The Portrait of a Writer (1)

Cristian Mihai

I began writing in my most vulnerable years. I was dumb and arrogant, as most teenagers seem to be, and I did my best to pour greatness into every sentence I wrote. But I was also lying to myself, writing about what I didn’t know, pretending to know, and I got caught and people could see that I wasn’t willing to let them in – I  was building this wall to protect my true self from anyone who would be searching for it behind my words. There was nothing that belonged to me in the stories I wrote.

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A New World of Publishing

Lloyd Lofthouse

I rode BART into SF and hiked up Powell Street to The Sir Francis Drake Hotel to attend the 2013 San Francisco Book Festival that started at 11:00 am on May 18, and discovered by 9:45 pm—almost eleven hours later when I hiked back to BART to ride home—that giving up a day of writing was worth what I learned and the connections I made.

I think the event was more for writers than readers and considering the number of writers and want-to-be writers in the Bay area there should have been more people in attendance to learn about today’s fast changing publishing environment.

But many of today’s authors have no idea how important it is to learn all you can to understand how challenging it is to attract an audience in addition to the dangers that can destroy an author’s career.

The six-scheduled free discussions—open to the public—were packed…

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2013 San Francisco Book Festival Award Winners

Lloyd Lofthouse

Running with the Enemyby Lloyd Lofthouse was awarded an honorable mention in general fiction at the 2013 San Francisco Book Festival.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000035_00034]
The winner of the general fiction category went to John Irving’s In One Personpublished by Simon & Schuster, and the grand prize was awarded to The Power of Starting Something Stupid: How to Crush Fear, Make Dreams Happen & Live Without Regret by Richie Norton with Natalie Norton — Shadow Mountain Publishing.

John Irving won the National Book Award in 1980 for The World According to Garp, and he received an O. Henry Award in 1981 for the short story “Interior Space. In 2000, he won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Cider House Rules.

Richard Norton, the grand prize winner of the 2013 San Francisco Book Festival, is the CEO of Global Consulting Circle. He is a sought…

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As a published author, how you react when someone publishes a reckless and false review of your work is up to you.

iLook China

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A 1-star review of the 2nd edition of My Splendid Concubine that was posted on a Blog, Two Americans in China dot com [December 9, 2012], and on is the focus of this post. This review ran for 1,145 words. It took me a few months to decide to write a response, because it meant digging through thousands of pages of research—most of it from primary source material, Robert Hart’s journals and letters.

In addition, it also meant attracting the wrath of mostly anonymous Internet vigilantes (bullies) that allegedly think they have a moral duty to attack any author that responds to a review of his or her work no matter how misleading that review might be.

I have no problem with a negative review—even if it is 1-star—that is honest and does not resort to reckless and false claims to influence readers, but…

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You may want to read this post and all of the comments to discover how vicious the Internet can be for published authors who cannot hide behind an anonymous name if he or she wants people to find his or her work.

Lloyd Lofthouse

Update:5:30 PM on May 1st. After a rewarding conversation on Amazon with Mahala Burlingame, it seems we have resolved this issue peacefully without snarky, insulting comments, and this may offer evidence that the alleged bully comments found on Stop the GR (goodreads) are not accurate. In fact, I offer a standing invitation to the four that were accused by STGRB of being bullies to write a guest post presenting their side of that issue. To avoid revealing IP addresses, guest posts may be delivered via attachment to an e-mail. The peace making conversation is there for all to see on Amazon.

Update: I deleted the original comments I left on the Amazon thread where this all started and replaced them with a new comment that may be found here: May 1, 2013 at 3:23:49 AM PST


If you are a published author, or planning to publish a book, and/or write honest, well-written reviews and/or…

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Lloyd Lofthouse


Searching for a way to give themselves and the general reading public a venue to get together, a group of published authors in the East Bay have set up a free-to-the-public Book Faire for March 2nd, 2013, in Walnut Creek, from 10:30 AM to 5 PM .

Fifteen published authors will be talking throughout the day about the subject of their books, about their work, and about the process of writing and getting published.  When they’re not speaking, attendees will have plenty of time to chat with them. They will also have a number of their books for sale (and autograph) at their own tables at the event. Some will have other wares they produce for sale (including chocolate!).

Doors will open at 10:30 AM with the authors’ tables, and presentations…

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Lloyd Lofthouse

How reliable are Amazon book reviewers?

Because most are anonymous and some are Trolls with a goal to only spew negative reviews—because Trolls are Internet bullies—finding an answer to this question may not seem possible.

However, while reading the reviews of another author’s first novel, I thought, there must be a way to rate the reliability of Amazon reviewers and I conducted an experiment that I think works. With no computer program to do the work for me, it took time to gather the data—all easily available on Amazon—and use a hand-held calculator to compute the odds.

I focused on one Amazon review of a book I have never read. In fact, I have never read any of Mirella Sichirollo Patzer’s novels, and she has published five. Before today, I was unaware of this author or her work.

Patzer’s first novel was The Blighted Troth:…

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