frank@francissparks.com

Write On – With Sci-Fi/Fantasy Editor Josephine Hao

We had the great opportunity today to pick the brain of  editor Josephine Hao as we discuss editing and science fiction/fantasy, one of her specialties. As we find out below there are no magic bullets when it comes to editing a manuscript. Because of your profession, I feel an enormous amount of pressure to produce some sort of coherent thought with these questions. Are you constantly mentally editing everything that someone sends you? Even instant messages? LOL! No need to put undue pressure on yourself. Even editors need editors, as I have discovered that my proofreading powers really kick in when I hit the Send button. I can't seem to completely turn off my editor's eye when not working, but...

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Write On: Matt Coleman – Education in America

  Today we have the opportunity to mine the wealth of information that longtime educator and author Matt Coleman has accumulated from his sixteen years in the educational system in the state of Arkansas (nine in the classroom). Matt's debut mystery novel Juggling Kittens released earlier this month from Pandamoon Publishing. The novel's protagonist is a first-year middle school teacher who is determined to find one of his missing students. A phenomenal read. Below is our conversation with the intent to offer details and insights into challenges and aspirations of teachers in our country to hopefully provide a nugget of detail that will help writers bring their stories to life. Enjoy!   In your novel Juggling Kittens, you write about...

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Write On: Military and Armed Forces Discussion with Jeff Messick

Go check out the latest Write On over on Sarah K. Stephen's website. She talks with Jeff Messick a nine-year veteran of the USAF about his experience serving the United States of America as a member of the Air Force. It's a great interview with a wealth of information for writers looking to accurately portray members of the armed forces.    

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Write On: Schizophrenia. What’s the Frequency?

There seems to have been a lot of schizophrenia talk popping up lately like in a previous Write On with Dr. Brian Cohn. and a random conversation on the origins of an R.E.M. song I had with Dr. Sarah K. Stephens the other day. I, of course, wanted to delve deeper into the topic so I asked Sarah who is a developmental psychologist with a Ph.D. from Penn State University to answer some burning questions I had on the topic. The R.E.M. song we were talking about is called What’s the Frequency, Kenneth? And is inspired by a series of events in the 80’s in which Dan Rather was assaulted by an individual who thought that he was being sent radio...

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Write On: Hemmed In! I talk Ernest Hemingway with Sarah K. Stephens

This is the second post in my collaboration with Sarah K. Stephens that we are calling Write On. It is a deep dive into some topics that interest us. Here is one of the questions I answered on Hemingway. 5. For all of our readers who perhaps despised having to read A Farewell to Arms in high school, convince them why they should go back and try Hemingway again. The Old Man and the Sea was 27,000 words and won a Pulitzer. If you find yourself struggling to elicit interest in your 200,000-word manuscript, I suggest reading Hemingway. He was a master of economical word use. If you find yourself struggling to write dialogue that sounds authentic, read Hemingway. He...

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Write On: Sharp Objects and Self-Injury (NSSI)

A few weeks back Sarah K. Stephens and I decided to collaborate on a project we are calling Write On. Sarah is a developmental psychologist with a Ph.D. from Penn State University. I think Sarah describes the intent of the project best: Today my friend and Pandamoon Publishing colleague, Francis Sparks, and I are embarking on a partnership that will hopefully inform both of us as writers, and our readership as well. Each segment of Write On will focus on one particular topic of interest to us that we want to get right in our own literary work. There’s a lot we are hoping to cover, from mental health to coding to informing our writing from the masters of the craft, mainly...

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