Have a question about how to use the law in your story? Need a character, plot twist or setting? Ask me in the comments section and I'll be glad to answer. I welcome all comments and questions.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Guest post on The Top Five Characters Who Might Be Watching

Need a character? My guest post on The Aspiring Mangaka & Writers Club blog talks about five legal characters who make great witnesses and observers for any genre.Titled The Top Five Characters Who Might Be Watching, the post is about some people operating in the legal system who move around enough or who have enough information that they might be useful to your stories.  If you’re writing a murder mystery, you need witnesses. But many other stories need someone to see something happening to move the plot forward.

If you're a manga writer, you'll definitely want to check out The Aspiring Mangaka & Writers Club. Ever wondered when you can see your manga or novel on the bookshelves whenever you enter a comic shop or book store? Aspire to be a mangaka or writer but don’t know how or where to begin? Already started on your manga or writing but want some honest opinions on how you can improve yourself? You might start with this website, which is packed full of useful information and networking.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Guest blog this week on Working Writers

My guest blog on Working Writers this week is called Don’t Make Me Throw Your Book Across the Room: Top Ten Ways You Can Alienate the 1.1 Million Lawyers Who Are Also Readers.

If you haven't checked out the Working Writers website, you

Monday, April 12, 2010

4/12/10 Writing and Publishing News

Where the law and literature meet:

Suit by photographers says Google is a brazen content thief: http://www.informationweek.com/news/software/web_services/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=224202351

Sacha Baron Cohen wins libel suit for insulting ex-girlfriend while in character: http://www.metnews.com/articles/2010/doe040810.htm

Publishers put the squeeze on booksellers over credit: http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/455978-Publishers_Squeezing_Booksellers_on_Credit.php

How will returns work with agency model? Anyone?: http://pubrants.blogspot.com/2010/04/burning-question-about-agency.html

Penguin India decides that releasing digital books will reduce piracy. I wonder if they’re talking with the U.S. branch of the company: http://www.watblog.com/2010/04/12/penguin-india-goes-digita/

More headlines:

Does it matter if good writers are lousy human beings?: http://incharacter.org/review/good-writers-bad-men-does-it-matter/

iPhone apps make reading easier for dyslexics: http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2010/apr/06/iphone-makes-reading-books-easier

Where mobile libraries are thriving: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/apr/07/mobile-libraries

Wuthering Heights sales double thanks to Twilight: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/booknews/7570922/Wuthering-Heights-quadruple-double-thanks-to-Twilight-effect.html

Chinese writer calls internet literature “garbage”: http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90001/90776/90882/6945890.html

Academics predict 1/3 of books will be read on e-reading devices in the next 5 years: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/aussie-academics-say-third-of-books-will-be-read-on-ipad-style-devices-within-five-years/story-e6frf7ko-1225851480531

Where you can get a degree in Vampire Lit: http://www.mediabistro.com/galleycat/trends/vampire_lit_gets_its_scholarly_due_157516.asp

50 best book people to follow in Twitter: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/09/50-best-book-people-to-fo_n_529295.html

Life magazine covers famous literary drunks and addicts: http://www.life.com/image/72383915/in-gallery/38742/famous-literary-drunks--addicts

Some Spring rays of hope in lousy bookselling market: http://www.thebookseller.com/news/115976-publishers-point-to-green-shoots-after-worrying-first-quarter.html

Why the iPad won’t save newspapers: http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/greenslade/2010/apr/12/ipad-rupert-murdoch

Children’s booksellers want more stand-alone books: http://www.thebookseller.com/news/115987-childrens-retailers-clamour-for-stand-alone-titles-.html

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

4/7/10 Writing and Publishing News

Where the law and literature meet:

Simon Singh wins appeal, fair comment allowed in UK libel defense: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/apr/01/science-writer-wins-libel-appeal

Setbacks for libel reform in UK: http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/apr/05/libel-reform-simon-singh  and http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5j6vW9EJ_STbmk9ABKbVd1nBRTg8AD9EP74P00

