Posts in category News

Web Site Update

Great fun. Thanks everyone for the suggestions.  If you will notice, my site now looks just like my old one except for all the top stuff. I had to try all the fancy bells and formats and stuff before going back to what worked.

And it is a ton cleaner. Wow.

Still working on content of the pages, such as a list of all my novels, and so on. I do have the list of the Nonfiction Books page done. It will come together.

Also I got the main menu bar stopped from flowing all over the place and I got the silly shaking of the names on the main menu bar fixed. Very weird options that were buried in check boxes. But I found them.

And I went back to one widget because with two, on cell phones the widget came up before the posts. Oh, oh. (grin)

And one column for the posts, which just works better. Not as confusing.

I can’t seem to make that main menu any thinner, but still working on that. Me and Google are having fun there. (grin)

So maybe back to writing tonight. Wouldn’t that be fun? (grin)

Thanks again, everyone. At least now this place is starting to look like a writer’s site.

Cheers, Dean

29 Great Years

Twenty-nine years ago today, Algis Budrys instructed me to give another writer a lift from Albuquerque, New Mexico to Taos for a week-long workshop.

That writer was Kristine Kathryn Rusch.

Here is a picture of what we looked like in 1986.

Kris and Dean 1986

We have been together ever since.

Here is what we look like hundreds of novels, hundreds and hundreds of short stories, and 29 years later.

Picture of us

Happy Day, Kris. It’s been great fun, to say the least.

The Ghost Novel Writing Is On for Next Week

As I have said a few times over the last six months, I was hired to write a ghost novel for a major author. I will never tell anyone who the author is or even why I am writing this for this author. Not a word. Ever, so don’t ask. But I can tell you that when this comes out of New York, it will be a major bestseller because this author’s books always are.

I have been paid the advance, so I plan on starting the novel next week as soon as this great workshop that is going on here at the coast is finished. Character Voice and Setting workshop. Wonderful fun. Great writers.

I will blog here about the writing process of the book, more than likely putting up five or six posts per day about each session and a post at the end of the day summing it all up.

I hope to write the book (70,000 words) in 7 to 10 days and then turn it in to the publisher. One draft.

So if you want to follow the writing process of a novel like this, learn how to write a novel in a short period of time, check back regularly next week. I’ll also tell you about the other things going on in my day as it goes along.

And I will talk about my moods, my feelings, and so on about the writing. I do not have an outline and will be just writing off into the dark on this one, so it might get kind of scary and entertaining. I hope, anyway, because I hate being bored when I write. (grin)

I will also try to get a subscribe button and a new RSS feed here on the site to make it easier to follow as well.  And I’ll be glad to answer questions as it goes along about the writing process. (Not about the book itself in any fashion.)

Back to the workshop reading for me. See you soon. It will be fun for me. I hope it will entertain others in the process.

Bill Trojan: Book Dealer

As most of you have heard, one of my best friends, book dealer Bill Trojan passed away on the last day of the World Science Fiction Convention in Reno. Kris and I had already left Reno, so we didn’t get the news until early on Monday morning.

Shocked, yes. Surprised, no. For the last six years I had expected the day to come.

Actually, so had Bill.

For decades Bill was a book dealer at both mystery and science fiction conventions on weekends while working full-time as a computer programmer for Lane County in Eugene, Oregon. He retired in 2001 and was 63 years old when he died. (Thanks to John Locke for the great picture of Bill. I can’t begin to tell you how many times Bill looked at me with that look.)

Some are working on a party in honor of Bill this fall at a convention. I will announce it here when it is set up. There will be no service. Bill hated those and except for attending Damon Knight’s memorial, never went to them. He was very clear on that.

I first met Bill in 1984 when my first professionally-published story came out in a book called The Clarion Awards edited by Damon Knight. Bill had the books on his table at Norwescon and I walked up to his table and asked if he would like me to sign my story in the book. He looked at me and said, “Why would I want some neo-pro defacing my books?”

I think I said something like “F**k you.” And walked off.

That’s how I met one of my best friends and the man I talked to every day for the last six years straight.

When Kris and I moved to Eugene in 1986, we ended up becoming friends with Bill. We quickly learned that Bill had a gruff exterior at times that could irritate a monk, but inside he had a heart of gold.

When we started Pulphouse Publishing in 1987, Bill was the silent but important backer behind the company. I spent a lot of time at his house talking about the business of publishing, about books, and about money. Bill was a major financial backer of Pulphouse Publishing as well and when Pulphouse became a corporation he had a seat on the board of directors.

After Pulphouse, Bill pushed me to get back to writing and pushed Kris and I to start using what we had learned in Pulphouse to teach other writers. Behind the scenes he was a major supporter of writers and small publishers, but hated to have that knowledge get out.

And he called me a neo-pro until I published my tenth novel, then he acknowledged I was no longer a beginner and would stay around. He had that same standard for all writers because as a book dealer he had seen so many writers come and go over the decades, he didn’t call them real professionals until their tenth novel. But at the same time he went out of his way behind the scenes to help young writers.

