Dinner with Doppelgangers is now available for pre-order!

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“A must read for anyone experiencing or living with someone who is diagnosed with a mental health disorder.” – Alison Leslie, LCSW, Bloomington, Indiana

Available now for pre-order, Dinner with Doppelgangers: A True Story of Madness and Recovery by Colleen Wells will be released on April 11th 2015. Pre-order today to secure a copy of this funny, insightful book.

Pre-orders can be made only through the Wordpool Press Bookstore.

In beautifully crafted prose, Dinner with Doppelgangers is the true story of one woman’s struggle with profound depression and mania, the hallmarks of bipolar disorder. With highs, lows, and hospital visits blurred by medications, the poetic text explores in uncompromising honesty how mental illness can affect family, friends, and self. Wells tackles this complicated issue with a magnetic grace that easily pulls readers along. Fall inside her madness, and catch a powerful glimpse of life with mental illness.

Visit the Dinner with Doppelgangers website here!

Watch the book trailer here!

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Bill De Herder has started a web series about writing

Bill De Herder, author of Creative Wordsmithing and The Omega Principle, has started a vlog all about his unique perspective on writing. He aims to use elements from Creative Wordsmithing to show how creative writing can be broken down into manageable pieces all writers can learn from.

Visit Bill’s blog, Adventures and Misdirections, for updates and more information.

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Dinner with Doppelgangers is ready to go!

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Dinner with Doppelgangers: A True Story of Madness and Recovery by Colleen Wells is finally together and ready to send out to the printer!

Wordpool Press will open its bookstore for pre-orders on March 14th!

The book is set to release by April 11th.

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Excerpt from Creative Wordsmithing – How to Build Great Characters

Here is an excerpt from Creative Wordsmithing by Bill De Herder, available now on Amazon!

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“Characters can make or break a good story. Without attention to character, readers may not become invested in the plot. In order to better create interesting characters, let’s first talk a bit about what character is. Character is comprised of two or more traits, which may be either internal or external and may be either active or reactive.

To clarify, let’s discuss the different kinds of traits a character can have. First, traits can either be internal or external. Internal traits involve something nonphysical inside the character (spirituality, mental illness, a particular fear, and so on). External traits are physical (a scar, a limp, tall stature, a pretty face). However, these traits do not always need to be something out of the normal. Some of the most interesting characters are forged from traits that everyone can relate to.

Let’s say we have a character named Joe Average. Joe is a man who is pretty normal. He enjoys his job as an accountant (internal); he likes restoring classic cars (internal); he has a wife and kids (external); and he does not always drive the speed limit (internal). Now, think of how fun it will be when Joe Average is framed for murder and forced to run from the police to prove his innocence. By making Joe normal and placing him in an abnormal situation, the writer has significantly increased suspense and conflict.

But hold on: making a character is not as easy as that. True, two or more traits must be selected, but simply describing character traits will not create character. These traits must be active or reactive. Active traits are things the character will repeatedly do all on his or her own (like not drive the speed limit or adjust his tie unnecessarily). Reactive traits are things the character repeatedly does in response to an outside force (like going for a drive when his boss stresses him out or swearing at the neighbor when he drives by too fast on his motorcycle). These traits must influence scenes early on in the story to give the audience a sense of character. The more the story focuses on a particular character, the more influence his or her traits will have over scenes.

The active/reactive trait rule also applies to external traits. Why bother to write that the character has a wife and kids if they do not influence the story? To make it relevant, Joe Average could have to pull out all the money from a secret bank account (remember, he’s an accountant) and give it to his wife without being spotted. If your character has a limp, create a scene where he or she has to run. Traits complicate your story as well as your character.

Lastly, these traits should change by the end of the story. Plot arcs keep readers busy; character arcs keep them invested. The most engaging stories strive to provide each character with traits that shift somewhere in the plot. If Joe Average has a moustache, perhaps he shaves it off in order to not to be recognized. If your character is a coward, maybe he finds his courage in order to solve the primary conflict.

TV shows are notorious for using this trait-shift technique to keep viewers engaged over extremely long periods of time.

