Author Archives: Brian A. Klems

Note Behind the Picture

A picture on your mantle unexpectedly falls and crashes to the floor. As you go to pick it up, you notice a note hidden behind the picture. The message is from the future—and written by you. It instructs you to do something important. What does it say?

Crossing Over

When genre-bending bestseller James Lee Burke switched from writing literary fiction to crime novels, he worried: Am I selling out? Burke shares his thoughts here.

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What Writers Need to Know About Copyrights (FAQs)

We're writers, not legal experts—and yet, every time we put words down on paper a number of legal questions arise. How do I copyright my work? Do I need to? Am I allowed to quotes song lyrics? Can I use someone else's character in my book? And that's just the tip of the pencil....

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Thank You, Steve Jobs

It's unclear to me how to properly thank someone I never personally knew, but considering Steve Jobs changed the way I live, work and even dream, I feel I need to find a way. Apple's head honcho wasn't just a spark that pushed the envelope of technology; he completely changed the way I (we)...

Living the Dream

Bestselling Columbine author Dave Cullen shares his advice on what you can do to make a living from your writing—and how to get your work read.

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October is National Book Month (Show Your Support Here)

I really hate it when doom and gloomers say, "No one reads anymore." October is National Book Month and I'm asking everyone to pick up that book they've been "meaning to read" and read it. Or go to your local bookstore, roam around a section, pick a book with the most interesting cover, and...

Unusual Anniversary

A special anniversary is coming up and you've decided to go all-out to celebrate. The only thing is, this is an anniversary of something unusual and there's only one other person who knows what it's about—and he's uncomfortable celebrating. Write this scene.

From Worst Day to Best Day

You are having the worst day of your life when someone calls and changes it for the better. Who calls, what's it about and what series of events follow that call to help brighten your day?

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Pseudonym Winner!

Thanks to so many people for sharing their clever and fun (and often funny) pseudonyms with me. As promised, I randomly selected a commenter to receive a 1-year free subscription to Writer's Digest magazine. And the winner is ...

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In Your Words: Remembering 9/11

Today marks the 10-year anniversary of the tragic attack on the World Trade Center Towers. Like most people, I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing that day. I was just three weeks into my first post-college job as an associate editor for Plumbing & Mechanical magazine, whose office sat a...

3 Tips for Consistent Tone

If you find yourself having a difficult time sustaining one tone over a long work, try these three tricks. Find a paragraph that sounds exactly the way you want to sound for this work, and tape it to your computer so that it’s always in front of you. Each time you’re about to return...