A reader wants to know why I write in so many different genres.  Sometimes I wonder that myself and my first response is that I have to be totally interested to write anything at all.  I have a graveyard of partial manuscripts that I tried writing because I thought I had a good idea but it went in the gutter. 

My second response is that while it may not be obvious, all of my books in one way or another are basically mysteries.  Maybe not violent crime, maybe not murder or mayhem, but they are mysteries to more or lesser degrees.  Even the book I co-wrote with Zölestina von Tatianoff is really a mystery at its heart.   

I have watched other writers over the years who produced a couple of popular books with a popular character and then went on to write fifteen or more just like the first and second.  Often the characters have grown stale; the plots are fill-in-the-blanks and the resolution predicable.  They continue to sell and that’s all that matters.  Nice work if you can get it.

I’ve been told by people who should know that some of these extended series are ghosted; written by hacks who are handed an outline and put in a cubicle and paid to produce a book.  It’s an industry, and that’s fine with me, but not for me. 

Whenever I have trouble getting started on a new project, I’ve learned to let it rest until something clicks (usually in the middle of the night).  I try to keep agile during those dry spells by writing blogs or comments on news articles and counting the clicks.  It’s a kind of writer’s transcendental meditation.

Let me know how you handle these things and if I get a handful of interesting ideas I’ll put them up.  About 300 words or less will do.




This is the first time that I’ve ever written a sequel and I find it exciting.  The characters come back like old friends at a reunion.  The settings are so familiar that I’m afraid I may not offer enough description.  Right now it isn’t something to worry about.  I tend to make changes right up until publication time.



If you are worried that somebody may try to steal your book and put it on the Internet, your concern may be justified.  A writer named Ruth Ann Nordin has had just such an experience with some of her books on Amazon Kindle.

Suffice it to say here that the moment you commit writing, the work is copyrighted.  However, you have to be able to prove it.

If this is a subject in which you are interested, here’s a link for you:

She done an excellent job of researching this and has made it available to all of us.  For this we owe her a heap of thanks.

 Copyright 2011 by Spencer Schankel.  All Rights Reserved.



About spencer911c

I live on an island in Washington State, not far from the Canadian Border. While the setting must have influenced the first Timothy Holbrook book, our town is not fading like Faith Hollow, nor do we have any known zombies or wizards. I spent many years in the theater and many years writing, and now write fulltime. The theater years are still a great help with pacing, scene construction and plotlines. In the back of my mind when I’m writing and I hear the audience start coughing and shifting in their seats a red light flares and I know it’s time to go back and work harder. On the drawing board is the second Aaron Hanover mystery and the next Timothy Holbrook adventure: “Timothy Holbrook and the Druid’s Circle.” One reader has suggested a sequel to “Tomorrow Will Take Care of Itself” with Mr. Max as the main character. Anything is possible. I love reading comments and questions and do my best to answer all of the ones that aren’t X rated.
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