Stan Lee wins suit over copyright of his characters: http://www.torontosun.com/entertainment/books/2010/04/05/13472321-wenn-story.html

Indie filmmakers launch automatic threat letter campaign over copyright infringement: http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/Copyright-LawsuitOMatic-Hits-US-Shores-107645?nocomment=1

Amazon caves, lets more publishers in on agency model: http://www.tuaw.com/2010/04/01/amazon-caves-to-book-publishers/ and http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/4bd7770c-3dd1-11df-bdbb-00144feabdc0.html

Freedom of expression versus authoritarian governments: http://www.hoover.org/publications/policyreview/89175117.html

On the upsides and downsides of the agency model: http://blog.kobobooks.com/2010/03/29/countdown-to-agency-and-party-like-its-9-99/

Amazon puts disclaimer on books released under agency model: http://www.mediabistro.com/galleycat/amazon/amazon_includes_disclaimer_on_ebooks_priced_by_agency_model_157266.asp

Egyptian publisher arrested, books confiscated: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/03/AR2010040301999.html

Italian journalist prints fake interviews with Grisham, Roth: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/mar/31/roth-grisham-fake-interview-obama

As predicted, authors figure out they no longer need publishers: http://www.magellanmediapartners.com/index.php/mmcp/article/do_i_need_the_middle/

Award-winning author Wideman turns to self-publishing: http://articles.latimes.com/2010/mar/29/entertainment/la-et-john-edgar-wideman29-2010mar29

And yet another author, Konrath, breaks down the math on why authors should self-publish in e-format: http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/2010/03/march-kindle-sales-top-4200-and-5850.html

Plagiarist caught, forced to resign from post: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8602674.stm

What happens to judicial elections when corporations can contribute?: http://www.tnr.com/article/politics/judging-dollars

Apparently failing to recognize the irony, Jewish group seeks banning of pro-Palestinian novel: http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/455037-Jewish_Group_Boycotts_Canadian_Kids_Book.php

Amazon won’t sell Penguin e-books anymore: http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/455009-First_Agency_Model_Casualty_Amazon_Not_Selling_New_Penguin_e_Books.php

FBI says threat letters to governors are protected by 1st Amendment: http://www.ktva.com/ci_14811126?source=most_viewed

Egyptian composer to sue Saudi author for defamation over novel: http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article38844.ece

More headlines:

Why we read fiction – the scientific explanation: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/01/books/01lit.html?pagewanted=all

iPad users won’t use it for reading: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2362066,00.asp

Stephen King’s latest to be released by an independent publisher: http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/stephen-king-to-publish-surprise-limitededition-baseball-novella-1931289.html

HP script found in pub after crew celebrates there. Whose head will roll?: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/harry-potter/7548916/Harry-Potter-And-The-Deathly-Hallows-script-found-in-pub.html

Writer gets book deal after leaving manuscript on Richard and Judy’s doorstep. Richard and Judy’s house collapses under weight of unsolicited manuscripts. OK, the last part was a prediction: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1262793/Struggling-author-bags-book-deal-leaving-copy-Richard-Judys-doorstep.html

Author speaks out against Germany’s fixed-price laws, then apologizes: http://publishingperspectives.com/?p=13790

Entire Whedonverse streaming in Netflix!: http://io9.com/5507337/the-entire-whedonverse-is-streaming-on-netflix-shiny

Twilight saga sort of sequel: http://www.cinematical.com/2010/03/30/twilight-saga-expands-new-book-possible-spin-off-movie/

Amazon loses e-book pricing war: http://www.pcworld.com/article/193118/amazon_loses_ebook_pricing_war.html

PW sold to former publisher: http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20100405/FREE/100409949

No first amendment right to boink a co-worker: http://lawyersusaonline.com/benchmarks/2010/04/07/lookin-for-love-in-all-the-wrong-places/