Seth's blog

Digi.Lit Conference 2014 - Panel Discussion Download.

Back in June, I did a panel at LitQuake's Digi.Lit conference called "Do You Read Me? Author Branding and Marketing."

Its description is as follows: Digital authors grapple with the familiar challenges of cutting through the clutter. In this session, you can learn tips and strategies from the experts on how to promote your writing to a digital audience, and how to build the right identity to best can attract readers to your work.

Click here to download or listen to the complete talk. Enjoy!

 And MAN, did I get Zen up on it. What the crap? Anyway, maybe it's funny or helpful, I hope. (Maybe both!) If you want to jump to where I start speaking, it's around the 22:30 mark. Just saying. The payoff of listening for you if you're not a writer: I drop a number of hints about the content of the new Jack Palms thriller. You with me? Get it in your ear!

Many thanks to the other great authors/speakers on the panel: Elise Cannon, moderator, Nina Amir, and the wonderfully awesome and insightful Jane Friedman.


Sports Interlude: Liveblogging NBA Finals game 5

What can I say? Once in a while I have to try something different. Last night I ended up doing a liveblog of the NBA Finals' last game. Starting midway through the third quarter. Enjoy it.

I'd definitely be interested to know what you thought, so please leave a comment after.

3rd Quarter

6:35 Patty Mills full-on blows by LeBron James. Finishes with layup. James has scored 3 points since 1st Quarter.

Climbing the Charts: In Broad Daylight!

The good folks at Thomas & Mercer purchased a promotion for In Broad Daylight today (April 25) on the site BookBub. Have you heard of these guys? Do you BookBub? They're basically a promotional site for books with a big following. They're similar to the Kindle Daily Deal, but are not a part of Amazon.

On Twitter alone, @BookBub has 97.5k followers. Today they tweeted:

So that's something. They also have an email list that goes out to a ton of folks. Today I found out I was on it for Thrillers. Huzzah! What's followed is another awesome ride up the charts. At the time of this posting, I'm in the top 100 Best Sellers in the Kindle Store. It's 9:30. What's next?

That's right! There I am next to Nora Roberts! Woo ha! And they must mean 6 days in the top 100 TOTAL. Well, well. It's all good to me. Enjoying the ride! 

Want to help out? Just tell somebody you know will like In Broad Daylight. It's actually just $1.99 for the rest of April, so they have a little time. You can also ReTweet the above tweet or share this post on Facebook. Here's BookBub's pitch: 

Perfect for fans of Stieg Larsson and Karin Slaughter: FBI agent Jess Harding returns to Alaska to track a sadistic killer under the ceaseless midnight sun. Now she must find a way to crack the secrets of the northern wilds — before the hunter becomes the hunted.

On Kurt Vonnegut's Passing (April 11, 2007)

As I'm sure you've now heard, I recently waded deep into Kurt Vonnegut land/world to write my recent novella As Much Protein as an Egg. I have a short story coming in the same vein soon as well. But what you may NOT know is that yesterday marked the 7-year anniversary of the great writer's passing. It got me to finally post what I've been meaning to for a few weeks. I encountered the following quote in his non-fiction collection PALM SUNDAY, published in 1981. Boy, did he hit the nail on the head. Read it, see what you think, share your thoughts. I'm eager to know what you think:

I am a member of what I believe to be the last recognizable generation of full-time, life-time American novelists. We appear to be standing more or less in a row. It was the Great Depression which made us similarly edgy and watchful. It was World War II which lined us up so nicely, whether we were men or women, whether we were ever in uniform or not. It was an era of romantic anarchy in publishing which gave us money and mentors, willy-nilly, when we were young--while we learned our craft. Words printed on pages were still the principal form of long-distance communication and stored information in America when we were young.

No more

Nor are there many publishers and editors and agents left who are eager to find some way to get money and other forms of encouragement to young writers who write as clumsily as members of my literary generation did when we started out. The wild and wonderful and expensive guess was made back then that we might acquire some wisdom and learn how to write halfway decently by and by. Writers were needed that much back then.

It was an amusing and instructive time for writers--for hundreds of them.

Television wrecked the short-story branch of the industry, and now accountants and business school graduates dominate book publishing. They feel that money spent on someone's first novel is good money down a rat hole. They are right. It almost always is.

So, as I say, I think I belong to America's last generation of novelists. Novelists will come one by one from now on, not in seeming families, and will perhaps write only one or two novels, and let it go at that. Many will have inherited or married money.

Yes, he wrote this in 1981 or likely earlier. What do you think? Is it true? 

Sure looks to me like he knew what he was saying.

Bay Area Residents: Join me for a Crime Novel course at The Grotto!

Writing the Crime Fiction or Thriller Novel: Practice Makes Plot Perfect with Seth Harwood (4/26 & 5/3)

Hey folks, this month I'm teaching a class on how to write the first draft of your novel (crime or otherwise) at the legendary SF Writers Grotto in downtown San Francisco. I'll be talking about how to develop a practice for your writing that both keeps you producing new pages and helps you explore the story of your novel when you may not even know where it's headed. What's really exciting is that you can find your own novel's story just like a reader does -- and that it can be just as thrilling!

