Note To Authors: Your Idea Is Not Special

This blog post is a parody/twist of Brad Feld‘s latest “Note to entrepreneurs: Your idea is not special“. I have rewritten his post as if he were a publisher or editor and talking about books: Every day I get numerous emails from authors and author-wannabees describing their latest book. Often these people think their idea[…]

Merlin’s Shadow Is Finished!

BIG NEWS !! I have, this day, finished my first draft of MERLIN’S SHADOW, which is book two in The Merlin Spiral. The novel has turned out to be all that I hoped it would be, and much more. It is a worthy sequel to MERLIN’S BLADE. MERLIN’S SHADOW is about the intertwined but separate[…]

Holy Worlds Interviewed Me — Part 2

Holy Worlds‘ intrepid writers, Jay Lauser and Timothy Ward, interviewed me about my novel, Merlin’s Blade, and the market for fantasy literature. Anyway, click to listen to part two. Here’s the summary of the podcast: This week’s episode is the second of three parts to our interview with Robert Treskillard. In this segment, Robert discusses[…]

Holy Worlds Interviewed Me — Part 1

Holy Worlds‘ fearless wonder-workers, Jay Lauser and Timothy Ward, interviewed me about all things related to writing and publishing Christian Fantasy. Anyway, I was so long-winded LOL that they had to bust it up into three parts. You can listen to part one right here. Here’s the summary of the podcast: In this episode Jay[…]

NaNoWriMo? No — NaNoEdMo? Yes!

Okay, so I haven’t taken part in NaNoWriMo (although my daughter, Ness, has, despite her computer crashing on Thanksgiving). What I have been doing is editing MERLIN’S BLADE in a serious way during November, so I guess you could say I’m taking part in NaNoEdMo, National Novel Editing Month. The changes are the result of[…]

Big News #3 — Laity Lodge Writing Retreat!

I’ve been waiting quite awhile to announce that I’ll be attending the fall writing retreat at Laity Lodge, and that’s been hard to hide since it’s such big news. Why did I wait to announce it? Because until this last Tuesday, I didn’t know if I was even going… And that uncertainty was after I[…]

I’m Back Working On Merlin’s Shadow

I’ve decided to pick up Merlin’s Shadow once more, which currently stands at 156 solidly written pages. This is book 2 in The Merlin Spiral, and I would just love to fill out fresh pages with oodles of exciting prose and dialogue … except … ahem … alas … … I want to delay writing[…]

How To Establish Your Writing Voice

Yesterday, a strange series of events happened … all in the perfect order to cause my daughter, Ness , to have quite a fright. First off, I was mowing the lawn, and promptly got the mower stuck in a muddy section near some woods. So I’m trolling the garage to find chains, anything, that I[…]

Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest … NOT!

At least for me … as I didn’t make it to the quarterfinals. But I did get some free reviews of my novel, and for that you would think I’d be glad. The problem is that there’s nothing helpful in the reviews … no real action points that I can run with. Now, mind you,[…]

I’m Back Editing Merlin’s Blade!

What? you say… you’re back to editing? Yes, it’s true, and all for the better. Three weeks ago Scott Appleton and his wife stayed with us while he was on his road-trip signing and selling books, and I had him review a few sections of Merlin’s Blade. What he found showed me I needed to[…]

Frank Peretti Interview

I found a great interview with Frank Peretti over at CBN, done by Craig von Buseck. Among other things, Peretti talks about making characters come alive and the prospects of future movies based on his books. Frank’s thrilling style has inspired my writing, and I hope one day to achieve even a tenth of his[…]

How To “Write in the Shadows” by John Olson

We’ve all heard of “reading between the lines”… well how do you “write between the lines” to evoke emotional responses from readers on the sly? Well, I just read some of the most fantastic writing advice in Randy Ingermanson’s monthly e-zine that explains just how to do this. He interviews John Olson about “Writing In[…]

Good Writing vs. Good Storytelling

Today I am working on the 1st chapter of my first book … yet again. Why would I do this when I am almost 30% done writing the second book? The reason is because I have been uneasy, nay unhappy with that chapter ever since I did my major restructuring. What happened was that my[…]

Ye Old Author Is Now On Facebook

Yours truly has now joined the social networking scene. You can find me at: where I am busy making connections with other people interested in reading, writing, editing, promoting, and marketing Christian Fantasy. I’ve setup my blog to automatically appear there, so it’s one stop shopping. Come on over and say “hi”, especially everyone[…]

Why I am Writing Merlin’s Shadow, Book 2

To most of you, it would seem obvious that once I finished Book 1 (Merlin’s Blade), I would begin writing Book 2 (Merlin’s Shadow). To me, however, it was not obvious. Unless I can sell book 1, book 2 is useless in the sense that neither agent nor publisher will ever see it. So why[…]

Keep Your Writing Scraps

The other day I had the pleasure of pulling from my “drawer” an old scrap of writing and inserted it into Merlin’s Shadow. It was a dear scrap, this one, and contained an interaction with three fisherman named Ynktor, Henkter, and Crothak. They had originally appeared in my prologue of Merlin’s Blade, but the cutting[…]

Excellent Writing Advice at Double Edge Publishing

The ever-energetic Frank Creed (of the Lost Genre Guild fame) sent me over to check out Double Edge Publishing, and I ended up finding a regular column called “Writer’s Cramps” in their Mindflights magazine. Not only did I find some generally terrific writing advice perusing the fully four years of columns, but I also came[…]

I Officially Begin Writing MERLIN’S SHADOW

Merlin’s blade is gone. Whither has it gone? You’ll have to read book one to find out. You have a guess, you say? You may be right in your guess, but the question is HOW does it happen? And why? And what will be the result? (S.D. Smith, you’re not allowed to answer these questions![…]

A Treasure Trove Of Writing Advice

Nathan Bransford, literary agent blogonaire (yes, I just invented that word), has pulled together a post linking together ALL of his writing advice dating back to October of 2006. Go get it! JOIN THE BATTLE! Keep informed about the latest news and events for The Merlin Spiral and the upcoming Pendragon Spiral! Subscribe Related Posts[…]

Orson Scott Card’s “How To Write Science Fiction and Fantasy” — A Review

I just finished Orson Scott Card’s “How To Write Science Fiction and Fantasy“, and learned a lot. One of the most helpful bits of advice was “Make sure you end the story that you begin”. Before I can explain this, you have to understand the four different types of stories: Milieu – The story is[…]