All Things Writing

Bryan the Writer

Love writers and writing? How about reading and finding out more about your next favorite author you just simply can't get enough of? Then All Things Writing is for you. Join me and a wonderful bunch of guests as we take a journey through the world of books and creativity. We will share our life stories with you, as well as advice, tips and tricks, insight, funny stories, and interviews with people from all walks of life.

Author Interview: Russell James with his latest book, "Demon Dagger"
May 31 2022
Author Interview: Russell James with his latest book, "Demon Dagger"
Some of you will remember I did a review of the novel, The Playing Card Killer. I very much enjoyed that book and jumped at the chance to read and review Russell James's next book, Demon Dagger. Join us today as we talk about his latest work, how he crafted his novel, why he did what he did, and why he did not do what he could have done on this episode of All Things Writing. We will talk about all kinds of things including;A walkthrough of your latest offering, Demon Dagger.  I love the idea of a protagonist who can see demons. Where did that idea come from? In the beginning of the book, you make it clear that the relationship between Drew and his wife Anna is a difficult one. Tell us why you added that as an element to the story?Keeping in the theme of family, something happens to Drew and Anna’s only son. I have to tell you that I did not see that coming. But it sets up the rest of the book nicely. There is a conventional wisdom in writing that dictates we, as writers, should be careful when we are dealing with children in horror. Explain your thought process in framing what you did concerning their son. I love the idea of a rickety old dagger becoming a formidable weapon only in the presence of a demon. Where did that idea come from? Let’s talk cars for a moment or two. Gabriella, a classic muscle car, plays an important role in this story. Talk about the relationship between the car, Drew, and the character of Lincoln. What do you think is the central message of the book Demon Dagger? We leave Anna and Drew with their weapons. Will see them again? Where can people find you work?Want to know more? Check out Russel James at at his amazon page at: for listening!-BryanSupport the show
Tropes and a review of the book: "Bubba the Monster Hunter; Scattered, Smothered, and Chunked
May 3 2022
Tropes and a review of the book: "Bubba the Monster Hunter; Scattered, Smothered, and Chunked
The term trope actually is derived from the Greek word tropos. Tropos means to "turn or, direction, or way". Derived from the verb, it suggests that something is  being turned, to directed, to altered, or changed in some way. By the way, tropes and their classification were an important field in classical rhetoric. If my sources are to be believed. Literary terms.net defines tropes as referring to any type of figure of speech, theme, image, character, or plot element that is used many times. Any kind of literary device or any specific example can be a trope. Most often the word is used to refer to tropes that are widespread such as irony, metaphor, juxtaposition, and hyperbole, or themes such as ‘the noble savage’ or ‘the reluctant hero.’ It must be used multiple times to be a ‘trope’ but it is also possible talk about something that’s a trope in only one novel or one author’s works if it is used many times.Are tropes bad? No. No where as bad as using tons of other different types of words and phrases we use in the English language. However, some can be overused. For example, there was a great commercial recently which played on tropes by showing a bunch of teens running from a crazed lunatic. They pointed to a spooky house, a barn full of axes, a hedge maze. One of them screams out something like, “Why don’t we just take the running car?” There was a running car in the background.Stick with me for the discussion and a little later in the show I have a book review for you but before we get to that, I want to discuss a word with you. And that word is trope. Tropes and what are they is really the topic of discussion for today.Thanks for joining us!Want to know more about tropes? to find out more about the book I reviewed? Support the show (
What To Do When You Are Not Writing to Propel Your Career?
Mar 22 2022
What To Do When You Are Not Writing to Propel Your Career?
So, you may ask yourself, how much am I writing? Well, Right now I am not writing a lot.I suppose that is only partially true. I am writing a podcast script for all of you lovely people. However, book wise I am not writing a ton at the moment. A few things sort of conspired against me and that is the topic of today’s show. What can you do when you suddenly find yourself in between writing projects.You will rightly ask yourself, “But Bryan, why not just start writing another project. I could but lately I have not been feeling great and that really saps my energy, but that is really only part of the reason. I have one book at the editor, another book at the publisher, and another first draft in the drawer, cooling its heels before I launch back into editing. I almost am afraid to start anything new right now. Although I am still going to be hitting the keyboard on other things (not serious efforts, more exploratory work), I am focusing on a few other elements of my writing world that need a little help.Basically, today I want to talk about what those annoying little things that need to get done to enable you to write in the first place.What are those things? Well, simply put, we need to work onWebsite maintenanceResponding to emails research into open submission callsFile maintenanceAdvertisingThese things are a lot of work, I know. Plus, they really are not fun. But you have to do them if you want to make it in this crazy business we call writing. And more importantly, you have to do those things if you want to get noticed. Because, remember, that if you want attention you have to scream louder than everyone else who is shouting around you.To be fair, I don't know everything. However, I am trying my best to change my little world for the better. So, sit back, take a listen, and hear me talk about these little things I concentrate on when I am not concentrating on my words!Want to reach out to me? Hit me up!Support the show (
