My Passion Project: Noble Redux

Noble Concept Art by Eve F.
Noble Concept Art by Eve F.

I broke a vow to myself. After spending many hours (and dollars) re-editing the original Noble manuscript in 2011, I promised that I was done tinkering. I promised that I’d put it back on the shelf and never touch it again. I promised that I’d be “happy” with it.

And I was… for a while.

As the years rolled on, I wrote two more books in the series and completed the Noble trilogy. With more experience under my belt, these books contained crisper writing all around, and showcased my storytelling strengths in a much better light.

Knowing that some readers prefer not to enter a series still in progress, I’ll soon introduce new readers to the trilogy through a collection containing all three books. The idea was to give the original novel a spit-shine so it would feel closer in quality to the other two.

My brilliant editor, Jessica Guzman, tackled the project with enthusiasm. However, when I received the edited manuscript back, I realized that the novel needed more than a fresh coat of paint. Although Jessica had worked wonders to clean up my mess, at the end of the day, it was still the product of a first-time novelist—something no amount of editing was ever going to erase.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m so very proud of the book, and I thank my lucky stars every day that I found the time to write it. That said, the pages scream “inexperience,” and because I love the Noble universe so much, and am so invested in its future, it weighed heavy on my mind. Was this really the first impression of my work I wanted to give readers?

While discussing this topic with my wife, she said something that resonated with me (as usual): “Don’t beat yourself up about it. It was your first book. Noble would be a completely different book if you’d written it today.”

The light bulb went off over my head. What would the book look like if I’d written it today? That’s all the convincing I needed. I put all other projects aside and scheduled Noble for a long overdue, full-scale rewrite.

So, I rolled up my sleeves and dove in, rediscovering my first book and looking back on it through the eyes of a proud father. Overhauling the original manuscript provided more than just a chance to fix grammatical errors and passive voice, however. It also presented an opportunity to make adjustments to the story that have always bothered me, as well as address feedback I’d received from readers.

Here’s just a few examples:

  • A new prologue begins the story, starting things off with a bit more intensity and action.
  • Jane Emmett’s voice recording now unfolds over the course of the book instead of all at once at the beginning.
  • Miller’s character now has a bit more teeth. He’s still a softie with best intentions at heart, but he’s no longer playing the role of bumbling detective… although he still loves his apple pie (sorry, angry reviewer).
  • The Carroll’s Cross chapter has been reimagined from the ground up. No more confusing, nonsensical shadow play.
  • The ties to the other books in the series are now more prominent. Where did Gibbard come from? What did the lost civilization’s cathedral look like? Where did Puckett’s special task force originate?

All of that is merely scratching the surface. However, I didn’t fix everything. In effort to preserve some of the original first-time novelist charm, I knowingly left in some of the mistakes, too. There’s still a bit of information dumping, flashbacks within a flashback, clichéd phrases, and deus ex machina.

Why did I leave it? I guess in a strange way, it connects me to that inexperienced version of myself from 2010 without fully erasing his efforts, or the memories he created writing the manuscript. No book is ever perfect, and I wanted it retain some of its character.

So, here I am in 2015, making the same vow I made in 2011: This is it. The End. This Noble redux represents my ultimate vision of the original concept, and with its release, I now put it back on the shelf, happy. Content. Proud.

Noble Redux and Noble Trilogy Collection release this Summer for Kindle.

Interview: David K. Hulegaard & Tony Healey Talk Playlist

Release day is finally here! After months of collaboration, authors Tony Healey and David K. Hulegaard have unleashed volumes 1 & 2 of the Playlist series upon the world. In the interview below, Tony and David talk about the series, what readers can expect, and why David secretly thinks Tony is a jerk.


What is the concept behind Playlist?

[TONY HEALEY]: Dave and I are both heavily influenced by the music we listen to, so when it came to discussing what we’d collaborate on, it was sort of a no-brainer to bring music into it. Our two pieces, Dark Beyond the Blue and City of Night, use music as their inspiration. If not for their plot, then the emotions or general mood behind them. It’s all quite interesting, and I don’t think it’s been done before that I’m aware of.