Breaking Bad (2008-2013), for instance, features Walter White, who begins the story as a poor, submissive chemistry teacher. By the end of the series, he has gradually transformed into a conniving, brutally violent meth manufacturer, whom no one is sure they can trust. Almost every long-running character in the series experiences a similar shift, sometimes more than once. Pinkman becomes increasingly unpredictable and complicated because he flip flops between being sober and a junkie, a gainfully employed man and a drug dealer, loyal and disloyal, a killer and a soft-hearted man. The success of this series speaks to the success of the writers’ ability to craft and shift character.”

Learn how professional writers build novels from the ground up with Creative Wordsmithing. In depth, carefully dissected analyses with extensive examples examine the tricks and tools behind plot, phrasing, details, organization, characterization, and much, much more. With a friendly style accessible by all, Creative Wordsmithing employs a new strategy never before used to understand the unruly beast of creative writing: the principles of genre analysis, a technique Applied Linguists use to break down academic writing in a scientific way. Creative Wordsmithing informs its readers with unique, exacting details of how books are written, and insight into how to create a strong draft, right from the first sentence.

Bill De Herder, the author of Creative Wordsmithing, holds an M.A. in Creative Writing from Central Michigan University and is the author of the thriller The Omega Principle (forthcoming from Wordpool Press). After graduating grad school, De Herder became a freelance editor, where he helped his clients improve their novels by breaking down creative writing into steps and commonalities. It did not take long for De Herder to amass what he considered to be a comprehensive guide of the unspoken rules of creative writing. Now, those unspoken rules, originally written in the margins of first-draft novels, have been expanded into Creative Wordsmithing: The Tools of the Creative Writing Trade.

Creative Wordsmithing will be released next week!

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Learn how professional writers build novels from the ground up with Creative Wordsmithing. In depth, carefully dissected analyses with extensive examples examine the tricks and tools behind plot, phrasing, details, organization, characterization, and much, much more. With a friendly style accessible by all, Creative Wordsmithing employs a new strategy never before used to understand the unruly beast of creative writing: the principles of genre analysis, a technique Applied Linguists use to break down academic writing in a scientific way. Creative Wordsmithing informs its readers with unique, exacting details of how books are written, and insight into how to create a strong draft, right from the first sentence.

Bill De Herder, the author of Creative Wordsmithing, holds an M.A. in Creative Writing from Central Michigan University and is the author of the thriller The Omega Principle (forthcoming from Wordpool Press). After graduating grad school, De Herder became a freelance editor, where he helped his clients improve their novels by breaking down creative writing into steps and commonalities. It did not take long for De Herder to amass what he considered to be a comprehensive guide of the unspoken rules of creative writing. Now, those unspoken rules, originally written in the margins of first-draft novels, have been expanded into Creative Wordsmithing: The Tools of the Creative Writing Trade.

Creative Wordsmithing will be released exclusively for Amazon Kindle on Wed., December 10th 2014. 

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IN THE WORKS – Creative Wordsmithing: The Tools of the Creative Writing Trade

Wordpool Press will soon be publishing their first ebook! Available exclusively in digital format, Creative Wordsmithing: The Tools of the Creative Writing Trade, written by Bill De Herder, takes a new approach to learning how to write creatively. New writers will find it accessibly written, while also offering insights even experienced authors can benefit from.

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Learn how professional writers build novels from the ground up with Creative Wordsmithing. In depth, carefully dissected analyses with extensive examples examine the tricks and tools behind plot, phrasing, details, organization, characterization, and much, much more. With a friendly style accessible by all, Creative Wordsmithing employs a new strategy never before used to understand the unruly beast of creative writing: The principles of genre analysis, which is a technique Applied Linguists use to break down academic writing in a scientific way. Creative Wordsmithing informs its readers with unique, exacting details of how books are written, and insight into how to create a strong draft, right from the first sentence.

Bill De Herder, the author of Creative Wordsmithing, has also written The Omega Priniciple, the corporate adventure forthcoming from Wordpool Press.

Advanced Praise for The Omega Principle by Bill De Herder

The Omega Principle by Bill De Herder is forthcoming from Wordpool Press, and has already garnered some advanced praise.