Author Interview: Sidney Williams
Mar 2 2022
Author Interview: Sidney Williams
This episode, and a few of the upcoming episodes are going to be special in that I am doing interviews of Horror Writer Association, Virginia Chapter members. I have been a member of that association for quite a long time now, as far as being a member of anything goes and I am happy to say that it has me pretty busy working with other authors on a bunch of different things.It is that association which put me in contact with so many interesting people and I have been super fortunate to make some pretty long lasting friendships in the process.One of the things we do is have a chapter table at various events where we get to talk about how the HWA is an international organization dedicated to horror and really is the only one of its kind anywhere. You don’t have to be a horror writer. You can be a supporting member if you just really like horror and hanging around horror authors.So, it should not shock anyone that my next guest is a member of that organization with a pretty interesting tale to tell not just about horror, but he is a multi-genre author like I am. Want to know more, check out this episode where we talk with author Sidney Williams.We are going to talk about all kinds of things; His history and the wide depth and breadth of things he has done.His favorite thing to teach.Three things every writer should know or do to make their writing stronger?His influences.His favorite horror novel and How about movie?What did he fall in love with first and how did his other interests come along?He'll tell us about Fools Run, his latest book and the follow-on book.Visit Sidney online at Facebook: @Sidney_WilliamsInstagram:  Support the show (
Start That Story Off Right! How to Set Your Hook.
Feb 1 2022
Start That Story Off Right! How to Set Your Hook.
Welcome to the show everyone! Hope you are doing well. This is All Things Writing and I am your host, American author, Bryan Nowak.let’s get hooking? Have you ever read a book that was so woefully lacking in any kind of hook that you put it down and never picked it up again? I most certainly have and if you have too, you are not in the minority. If you are not hooked, then why should you continue reading?In an article written by Sharon Short in Writer’s Digest there were five characteristics of a great beginning. I will make sure and post the link to writer’s digest in the show notes so you can check them out yourself. Well worth checking out.She focuses, in the article, on five characteristics of a great beginning. The first is an overall sense of immediacy. She says that readers must have a reason to read, even if that reason is visceral or lies in the subconscious.It was like I was saying, you need to present your audience with some reason to continue reading or they will just put the book down and walk away. And no one wants that.She suggests that it is perfectly fine to start with dialogue or action, but you need to still pique your reader’s curiosity.The second characteristic is the tone you set. She also uses the word tone in the article. You must ensure that word choice and overall tone in the beginning of your work will tell the reader what to expect. Are they going to laugh? Are they going to cry? Will they be terrified? You need to make sure and build that into the beginning.Third is suspense. I am a fan of saying that all books are mysteries since you are starting with something you have never read so you have no idea how it is going to end. It is a mystery in that sense.Sharon says, “just hint at what’s to come.”A great example is in the first paragraph of the book Watchers by Dean Koontz. It is stated that the main character is taking only “…a package of Oreo cookies, a large canteen full of orange-flavored Kool-aid, and a fully loaded Smith and Wesson .38 Chief’s Special.”To me, that is a great hook. You know this guy is planning for something and not something good.Next Sharon’s article mentions something that drives me crazy. She specifically calls out specificity as an important characteristic of the writing. What she is getting at is the importance of getting to the point when you are still hooking the reader. And lastly fair play. In my own words, don’t offer them a steak dinner and then serve them linguini. Or maybe I am just hungry?You want it to work, so there has to be foreshadowing of something fixin’ to go wrong. You cannot just let it lay on the page there if your reader expects horror, mystery, scifi, etc. Let your reader know that there is enough in store to keep them moving through the pages.Remember the idea that your first chapter is essentially a contract with your readers. Don’t mislead them.Want to know more? Check out Writer's Digest here!    Support the show (