Ghost of Atlanta 2011 Readers Favorite National Fiction Award Gold Winner!

    This is a Blessing From God!
Ghost of Atlanta is a 2011 Readers Favorite
National Fiction Award Gold Winner!!!
I’ve waited for over fifteen years for a chance to see my novels recognized on a national level.
I want to thank all my loyal readers and supporters for your encouragement over the years.

    I’ve worked so hard and it’s been frustrating and very difficult at times. I’ve been a Georgia
Author of the Year Nominee in 2007 and 2011, but to be a Gold Winner in a
national award contest is an incredible honor.
I want to thank Debra Gaynor the head of Readers Favorite, Dennis DeRose my editor and Passionate Writer Publishing for this honor.



The Author’s Life: Marketing, Marketing and more Marketing!

For three weeks in 2009, I put myselfthrough a marketing push that has finally made a few dents in the sales of the three published novels in the Julius Thompson Thrillogy.

I’ve finished the fourth book, Purple Phantoms, and I’m in the editing process. I’ve spent the past fifteen years developing this Thrillogy and the
Journey is over.  With the completion of Purple Phantoms, my writing life is headed in a different direction.

My hectic marketing push began on Labor Day weekend with the AJC Decatur Book Festival in Decatur, Georgia in 2009 where I had the experience of talking about my first novel, A Brownstone In Brooklyn, at the Java Monkey coffee house, then three weeks later I had the pleasure of debuting my second novel, Philly Style & Philly Profile, at the legendary Robins Bookstore in Center City Philadelphia on Sept. 13th.

However, the experience of going back to my old neighborhood to speak in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant section at the Creative Arts Fair on Lewis Avenue, across the street from the Macon Library on Sept. 14, 2009, was an experience that I’m still savoring three years later.

The Creative Arts Fair was located on a closed off street in Brooklyn. Lewis Avenue was a sounding board for me as I talked about A Brownstone in Brooklyn\ surrounded by those impressive Brownstones. The sound system was fantastic and my voice echoed off the very builidings found in the novel.

It was an incredible moment in Brooklyn.

For three weeks I lived the life of a Author and it was awesome.

In 2010 I was on the road in Charlottesville, Virginia for the Virginia Festival of the Book in the early
spring, Roxborough Library in Philadelphia,  Buffalo, New York for the Buffalo Book Fair and finally Brooklyn, New York at the Eastern Parkway Branch Library.

For six months I lived the life of an author on the orad and it was even better.

Now in 2011, I’ve stayed close to home in Atlanta with the launch Ghost of Atlanta in January 2011, the Sandy Springs Library event in early March and the upcoming AJC-Decatur Book Festival presentation in September 2011.

But starting in January 2011, I’m on the road again with  a presentation in Lumberton, North Carolina\ at the “Book’em North Carolina” event.

My marketing adventures are ever increasing.

Now, if I can only do this fulltime!

Is finding a literary agent an impossible dream!

Sitting in front of my computer slapping my head from side to side…
Finding an agent is so difficult that at times you want to slap your head from side to side and commit physicalharm to your body.
Maybe, if I slap hard enough my brain will work in overdrive to figure out a way to make agents interested in my fourth novel: Purple Phantoms  .

        I feel like Don Quixote of La Mancha in chasing the Impossible Dream.
What a process!

I have the following qualifications:

***Three published novels: A Brownstone in Brooklyn, Philly Style and Philly Profile and Ghost of Atlanta

***2007 and 2011Georgiaof the Year nominations.

***My third novel, Ghost of Atlanta, is a finalist in a National Book Contest!

*** Ghost of Atlanta is on the book shelves of Barnes & Nobles and is selling at a good pace. That’s right it’s on the book shelves of
the famous book seller!

***I’ve been a presenter at the 2009 AJC-Decatur Book Festival inDecatur,Georgia, 2010Virginia Festival of the Book inCharlottesville,Virginia and the 2010 Buffalo Book Fair inBuffalo,New York.

*** I work hard at building a platform for my books and have crashed many barriers and I will work even harder to crash many more barriers to reaching my goal of becoming a well-known author.

***I’m a creative writing instructor at Evening and Emory inAtlanta,Georgia.

Yet, all this seems invisible to agents.
I work hard at writing my novels and I’m extremely dedicated in marketing my novels.
However, frustration sets in at times and erodes my enthusiasm.
I read on agent Linda Roghaar’s website a comment that is an aspirin that eases the pain:
“Don’t take rejection personally. More often than not a rejection is not about your writing; rather it’s that you’ve gotten it to the wrong person at the wrong time. Look at the package critically and send it out to another.”
       Yet the agent front is silent for me…totally void of a positive response.
I’ve followed all the rules, my three published books are well received and have garnered national honors and recognition, but I keep getting the following form letter:
       Dear Author:
Thank you so much for sending the (Blank) Literary Agency your query. We’d like to apologize for the impersonal nature of this standard rejection letter. Rest assured that we do read every query letter carefully and, unfortunately, this project is not right for us. Because this business is so subjective and
opinions vary widely, we recommend that you pursue other agents. After all, it just takes one “yes” to find the right match.
Good luck with all your publishing endeavors.
Well, I’ll just keep sending out query letters and hopefully I’ll find that one agent who will say “Yes.”
Ooh…my head is still hurting from my palms constantly slapping my head from side to side!

Novel Writing: The Setting!

Julius Thompson


Where am I?

This is a question you DON’Twant your readers to dwell on as they turn the pages of your novel.

