Category Archives: Uncategorized

Changes Coming at LaneDiamond.com

Now that I have my website back after being hacked, it’s clear I need to make lots of changes — cleaning up old posts that are no longer relevant, updating expired links, updating current info regarding the many projects I’ve been a part of, deleting posts that hackers converted into ads for… well, we’ll not talk about what the ads are for.

As part of this, I do believe it’s time to consider a whole new template and website design, something more modern and appropriate for authors. I fear I’m setting a pretty bad example for other authors here. This will be on my to-do list for January/February 2019.

In the meantime, I shall beg yur indulgence and patience as I once again, at long last, re-engage on my own website. If you’ve stuck with me here, then thank you. You’re amazing! 🙂

I’m Back! A Progress Report on THE DEVIL’S BANE.

I had lost my site for a few weeks, hacked by… someone. Now it’s back, so I guess I’m back. I’ll be posting new content soon, including some more discussions about some recent releases I had the pleasure of editing. In fact, you can drop over to my Facebook fan page at LaneDiamondAuthor and see some of those discussions there. Naturally, I hope you’ll LIKE my page while you’re there.

In other news, I’ve made some additional progress on my second “Tony Hooper” novel, THE DEVIL’S BANE, since last I posted here.

Completed and HIGHLY polished: Prologue-Chapter 10 (27,000 words).
Completed and final polishing pass pending: Chapters 11-16 (11,000 words).
Best guess at final length? 85,000-90,000 words.

It’s a slow go, but I made the decision not to postpone its completion any longer, regardless of my current workloads as publisher and editor. I’m working on it at least 3 days per week, 2 hours per day. So even at just 6 hours/week, I’ll finish it up and have it ready for launch come the spring.

FINALLY! Yeesh… only been 8 years in the waiting room.

NOTE: The cover pictured will NOT be the final cover, but I’ll use it for various marketing efforts.

So all in all, it’s good to be back. I’ll make a reasonable attempt to be a bit more active here at my site. Thanks for hanging in there with me.

Still Here

Yep… I’m still here. I was away from this site for so long, and hadn’t updated the site, that someone snuck in and hacked me… in a friendly kind of way, but still….

Anyway, I have a long TO-DO list, and I include on that re-engaging on this, my author’s website. Yeesh! I really have let it go too long.

Watch for my first new “real” post in a long time to appear next week. It’s on my calendar. 😉

What’s in a Pen Name?

THIS POST IS FOR READERS and WRITERS:

You know me here as Lane Diamond, but my real name is Dave Lane. So why did I decide to write (and edit and publish) under a pen name?

When I first prepared to shop my first book around to literary agents back in 2008, I did what every author in that situation should do: I searched the internet for anyone else who’d published with the same name as mine. Why? Because every author should be unique. Many actors use screen names for precisely the same reason: you don’t want to be confused with another actor, or in my case, with another author. When people search on my “name” as an author, I want them to find my work, not someone else’s.

In my case, there were a few too many Dave Lanes out there in the internet world and publishing world. One of them was some knucklehead aryan race white supremacist out of the UK who’d published several books. Yeah, just what I needed: to be confused with that guy.

So it was settled: I needed a pen name. Now, what should I use? Well, I’d long been known by my nickname of Diamond, which went back to my old band and karaoke days (shortened from Diamond Dave), so it made sense to me to incorporate that. Dave Diamond? Taken. Diamond Dave? Taken rather aggressively by David Lee Roth, formerly of Van Halen. Diamond Lane? Nah, that just sounds off, since Diamond is more of a last name and… wait a second…. Lane Diamond?

And there you have it. You won’t find any others, unless you happen to be looking at an engagement ring, in which case you might purchase a [Neil] Lane diamond. As far as individuals go, I think I cornered the market. That means if you search my pen name in some combination with literary, book, author, writer, editor, publisher, etc, you’re going to find me. Perfect.

Are you an aspiring author? Is your name John Smith, or Jane Doe, or… eek!… Stephen King or Kathy Reichs? Yeah, then you need a pen name. The most important consideration in picking one is NOT some hidden, special meaning to you. It is uniqueness. Period. If you happen to be able to get both, as I did, then good for you.

Oh, and as far as using as a title for your book the same one that’s been used a dozen times by others? …well, that’s for another discussion.

