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The Writer's Mailbag: Installment 242

Updated on February 4, 2019

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

Welcome back to the Mailbag. Thanks for braving the frigid temps to spend some time with me.

For those of you who do not live in the United States, perhaps you heard it was a bit nippy in the Midwest and Northeast this past week, nippy as in record cold temperatures, zero or below, so cold your breath plume freezes coming out of your mouth.

Meanwhile, where I sit in the city of Olympia in the Pacific Northwest, we are having record warmth this winter. I’m not complaining at all. I spent a year in Alaska back in 2006, and there is no adequate way to describe what minus forty degrees feels like. You have to experience it to truly understand just how brutal it is. So I send my sympathies to those in Minnesota (Melissa, you are stronger than I am), and I declare my undying gratitude that I do not live there.

Let’s all thaw out and find out what the mail has in store for us.

Welcome to the Mail Room!
Welcome to the Mail Room!

Tradition Vs Normal

From Eric: “In the olden days in legal writing for sure around that time of Lincoln practicing certain words were all bold face. It has continued to this day, PLAINTIFF for instance. Now I know that most readers of import of these documents are around 30 years old. (clerks really read all this and judges just read condensed versions). Well there is the rub a thirty year old reads all caps as yelling. My advice to lawyers is to knock it off. What do you think? Tradition v. normal?”

This is actually a very interesting question, Eric. What applied thirty years ago does not apply today regarding communication; having said that, I can still think of situations where all caps works quite well in normal writing.

Does it all come down to interpretation? I will use all caps for emphasis, from time to time, but I can see where some people might think I’m angry when I do that.

Then again, there are similar problems with sarcasm and humor. Quite often I will be joking around and others will take me seriously and get their feelings hurt or be insulted. The intention certainly was not there, but the end result of my humor was disastrous.

Bottom line about tradition vs normal…any communication is susceptible to misunderstanding, don’t you think?

And why, Eric, do legal papers have certain words in all caps? I’ve never understood that.

Conquering the Fear of Publishing

From Lawrence: “I'm at the stage where my latest novel is almost finished in the first draft, and I'm wary of getting any further in case others don't like the story! I know I will finish and publish, but the struggle is there inside, wondering if it really will be 'good enough'.

As for new year resolutions, I've decided that mine, at least in regard to writing will be a simple one, "Build a more coherent marketing side to my writing career" Two novels on Amazon, no marketing at all, yet still a few sales, maybe it's time for me to get serious? My question though is how do you deal with that 'fear for the new baby' that the new novel is?”

This is really a fascinating question, and it really underscores the depths of the insecurities most writers carry around with them. For those of you who do not know Lawrence, and have not read his work, he writes crackling action stories. The dialogue is snappy and crisp, the stories are stripped down with no excess baggage, and he really is a master at pace. To hear him say he has doubts is remarkable because he really is a very good writer.

Who among us does not feel like that at certain times? I know I do. I’m finishing up the fifth in my Shadow series of novels. The first four have been well-received and yet I find myself wondering if this one will live up to my expectations and will entertain my followers.

I’m afraid, Lawrence, this is a malady which has no cure. How do we deal with it?

You publish!

Just do it!
Just do it!

Writing a Series

From Pam: “I know you are writing a series of novels with ‘Shadow” in the titles. What is your best words of advice before tackling something as daunting as a series of novels?”

Well, Pam, truthfully, it wasn’t daunting for me because I didn’t plan on it being a series. My muse is to blame for that. Once I finished the first, “Shadows Kill,” my muse decided another one would, and should, be written.

Which leads me to the words of advice: plan in advance, and keep a timeline/outline nearby so you can always refer back to what has been written . . . and also so you always know where you are headed. If you are like me, your memory can, at times, be unreliable, and when writing a series it is very important to remember what has happened in the past. Keeping some sort of timeline/outline/ planner will help you to avoid the mistakes I made early on.

Coming soon, hopefully!
Coming soon, hopefully!

The Magician’s Shadow

No more questions, so what you get is a sample of my new novel, The Magician’s Shadow, which is in editing at this moment. I hope you enjoy it.

Have a great week, stay warm, and stay safe.