When we started the workshops here and, of course, lost money, Bill stepped in a numbers of times to help out, paying for some workshop fees, and refusing to take any credit or even want to be acknowledged. Well, Bill, you’ve left us, so you can’t get mad at me now for telling the truth. So there.

The real truth of the matter: All the writers who have been through these workshops here on the coast and learned from Kris and my experience owe a huge thanks to Bill Trojan. There would have been no Pulphouse Publishing without Bill and no workshops either.

Around Eugene, Bill also had a soft heart for those in trouble. Just a few months ago he helped a young person who was homeless into an apartment, paid the deposit, and guaranteed the rent. And a large chunk of his money in his bank accounts is going to a homeless shelter in Eugene once I get his will all settled through the courts.

Bill had a will. For decades we couldn’t talk him into doing one, then two events happened a number of years back. Lance Casebeer died and his estate was auctioned off and Bill hated that. And number two, Bill had a stroke.

From the time I met Bill until the late 1990s, Bill gained a good hundred pounds plus and then about eight years ago became a diabetic. He refused to control it, even though he tested it twice a day. The stroke six years ago caused a number of things to happen.

First, he got a will and named me as executor.

His will determined how his books and money in his bank accounts would be dealt with. Bill was not a rich man, but he did have some money, a paid-off house, and a lot of books, much left over from his bookstore. Since I was his executor, he left me a few notes to do certain things with certain stuff of his. I will do my best to follow his wishes over the next few months.

The second thing that happened was that Bill and I talked every day.

We both hated the idea that since he lived alone he might end up on his floor not able to move for days. So we set up our check-in system where we talked every day. If I couldn’t reach him, I was to make the two hour drive to Eugene at once. On some days he would call me and say, “I’m not dead yet.” And then hang up. On other days we would talk for an hour or more about one thing or another.

I am going to really miss those phone calls.

Bill had no family at all. No children, no brothers or sisters, no nephews, no one. He had been married once and still hated his ex to the day he died because of what she did to him. I have very clear and funny instructions on how I am to tell her about his death.

Bill was a brilliant man with a masters degree in psychology. And he knew everyone it seemed in the older world of publishing. Some hated him, some loved him.

Bill had four really close friends in Eugene.

—Larry Woodside often traveled with him to ComicCon and the two of them often fought over art or pulp magazines.

—Dennis Hooker who owns a sports card and comic book shop about a block from where Bill lived took Bill’s many package deliveries and ran favors for Bill when one of the people Bill was helping needed something.

—Writer Dave Bishoff shared many things with Bill and Dave’s kid often spent time with Bill and Dave watching movies together. Bill loved those visits and really loved Dave’s kid.

—Rob Preston, collector extraordinaire often opened his home to the group and talked pulps and comics and books with Bill.

The other night all five of us sat at Rob’s house talking about Bill and drinking home brew to his memory. Bill was the glue that held the group together. Now it’s the strong memory of Bill that will keep us in contact.

The five of us get different parts of Bill’s vast collection as Bill wanted and expressed in his will and in private instructions he told to me over the many phone calls.

So Bill succeeded in not having any auction of his stuff as happened to Lance Casebeer. Many of his varied collections are staying together completely. And that would make him happy.

Bill died on the last day of the World Science Fiction Convention in Reno, NV, from a massive heart attack, which was basically caused by the uncontrolled health issues. He was happy and had a great convention. It is the way he would have wanted to leave us.

But damn it, Trojan, none of your good friends wanted you to leave just yet.

You helped so many thousands of people behind the scenes, pissed off many others, and leave a huge hole in the world.

Damn I’m going to miss the phone calls.


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Bundles: A great way to discover new writers and read some of my novels at the same time.

So if you want to read my novel HEAVEN PAINTED AS A POKER CHIP, you can get it in a bundle with eleven other novels from other writers from Bundlerabbit. Click on image to go to the bundle.

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And twenty-six of them now exist... Amazing, huh? And hard to hold. Here I am holding the first five...

$6.99 electronic and $12.99 trade paper editions are available at your local bookseller. All paper subscription copies are signed. For more information, just click on the cover.


Online Workshop Schedule

These are the starting dates of upcoming online workshops. Limited to twelve writers. All have openings unless I say closed below. For sign-up and more information about each workshop, click the Online Workshop tab at the top of the page.

