[Elderhostel Mysteries & Fiction Writing Techniques]

BookMarc Introduction
This page updated 10/08/2011

     I first starting this series of discussions on fiction writing techniques called BookMarc in 1998 and I've been updating them ever since. The idea is to post about every few weeks on my website a new discussion, lesson, study, lecture--really getting fancy now--dissertation, precept, or treatise. Wow. What I'm really hoping is just to share some of the lessons I wish I had known twenty or thirty years ago. Basic stuff like stringing words together.

     About forty or so years ago there used to be an one-block cartoon philosopher in the newspapers, and one of the quotes I remember is, "We grow too soon old and too late smart." Hopefully, together, we can grow "too smart" without too much more "too late." Also you may find some typos and errors in these things. That's because I'm not a good proof reader and I'm not getting paid for doing it. But at least the price is right.

     If you contemplate coming along on this journey, you have a right to know on what authority I base the discussions of BookMarc. My published credits include a novelette on which I sold a movie option, called Hi Diddle Diddle, which appeared in ANALOG during the sixties, a couple of short stories, and a ton of pre-published novels before--ta da--Bloody Bonsai, the first of the James P. Dandy ELDERHOSTEL Mysteries. This was followed by Killing Thyme, Tip A Canoe, Painted Lady, Sheep in Wolf's Clothing, and Name Games. You may get a peek at them by clicking on the Elderhostel Mysteries at the bottom of the page.

     Since then I've been writing stand alone novels, three with Create Space, The Faltese Malcom and If They Ask for a Hand, Only Give Them a Finger and Capitol Coven . These books are available on CD as well. In addition to this I have a book on spiritual poems called Burnt Offerings. They may all be found on my Sidewalk Books web page below.

     Also, because of the BookMarc discussions I was given a contract by Scrivenery Press to write Easy Reading Writing, easy reading about writing easy reading. Scrivernery has since gone out of business, but the book is available through reprint. You may also peek at that on my web page. Also, I have taught fiction writing seminarsand Writing Good Fiction at the Smithsonian Institution, and Memoir Writing for the College of Southern Maryland.

     With these caveats in place, allow me to start with the first topic. Go buy some of my books. Now before you think this is crass commercialism, whiiiiich in a way it is, there is a purpose. Not only will you be able to judge if I'm practicing what I preach in BookMarc, but the lesson here is that the work doesn't stop once a book is published. Publicity depends upon the author, and if he/she doesn't take every opportunity to bring his/her novels before the eyes of potential readers, then no one else will. I should also tell you, aside from meeting readers, which is great fun, publicity is drudge labor. I don't do it well.

     So, as your humble jungle guide, let me invite on this fiction-writing journey, to hopefully solve some of the problems of which Hemingway said, We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.

     If you feel like it, climb aboard.

     Peter E. Abresch, Author of the James P. Dandy Elderhostel mysteries.

     Remember: Its better to light your mind with [Easy Reading Writing] than to curse the darkness of rejections.

© Peter E. Abresch - BookMarc ©
February 13, 1998

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