Picking the setting of a novelis obviously a critical step.

You mustcraft a vivid and realistic setting to act as a canvass for your characters toperform. This setting/sense of place must be credible.

When youread great works of fiction, you know immediately where and what time periodyou are in. For example, Walter Mosley puts you in early fifties’ Los Angelesin Devil in a Blue Dress, Harper Lee sets you in the early twentiethcentury south in To Kill A Mockingbird and F. Scott Fitzgerald sets you
in the roaring twenties in The Great Gatsby.

You mustgive your reader a sense of place and this will make it easier for your readersto exist in the “Fictive Dream” ofyour novel’s world.

A greatauthor once said: “Characters interactwith setting/sense of place as if its’ another character. The setting/place ofplace will change the character. In a different sense of place the characterswill be different. The setting/sense of place will change the characters.”

In crafting your novel, ask yourself a couple of questions. What is the relationship of a particular setting to your novel’s main characters? Canyou imagine him/her in a different setting?

Whathappens in novels, when the protagonists appear in a new setting—what does that appearance in a new setting have to do with “what the book is about”?

For example, my point of view character, AndyMichael Pilgrim, lived, interacted and changed in the three novels of theJulius Thompson Trilogy: A Brooklyn in Brooklyn, Philly Style andPhilly Profile and Ghost of Atlanta.

In theprogression of the trilogy, Andy’s early adult life was shaped by growing up in Brooklyn, New York and in the move to Philadelphia he
was shocked in his young adult life watching the influence of drugs and gangs destroy young people’s lives. Finally, in returning to his beginnings in Atlanta, Georgia, as an adult, he was shaped by the negative memories of his past.

The three cities were major characters and forced Andy Michael Pilgrim to react as if he was confronting another living person in each novel.

As you craft your novel, ask yourself, “Where does the action take place?”

In reading your novel, the must reader learn pretty quickly in what place and time the story unfolds—in other words, where in time and space the story “is set.”

The setting is the backbone of your novel, upon which you will build a cast of dynamic characters. Research your setting so you can add very, very specific details to make your setting as realistic as possible. You must be very descriptive in your setting to pull and keep people reading your book.

  In choosing the setting for your novel, ask yourself these questions:

1. What year is it?

2. What City and town do your characters live in?

3. What is the weather like?

4. What season is it?

5. What type of architecture is found in your setting?

6. What is the setting of your Novel?

7. How do you paint a picture of the setting in the reader’s head?

I hope these hints help you create realistic settings for your novels or short stories.

Happy Writing!!!!!!




Ghost of Atlanta 2011 National Fiction Award Finalist

This is a Blessing From God!
Ghost of Atlanta is a 2011 Readers Favorite  National Fiction Award Finalist!!!
I’ve waited for over fifteen years for a  chance to see my novels recognized on a national level.
I’ve worked so hard  and it’s been frustrating and very difficult at times. I’ve been a Georgia
Author of the Year Nominee in 2007 and 2011, but to be a finalist in a national  award contest is an incredible honor.
I want to thank Debra Gaynor the head    of Readers Favorite, Dennis DeRose my editor and Passionate Writer Publishing  for this honor.
Now, I await to see if Ghost of Atlanta is among one of the award winners on September 1, 2011 when the announcement will be made.
Please click on the link or cut/paste to read more about the 2011 Readers  Favorite National Fiction  Awards:

Description: Be Specific!

Description: Be Specific!


 Be specific!

That’s the clarion call to all creative writers as you pull  your readers into your fictive dream. That’s the reason description is an art form.

Description is simply a portrayal, in words, of something that can be perceived by the senses. Each time you use a word or phrase to describe a person, a setting or any other aspect of writing, it must be clear, concise and straight to the point of the situation.

As a writer, you are painting a word picture so the reader “sees” exactly what you are describing. It vividly portrays a person, place, or thing in such a way that the reader can visualize the topic and enter into the writer’s experience or the fictive dream.

    Descriptive Goals as you Write:

***Writer’s create descriptions byusing images with elaborate use of sensory language: Sight, sound, taste, feel, etc.  It must be vivid.

***Writer’s use figurative language such
as simile, hyperbole, metaphor, symbolism and personification.

***Writer’s use “Show, Don’t Tell” through the use of active Verbs and creative adjectives. When a writer really wants to go in depth in a scene he will use “show” and the mental movie rolls in the reader’s mind. When the writer wants to get a quick point or speed up a scene he will use “tell” in the scene.

Thoughts on Descriptive Writing:
•        Make writing more concrete or vivid

•        Add specific information

•        Show sensory images

•        Make comparisons

•        Use dialogue

•        Make writing more interesting

•        Make characters come alive           

        Descriptive Writing Exercises:

Note: Keep a
Descriptive Journal where you keep all your writing exercises. This will be a fantastic future reference to see  your improvement as a writer.

       1.    Observe and then describe an event.

2.     Walk outside your apartment or house and describe it in two ways:

a.      Tell: Write a bare-boneversion of the walk with few descriptions.

b.     Show:  Write a full-blown description of your walk with many descriptions: Use adjectives,descriptive phrases, metaphors, similes, etc.

c.     Read each version out loud:
You will see which version put the reader into the scene.

3.     Reflect on a person or object that stands out in your memory. Write a description of the person/object.

4.     Take aphotograph, for example, and then describe the person, setting with the bare-bone approach and then the full-blown approach.Email me with an example you created from one of these writing exercise:

Happy Writing!