Here's further info on the class: (feel free to comment here or email me for more information)

Number of sessions: 2
Meeting times: 2 Saturdays 10:00AM to 1:00PM
Dates: April 26 and May 3
Class Limit: 15 students
Course Fee: $165, $100 required to register
Description: Do you outline and pre-plan your novel or write boldly into the void? This class exposes the reality that you can write a book when you don’t know its ending. What’s more, this practice will generate lively and exciting writing for writer and reader alike. Don’t let your book idea die on the vine because you haven’t envisioned where it leads. This class goes over the steps to writing a novel and demystifies the process of finishing your first draft. By challenging you to write 5-days a week to a reachable goal each day, you’ll see the way to uncover your book sentence by sentence.  Come to believe and trust in your own creative process; stop staring at your screen and start getting your book done.Readings from Stephen King, Frank Conroy and Flannery O’Connor accompany in-class exercises, lecture and examples from published work.

Instructor Bio: It's your boy! Seth Harwood has published four crime novels—Young Junius, This Is Life and the bestsellers In Broad Daylight and Jack Wakes Up, as well as the short story collection A Long Way from Disney. He holds an MFA in fiction from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and has taught creative writing at Iowa, University of Massachusetts – Boston, Stanford Continuing Studies and City College San Francisco. Serialized versions of his work as audio podcasts have been downloaded over one million times.

Bonus Content: Protein Prologue (Vonnegut World)

In the next few weeks, I'll be dropping bonus content from As Much Protein as an Egg into the feed--both as audio and as free text files. I hope you'll enjoy them.

The hottest news of all is that there's a new Jack Palms short story in the works. I hope to be bringing it to you this spring in audio. Stay tuned!

If you haven't already downloaded As Much Protein as an Egg, you can get it for Kindle only here.

Click here to listen to me reading the book's Prologue, which isn't featured in the Kindle version. It's a special bonus just for you guys!

You can also download the Prologue as a free PDF to read on your devices OR as a Free .mobi file for your Kindle right here. That, or just start reading...

“As much protein as an egg” is an expression used on the front of cereal boxes in the year this book was written. It is the property of the Kashi brand company. This use is not meant to imply any relationship, impropriety or connection to the good people at Kashi. They do make a nice breakfast cereal. {Read MORE}

Amazon talks about As Much Protein as an Egg

While I'd bill As Much Protein as an Egg as a mashup of Vonnegut, 9/11 novels, the quest to be a famous author and a love story, Amazon says it's this:

Artemis Kellog struggles to write his first screenplay, find love in San Francisco, and maintain his coffee consumption. Bainbridge McGee aspires to play golf, write his fourth Great American Novel, and dabble in the online dating scene. Each man is indebted to and inspired by Vonnegut, a passion that plays out as McGee works on his masterpiece and Kellog finds writing is his true religion. When they both land on a select committee tasked with choosing the winner of a prestigious sci-fi and fantasy writers award, the choice is clear—to them—and both become determined to ensure Vonnegut is honored with the award. At turns spellbinding, suspenseful, and full of love, this story comes down to the finish to reveal if, on science fiction’s grandest stage, Vonnegut will be remembered with the appropriate reverence the master deserves.

Sound good? Buy it, rate it and Facebook-like it here. Rock on! Listen here to get my pitch for the contest I'm running now.

New Fiction: As Much Protein as an Egg

Hey folks, hey folks!

New fiction is here! I've been working for a while on a project that inhabits both the world of my own fiction (see Tony Vitelli's appearance) and the World of Kurt Vonnegut as part of a collaboration witih Amazon's Kindle Worlds. It a mashup of fan fiction, new stuff and social criticism in the vein on old Vonnegut himself.

The book is called As Much Protein as an Egg, after an homage to KV's Breakfast of Champions as well as my own predilection for Kashi cereal. Yum yum. And for eggs. It's available now for the Kindle as well as readable on virtually device using one of the many Kindle Apps

I hope you'll give it a try. It's fun and funny, even a touch of Sci-Fi. For those of you who like time travel and Vonnegut's work and meta-fiction, or even just love coffee, this one's for you. Give it a shot!

Also, I'll be holding a contest for the first of you to post reviews on the book's Amazon page. That's right, those 5-star bad boys really do help. So, for the first 5 of you to read it and review, I'll send out signed copies of a book that you choose. For the next TEN of you, I'll hold a drawing to send out two signed copies chosen at random. Pretty good odds. So get to it: download, read, enjoy. You might even be able to get your Kindle to read it to you out loud! Let me know.

Here's a quick shout from me about this new by audio (click to listen). And I'll be back soon with a few podcasts of selected sections of the book. Deleted scenes, special content and the like. Stay tuned!

Your boy -- SH 



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