[DAVID HULEGAARD]: Tony deserves all the credit on this one. I remember pitching him a few ideas for a collaborative project, and he came back with one of his own; something he’d been chewing on that combined his love of writing and music. As an avid music lover myself, it took me all of about three seconds to get on board with his vision.

Music is always playing in the background when I write, and I’d never stopped to think about how it influenced my work. This project allowed me that opportunity, and I realized that I absolutely do feed off of the emotion the artists put into their sound. The whole concept was pretty eye-opening for me.

How did this collaborative effort come together?

[TH]: Dave was already published when I started with my first short story, and he’s given me support and acknowledgement from the very beginning. I have had the fortune of falling in with a very fine crowd, and am proud to call people like Dave my friends. I don’t know about him, but I call it destiny that we worked on a project together. I wouldn’t be surprised if we write a novel together some day. I’m serious about that.

[DH]: I’ve been wanting to work with Tony for the last couple of years, but the jerk had to go on and become a best-selling author without me! 🙂 In all seriousness, though, I’ve always felt Tony and I are literary kindred spirits, and that we could create something memorable if given the opportunity to work together.

Playlist is not our first attempt, mind you. We’ve discussed other projects in the past that never got off the ground, and to be honest, I’m glad. Although I have no doubt we would’ve written something entertaining together, I’m more confident today than I was yesterday, and this project captures me at my very best. Perhaps we’ll have to collaborate again in a couple of years when I inevitably feel different. 🙂

What was the inspiration behind each of your volumes?

[TH]: We tried to work together in the past, and nothing came of it. We were both too busy, the idea fell apart, etc etc. We still wanted to collaborate on something, though. A few months ago, Dave and I started firing emails back and forth, throwing ideas around, and as these things go, we came up with the concept behind Playlist.

[DH]: Specific to Dark Beyond the Blue, I listened to Hammock on repeat. Hammock is a Nashville-based duo of the most talented songwriters I’ve ever heard. Ambient, post-rock, space rock, shoegazer music—whatever you want to call it—it’s nothing short of breathtaking.

Pitchfork once called Hammock’s albums “intensely visual music,” and I can’t think of a more fitting description. When I listen to them, full scenes play out in my mind’s eye with amazing clarity and detail. All of the stories in this collection were inspired by my emotional connection to the music.

dark beyond the blue v2

Is there a particular theme to each volume?

[TH]: City of Night is about the past: moving on from it, returning to it years later, and accepting it for what it is. In the case of my main character, it’s about how he locks the beast in the basement and realizes he has to let it loose again.

[DH]: Dark Beyond the Blue examines why we should never take anyone at face value. It’s in our nature to conceal certain elements of our existence from others—even those we’re closest to. These are usually secrets that fill us with shame, guilt, embarrassment, and various other emotions that can often leave us feeling conflicted. With that in mind, can you ever truly know someone other than yourself?

Although the stories in my volume aren’t directly connected, each digs beneath the surface of its characters to expose the real person inside, and I had a lot of fun doing it.

What can readers expect from Playlist?

[TH]: Something different. And cool. And a recommendation for five songs from each of us that will stir their soul, and move their heart. At least, we hope . . .

[DH]: I tried to explore a wide range of human emotion, from anger and sadness to apathy and regret. My hope is that readers will find traces in each story that they can relate to, even if it makes them a little uncomfortable at times. A couple of my beta readers confessed being moved to tears by the end, and I can’t think of a better compliment than that.

Of course, you’ll also find my signature brand of both traditional and dark humor, as well as my love of playing around in a speculative fiction sandbox. Oh, and one of these stories is actually a prequel for an upcoming full-length novel, but I’m not ready to tell which one just yet. 🙂

What do you like best about David’s work, Tony?

[TH]: He has a vision that’s all his own, and he has the strength and balls to follow his work through to the end. There were many times while writing Noble he could have gone the full commercial route and wrote your average thriller, but what he has with his trilogy is something unique. Each of the three books is different, but connected by the overall plot. I love that it’s not what you expect, and that he’s totally comfortable in doing whatever the hell he wants which, of course, is badass.

