C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m

Write and publish with love and fury.

Writers and Readers: Just wanted to let you know…

Television icons
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Happy New Year!

 May 2011 be the year you

make your dreams come true,

publish your work

and vanquish your enemies!

I went to a party tonight. People asked me what I was doing. I asked what they were doing. Many in the family are an artsy crowd so we talked about the movies we’d seen and the TV we loved. (Yay The OG Buffy! Boo revamped coming-soon-Joss-Wheedonless Buffy!)

And I felt grateful to travel in circles concerned about arts of all kinds. Although I only started up this project in May, I’ve made new friends through attending writing conferences and blogging about writing and publishing. I’ve picked up more editorial work I love. I’ve edited website copy and helped people on their way to publication. I’ve provided (gentle) writing critiques and writers have been really receptive to my efforts.

The research I do here serves my writing and I’ve had the opportunity to promote books and publicize authors to my growing readership. (In part, the love bump I got from one of my heroes, director Kevin Smith, helped me grow and aspire for more.)

And you keep coming back for more. Most of all, I’m thankful for you. When I see my stats climb, I know I’m reaching, teaching and helping more people create art or make their art better.

For me, Chazz Writes is not just about getting gigs. It’s about building something good.

I write.

I edit.

I publish.

More to come.

Much more.

Thanks for reading!


Filed under: My fiction, publishing, self-publishing, Useful writing links, What about Chazz?, Writers, , , , , , , ,

Chazz Writes: The Top Post of 2010 was…

An Evening with Kevin Smith 2: Evening Harder

Image via Wikipedia


The most popular post of 2010, and my favorite, was about the evening I spent with Kevin Smith in Kitchener, Ontario. If you missed it, here’s that link one more time: 


I attended two publishing conferences in 2010 (loved them!) but An Evening with Kevin Smith kicked up my energy and changed how I felt about me, art and writing. (Are you sick of my man crush on Kevin Smith? Too bad. Suck up the goodness.)

Do you need some New Year’s resolution energy and inspiration to overcome that stale 2010 inertia? Here are some more Kevin Smith posts to put some heavy horsepower into your creative life:

My Top Three (Living) Writing Heroes. Who are Yours?

Writers: DIY vs traditional publishing

Are You a Consumer or a Creator?

Kevin Smith on Writing

We tell our stories. It’s not supposed to be about fame. Or is it?

Kevin Smith loved the blog post! The aftermath…


Now go make 2011 your year. I’m going to make it mine!


Filed under: authors, DIY, getting it done, Media, My fiction, publishing, Rant, Useful writing links, What about Chazz?, writing tips, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Writers: Top 10 of the 2010 Top 10 Chazz Writes posts


Early last year I considered going back to school to become a librarian. (I dumped that idea before I saw this graphic, but it does make me feel better about my choice.)

After some career counselling, I decided to refocus my efforts on my writing and editing. I needed (and need!) to bring art to the front burner. I began this blog as part of reorganizing my life to that end. Since last May I’ve posted 402 times and gained lots of readers, friends and even some clients (hurrah!) Things progress.

 For lucky #403, this is a look back through the Top 10 lists of 2010:

1. Authors! Part II: Top Ten Lessons from the Networking Master

2. Top 10 Ways Writers Waste Time

3. Writers & Editors: Top 10 Editorial Considerations

4. (Top 10 Things +1) Writers Love

5. Top 10 Reasons We Write Sci-fi

6. Top 10 (plus one) Publishing Conference Lessons

7. Top 10 Things Writers Fear

8. Top 10 Reasons We Write Horror

9. Top 10 Reasons We Write Romance

10. Writers Top Ten: Why blogging about publishing is important

Filed under: authors, Books, ebooks, Editing, Editors, getting it done, Horror, Publicity & Promotion, publishing, Rant, Top Ten, Useful writing links, Writers, writing tips, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Writers: The Edge of 2011 Happy New Year Top 10

big bang theory new season

Image by Heavybm via Flickr

Hey Cool People of the Planet! I woke in a sweat very early this morning tormented with thoughts about the annual holiday VISA bill slopped over an undercurrent of vague worries about what would happen if I forgot all my passwords at once. Let’s be honest. Worldwide, this past decade sucked. However, things are looking up in some ways. Time to focus on the positive.

My mind tends to go to the dark side, but let’s focus on today, here, now.

Top 10 reasons today is a great day: 

1. After the arid desert that is Christmas music, suddenly the radio doesn’t suck here at the oasis. For the next two days I’m listening to a marathon of hits from the last decade and rocking out hard.

