Steve McEllistrem

The Devereaux Dilemma

Author Archives: steve-mcellistrem

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Style vs. Substance

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Is it better to be a master stylist, with beautiful, flowing prose and a relatively limp story or a decent technician with a wonderful story? Obviously you want both, but that rarely happens. More often, you’re reading a story and … Continue reading

The most important part of any story

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The most important part of any story is character. You can have a wonderful idea, completely fresh and original, something that’s never been seen before, and if you can’t sell it with interesting, sympathetic characters, it will die on the … Continue reading

Negative vs. Positive Emotions

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It seems to me that most, if not all, negative emotions come from wishing the world was other than it is, while many positive emotions come from experiencing the world as it is. Why is it so difficult to just … Continue reading

Optimism vs. Pessimism

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If you expect the worst but hope for the best, does that make you a pessimist? And if that makes you a pessimist, shouldn’t everyone be one? Isn’t it better to prepare for the worst, just in case, rather than … Continue reading

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Every Breath You Take

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With every breath, our lungs take in molecules breathed by Jesus, Stalin, Ghandi, Hitler and Buddha, so each of us embodies the full range of human history – each of us needs to be aware of our place in the … Continue reading

Southwest Review Interview & Article

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There’s an article about my book in the Southwest Review. You can check it out at the following site: http://www.southwestreviewnews.com/articles/2013/08/05/west-st-paul-author-offers-%E2%80%98dilemma%E2%80%99-first-book#.UgOKbKzpjcw  

Write On! Radio Interview Transcript (edited)

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Edited Transcript from Write On! Radio Interview with Ian Graham Leask ~ IGL: This is the first book in a trilogy – what’s the ambition of it?  SM: The trilogy essentially follows Jeremiah Jones and a society on the edge … Continue reading

character names

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Some readers dislike character names that are complex or hard to understand. These kinds of names are especially prevalent in science fiction and fantasy. Should you forgo such names and stick with characters whose names we can pronounce relatively easily? … Continue reading

The Fine Print

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Subtitled, How Big Companies Use “Plain English” to Rob You Blind, this latest effort from David Cay Johnston left me infuriated and wishing more people would understand just how much government and big businesses work together to maintain wealth in … Continue reading

The Orchardist

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This wonderful new book by Amanda Coplin is a detailed character study of an orchardist and the people who inhabit his world. At times funny, at times horrifying, it allows us a glimpse into a turn-of-the-century way of life that … Continue reading

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