Something a lot of readers might not know is that Dave initially published Noble (book 1) without editing, and that when he realized every book needs a good editor he pulled it from Amazon, worked with his editor to bring it up to scratch, then reissued it. That’s his dedication not only to the craft, but to his readers. We’re all on this learning curve. We all make the odd hiccup here and there. The best of us are doing what Dave did. We’re learning by our mistakes in the beginning, putting the time and energy (and money) into something we’re passionate about, and really putting the best books out there that we can.

What about you, David? What do you like best about Tony’s work?

[DH]: Tony is a literary chameleon. His writing style is so captivating that he can explore any genre he chooses and deliver a quality story every time. When I first met him, his wheelhouse was epic space opera, but he also dabbled a bit in horror. Somewhere along the way he picked up elements of romance, which led to the only conclusion that made sense: hardcore alien sex stories. 🙂

All kidding aside, I am such a fan of Tony’s work, including my personal favorites: The Fallen Crown series and Dead Pretty. Of course, Tony is so prolific, that it’s entirely possible he published a new book while you were reading this interview. That may sound like a joke, but Past Dark literally went on sale as I answered these questions.

Any final thoughts?

[DH]: You should totally go get both Playlist volumes right now! You won’t be disappointed.

Memorial Day Sale (5/25 – 5/26)

Hello, my friends, and Happy Memorial Day!

Before I head out to enjoy (many) BBQ hot dogs, and honor the brave men and women who fought valiantly for this country, I wanted to let you know that five of my Kindle books are on sale now through Tuesday on Amazon.

Here’s a quick rundown of what’s included in the sale:

“This book is a really good read. I mean REALLY good.” – Marietta 

“Hulegaard takes the story to the places it needs to be before wrapping everything up in a fulfilling conclusion” – Tony Healey, author of the Far From Home and The Fallen Crown series

“Loved it, loved it, loved it! Read a bit like Alfred Hitchcock Presents, which was both surprising and delightful.” – Tony Healey, author of Burial and Dark Orb

“If you like Steven King you will thoroughly enjoy these stories…” – Ken

“You know something’s up as soon as the story begins, but David draws you into his world and then pounces.” – Laurie Laliberte

Stock up and complete your collection of #HulegaardBooks on the cheap!



Sci-Fi & Ambient Music: Like Peanut Butter & Jelly

NGC_4414_(NASA-med)Today, I want to talk to you about the importance of soundtracks. We use music to accompany a variety of tasks, such as exercise, housework, or to help us sleep. Something about music makes even the most mundane activities tolerable, and I say this as someone who has mowed an acre lot… with a push mower.

I love music, and I’m not talking about high school romance type of love. I’m talking about full-on, put a ring on its finger level of dedication. Think about a memory from your past—any memory at all. Can you still remember the song that played when it happened? If not, is there a song that reminds you of that time in your life? If you answered “yes” to either of those questions, then you *get* how amazing music can be.

Music is also a powerful mood enhancer, and some writers use that to their advantage to get into a particular mindset for their work-in-progress. I have peers who listen to loud, aggressive rock to inspire their dystopian playground, and I have peers who listen to classical music to maintain a calm state for their romance novel. Would it surprise you to know that I listen to ambient music when I write?

I know what you’re thinking: how on Earth could beautiful, ambient music inspire the crazy stuff that springs forth from my imagination, right? I don’t know how to explain the connection, but ambient music has always been a key ingredient in my storytelling recipe. The layers of sound swirl around my eardrums, and paint the scenes for me to write.

Whether I’m writing sci-fi, horror, or something in-between, there is always Hammock playing in the background. Pitchfork once referred to the Nashville duo as “Intensely visual music,” and I don’t think I could’ve said it any better myself. Their music jumps out of the speaker, and pours into the worlds I’m creating.