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It’s Time To Pay More Attention To Me

Well, I have been woefully neglectful of this, my blog and website, for the past few months. In the grand scheme of priorities, it somehow found its way to the bottom of the list. I decided late last night – or perhaps I should say early this morning – that this must change.

One of things I needed to do first was ramp up my motivation, my drive, my sheer enthusiasm for my own work. So I decided to visit my Goodreads page for Forgive Me, Alex and read all those reviews. Yep, that got me pretty well fired up.

Life in general has offered a few distractions as of late, and my work at Evolved Publishing has swallowed up the rest of my time, but I’ve resolved that it’s okay to say to folks, on occasion, “Sorry, I can’t do that.” Scheduling work a little further in advance has become not just okay, it’s become a necessity if ever I’m to write my own books.

Of course, some pretty great things have happened at Evolved Publishing, including an ever-expanding team of talented individuals, a constantly-growing catalog of fine books, a Facebook Street Team that’s both supportive and great fun, and even that terrific new website we have.

Still, my second novel, The Devil’s Bane, simply refuses to write itself. The nerve! And this blog? Fuggedaboutit!

Well… until now. Yep, I’m back, and I mean to stay back if it kills me. It won’t, of course.

We Must Strike a Balance between Writing and Everything Else

If I may resort to a tired old cliché, I’ve been burning the candle at both ends for some time now. As an author, I’m always desperate to find time to write, of course. Most of us, as authors, have one big problem to deal with in that regard: the day job. In my case, the day job is Publisher & Executive Editor at Evolved Publishing.

I have it easier than many, however, not having the added responsibility of a spouse and kids, as many of you do. My disadvantage is the sheer number of hours required each week by my day job, which is getting a wee bit nutso.

I scramble every day and every night to find time to get it all done. Yet despite this constant pressure—actually, because of it—I must break away on occasion to refresh. I do that in a couple different ways. I ride a bicycle to get some exercise, and to enjoy the outdoors. (Man! I really must get out of the cave once in a while.) My 20- to 30-mile rides through hilly terrain are always a physical grind, because I’m not just out cruising around—I push it hard. At other times, I just turn on the TV for an hour or two while I take a meal break, or kick on the stereo, crank up the volume, and sing along. Maybe I’ll just step outside and take a walk downtown, stop in at the local eatery, and enjoy some lunch and a beer (uh… that’s one beer).

The point is that I de-stress. Every time I do, I feel better, more energetic, and that makes me more productive. I get more work done as a result, more than I would if I took no breaks at all. That may seem counterintuitive, but I believe it to be true. Burnout is a dangerous thing in our business. It’s so easy to let the time commitment required to become a successful author overwhelm us. The process takes years, so when we grind away, trying to find a few hours here and a couple hours there to pursue those goals, we often become disheartened.

The first thing to do, I believe, is to accept our career goals for what they are. We can’t take shortcuts, which means compromising on quality of work, because that will kill our career before it even begins. Settle in. Accept that you’ve made a long-term commitment. The future will be bright.

The second thing to do is to treat your self to an occasional “mini-vacation” – two or three hours to refresh yourself. I recommend exercise first, as nothing will boost your energy quite that way. But whatever method you choose, don’t feel so pressured to complete that piece right this minute, that you burn yourself out in a devastating crash. Even if you can only eek out a half hour to exercise, do it! You’ll be a better, more productive writer for it.

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Idle Ramblings of a Bad Boy

Why am I a bad boy? Err… well… I haven’t blogged in over two weeks. WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?

I know. Sorry. (Hangs head in shame.)

One of the things that happens when you wear so many hats – publisher, editor, editor, editor, editor, editor, author/writer 

– is that the last item on the list tends to go begging. That’s okay; we all have our responsibilities to juggle, and I don’t mean to complain about mine (well, maybe just a little), I just want to explain why I’ve been such a bad boy.

Is this the part where I get spanked? Is it?

In other news (actually, it’s kind of the same news), we’ve added 3 more authors to the Evolved Publishing team in the past week, and I’ve taken on even more… wait for it… editing! And publishing! I know, I know. Now where did I put that cognac?

Truly, though, it’s an exciting time, one that we’ve worked hard to reach. While I struggle to find the time to work on my own next novel, and even though something as seemingly simple as keeping up with this blog and the one at Evolved Publishing has become a strain, I remain optimistic and just plain stoked about the future.

That light at the end of the tunnel grows brighter and bigger, so bear with me. I’ll offer up a little more content here at Lane Diamond Central one of these days.

