Mail Call with Bob Hammond

mailboxI’m pleased that as part of my court-mandated community service, I have the opportunity to work with independent authors like Kay Esbrooks and Dave Hiseman, and the whole Indie Underdog crew.

As an internationally-renowned bestselling superstar author, I am happy to share from my vast reserve of experience and wisdom with those less talented. This week, I’ll be pitching in by answering a few of the many e-mail questions we receive.

Justin A. Tizzy writes: “I recently submitted a book for vetting by Indies Unlimited and was told I use too many exclamation marks in my writing! I see this as a style issue! I think exclamation marks add emphasis to what is written, and I want my writing to have emphasis! I am very disappointed! I hope you can shed some light on this issue!!!”

Justin, it is best to remember that when one emphasizes everything, one emphasizes nothing. The exclamation mark should be used sparsely in dialogue and probably never in narrative. Also, maybe you should consider switching to decaf.

Lotta Angst writes: “My friends always told me I should write a book, but now that I have, none of them seem to have the time to read it. Does anyone else have that problem, or do I just have crappy friends?”

Right. Lotta, m’dear, are you fresh off the turnip truck? You realize that friends lie, right? They’ve probably read your book, but were disappointed that they weren’t in it. Rather than own up to that, they’re telling you they haven’t read it. If you’re not sure how to handle this, you can check out my new book entitled, That’s Right Loser, You’re Not in My Book. I’m sure you’ll feel better after reading it.

Ivana Writewell asks: “What is the best way to improve my storycraft? I know there are a lot of books on writing out there. Is there one you recommend?”

Bob Hammond You Cant Write Like MeIvana, there are a lot of books on writing. Where these books all fall short is that up until now, none of them were written by me. But because of your letter, I’ve thrown together a book to help you learn storycraft. Since I’m such a prolific author, it only took me a couple of minutes to write what you will be in awe of for hours. Now available on Amazon: Sorry You Can’t Write Like Me. Of course, another way to learn is by reading good stories. I suggest you buy all my books and study them extensively. If you can’t afford my books (and you probably can’t) there are a few authors here at IU who I mentored. Their books should get you started on the right track.

Featured Book: Cat in Charge

Cat in ChargeCat In Charge
Lea Tassie
Genres: humor, literature, fiction
Available from Amazon.
Holly and Ben make a deal. He can try market gardening for one year and she can adopt a tabby-Siamese cat. George the Magnificent causes Ben to become an animal activist. But will renovations, invading cattle and a dry well make Holly end up depriving Ben of the land he loves?

Camp NaNoWriMo: Summer Camp for Writers

camp_nano_logoBy now, I trust you’ve heard of National Novel Writing Month, a.k.a. NaNoWriMo – that self-imposed challenge to write 50,000 words in the 30 days of November.

The folks at the Office of Letters and Light have come up with another way to drag you away from friends and family for a month. They call it Camp NaNoWriMo, and they run it twice a year, in April and July.

Like the regular NaNoWriMo, Camp NaNo gives you a framework to formally declare your intention to pound out a manuscript in a foreshortened period of time. And it gives you access to a network of writing friends to socialize with, lean on, and complain to.

But there are some differences to the Camp NaNo experience. If you’ve balked at doing the regular NaNo, you may find Camp NaNo is a better fit for you. Here’s why. Continue reading “Camp NaNoWriMo: Summer Camp for Writers”