and what we read depends on the author who engages our mind.

But what would happen if a group of people found themselves in a real life web of entanglement and relied to one degree or another on their favorite author?

Would those solutions rendered in print, meet their needs or fail without aiding them as they sought solutions to their own drama?

Another small question might concern some of our favorite authors, would they meet our mental image of who they really are?

I invite you to spend some time with me and explore these questions, as you touch the screen or turn the page.


Historical fiction has a foundation of truth but that truth is often shrouded in fiction. Some claim that only time and distance can separate the two.

We have all lived through events that have shocked or changed our nation.

The assassination of Martin Luther King, or John and Robert Kennedy, men traveling into space, and landing on the moon, and of course the bombing of the World Trade Center; these are just a few examples that have occurred in my life time. These are the pivotal events that surround us I and others think we know all of the important facts.

But do we remember? Ask yourself or a friend what date any of these events happened on, see if you or they can give the exact date or even some of the facts surrounding any of these or other major past events of your lifetime.

Americans are noted for their short memories, we invented the term "Attention Deficit Disorder" to describe it. We immerse ourselves in an event for a short time span, then quickly lay the event aside and move to the next. If those events didn't or don't affect us directly----they are quickly forgotten.

23 October 1983 is one of those forgotten events. One of those events where we felt we knew all the facts and then it was quickly forgotten. I ask one simple question---"Do you really know all of the facts?" There are hundreds of these events, forgotten by all but those who lived them.

I invite you to read "Forgotten", separate the history from the fiction. Another term to remember would be "Plausible Deniability", facts that did happen are handled in a manner that allows them to be denied by those who caused them to happen. Separating plausible deniability from fiction can be almost impossible. At times this is by design of those who use the term.

When you've finished reading this "Historical Fiction", ask yourself if you have forgotten.

You must decide, what is fact, what is fiction, and what could be plausible deniability shrouding truth.

Buzz Words

Most of us think we understand how police investigations work. We've seen them depicted on television so often we believe it's really only one or two hardnosed, lone wolf detectives who will shoot, punch or intimidate criminals as they investigate crimes and apply justice in their own way. The image fiction has imprinted on minds is one of fast paced, rough and tumble fearless officers who are always at odds with their bosses, politicians and the law. They also manage to solve every crime in the amount of time allotted for the shows time slot, normally in forty-five minutes or less after you remove the commercials.

Real life police work is not for the faint of heart, and it is work; mind numbing work that at times makes you feel more like a researcher with a weapon than a law enforcement specialist.

Those lone wolf fictional police officers would mostly be unsuccessful in real life for one single reason, lack of teamwork.

Law enforcement requires a dedicated team of people who possess many different specialized skill sets, all working towards a single goal, and the processing of evidence to aide an officer in making a solid arrest.

There are specialized segments of police work that are accomplished by shadow people. These are the ones who're given the artifacts of a crime and asked to find information to confirm facts or assist the efforts of investigators as they search for answers to who, what where when and most importantly why.

Shadow people must be just as dedicated, just as driven, and just as determined as the officers they work for. Their knowledge of the specialized area they work in must produce accurate evidence for the investigator to work with and also stand the test of our judicial system to be of any value.

C.W. Burwell was a shadow person. One who met all of the requirements officers seek when they need a staffer from the shadows to process forensic evidence. He's just as driven and dedicated as the men and women he worked for.

CW is also snoopy, very married and retired. Retirement allows him to pursue two goals that he has set for himself, much to the shock of his wife and their bank account.

In an effort to give something back not only for law enforcement, but to fill a personal goal of his own, he buys the equipment of his trade and sets up shop. He offers his skills to small departments in an effort to help them process some of their evidence quicker. He also wants to train one or two officers in his field to aide and assist those small departments.

This is the very thing that will force him to reopen an investigation that has haunted him and one of his friends. Cliff is a sworn law officer from a medium sized department and the holder of a cold case. No one in law enforcement, not the shadow people or sworn officers, wants to be responsible for leaving an icebox behind after they move on.

CW and Cliff have worked this cold case so many times; they know the box contents by heart. A chance encounter with two other cold cases and theirs launches a frantic search for a serial killer------a very successful sadistic killer--------one who's on a mission; a mission that brutally ends the lives of young girls---------only young girls who are relatives of policemen.

You are introduced to the shadow world of forensics and watch an investigation from the inside as it starts, builds and reaches a climax. You are allowed to sit with a shadow person for just a short time and work with him. You will feel the pressure, confusion and fatigue of an active, desperate race against time as the investigation starts, builds with each piece of information found and ends in the arrest phase.

The only person in any investigation who has all the facts is the lead investigator. You'll meet Marty D, the driving force in an investigation that is twenty-one years old, as she sorts through the fog of time to prevent another Star.

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