Climb Up On Santa’s Lap

Like pretty much every writer I’ve ever met, I grew up wishing for books for every present-giving holiday. Every birthday featured at least one book I desired (and often more.) A book was always nestled among the candy eggs in my Easter basket. Christmas was the same – Santa granted my book wishes every year. As a child I received the Marguerite Henry horse books, the complete Chronicles of Narnia, Nancy Drew and the Happy Hollisters. I can’t remember a Christmas that didn’t end with me lying on the floor under the tree, reading whatever story Santa had brought me, until I was forced to put the book down and eat lunch with my family. Reading and Christmas go hand in hand for me. It’s just not Christmas without a book under the tree.

I know not all of our faithful MW readers are not celebrating Christmas for reasons of […]

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David B. Coe: Taking Stock and Taking Risks

Another year, another New Year’s post. That’s not meant to sound like a complaint; I actually love to write them. I use the New Year’s holiday as an opportunity to take stock and assess my accomplishments for the year that’s ending, and also to wipe the slate clean and “start from scratch” on a new year.

This New Year’s in particular feels momentous for me in a professional sense. I have just completed the most productive writing year of my life. I wrote three complete novels in 2014, as well as two new short stories and more blog posts than I care to count. I also edited two books and proofed two others. I recently totalled it up, and I’m pretty certain that I wrote about 400,000 words this year. I had a new Thieftaker book come out (A Plunder of Souls), as well as three original short stories.

And […]

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David B. Coe: Holiday Superlatives!

One of the problems with doing these one month appearances on the site is that those months tend to be pretty focused: a post on character, a post on plotting, a post on the writer’s life, and a promotional post on whatever book we happen to be pimping promoting at the time. One of the great things about being a Magical Words co-founder, is that I can sign on for more than one month at a time, as I have for the release of Spell Blind, the first book in the Case Files of Justis Fearsson, which comes out on January 6. I’ve been here for December, and I’m sticking around for January, too.

And that means I have time to do some fun stuff in addition to the promo. So welcome to my 2014 Holiday Post!!

We’re in the last couple of days of Hanukkah, and Christmas is the […]

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Bill of Fare

Okay. I started to write another Then and Now post. But it was boring. So I deleted it.

Instead, I thought we’d play a bit of a game.

‘Tis the season for feasting. I’m just back from a wonderful holiday trip to visit family on the other side of the country. My mother met me at the door with a half dozen types of cookies (including her can’t-be-matched sugar cookies — heaven!) During the course of one week, I indulged in Mom’s incredible teriyaki chicken wings, her brisket, and her mashed potatoes, along with Dad’s turkey (one of my favorite “big meal” stand-outs!). That doesn’t even count my new favorite pie — Mom’s key lime, with homemade cookie crust.

All of which leaves me thinking about the food and drink in the novels I write.

It’s no secret that food is important in my novels. Jane Madison has her […]

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Uncle Johnny’s Holiday Gift Guide

It’s that time of the year again. That time when you’re standing around in a lot of stores thinking “what the heck am I getting (insert difficult to buy for person in your life here) this year?” The Big-Mouth Billy Bass idea didn’t go over so well, and they’ve never quite forgiven you for the t-shirt with Kirk, Picard, Janeway and Sisko in a Mt. Rushmore arrangement. So this year it’s time to get them something they’ll actually like. And of course, here on Magical Words, we’re pretty much always going to recommend books. Because no matter what that episode of Hoarders said about me, you really can never have too many books.

I used a couple of specific criteria in selecting books for this list. First, none of the books on this list will financially benefit any of the contributors to this site. That way I can appear […]

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A Halloween Post: What Scares This Writer

It’s Halloween week, and as this is the season for all things spooky, I thought it might be fun to look at things that scare me. I’m not talking about big hairy spiders (like the Huntsman Spider in Australia that was in the bathroom one night when I got up to pee — it was sitting on top of the door and when I shut the door, it fell off and landed on my hand. I jumped up and back — simultaneously — about six feet, screamed like a little girl, and never, ever used the toilet again) or axe murderers (I have no colorful stories about them, though I think that if one fell on my hand as I closed a bathroom door, I’d freak out a little) or Dick Cheney. No, I’m talking about writer stuff that scares me professionally. Maybe some of these fears will sound familiar […]

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Memories and Holiday Wishes

I am with family today, as I’m sure many of you are as well. I’m not going to write a long post because, well, I don’t really feel like it. But I did want to wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

As many of you know, I’m Jewish. My wife is not, and we observe Hanukkah, but we really celebrate Christmas more. In part that’s because, even as a kid, Hanukkah was not a big part of my life. My parents, both Jewish, celebrated Christmas, because that was what many Jewish families did back in the 50s, 60s, and 70s in order to fit in. It never bothered me; I liked it, really. And it left me with a childhood filled with fun Christmas morning memories. Like when I was eight and I came downstairs to find a huge Hot Wheels track — bright […]

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