And I’m not alone. Hammock recently released two sci-fi inspired music videos in promotion of Oblivion Hymns (Deluxe Edition). Through these videos, watch as an immersive, gut-wrenching story unfolds without a single lyric or caption. Those emotions you’re feeling? That’s what fuels me as I create. Enjoy!

Part 1: In the Middle of This Nowhere

Part 2: My Mind Was a Fog… My Heart Became a Bomb

REPLAY: Not Your Mama’s Gamer Podcast


My deepest thanks to the crew at Not Your Mama’s Gamer for having me as their guest on last week’s podcast. We spoke at length about writing, narrative, the video game community, and of course, BioWare! I may have even dropped some tidbits about my upcoming project with Tony Healey.

If you weren’t able to join us live, episode 96 is now available online for your listening pleasure. I really enjoyed the chat, and I hope you’ll have just as much fun listening.

A Day in the Life of a Community Manager

One of the questions I’m commonly asked is “What does a community manager do?” More often than not, this is followed by “Don’t you basically just hang out on Facebook and Twitter all day?” Although I’m sure the role differs from company to company, being a community manager at EA is sort of like being an air traffic controller. Massive amounts of communication flow through the community manager, and a key part of our job is to ensure we deliver those messages on time and without flaw.

Of course that’s only one facet of the job. While coordinating messages across various teams is a crucial part of the process, we also have many other tasks and responsibilities to attend to. So, for those interested in a future of community management, I’m lifting the veil and offering an inside peek into my world. Below you will find documentation of a day in my life on the job.

tl;dr – No, we don’t just basically hang out on Facebook and Twitter all day.


November 4, 2014

Hour 1: 7:00am – 8:00am

  • Check email: 71 new messages overnight. Our business is global, which means the other side of the world is working while those of us in North America sleep. I log all my action items on a “To Do” list. Notepads are your friend in this line of work.
  • Review daily reports: Waiting in my inbox every morning is a report that recaps the past 24 hours on our social media channels. This is where fan feedback really comes into play. Who is talking about us? What are they saying? Are there any topics that need to be escalated to the broader team?
  • Review performance metrics: I look at yesterday’s content on our social media channels and take note of their performance. How many people did it reach? Did people seem to like the posts? Did they share the content? Can our team learn anything from this to create even cooler content in the future?
  • Prep YouTube video: It’s a bit busier morning than usual because we have a new video going up at 9am. At this point, I perform the final checks to ensure that the video is ready to go live on time for both social media and the website.
  • Submit a blog to International team: As community manager, I am sometimes asked to write blogs for various outlets across the globe. For today’s video release, I’ve written a short article for Sony’s European PlayStation blog. I use this time to review final edits, give it one last read, and then pass along to our European team.
  • Check-in with mods: A team of diligent and friendly folks help us moderate our social channels to ensure that two-way communication is always available to our fans. Some of them work overseas to cover the channels during North American off hours, so I check-in during the shift change and exchange updates.

Hour 2: 8:00am – 9:00am

  • Submit a new blog to Editing: I’ve just received approval on a proposed blog I’ve written, so now I submit it to the extremely talented Editing team for a final coat of polish. Remember this, writers: Hug your editors. They bring your best qualities forward and prevent your worst from ever seeing the light of day.
  • Review upcoming merchandise calendar: New items are added to the BioWare store each week, and during the holiday season especially, it’s more important than ever to maintain an accurate snapshot of what’s coming and when to communicate it. This week is extremely active because Friday is N7 Day, and we’re debuting new products every day until then!
  • Send a personal tweet: Since we’re releasing a new video, I like to tweet my followers on Twitter to give them a heads up. Because it’s my personal account, I can speak more casually, and do things like give spoiler warnings. I enjoy being able to interact with our community by exchanging memes, or just listening all about Cullen. 🙂
  • Check-in with graphic designer: While reviewing our weekly content schedule, I create a list of custom assets needed for our social channels. This work is done by an amazing designer named Christie. Why is she so amazing, you ask? Because I am a terrible art director, and yet she still manages to create stellar pieces of work!