“You had them and you backed off,” Putnam said. “What if they kill again this week while you wait for the perfect scenario?”

“Collateral damage,” Striker said. “We made the call, based on fluid factors, and now we move ahead with the new plan.”

“Pretty damned cavalier of you,” Putnam shot back. “It must be nice to be so emotionally detached from reality, Striker.”

Oh my!

I was listening to the exchange and thinking about a cobra I once saw. Cobras look amazingly calm before they strike. They look, in fact, totally oblivious to any threat around them, placid and remote, until that moment arrives when they shoot forward and strike their perceived threat. That was Striker at the table in The Spar, taking bites of egg, soaking up yoke with his toast, only his eyes giving any indication that he was aware of someone speaking to him . . . and then his left hand shot out, across the table, grabbing Putnam’s hair and yanking him forward, at the same time his right hand pressed the fork tines against Putnam’s throat. Blink and you would have missed it. There was still a piece of egg on the fork as it rested against the throat.

“Is this emotional enough for you, Detective, or would you really like to see me really invested in this exchange?” Striker smiled. There was no warmth in that smile.

Liz put her hand on Striker’s arm.

“Paul, you’ll get blood on my bacon, and that would be unforgiveable. Please release the detective.” Those seated at tables around us had stopped eating. It became alarmingly quiet in a restaurant known for constant chatter. Pam appeared carrying two plates of bacon, smiling, unconcerned by the possibility of bloodshed in her place of business.

“I thought everyone would like some fresh pork, right off the griddle,” she said, choosing to ignore the fork held to throat. “Striker, dig in while it’s hot.”

And he did, releasing Putnam’s hair, pushing some bacon onto his plate, and eating as if nothing had happened. I figured it was time for me to defuse the situation.

2019 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Lori...record warm January...not so in February and that's a fact!

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 

      7 months ago from Pacific Northwest

      Record warm winter? You must have written this before the snow. I appreciated the question and answer on the malady of fear of publishing. Been there, doing that.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Let me revise that, Zulma, to "gotta trudge."

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      7 months ago from United Kingdom

      Cast those worries aside, Bill. I've enjoyed your writings in the past and I expect these books will be no different.

      Buried in snow, gotta run? How exactly do you plan on accomplishing that feat? :D

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh Zulma, you are so sweet. Thank you so much for ordering those two books. Now I'm nervous you won't like them. :) Seriously, you are wonderful, but then I already knew that.

      We are buried in snow...gotta run!

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      7 months ago from United Kingdom

      What an absolutely striking cover, Bill. Those eyes glaring at you, almost daring you to read this. I particularly like the silhouette carrying the bags. Gave me an 'Exorcist' viibe that made me a tad uneasy. (Saw 'The Exorcist' when I was 14 and I still haven't recovered.)

      I'm so looking forward to reading this. In preparation, I've ordered your first two books in the series. Fancied a good fat read and these books will do nicely.

      Have a good, warmish week. (Sorry I'm late. I got hit by the 'ninja virus' and have been vegged out on the couch all week.)

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Eman! Cold in Egypt? That does not compute with my brain. :)

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I don't blame those tree, Peg. We are all confused here in Olympia,too. We went from sixty to ten.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm glad to hear that, Marlene. As for my novel, I think this is the best of the Shadow series. It's the one I like the most of the five.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh my goodness, Linda, we are buried in snow and it is 10 degrees this morning. I am suddenly jealous of you. lol

    • Emmy ali profile image

      Eman Abdallah Kamel 

      7 months ago from Egypt

      Another interesting mailbag and the Magician’s Shadow looks interesting as well. In Egypt, the weather this year is so cold than the last few years but it is not too bad.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      7 months ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      Oh Bill, But this is Texas. Monday's temperature of 81 degrees has been replaced with Friday's 25 degrees. Nothing like change to keep you on your toes! The trees are all confused. Cheers and have a great weekend.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 

