Thought I’d cover some familiar territory this time, namely how to create the perfect writing environment and get every last drop when the fountain of creative juices is gushing.

First, don’t listen to anyone who says you can’t write effectively if you aren’t surrounded by shelves of dusty old copies of the classics (I’ve heard that, and more than once). My office is loaded is loaded with family pictures, photos of me with running group friends, Atlanta Braves memorabilia, a framed Beatles poster, and a bookshelf with all kinds of book business-related trinkets. 
Bottom line: it’s COMFORTABLE in here. I do all my creative writing at my desk, on my computer, in my office — I can tune everything else out, and plug completely in to what’s in my head and get those words and images onto the screen. 

Valerie Winn hard at work in her writing laboratory!

Valerie, whose long-awaited follow-up to Forsaking Mimosa will be released in late 2016, has a comfortable place to write that’s conducive to getting the juices flowing. So do I, so does Randy Pierce, and so does John Floyd. Did I mention that both those gentlemen also have new books coming in 2016? Watch for The Peter Bay, the new Pierce novel, in March — at which time we’ll also roll out a new printing of Randy’s out-of-print debut novel, Pain Unforgiven. That’s important because The Peter Bay is the sequel to Pain Unforgiven.
John’s new collection of stories is called Dreamland. Great stuff, and about a year away. 2015 has been a really good year for John … nominated for an Edgar for Best Short Story by the Mystery Writers of America earlier this year, and he’s included in the 2015 Best American Mystery Stories, which is edited this year by James Patterson (yes, THAT James Patterson). Mr. Patterson not only mentions John by name in his introduction to the book, but this is what he said about John’s story included in the book:
“‘Molly’s Plan’ details the formation and execution of a bank heist so real and intense that I found it impossible to believe the tale took up only a few pages.”
Wow. Yes, THAT James Patterson. And John is included among perennial bestsellers like Lee Child, Jeffrey Deaver, Michael Connelly, and Dennis Lehane in this year’s collection.
Get yours today, wherever books are sold.

Thought you might be interested to know what we’ve been reading, lately:


NELSON DEMILLE – Radiant Angel
HARPER LEE – Go Tell A Watchman
JOE R. LANSDALE – The Thicket
STEPHEN KING – Finders Keepers


GREG ILES – The Quiet Game
M.O. WALSH – My Sunshine Away
JESSICA HANDLER – Invisible Sisters


STUART STEVENS – The Last Season
DONNA TARTT – The Goldfinch
HARRISON SCOTT KEY – The World’s Largest Man


PHILIP BAILEY – Shining Star
JOHN SHIVERS – Repossessed

Upcoming events: John and I look forward to appearing together at the Christmas Open House at the Choctaw County Library on December 10 at 2:30 p.m., and we both will visit a series of Books A Million stores before year’s end. For a complete listing of upcoming book events, visit www.dogwoodpress.com.

You can also order signed copies of any Dogwood Press titles through the site, and if you prefer a digital download (which we can’t sign, of course), here are the available titles you can pick up through Amazon Kindle:

VALERIE WINN – Forsaking Mimosa
RANDY PIERCE – Magnolia Mud
JOHN FLOYD – Fifty Mysteries
JOHN FLOYD – Deception
JOHN FLOYD – Clockwork
JOE LEE – Director’s Cut
JOE LEE – Last Chance Texaco
JOE LEE – The Long Road Home
JOE LEE – The Magnolia Triangle
JOHN LEE – The Legend of Roger (perfect for the middle schooler in your life!)

Thanks for your time. If you write, don’t get caught up in what your surroundings look like; just get comfortable and let it fly! If you’re looking for a gift idea, visit our web site. We can personalize any book you purchase. And stop in and say hello at a book signing! 
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