Hour 3: 9:00am – 10:00am

  • Set video live: With all preparations complete, the time has come to set the video live on YouTube, and get the word out across our social channels. Right on schedule! Following that, I add the video to our ever-growing DAI playlist.
  • Check fan messages: Now that the video is live, I have some free time to check all of our private messages on Facebook and Twitter. If you’ve ever wondered who replies to those, hello! Pleased to meet you. Remember, when you send feedback, keep in mind that it does get read by a real person that wants to listen, so as best you can, please be nice. We have feelings, too. 🙂

Hour 4: 10:00am – 11:00am

  • Content review meeting – This is where team leads assemble and review the plan for the upcoming week together. Did we capture everything? Is everyone clear on the plan? Are there any new opportunities for our teams to explore together? The call wrapped ahead of schedule, so we took a few minutes to review the latest #AlexAtTarget memes. You know, for research purposes, of course. 🙂 Side note: Turns out that whole #AlexAtTarget thing was a viral marketing campaign. Who knew?
  • Review new screenshots – Our marketing team supplied a fresh batch of screens to use. I sift through them and look for ways to incorporate them into our social media content plan. What is the best way to use these? What kind of story can we tell with them? Which ones should be added to the website?
  • Test new video file – Today we’re trying something new: adding custom DAI videos to Instagram. In particular, we’ve created a short clip showing off the Sword & Shield of the Dragon from the Flames of the Inquisition arsenal pack. The first attempt needs some additional optimization, which I communicate back to the video team and await an updated version.
  • Finalize blog – The Editing team has returned the blog I submitted earlier this morning. Through tracked changes, I quickly review the recommended edits and update the text. As usual, the Editing team has worked their magic and made it better.

Hour 5: 11:00am – 12:00pm

  • Instagram update – A new version of the Instagram test video has been received from the video team. Nailed it! I post it to Instagram and keep an eye on the reaction of our community.
  • UGC review – BioWare fans create some of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen. No joke. We’re always on the lookout for things that we think our broader community would be interested in seeing as well. Today we came across an Inquisition rap song. Pretty amazing quality, even if rap music is not your thing.

Hour 6: 12:00pm – 1:00pm

  • Lunch – Even during a busy time such as a title launch, it’s important to always take your breaks. Sitting in front of your computer all day is not healthy, and I’ve got bills from my massage therapist to prove it. Eating a sandwich while continuing to work is not good enough. The work will still be there when you get back. Stand up, stretch, go eat lunch, and relax for an hour. That’s what it’s there for.

Hour 7: 1:00pm – 2:00pm

  • Odds and ends – Many of my co-workers have taken a later lunch today, so it’s relatively quiet right now. I use this time to review works-in-progress, and complete my portion before passing along to the next person.

Hour 8: 2:00pm – 3:00pm

  • N7 Day meetingDragon Age: Inquisition may be coming, but we’ve still got N7 Day to prepare for before it gets here. The community team reviews the agenda for this year’s N7 Day festivities, and makes sure we’re all aligned on the same page.
  • BioWare Austin meeting – Every two weeks, I meet with my counterparts at BioWare Austin to catch up, review upcoming plans, and talk shop. Eric, Courtney, and Tait are all awesome folks!
  • Revisit direct messages – With all my meetings over for the day, I have some time to go back and check new messages from our social media channels. We receive over a hundred per day, so it’s important to check them as frequently as possible.

Hour 9: 3:00pm – 4:00pm

  • Revise drafts of works-in-progress – Projects I’m working on have been sent back to me with suggested revisions. That’s one of the best parts about working as a team: everyone lends their talents to ensure that each project is representing the best quality we’re capable of.
  • Award prizes for giveaways – We do a lot of contests and giveaways on our social channels, and each week I award prizes to the latest batch of winners. If that includes you, congratulations!

Hour 10: 4:00pm – 5:00pm

  • Catching up – As the workday draws to a close, I use the last bit of daylight to catch up on any new business that has come up throughout the day. This typically includes smaller tasks such as sending screenshots to partners, answering emails, confirming details on upcoming initiatives, and general preparation for the next 24 hours.