FRONT COVER“The Omega Principle ​accomplishes something few novels are capable of: combining a fast-paced, compelling futuristic story with a cast of characters we’ll recognize as being very much like the people we know. Protagonist Forde Mitchum, while committed to a job that will both shock and fascinate his readers, becomes confused about the purpose and validity of what he does for a living. His journey to discover the truth about the ether he collects makes the novel one of those books readers simply won’t be able to put down.”

– Rebecca Thaddeus, author of One Amber Bead and Coming to Be

The Omega Principle is an exciting mélange of crime thriller and sci-fi. The narrative pulsates with energy and resonates with rich characters, gentle humor, and touch of film noir. Bill De Herder sustains a lively pace while exploring the weighty themes of the inevitability of death, fate, and corruption. All of this makes for a great read.”

– Andy Kantar, author of Black November and Deadly Voyage

“In The Omega Principle, De Herder imagines a world where Forde Mitchum, a man with with a death wish, is approached and asked if he’d like to become a reaper of the dead. What follows is a murder mystery that will keep you turning the page (or scrolling, if that’s your thing) late into the night. For Forde Mitchum, reaping souls is a job that pays the bills, but when he starts asking questions and getting nowhere, he starts looking for the answers and isn’t happy with what he finds. Where do the souls go after he drops them off at the office? What is destiny, really? Is it fixed? Is it even real? What happens when his number’s up? What happens when the cops want to question him for murder? De Herder takes his readers on a journey and has them laughing at death at every turn. Often wry, always clever, and able to tackle the most serious and universal questions with ease, De Herder constructs and addresses the kind of mystery that’s always occupying our imagination, but we never talk about. What happens when you die?”

– Saul Lemerond, author of Kafabe & Other Stories

IN THE WORKS – THE OMEGA PRINCIPLE BY BILL DE HERDER

FRONT COVERNobody knows what happens after you die, but Forde Mitchum has a better idea than most.

Wordpool Press will soon launch The Omega Principle, a one of a kind corporate adventure by Bill De Herder.

Set in modern day America, The Omega Principle drips with Meso-American music and culture, while it takes inspiration from Grim Fandango and H.P. Lovecraft’s Reanimator. The result of this unique combination is a mystery thriller about humanity’s relationship with death. The rich and often funny characters support a twisted plot that will keep readers on their toes until the very end.

In The Omega Principle, Forde Mitchum is a mortal human reaper who prides himself in following the rules. Never be seen. Touch nothing. Get in, and get out quickly. But after two years of doing his job by the letter, Forde’s world suddenly falls apart when Ritter, the reaper who trained Forde, is let go abruptly. Ritter vanishes until the day Forde himself is ordered to reap him. When Forde arrives to take the life force called “ether” from Ritter’s body, a confusing series of events is set into motion, and he finds himself mistakenly wanted by the police for murder. Before Forde can discover the truth behind what is going on, the entire organization he works for is suddenly on his heels, attempting to kill him.

WP 5Bill De Herder is a writer living in Big Rapids, Michigan. He has an M.A. in Creative Writing from Central Michigan University. The Omega Principle is his first book.

See Bill De Herder’s full publication history at his website.

Learn more about The Omega Principle forthcoming from Wordpool Press at wordpoolpress.com

 

IN THE WORKS – Dinner with Doppelgangers by Colleen Wells

IMG_9178Fall inside madness, and catch a powerful glimpse of life with mental illness.

From Wordpool Press, in beautifully crafted prose, comes Dinner with Doppelgangers: A True Story of Madness and Recovery by Colleen Wells, the story of one woman’s struggle with profound depression and mania, the hallmarks of bipolar disorder.

Wells, who was diagnosed with bipolar I and anxiety, among other disorders, recounts her struggle with mental disease, and its effects on her family and friends. She does this with bare, broken phrases that rattle and shock the mind. With highs, lows, and hospital visits blurred by medications, the poetic text explores in uncompromising honesty how mental illness can affect family, friends, and self. Wells tackles this complicated issue with a magnetic grace that easily pulls readers along. Those diagnosed with mental illness will benefit from this book’s message of warmth, hope, and recovery, as will those with the mentally ill in their lives.

To find out more about Colleen Wells, visit her colleen-wells-writerwebsite and wordpoolpress.com