Class #41… May 2nd … Author Voice
Class #42… May 2nd … How to Write Thrillers
Class #43… May 2nd … Adding Suspense to Your Writing
Class #44… May 2nd … Plotting With Depth
Class #45… May 3rd … Character Development
Class #46… May 3rd … Depth in Writing
Class #47… May 3rd … Advanced Character and Dialog
Class #48… May 4th … Cliffhangers
Class #49… May 4th … The Business of Writing
Class #50... May 4th … Writing Fiction Sales Copy

Class #51… June 6th … The Business of Writing
Class #52… June 6th … Character Voice/Setting
Class #53… June 6th … Author Voice
Class #54… June 6th … Ideas into Stories
Class #55… June 7th … Character Development
Class #56… June 7th … Depth in Writing
Class #57… June 7th … Plotting With Depth
Class #58… June 8th … Writing Fiction Sales Copy
Class #59… June 8th … Writing and Selling Short Stories
Class #60… June 8th … Advanced Depth

Class #1… July 11th … Author Voice
Class #2… July 11th … How to Write Thrillers
Class #3… July 11th … Adding Suspense to Your Writing
Class #4… July 11th … Plotting With Depth
Class #5… July 12th … Character Development
Class #6… July 12th … Depth in Writing
Class #7… July 12th … Advanced Character and Dialog
Class #8… July 13th … Cliffhangers
Class #9… July 13th … Pacing Your Novel
Class #10... July 13th … Writing Fiction Sales Copy

Class #11… Aug 8th … The Business of Writing
Class #12… Aug 8th … Character Voice/Setting
Class #13… Aug 8th … Adding Suspense to Your Writing
Class #14… Aug 8th … Ideas into Stories
Class #15… Aug 9th … Character Development
Class #16… Aug 9th … Depth in Writing
Class #17… Aug 9th … Plotting With Depth
Class #18… Aug 10th … Writing Fiction Sales Copy
Class #19… Aug 10th … Writing and Selling Short Stories
Class #20… Aug 10th … Advanced Depth

Sign-up and more information under Online Workshops tab at the top of the page.

Classic Workshops

You can sign up for these and start at any point. They are the regular workshops, only you don't send in the homework and you can take them as fast or as slow as you would like.

They are half the price of a regular six week workshop.

Classic Workshops offered.

Making a Living... Classic
Productivity... Classic
Discoverability... Classic
Writing in Series... Classic
Genre Structure... Classic
Career... Classic

Lecture Series

More information on these lectures under the Lecture Series Tab above.

#1... Heinlein's Rules... Dean Wesley Smith 15 videos... $75.00

#2... Read Like a Writer... Kristine Kathryn Rusch... 8 videos... $50.00

#3... How to Write a Short Story: The Basics... Kristine Kathryn Rusch.... 7 videos... $50.00

#4... Writer's Block and Procrastination... Dean Wesley Smith... 8 videos... $50.00

#5... Carving Time Out for Your Writing... Dean Wesley Smith.... 8 videos... $50.00

#6... How to Research for Fiction Writers... Kristine Kathryn Rusch.... 14 videos... $75.00

#7... Pen Names: Help With the Decision... Dean Wesley Smith.... 10 videos... $50.00

#8... Motivation: Starting Easier and Writing More... Dean Wesley Smith.... 9 videos... $50.00

#9... Practice: The Attitude and Methods of Practice in Fiction... Dean Wesley Smith.... 10 videos... $50.00

#10... Master Plot Formula: How and Why It Works Today... Dean Wesley Smith.... 9 videos... $50.00

#11... Prolific Lecture: How to Become a Prolific Fiction Writer... Dean Wesley Smith.... 10 videos... $50.00

#12... The Stages of a Fiction Writer: How to Know Where You Are In Learning and How To Move Upward... Dean Wesley Smith.... 11 videos... $50.00

#13... Starting Writing. Or Restarting Your Writing... Dean Wesley Smith.... 9 videos... $50.00

#14... Endings: How to Write Them and Understand What Makes a Good Ending... Dean Wesley Smith.... 9 videos... $50.00

#15... Audio Narration Lecture... Jane Kennedy.... 9 audio lectures... $50.00

#16... Your Writing as an Investment Lecture... Dean Wesley Smith.... 9 videos... $50.00

#17... How to Get Your Books into Bookstores Lecture... Dean Wesley Smith.... 10 videos... $50.00

#18... How to Think Like a Science Fiction Writer Lecture... Kristine Kathryn Rusch....11 videos... $50.00

#19... Why Some Books Sell More Than Other Books... Dean Wesley Smith.... 9 videos... $50.00

#20... How to Write a Page Turning Novel or Story: Basics and Tricks ... Dean Wesley Smith.... 8 videos... $50.00

#21... The Basics of Designing Science Fiction Covers ... Allyson Longueira .... 8 videos... $50.00

#22... The Basics of Designing Mystery, Cozy, or Thriller Covers ... Allyson Longueira .... 8 videos... $50.00

#23... Paying the Price: A Working Writer's Mindset ... Dean Wesley Smith.... 10 videos... $50.00

#24... Writing into the Dark: The Tricks and Methods of Writing Without an Outline... Dean Wesley Smith... 12 videos... $50.00

#25... Reviews: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly... Dean Wesley Smith... 10 videos... $50.00

#26... Organization... Allyson Longueira... 8 videos... $50.00

#27... Confidence... Dean Wesley Smith... 10 videos... $50.00

#28... Stories to Novels... Dean Wesley Smith... 9 videos... $50.00

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