Your thoughts on serial fiction

I’m writing two serial fiction stories. Please let me know what you think about reading serial fiction:

1. Whether you’ve ever read a serial?
2. What kind of serial fiction you’ve read?
3. Whether you like serials?
4. If you think serials can “work” today when people have less time to read?

This will be my approach to releasing my stories: one story will be released as novellas on Amazon and Smashwords; the other will be released on a blog website connected to this one with an entry appearing on a regular schedule, either everyday or every other day, etc. in short segments. The pieces will be collected after a time and also published on Amazon and Smashwords.

Both stories have crime themes. The first story is set in the near future in Southern California. The second story is a murder mystery with a magic and erotic element.

I’m writing them now, and they’ll be coming your way soon.



Let Your Ideas Fall Where They May

I read a front page article from the Sunday edition of the New York Times a few years ago on a new money-making scheme Wall Street insiders were beginning to invest in called – Life Settlements. It was a simple idea that had been around for awhile – purchase the life insurance policies of the old and/or infirm for less than the payout value, continue to pay the premiums, and then collect the payout when the person died – presumably a lot more money than the purchase price and the total dollar value of the premiums the investors had to pay.

The writer of the article hinted that Life Settlements might have the potential of becoming Wall Street’s next housing boom because of the trillions of dollars worth of insurance policies held by Americans. There was an undertone in the article that another Wall Street disaster might eventually occur.

The idea I took from the article was this: if investors wanted to maximize their investment, the insured had to die as soon as possible after the investor bought the insured’s policy. The longer the investor had to pay the premiums on an insurance policy, the less profit the investor would make.

That idea that sat in the back of my mind for a few days. Then I read the article again and highlighted various parts and made notes about possible characters and events that might take place, and areas that I would have to research to build a background of information on Life Settlements.

When I came back to the article and my notes a few weeks later with fresh eyes I realized that Life Investments held a lot of potential, in my humble opinion, for a crime novel. I didn’t have my novel’s title – Insure to Murder – yet, but I was sure that a private detective like Robert Champion would want to take on a case surrounding the untimely deaths of former life insurance policy holders.

So where do you find your ideas?

Where do I find my ideas?

People ask me where I get my writing ideas. The best answer is everywhere, but most people won’t find that answer very edifying. I understand their reaction. Everywhere can mean on the side of a breakfast cereal box, in the pattern of clouds in the sky, in the instruction manual for newly purchased software, in other words, everywhere. So where is my “everywhere,” exactly?

I found the idea for my latest Robert Champion novel, Insure to Murder, in an article on the front page of the Sunday New York Times back in 2006. I let the idea gestate for a few years before I developed it and finally wrote the novel. That gestation period will be the subject for future blog entries.

The “idea” for my novel, Not Just A Girl, came during the writing of another novel. The “idea” actually came in the form of the two main characters – Richie and Roxanne. When I heard them talking to each other, I listened. I started taking down their conversation. As I listened to their voices, I began to “see” them. That experience gave me enough information to start creating their story. Other characters, the story line and the plot began to develop. Areas where research would be needed became clear and obvious.

To return to Insure to Murder, many of the ideas I get for writing projects come from newspapers. The Sunday edition of the New York Times is a good source. Newspapers are an excellent source for stories that serve as the seed for a crime story or novel, since one of the main functions of a newspaper is to report on crime. The writer needs only to apply his or her imagination and the tools in the writer’s toolbox to expand and build on a news story, using it without the specifics, to build a new story worth telling.

So where do you get your ideas?

By the way a great blog-resource for self-publishing writers is the writer’s blog:
The Self Publishing Authors Helping Other Authors blog is run by several very smart, self-published writers who offer plenty advice for new eNovelists-Writers. It’s worth checking out.

New eNovel – Insure to Murder is Published!

I’ve finally published my new Robert Champion eNovel – Insure to Murder.

Here’s a short summary: During private detective Robert Champion’s investigation into the death of his client’s mother, he uncovers a life insurance scam run by bankers, investors and the Russian Mafia, along with a caregiver who also delivers death!

I’ve enjoyed writing about Robert Champion and his world in the wine country of Central California and Santa Barbara. I hope you will enjoy stepping into his world too. You can read Chapter 1 of Insure to Murder right here on my website. You can read more and download Insure to Murder for $2.99 on Amazon at:

Or at Smashwords at:

Please give Insure to Murder a try and come back here an let me know what you think.