      7 months ago from USA

      If this is just a little bite of what is to come from your novel, I am already anxious to get it into my hands. Thank you for all of your helpful advice. The mailbag is a valuable tool for writers who just need to know what's what about writing.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      7 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      The title of your new novel is intriguing, Bill, and the excerpt is interesting. We've had a very mild winter here, though we had a little snow a short while ago and more is predicted for the weekend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Strange weather for us all, Rajan! Thank you and blessings to you always.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you very much, Mary! Stay warm and safe, my friend.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      7 months ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      The weather has been playing truant this winter for us too. Frequent highs, lows, rain and sun trying to be one up on each other. It is interesting to learn useful information form your mailbags. Thank you.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      7 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      I like the cover of The Magician's Shadow and like the snippets you have included here. Striker engages me and I look forward to knowing what he becomes in this book. Snow today in Toronto so a good read is definite.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I appreciate your kind words, Venkatachari M. Thank you very much.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      MizB that is a fascinating fact about commas. Thanks so much for sharing that...makes sense, doesn't it?

      As for the weather, winter has arrived in Olympia. It was 18 this morning...snow on the ground..major showstorm arriving this Friday...another one this coming Monday...it is beautiful but frigid.

      I do think you would enjoy Tobias...I hope you give it a try and let me know what you think.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you very much, Tim! I do take that as a high compliment indeed, and I am grateful.

      Blessings always

      bill

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Peggy, thank you for your kind words. Yes, you would be correct in that assumption. Much of who Toby is...is me! It was a liberating book for me to write, and I'm so happy you enjoyed it.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Chitrangada Sharan. Yes, for sure, winter is a long, long season. We are now experiencing our brush with the cold and snow, and I'm quite tired of it.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Eric, fastidious might be understating it. lol I'm one of those who can't understand how people lose things like keys. It's beyond me how they do that. I know where everything is, and if it isn't there, Bev has been in the area recently. lol

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Bill! Forget about that mild winter...we are officially cold and white. :) Be careful what I wish for.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Dora, what value is my word if it is not an honest one? Thank you for saying that.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      7 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Now Bill do not take this wrong but you seem quite fastidious. My self on the other hand is more "pull it out of thin air". There is room for both our fashions I believe. But help me out on organization. How do you store your writings? My organization skills stinkaroo. (I know this kind of is more about computer use than writing but if I have trouble in this area I get all confused about order and it scrambles my creative mind) Perhaps just age.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 

      7 months ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Bill. Another interesting week for the mailbag. Glad you are enjoying a mild winter. We have had a winter of extremes here, brutal cold with the occasional warmup. Love the Magician’s Shadow sample, you have an amazing talent.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      7 months ago from The Caribbean

      I appreciate your honest disclosures in your answers.You pull out all the stops to help other writers. Thanks!

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 

      7 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      It's one more interesting and wonderful mailbag, Bill. Your reflections on cold ditto the bitter experiences and feelings of those undergoing that suffering.

      The expert from your novel is very thrilling and appealing, alluring me to grab that novel.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James MizBejabbers 

      7 months ago from Beautiful South

      Hi Bill, it was 72 degrees here yesterday and so lovely that I worked outside and completely forgot about checking the mailbag. So here I am today on the computer, but it was still warm, high 60s and misty.

      I may be able to help on the legal question as I asked the same questions as a legal editor. My boss told me it was for emphasis, but I learned that most of the caps in legal documents are for convenience and helping to avoid errors. For instance, a clerk can more easily look up a case in a file folder while the pertinent info is in caps rather than small print. It also helps the attorney when or if he/she is glancing over the file. That was for paper documents, but it still holds true while scrolling through computer files, too.

      Now here's a BONUS for you and Eric. Have you ever read old documents from the 1800s through the early 1900s and wondered why so many commas, many ill-placed and some incorrect? It is because before printing became inexpensive and prevalent where each person could have his own copy to read, the congress and legislatures used a person to read the laws to them. The commas were markers where the person could inhale a breath. It had little to do with grammar and punctuation.

      I'm going to have to read Resurrecting Tobias. I've heard too many good things about it.

    • Tim Truzy info4u profile image

      Tim Truzy 

      7 months ago from U.S.A.

