Author Archives: Brian A. Klems

Reject a Hit: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

Let's step once again into the role of the unconvinced, perhaps even curmudgeonly or fool-hearted editor: What harsh rejection letters might the authors of some of our favorite hit books have had to endure? This issue's contribution comes from Kerreanna DiMauro of Waltham, Mass., who had WD editors in stitches over her fictional editor's...

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Should You Quit Your Day Job to Write?

I often get asked from readers if it's feasible for them to quit their day jobs and make writing their full-time career. The answer, of course, is: I have no clue! The reason I don't know is because everyone's situation, desires and goals are different. Some folks have a mindset for writing 70 hours...

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Replace Book Titles With Bacon

A close friend (and poet) named JanuaryFairy dropped me a note on Twitter this morning: "Come on, @BrianKlems .. this is right up your alley! Trending topic: #replacebooktitleswithbacon." And she's right! I love books. I love bacon. This is totally up my alley. So I jumped in a came up with a few.

Is it E-mail or Email?

Everywhere I turn I see "email" (or is it "e-mail"?) punctuated differently. Can you tell me which is correct? —Kate T. WD online guru Brian A. Klems says that punctuating "e-mail" with or without a hyphen is ...

Treasure Awaits

You receive a letter in the mail from an out-of-town relative asking you to drop everything and meet him in Boston ASAP. He doesn't say why, but signs off on the letter (just above his name) with the phrase: "Treasure awaits."

Literary Journal Submissions 101

To submit your latest short story, essay or poem, you’ll need a cover letter—which is much different from a query. Use these tips from inside a creative writing program to help your letter make the grade.

Playing With Fire

You come across a pack of matches that sets off a series of uncanny events. Start your story with “My mother always told me not to play with fire.” End it with “And that’s how I ended up in the middle of nowhere—naked.” Post your response (500 words or fewer) in the comments below.

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The Q: What’s the Most Over-Rated Book?

We've all read a book that our friends have ranted and raved about, finished the final sentence of the final page and thought, "That was lame. My friends should get their heads checked." Every time I tell folks that I didn't like The Great Gatsby, they look at me like I just called them...

Ask the Pro: Editorial Manager Deborah Werksman

Editorial Manager Deborah Werksman is seeking romance novels, series and trilogies in the paranormal, time travel, romantic suspense, historical, contemporary and erotic genres for Sourcebooks Casablanca. She is also interested in innovative women’s fiction, as well as international and historical fiction. For submission guidelines, visit ...

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Should You Post Your Novel Online for Free?

Q: Is it a good idea to serialize an unpublished novel in a weekly blog? I have a completed sci-fi novel and was thinking about releasing it online, but I wasn’t sure if I should do this. Would it be good publicity for my novel, or would it make it harder to get my...

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The Q: What Are the Benefits of Being a Writer?

I recently posed this question on Twitter because I was having a kind of "Oh man, why did I choose to be a writer" kind of day. (Of course, every writer knows we don't "choose" to be writers. We are born that way, for better or worse.) So I wanted to see what the...

How to Keep Some Privacy When Using Social Media

In an age when both working and aspiring writers are expected to be “out there” more than ever before, privacy has become a luxury unaffordable to those of us not named Stephen King or Dan Brown. Sure, writers have always had to be visible at book signings and the like, but your role at...

10 Ways Writers Lose Blog Traffic and Alienate Readers

As a food and travel writer, I rely on my blog as my lifeline. It helps me connect with my readers and is a wonderful platform to make my voice heard. But it didn’t happen overnight. It took a lot of work to learn how to keep my online presence interesting, fresh and inviting....

Your Keynote Speech

You received a call from your alma mater and they want you to be the keynote speaker at graduation. Write a speech that inspires the future generation to work toward their dreams.

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It’s #StoryFriday Time on Twitter (Join in!)

It’s #storyfriday time on Twitter! Here’s how it works: We write the first line, then someone adds a line & so on. Starts @9:30 EST. Use #storyfriday hashtag. For more details on how #storyfriday works, click here. To join in, click here. Today’s prompt: START: “When Jeff and I bought this house we didn’t...

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Are You Writing a Book With a Hook or a Gimmick?

I was reading a piece on the Guide to Literary Agent's blog today that made me panic. It talked about how books that sell have hooks and books that don't have gimmicks, and helps you figure out in which camp your work falls (that's the correct way to use "in which," right?). What freaked...