World Building Tips for Authors

forbes westGuest Post
by Forbes West

People come up to me – at bars, restaurants, half-way houses, and ask, “Forbes? That you?” After a few moments of sideways glances and awkward chatter, they will soon say to me, “Boy, Nighthawks at the Mission (available at now), you really set up a world there, whoa, I gotta say, you know, that world you built in that sci-fi story, yowza.” And I’ll nod and glance at my watch and exit the room quietly after making an excuse as I do not like talking to strangers.

After I’ve walked away and soon realize I left my keys in my other jacket pocket and I have to wait around an hour for my wife to come open the front door, I sometimes reflect to myself, what is world building? How does one do it without submerging the real stuff of story – the characters, the plot – and explain this new setting to the reader who doesn’t have the privilege of sitting inside my brain the entire day?

When I started writing Nighthawks at the Mission (available at now) I didn’t even exactly start with the story. I started by making up the actual entire world that this story would inhabit. Continue reading “World Building Tips for Authors”

Featured Book: At Their Own Game

At Their Own GameAt Their Own Game
by Frank Zafiro
Mystery, thriller, suspense, police procedural
Available from Amazon

Jake Stankovic is a criminal having a bad week. A drug deal goes bad, a vengeful detective hounds him, one of his crew may have turned against him, and a dangerous woman from his past has reappeared. Jake must find a way to beat them all at their own game.


It took almost ten minutes before the door opened again. Manning entered, trailed by a woman in her forties. She wore a nicer suit than Manning did but wasn’t as physically fit. She also looked tougher.

“My detective tells me you are demanding a supervisor.”

“He is correct.”

“I’m Lieutenant Lauridsen.” She held out her hand. “Who are you?”

I took her hand and shook it. “Jake Stankovic.”

She didn’t react to my name but I saw a spark of recognition in Manning’s eyes.

“And what can we do for you today, Mr. Stankovic?” Lauridsen asked. “Can we get straight to that? Because we’re a busy detachment here.”

“Of course,” I said. “Do you know a drug dealer here in town named Ozzy?”

The two of them exchanged a glance.

“Obviously you do,” I said. “Well, how’d you like to get him on tape delivering a pound of meth?”

And believe it or not, they were interested.

What others are saying:

“A brief, tight, criminally intense story of destructive behavior masked by “good” intentions, AT THEIR OWN GAME puts its finger right on the pulse of the ever-sinful human heart”
Ned Hayes, author of SINFUL FOLK

#AmazonCart for Ebooks?

Amazon.comOur always-helpful friends at Amazon have dreamed up a new thing for Twitterers (or is it Tweeple?): a way to add stuff to your Amazon shopping cart without ever leaving Twitter.

It uses the #AmazonCart hashtag (for folks in the UK, the hashtag is #AmazonBasket).

Here’s how it works: Continue reading “#AmazonCart for Ebooks?”