2. I’m riding high from a marathon of Big Bang Theory (Season One). Despite that neurotic touch of insomnia, I then slept until 1 PM. I win!

3. I’m a columnist for Massage & Bodywork Magazine and I love working with them. My relationship with my editor can best be described as a mutual admiration society of two and this morning a Fed Ex package arrived with all sorts of goodies (corn bread, chili, soup mixes.) It was from the magazine, just to say thanks. That’s rare and wonderful.

4. I just confirmed I have a new editing gig. I’m editing an e-book for a client. I’ve edited books I’m not so interested in but I’m really looking forward to reading this book. Plus, the author is super nice.

5. My own manuscript is awaiting revision. Someone asked me how my book was. “Coming,” I said. “Does that mean you’re still writing it?” “Nope. It’s written. Now I’m editing.” It feels great to say that. I’m focussed.

6. I’ve lost 40 pounds so far and in the next few months will achieve my goal. The holidays were tough, but I’m energized about getting to sexy. At my college reunion, I expect to be the guy no one knows.

7. Just now I found out my article on what I learned from Joe Rogan about book marketing was picked up b Literary Agents & Publishers News. Nice. I’m feeling appreciated today!

8. Tomorrow I’m hanging out with friends and relaxing. The blog’s already prepared and I’m feeling loose in the shoulders. There’s so much to look forward to this year. I’m planning to attend two publishing conferences and I’ll take my manuscript to market.

9.  This is a pregnant moment. There is potential energy coiling in our resolutions as we set out to correct our courses and get our lives on the track we want. It can be done. We know that because it has been done. (Ten Lessons Received from an Evening with Kevin Smith.)

10. I’m happy to be here. I’m happy you’re here. Got any doubts we’ll make it big? Just watch me. Follow me or run beside me. We’re going to make it huge, sweetheart. Bet on it.

Filed under: getting it done, My fiction, publishing, Rant, Top Ten, What about Chazz?, Writers, , , , , , , , ,

Amy Tan – Finding Meaning through Writing


Writing is therapy.

However, until you’re on a stage or in front of a microphone, don’t tell your agent, editor or publisher that.

It’s considered bad form and amateurish until you launch the book and start your publicity blitz.

Filed under: authors, Books, publishing, ,

Book Marketing: What I learned from Joe Rogan

Joe Rogan

Image by Jordan Larrigan via Flickr

Joe Rogan has one of the most interesting podcasts on the net. You might know him as the Fear Factor Guy, or the ultimate fighting commentator or as Joe Guerrelli, the electrician on News Radio who made his own duct tape. (News Radio is still one of the best sitcoms ever, by the way.) There’s a lot more to him than that, though. He’s a walking, talking brain-stimulant. Plus, he makes me laugh my ass off.

I caught his podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience,  in which he was talking about the challenges of marketing. It was kind of a throw-away comment about the crazy world of stand-up comedy, but I got a lot out of it that applies to books and writers, too.

As a young comic, Joe left the marketing to someone else. He didn’t see his marketing as his job. He was doing stand-up. He didn’t feel he should have to be hysterically funny, crass and thought-provoking and sell the tickets, too.

When he saw how badly people were selling him—or that no one was selling him at all—he took up that responsibility. Now he tweets his shows and promotes himself through podcasting, YouTube, web presence and appearances on radio, other podcasts, etc.,… Rogan’s got a cult. Rogan has staked out his land. He has followers and fans. Joe Rogan is not melting into the background of the culture’s collage.

Many writers still hope someone else will take care of marketing their books. The truth is, unless you were already huge, in most cases your publisher didn’t do a great job marketing your book. They didn’t send out that many review copies. They didn’t publicize you enough. They probably didn’t have the budget for it and if they did have a budget for your book, it was built on short-term thinking. If your book didn’t take off right away, they were off to some other author quickly to try to capitalize on short-term heat and newness. That kind of thinking is going out the window with technology.

Be fair. Publishers have many authors on their list. You’re just one and so their efforts must be scattered. Who can focus on your book the most? You can. Who can spend money on a book launch? You. (That’s what that piddling advance you got is really for.) Writers have long memories and enjoy nostalgia, so some of us are still in love with the idea of writing our books in isolation and never having to interact with a fan, a hater, or the indifferent. It’s time for all of us to get past that ideal and put on our big-boy underwear and big-girl panties. Whether you’re going indie or are with a traditional publisher, the self-promotion side of the business really has been an indie-spirit proposition for a very long time. Don’t feel bad about it, it’s a common misconception. Instead, embrace the energy of the challenge.