      Hi, Bill,

      First, let me say you caught my attention with the exchange from your new novel. Wonderful. (This is a compliment, Bill because the author I'm about to mention is one of my favorite writers.) Your piece read like an excert from a Christopher Moore novel; original, eye and mind catching. The dialogue brought me immediately into the story. Creative, my friend.

      Thank you for sharing your insight and experience in writing with so many of us to help us improve our craft.

      Much respect and admiration,

      Tim

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Peg, you could have kept that information about the weather to yourself, thank you very much. As for two characters with the same name, I've been there and done that, and embarrassed I was for sure. :)

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Devika! Stay warm! Spring is coming soon, hopefully.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Bill! I appreciate that very much.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      7 months ago from Houston, Texas

      The first book of yours that I have read is Resurrecting Tobias. It is such a fabulous book! The characters stay with the reader long after the last pages of the book are closed. I would highly recommend reading it to everyone!

      I am guessing that a significant part of who you are as a person was incorporated into the character of Toby. Am I correct in that assumption? If you did readings as Toby did in many places around the country, I would envision many of the same things being spoken out of your lips.

      The teaser of your latest novel is gripping, to say the least! I will be placing more orders on Amazon soon.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      7 months ago from New Delhi, India

      Interesting and informative installment, once again. Wish you all the best for your upcoming book.

      The winter season is getting too long, everywhere. The snowfall looks beautiful but it must be so difficult, to live in such cold areas, with such low temperatures.

      Thanks for sharing another insightful article!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I appreciate that Li-Jen! Thank you very much!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Mike, you just named one of my favorite authors...the first action/mystery writers I followed...thank you sir!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks much, John! I'm happy you liked the excerpt.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Pamela! I think "unsavory" is a good description for my friends. :)

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      7 months ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      Loved the urgency and vividness of the scene from your newest book, Bill, and the comparison to a cobra was great. Also, I could appreciate the advice on keeping a timeline/outline. I'm facing that element of forgetfulness as I attempt to write a sequel so I have a list of characters handy, too. I recently discovered that I had given two different characters the same name. :/

      About the weather, it was 81 degrees in Texas yesterday.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      7 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Hi Bill I have seen on the news about the cold front and of the snow too. It is difficult to explain to someone of that brutal cold indeed. In Romania recently was -30 so had to postpone our travel. The fear of getting published is something most writers have after publishing their books slowly their confidence builds up. Thank you for the well-advised hub.

    • Li-Jen Hew profile image

      Li-Jen Hew 

      7 months ago

      Hey Bill. Fascinating as always; your article. I have never thought about why certain words are all in caps. I like how the article is varied..how to conquer fear of publishing and writing advice. It's exciting to see the extract of your to be published Shadow. Thanks for sharing.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 

      7 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hi Bill - Seems we can all agree that it is too cold. I don't like that tradition has gotten thrown overboard, but it seems like a minority position. As for confidence, I have it on good authority that there has been good writing published and bad writing published over the past one hundred years. Based on that I recommend writers publish their work. They completed the work, why let it sit in a closed file folder on their computer?

      Striker is a compelling character, one of the toughest I have read, and I have read John D. McDonald.

    • Billrrrr profile image

      Bill Russo 

      7 months ago from Cape Cod

      "There was still a piece of egg on the fork as it rested against the throat." They always talk about the importance of the first sentence of a book. I realize how critical that is for drawing in the reader. But there has to be meat inside, or that book will be snapped shut faster than Scrooge's vault. "There was still a piece of egg on the fork as it rested against the throat" That's the meat baby! Great stuff Bill, as always.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      7 months ago from Queensland Australia

      An interesting mailbag this week Bill, but the icing on the cake was that teaser from your novel. Gripping stuff, expertly written.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      7 months ago from Sunny Florida

      Stryker, Putnam and Liz are all characters that make you a little anxious as they are a bit unsavory. I think this will be a good book.

      The questions were interesting today as usual. I always enjoy Monday's hub by Bill.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Shannon! Who knows what I'll finally end up with. I pretty much leave that up to Mike, the guy who does my covers.

    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon Henry 

      7 months ago from Texas

      Interesting tease you share here. Different cover, too. Maybe it's the color scheme?

