Saturday, October 10, 2009

Priming the Primed Mind

Have you ever heard a talk on being a "real" writer that left you with the feeling, "Well, that's not me. That's not how I write"? If so, then "The Primed Mind" may be just the book for you. It takes a subconscious approach to the art of writing by recognizing that all of the material we put on the page is drawn from our minds. In that case, it makes a lot of sense to train the mind to be more creative, productive, and knowledgeable about craft. Written in a conversational tone by a published novelist, "The Primed Mind" takes a craft approach to writing fiction that looks at the process of cultivating a writer's mind, learning the elements of fiction, critiquing, revising, and living the life of an author.

Back when Walt Whitman and Mark Twain published their seminal works, publishing in the US was done by subscription. Authors had to sell their books to individual subscribers before a publisher would print the book. With the current economy, we're almost to that stage again with independent publishers like Holy Cow Press ( who published Natalie Goldberg's first collection of poetry. Unfortunately they

a) turned down Writing Down the Bones because they weren't sure if there was enough of a market for the book

b) have been forced, by the current economy, to halt their purchases of new titles.

This has caught me in a bind with my book "The Primed Mind." They're open to publishing the book if I subsidize the publication, but I can't afford it, so I'm going back to the subscription days and asking folks who are interest in purchasing the book to help me raise the funds to subsidize it's publication. Once the goal is met, the book would come out in about a year.

And who am I, you may be asking. Well, for starters, I'm a novelist. My first novel, The Year of the Sawdust Man, was favorably compared to To Kill A Mockingbird. I was stunned awed and grateful. I've published nine novels since then, in including the Scott O'Dell Award winning novel Worth. I'm also a visiting assistant professor in the low residency MFA programs at Hamline and Hollins Universities. For more information on me and my work, please visit my website at

Testimonials for "The Primed Mind"
"Thank you for letting me read the chapter from what I hope will be a book. Our students could use this instruction. You write so fluently, your approach to the reader is so conversational, and your expression is so pleasant that I hardly notice as I read that my instruction is the object. I never heard the term "forms analysis" until you used it, so I'm glad to see here what you mean. Would you consider offering the unpublished book for sale to students?" --Jane Resh Thomas, author and writing coach.

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