word craft




Manuscript ghosts

In the process of rewrit­ing and revi­sion, there is a myr­i­ad of line and word changes. That goes with­out say­ing. But quite often there are much big­ger alterations.

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Publication Day: Loyalty

Feb­ru­ary 8, 2022. This is pub­li­ca­tion day for my new book, Loy­al­ty (Clar­i­on). Pub­li­ca­tion Day is often a day for some (mild) celebration.

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New York Public LIbrary of the Performing Arts

Researching the details

If one both­ers to read the reviews of my his­tor­i­cal fic­tion or the let­ters that my read­ers write to me, you will note the con­stant com­ments about the many details I put in my books. Review­ers appre­ci­ate them. My read­ers seem to love them.

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A writer in rehab

When snow began to fall I thought I’d beat the worst of it by going on my reg­u­lar walk about. Three quar­ters of my way I slipped on ice, fell, and—I could bare­ly walk.

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National histories

Could I write an engag­ing, excit­ing sto­ry about a teenage boy who comes from a fam­i­ly of Mass­a­chu­setts loy­al­ists, suf­fers the con­se­quences of that at the hands of rebels only to become caught up in the roil­ing buildup toward the war for independence?

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The American Past

Writing historical fiction

Over the years I’ve writ­ten three nov­els about the Amer­i­can Rev­o­lu­tion. Why the fas­ci­na­tion with his­to­ry? There is the obvi­ous: his­to­ry pro­vides great sto­ries. Not dates and bat­tles, but human stories. 

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Avi and Linda

Reading my manuscript to my wife

I’m at that point in work­ing on a new book when I ask my wife if I can read the man­u­script to her. This is not a casu­al moment. Aside from being very smart, my wife is patient.

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big fish

When publishing houses get bigger

I have learned that one of the com­pa­nies I pub­lish with was sold to anoth­er pub­lish­ing com­pa­ny half a year ago. Today—six months later—was the first time I heard about it. 

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A New Year

This writer’s new-year res­o­lu­tions: Get through to the next year.  Stay healthy.  Exer­cise hard so that  I can fin­ish the two books I’m work­ing on.  Write every day.  Become a bet­ter writer.  Write my best book ever. If  I can.  Meet dead­lines.  Think about that next book I might write.  Get the two books sched­uled for pub­li­ca­tion into my hands  Read

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