“Breaking News” available

My second novel, Breaking News, is now available for preorder. It will be released by Amazon on October 8, 2019 and on all other platforms on October 16.

Breaking News is a prequel to my first novel, Sins of Omission, and concerns a crucial element in the backstory of my protagonist, Alan Rudberg.

Rudberg is sued by a public official over a story he has written about corruption in the awarding of construction contracts. It is difficult for a public official to win a libel suit, but as this case goes to trial, backstage machinations put Rudberg in a tight spot. And when the going gets tough, both his business and personal relationships begin to fray.

This story is a parable for journalists, who will recognize and identify with Rudberg as he navigates changes in his profession brought on by declining readership and changing ownership patterns. I hope you enjoy it.

“Breaking News” to be released next week.

My second book, “Breaking News” will be out next week through all major ebook retailers and in print. It is a prequel to “Sins of Omission.” detailing the libel suit against journalist Alan Rudberg which was part of the backstory to “Sins.” It is told in the first person and is not strictly a mystery. Rather it is a novel that explores some of the issues journalists face at a time of massive changes in the business. More details once it is released.

Prologues in a novel

Experts preach that a well-written novel doesn’t need a prequel. The prologue to my first novel, Sins of Omission, has drawn more remarks from readers than any other.

Colleagues at Pittsburgh South Writer’s Group dissected the first two chapters of my next, so-far-untitled novel last night. Amid the many complimentary comments, this advice that fixes an issue I have with it: “You need to put _____ in a prologue.”

ProWritingAid expands tools

I have been a fan of ProWritingAid since I expanded my writing from fundraising appeals to fiction. It was and remains a superior grammar checker, better than Grammarly, which I also use.

The developers have added many new tools that move ProWritingAid beyond just a grammar and spellcheck tool to a comprehensive suite of writing assistants.

In addition to tools analyzing style, grammar, overused expressions, clichés, and “sticky” formations, the suite now includes tools flagging repeat expressions. length, pronouns, alliteration, transitions, diction, plagiarism, and an interactive thesaurus.

You may not need all these tools, but among my favorites are the part-of-speech window in the grammar tool that allows me to eliminate unnecessary adverbs and the new “repeat” implementation that flags expressions I tend to overuse. One of my characters was “standing in the doorway” twice in one brief scene, something I wouldn’t have noticed on my own.

Like all such tools, you must use this with care. To cite one example, not all the words flagged as adverbs are adverbs and a few are essential. In dialogue, a character may use clichés and to eliminate them is to remove elements of his character. Used selectively, #ProWritingAid is an excellent way to improve one’s writing.

North Florida Book Tour scheduled

I will be discussing Sins of Omission and signing books at two bookstores and at Jacksonville Book Fest during late February. See the schedule here. I hope to see you there!

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