Who is thinking about each book on a long-term sales basis? That would be you because publisher’s talk about “their” list, but that book isn’t theirs. It’s yours. Your name is on it so you care about it more than anyone, right? That means you have to take the responsibility it promote it and help your audience find your story amid a sea of books. Daunting yes, but that’s what building your platform is all about.

Who cares more about your book than anyone else?

No one.

Overcome your fear factor. Get out there.

For starters…got that Twitter account set up yet?



Filed under: authors, DIY, Intentionally Hilarious, Publicity & Promotion, publishing, Rant, Writers, writing tips, , , , , , , , , ,

Douglas Adams VIDEO on The Hitchhiker’s Guide

Douglas Adams said the best, most exciting time was when he was penniless and sleeping on couches. His success was a total surprise to him.

Filed under: author Q&A, authors, Books, movies, Science Fiction, Writers, , ,

E-readers: I told you so (an indulgent post of self-congratulation)

A Picture of a eBook

Image via Wikipedia

UPDATE about the Big Picture

The trend is up. The sales of e-books outpaced the expectations of many industry experts through the fall. I have trumpeted the arrival of the e-book future here to the point of pedantry. And yes, I received an e-reader for Christmas. I’m pleased and impressed with my Sony reader. I predicted that e-readers would sweep consumers off their feet on their gift-buying sprees. I’m sure I can now predict the numbers bear me out.

Today I went out in search of a protector for my e-reader. I visited several stores. They were all sold out.

Oh, sure, now it looks obvious. It didn’t look so obvious when I was telling everyone about it last summer.

“Ha!” I say, and “Ha!” again.

Filed under: Books, ebooks, publishing, Rant, , , , , , , ,

Writers: Does the term “wannabe” irk you?

Kevin Smith

Image by wvs via Flickr

Just read an editor using the term “wannabe.” I’ve probably used it in the past, too, but no more. (I am a writer and I’m an editor who works with writers, so why wouldn’t I show them as much respect as I can and avoid an irksome term?)

Whether the editor in question meant it that way or not, it came off as dismissive. Anyone who read my blog regularly knows I have a man crush on writer-director indie legend Kevin Smith. He wrote something a while ago that really got my attention and it applies here.

He wanted to be a director. He was in Jersey and no money and no plan.

When he told his sister of his ambition, she replied,

“Then BE a director!”

Don’t want it. Be it.

If you write, you’re a writer. If you aren’t published yet, approach the work professionally and act as if you already are. (That means improve your craft, take criticism, educate yourself about the industry and comport yourself with grace and ease.)

I’m a published writer and I can tell you, after a time, seeing your name in print is not that big a deal. It’s the work that matters, and when it’s at its best, it will feel like play.

What matters is the writing:

Do it.

Enjoy it.

Get it down,

Get it done.

Write more.

Write again.

Writers write.

Don’t get caught up in status, hierarchy and aspirations. Do the work because writers write, whether they’re going to be published or not.

Filed under: authors, Books, DIY, Editing, Editors, getting it done, publishing, Writers, writing tips, , , , , , , , ,

Writers: Books versus Internet

The delicious irony is, you aren’t going to see this video in a book. You’re watching it on your computer. While I don’t wholly agree with the sentiment, it is an entertaining video (via Books for Everyone) and you know me. I’m all about the yuks.

Just to be clear on the ebook versus tree book thing, I’m enthusiastic about books no matter what form they take. In fact, a book’s form is beside the point.

(Besides, today is my birthday, so I’m posting this and then running off to goof off for the rest of the day.)

As Kurt Vonnegut said,

“We’re here to fart around. Don’t let anyone tell you anything different.”



Filed under: Intentionally Hilarious, , , ,

Winner of Writer's Digest's 2014 Honorable Mention in Self-published Ebook Awards in Genre

The first 81 lessons to get your Buffy on

More lessons to help you survive Armageddon

"You will laugh your ass off!" ~ Maxwell Cynn, author of Cybergrrl

Available now!

Fast-paced terror, new threats, more twists.

An autistic boy versus our world in free fall

Suspense to melt your face and play with your brain.

Action like a Guy Ritchie film. Funny like Woody Allen when he was funny.

Jesus: Sexier and even more addicted to love.

For my author site and the Chazz network, click the blood spatter below.

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