So, there you have it. Just a typical Tuesday in the world of community management. I hope you’ve found it educational. 🙂 Got questions for me? Leave them in the comments or hit me up on Twitter.

Happy Fourth Birthday, Noble!

Noble: Revised & Expanded


UPDATE: The promotion period for this offer has ended. My sincerest thanks to everyone that downloaded the book!


Sci-Fi lovers, in honor of my “baby” turning four this year, I’m giving it away for free for a limited time. If you’re new to the Noble universe, now’s the perfect time to join! Follow the story of Miller Brinkman, a small town private detective that stumbled upon a deadly conspiracy involving missing children, corrupt law enforcement, and an ancient civilization predating mankind.

I enjoyed Noble as much or more than novels written by my favorite, well known authors. Mr. Hulegaard brought his characters to life in a way that made me care about them.

“Noble is a book that is completely different from any I’ve ever read. It starts out as a mystery `who-done-it’ but changed genre about midway making it even more enjoyable!

Hulegaard captures the tone of the genre, but takes out some of the cliches that I find so tiresome.

I hope you’ll enjoy it! If you do, and would like to continue the story, books 2 & 3 are available now on Amazon.

Thank you for your support!

Mentors & Goodbyes: A Thank You Letter to Jessica Merizan

Most of you probably don’t know me. I am the community manager at BioWare for Mass Effect and Dragon Age, but I am not a public-facing figure. Although 99% of my job is done behind the scenes, there’s a good chance that you see my work several times a week. I don’t often step out from behind my desk, but on this occasion, I felt it was warranted.

As you may have heard by now, Jessica Merizan has left BioWare after serving as its community manager for the past three years. That would be sad enough in its own right, but it cuts a bit deeper for me personally. Having worked with Jess every day of my two-plus years with the company, I’m losing more than a co-worker and teammate. I’m also losing a mentor.


Let’s talk about mentors, shall we? In a perfect world, we’d all have a plethora of them to pick and choose from, but that’s not the reality we live in. We probably all work–or have at some point worked–with intelligent, caring people. Leaders that we’d follow into battle. However, that doesn’t necessarily equate to a suitable mentor by itself.

In addition to those characteristics, a mentor is imbued with vision, patience, and most importantly, a desire to invest in your future. A good mentor nurtures your development without ever losing sight of their own. A great mentor is a perfect cocktail of all these things, and assumes the role without even being asked. That’s what Jess was for me: a damn great mentor.

When I first came to BioWare in 2012, it was intimidating to say the least. Mass Effect 3 had just released, and well, we already know how that story goes. Needless to say, folks were busy. Despite the tumultuous time, Jess took me under her wing from day one and continued to do so every day that followed.

No matter what, Jess always made herself available. Bad day at work? Jess was there to listen. Troubles in my personal life? Jess was there to listen. Generate ideas so crazy that Mike Laidlaw’s face was sure to melt? Jess was there to listen… and to prevent Mike’s face from melting. Are you starting to sense a theme here? 🙂


Jess has shown me more support than I could ever repay to her. If I’m being completely honest, she’s shown me more support than anyone I’ve ever worked with, and that’s saying a lot. I hope that in some small way, I made her time at BioWare a little easier by being on her team. At the very least, I hope I brightened her day every so often by simply being the goofy, dumb ass that I am.

I would love to thank Jess for everything she’s done for me, but words don’t really seem to cover the debt. She has gone above and beyond to help facilitate my career development, and she did it all selflessly. We were never in competition with each other for anything. We were a team. We were two, like-minded and creative people that wanted to be a part of something amazing. We both shared a genuine passion to entertain, celebrate with our fans (we’re huge fans, too!), and support the hard work of our incredibly gifted studio. We certainly gave it our best shot.

So, if you take anything with you from this blog post, please let it be this:

  • Find your mentor
  • Listen to them
  • Learn and evolve
  • Pay it forward

If you’ve already got a mentor, give ‘em a nice big hug and thank them (I love you Karin Weekes & Ann Lemay!). Remind them how much you appreciate their efforts. Someday, become that mentor to someone else, and help cultivate the next rising star in your world. Together, let’s all keep perpetuating awesome.