No… seriously. I WILL TOO!

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Coffee – Elixir of the Gods

Abraham Lincoln said, “If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend six sharpening my axe.”

Preparation. I like that, but here’s my question: How could one even get started were it not for coffee?

Or am I just a lousy-morning person? Probably. I’ve always been a night owl, since my wee days as an aspiring author, back when pacifiers were an amazing distraction. (I gave those up years ago.)

I swear, sometimes I want to skip the whole brewing thing and go right to chewing on the beans.

I awoke this morning, as Arlo Guthrie once sang, “…hung down, brung down, hung up, and all kinds of mean, nasty, ugly things!”

Then I had a cup of coffee. Then I had a second cup of coffee. And I thought, “You know, I’m just about ready to dig into work and ge—” Then I had a third cup of coffee.

Aaaaahhhhhhhhh………… Yes, now I’m ready to get down to some serious work. Now I’ve sharpened my axe… err… brain.

Do you have a guilty pleasure that functions also as grease for your mental wheels?

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Holiday Reflections – A Sad Look Back, An Optimistic Look Forward

Once again, a Merry Christmas to one and all—be safe, be healthy, be happy. The second of those three—be healthy—is the source of quite a bit of personal reflection these days.

Bob Ashley, R.I.P.

A couple weeks ago, my brother, Bob Ashley, succumbed to cancer. Technically, Bob was my half brother on my father’s side—a father I barely knew. I’ll not go into the dysfunctional details; I’ll just say that I got to know Bob later in life—me in my early 40s, he in his mid-50s. We hit it off nicely, being of like mind in everything from humor (humor was a biggie) to family to politics to just plain living life. I liked Bob instantly. We never thought of each other as “half” brothers, just brothers who discovered each other later than we would have liked.

Despite the fact that Bob and I didn’t see a lot of each other in recent years, living some 1,000 miles apart, keeping in touch primarily through email and social media sites, my appreciation of him did not diminish. Indeed, before he got sick, we were trying to sort out plans for a long overdue visit. Thus, his passing hit home with a thump. Cancer has been such a scourge on my family over the years, as it has been for so many.

I’ve been battling my own health issue these past few years, a condition call Post-Concussion Syndrome (PCS). Again, I’ll spare you the details, except to say that it threw my life into a state of turmoil back in 2006. Since then, I’ve been battling my way back, sorting out a new, productive path to a brighter future, building hope and optimism back into my life. It’s been a tough slog, but the light at the end of the tunnel grows nearer, larger—I can almost reach out and touch it.

And so, through it all, and as I reflect on life during this holiday season, I can’t help but be reminded that nothing—absolutely nothing—is more important than your health, and the health and wellbeing of family and friends.

I hope you and yours are enjoying the blessings not just of the season, but of life without excessive worry or loss.

This one’s for you, Bob. Go gently into that good night, brother, and rest easy.

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Is “Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day” in jeopardy?

Today is Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day nationally. How many of you knew that?

This is a fantastic idea. Kids need to read more, to know the wonder and majesty of the written word, to let their imaginations carry them to worlds created wholly on the page.

Yet with the advent of the eBook, and the slow (or maybe not-so-slow) dwindling of print books, might this laudable event be in jeopardy? The Borders bookstore chain is already gone. Barnes & Noble is cutting back on shelf space, rather drastically in some cases. Mom-and-Pop bookshops are struggling to keep their heads above water—those that haven’t already vanished.

Fewer people are buying print books at all, and those who are do so more often online, or through discounters like Wal-Mart and Target. So where are parents going to take their children in the future?

Perhaps it’s time we started a new tradition: a monthly Read with Your Child day. We could use the third Saturday of each month, for example, and dedicate two hours per month to actually sit down and read with our kids, to talk about books, about their favorite stories and characters—and why they made their choices.

I remain more convinced than ever that kids must read more, particularly in a world dominated by television and computer games. Use eReaders. Go ahead! I mean, let’s face it: eReaders are right up your kid’s alley. Just read with them. Please! It does for their brain development what TV and computer games cannot.

And then maybe—just maybe—we’ll stop hearing twenty-somethings toss out sentences like this real-life gem: “It’s like… so… I don’t know, kinda like… well, you know what I mean?”

My response: “Well, no, I don’t know what you mean. Perhaps if you spoke English.”

Her response: “OMG! Like… whatever!”

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