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      That's really a great question, Liz! Thank you! You're #2 on next week's list of questions.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Mr. Happy, you are correct about that type of cold. It sounds different walking for sure. In Alaska I experienced what they call "snow dogs." It is crystallized air...the moisture in the air actually freezes and you can see it hovering in front of you. Now that's cold!!!!

      Thanks as always! wishing you a peaceful week filled with love.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Makes you hungry, doesn't it, Chris? lol Thanks buddy!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Flourish! I'm following that passion, albeit slowly. :)

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Alyssa, that year in Alaska took care of me for a lifetime. I'm perfectly fine, now, with a bland winter. I'm glad you survived the polar vortex...I love that name....and I wish, for you, a brilliant week ahead.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      7 months ago from UK

      Interesting topics and great advice. Should we be worrying if, as writers, we lose the self doubt? Does that mean we are becoming over-confident and taking less care with our writing? I can see how planning is key for consistency in a series. Thanks for the taster of your new novel.

    • Mr. Happy profile image

      Mr. Happy 

      7 months ago from Toronto, Canada

      "I spent a year in Alaska back in 2006, and there is no adequate way to describe what minus forty degrees feels like." - Haha!! Yes, it is hard to describe the cold at minus 30s and 40s. I haven't actually reached the -40. -30s have been enough for me, when the hairs in the nostrils freeze and breathing in through the nose just seems to shut the nostrils closed, making it hard to breath. The crunching of the snow is different too at -30s. There's a high pitch crunch when stepping on snow. I love it though! Not all the time but once in a while, I enjoy it. Sorry everyone, I did ask for lots of snow because by the end of December I had nothing and it was dissapointing. I now got the snow I wanted lol Selfish of me, I know but I enjoy Winter.

      I'm not a millenial but even for me, if You got all caps, I'm thinking You wanna be heard. You're not necessarily screaming but close to. For emphasis I look for italics and/or bold.

      "when writing a series it is very important to remember what has happened in the past" - That's one thing I thought about when I did think once about writing fiction and decided that I was not willing to do: keep track of characters and their own story-line, etc. I can;t deal with all those details and try to arrange them smoothly. That's why I bow-down to those who do persevere in making fiction work.

      Thanks for the bit from your book. That dialogue is certainly captivating! I'm not a book critic though so, my opinion is not significant in any real way.

      Alrighty, You have yourself a wonderful week ahead - best of Luck! Cheers!

    • YouGet1Shot profile image

      Chris Desatoff 

      7 months ago from USA

      Mmmm...bacon...

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      7 months ago from USA

      On Eric’s issue, it often has to do with the Uniform Commercial Code and requirement for conspicuous text. Glad to see that you are continuing to follow your novel writing passion with this latest Shadow installment.

    • Alyssa Nichol profile image

      Alyssa 

      7 months ago from Ohio

      I am forever thankful that I don't live in Alaska or Minnesota, or anywhere where it is typical to get super cold. Ohio doesn't normally see the cold spell that we had the past week. I think we're all over it and ready for spring! Excellent advice on how to tackle fear. Have a great week and enjoy your snow! :)

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Hi Melissa! I was in Alaska in 2006 and it was 40 below...so I know what you went through. It is brutal cold, and it is impossible to explain to anyone who hasn't experienced it. I'm glad you survived with all of your digits. :)

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 

      7 months ago from Minnesota

      Happy Monday Bill! I want to buy a t-shirt (maybe a thermal would be better) that says "I survived the Polar Vortex"...Last week was crazy, but everyone I know emerged with 10 fingers and toes, not lost to frostbite. So, thanks to everyone for their warm thoughts! :)

      I'm so excited to hear you are moving right along with the last Shadows book. I enjoyed the excerpt and can't wait for more!

      Have a wonderful and productive week!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Nithya! I hope you enjoy the book when it is released.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Welcome back, Mary! You've been missed. I can't imagine no internet for weeks! lol That sounds funny to say, but it's the truth.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Cold here too, Verlie. Sorry about your pipes...that is a major pain for sure. Hopefully they don't burst, which has happened to me in the past.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 

      7 months ago from Dubai

      The Magician’s Shadow has drawn me in, exciting stuff. Great questions and answers.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, I can say with no hesitation, I would love to have Striker as my friend. lol I'd hang with him constantly.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Shaloo....not so amazing to me. It's just the way I'm wired. I think I'm afraid to slow down, truth be known.