I love you, Jess. Whatever I accomplish during my career at BioWare will be largely attributed to you and your guidance as a mentor. I will miss you more than you know.


Guest Post: Tony Healey – Let’s Help Tilly

At the beginning of this year I released a charity anthology, featuring the work of 16 fantastic writers and the artwork of the legendary Bruce Pennington, with all proceeds to go to The Cystic Fibrosis Trust (we’ve not hit enough for a donation yet – but we’re getting there).

The original inspiration for that collection of stories – and for doing something to raise funds for CF in the first place – is a little girl called Tilly.

She has a chance to win a free holiday with her Mummy and Daddy next year, but she needs your help. It’s very easy and will only take 2 minutes of your time.

Step 1. Click this link

Step 2. LIKE the Haven Facebook page (you can always UN-LIKE it later).


Step 3. Hit the VOTE button.


That’s it!

Of course, if you wanted to be super-duper cool you could also share the above link and get your friends to vote too. In fact, here’s the link again in case you want to do that.

I’d like to see Tilly reach 1,000 votes and take first place. I’ll also be promoting this via my Official Facebook Page, too.

Thanks for your help and support. Let’s win this brave little girl a holiday.

Ask a Writer Blog Series: Writer’s Block

Got a question for the panel? Tweet it to me or click “leave a reply.”

This week: How do you deal with writer’s block?

David K. Hulegaard, author of the Noble series, Strangers

Always know where you’re headed before you even write the first word. If you think through your story carefully, and create a detailed outline to follow, then writer’s block should never become an issue. That said, if you ever do find yourself struggling to make progress, put down your project and start writing something else. Anything else. It doesn’t matter. Exercise your brain. Keep your mind stimulated and your creative juices flowing. After some time away, you should be able to jump right back into your primary project with a fresh perspective and new ideas.

Bernard Schaffer, author of the Superbia, Guns of Seneca 6, and Grendel Unit series

Writer’s block is a waste of time for serious authors who should be focusing on growing their body of work. It’s meaningless self-gratification. It’s a distraction that should be avoided like bushes of poison ivy. It’s emptier than a classroom of students interested in exploring the underlying depths to Michael Bay movies. To be perfectly blunt: it am dumb.

Wait, you said writer’s block? I was talking about blogging.

I don’t believe in either one.

Tony Healey, author of the Far From Home and Fallen Crown series

Writer’s block is an excuse. A way of saying, “I can’t be bothered,” and making it look like you have a head cold. Everyone who believes in such a mystery flu has their own remedy: “Go for long walks!” “Give yourself time out!” or “Here Are My Top Ten Tips for Beating Dreaded Writer’s Block!”

There is no such thing. If you’ve run out of gas, you’re burned out . . . it’s not writers block. You’re just bloody tired. Have a rest. Don’t do any writing for a few weeks. Watch some TV. Writer’s block is not to be confused with “I’ve run out of ideas”. To be frank, if the latter applies to you, then you have no business writing in the first place.

Everyone is a veritable fountain of ideas, of creativity. Nobody dries up. Even if you find yourself playing with the same motifs, the same themes, the same character archetypes . . . it’s all jazz. That’s what writing is: pulling stuff out of thin air, laying it down on paper, getting it to a point where you’re happy with it, and moving on to the next best thing. You don’t say “I’ve got Writer’s Block”, you say “I’m tired”.

You rest, then you come back and give it your all. And probably you’ll get tired again. That’s the nature of the beast, my friend. That’s the result of putting so much of your heart into making the smoothest jazz ever heard. And thank the maker you did.

William Vitka, author of the Hroza Connection and The Bartender series

Writer’s block is utter crap. It’s the literary equivalent of self-diagnosing yourself with Asperger syndrome to explain your shitty, anti-social behavior. If you are stricken with a case of ‘I can’t write,’ then write something anyway. Chances are, you’ll fall into the flow again. It’s almost like muscle memory. Don’t over-think it.