      Thank you for the question. I'll lead off the next Mailbag with your inquiry.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      That really is cool, Eric. I had no idea it had been four years. Man, what a ride, and we have so much more to do and share. Thanks for your friendship, buddy, and your kind words.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Heidi, one of the things I love about you is your no-nonsense opinions....the market of their marketing is a great phrase and oh so true. Thank you for sharing that.

      I'm glad you survived the icebox conditions. Time to unpack that swimsuit. lol

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 

      7 months ago from Brazil

      Although the questions may have been few, you tackled them admirably.

      I've been away from home, without the internet for a couple of weeks. It allowed me to catch up on some reading and made me realize I need to allocated more time doing that during the day.

      Gracious, your story doesn't need an exotic location, a restaurant table will suffice. Exciting stuff!

    • snakeslane profile image

      Verlie Burroughs 

      7 months ago from Canada

      Morning Bill. Great scene from your book! Wow! What a truly evil man your Striker is! And the scene was so believable, the yanking of the hair, the fork to the throat. Wicked!

      We are in a deep freeze here on Vancouver Island. Of course my pipes froze up. What can I say? Just another day in paradise. I have had a life-long fear of publishing. I need to have a look at your videos, Thanks!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      7 months ago from Central Florida

      Thanks for the sneak peek, Bill. I feel as if Striker, Eli and Liz are old friends. I certainly wouldn't want them as enemies, that's for sure!

    • swalia profile image

      Shaloo Walia 

      7 months ago from India

      Interesting mailbag as usual. It's really amazing how you manage to write simultaneously for your blogs, HP, freelance assignments and your novel. As most of the writers are voracious readers too. I wonder how much you read everyday and who are your favorite authors. Any books you would recommend to your readers?

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      7 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Bill my man I was just looking at your consistency. You really are amazing in that area. Our animals and kids need that. Maybe when I am seventy I will get that down.

      I noted I have been doing Sermons here since Oct. '14 but mostly whenever it strikes me.

      So cool we have been friends since before that.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Pop! Stay warm, stay safe, and thanks for the kind words.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Linda! That is very kind of you to say.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine, I'm happy you survived the cold. Enjoy those warm temps while they last, my friend.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 

      7 months ago

      Here in New Jersey it was teen degrees. Tomorrow will be in the high fifties! Your excerpt is exceptional.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 

      7 months ago from Chicago Area

      G'morning! We have survived the deep freeze here in Chicago. But now were up near 50 degrees, a 70+ degree swing in less than a week. Then back down to the 20s and 30s tomorrow. Oh well...

      Re: ALL CAPS. I occasionally use all caps for a word or two just for emphasis. Wouldn't make it a habit. And there are people who put everything in caps, usually in email or texts. Not sure why that is. But it might be yelling.

      Re: Fear of Publishing. In my recent 2018 Self Publishing Survey, fear of not being good enough was an answer for several who responded to the challenges question. Interestingly, the ones for whom this fear was the greatest in 2018 were those who had 2 to 9 books already published. Hmm. The only thing I can figure is that due to possibly dismal sales figures, they start doubting their abilities. It's usually not them, it's the market or their marketing.

      Well, gotta get this week started. Make it a great one!

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      7 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Wow Bill, just wow! The few questions were good, but your latest Shadow tease is some of your best writing (in this series) yet. I hope it gets through the editing process soon. I could use a copy of that book today as I snuggle next to the fireplace.

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 

      7 months ago from New York, New York

      Yes, it was freezing here, to put it mildly, last week. Now, yesterday, it was almost 50 degrees and felt like we were having a heat wave compared to the negative number temperatures we experienced only days before. Plus, the sun is shining again here today and supposed to be record warmth by tomorrow for this time of the year. Top it off, the groundhog predicted an early spring here. God how I wish that would be true. We shall see. But in any event, I had to stop in to wish you a wonderful Monday and week ahead now :)

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