Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Guest Post by Author Michael J. Lee

On behalf of Bewitching Book Tours, please welcome Michael J. Lee, author of My Frankenstein!  

***One lucky commenter will win a free Kindle e-copy of My Frankenstein. So, please leave a comment (preferably with your e-mail) if you'd like a chance to win! I'll draw a winner on Friday, April 22.***

Now, let's give Michael the floor. Take it away, Michael!

What I Learned From James Patterson

Short Chapters.

Short chapters keep you reading.

You finish one in a few minutes and think to yourself, “That wasn’t so bad. I should keep reading.”

Next thing you know you’re in too deep and you can’t stop even if you wanted to!

In all seriousness I never thought much about chapter length or marketing myself as an author until a few years ago. That’s when I stumbled upon a NY Times Magazine article about Mr. Patterson. I’d heard the name before and new he was pretty successful. But I was shocked to learn how successful. I’ve long held a Jeet Kune Do philosophy with regards to writing; absorb what is useful. And who couldn’t use a career like Patterson’s?

Regardless what you think of his writing and his use of collaborators, I still have to admire the man’s savvy. The publishing game has become primarily a marketing game and Patterson is one of the very few authors with a true marketing strategy. While some authors cling to their publishers and put themselves completely in their hands, Patterson is directing his books’ PR blitz himself. It’s a model other writers should pay attention to. Obviously most of us have a lot less money to play around with but it’s very empowering to decide your own marketing strategy. Empowering and terrifying.

But what I also took away was the idea of using shorter chapters to keep the reader engaged. At first it seems like a simple idea. That is until you actually try to pull it off yourself. It’s really much harder than it sounds. You have to come up with 100 different cliffhangers for a given story. That does take real imagination.

So here’s to you James Patterson. Thanks for the insights and the tips. I’ll be sure to make the most of them!

Michael Lee is a script consultant, judge and entertainment blogger for The Wrap.com and has lived in Detroit, Connecticut, Ohio and Los Angeles.

To learn more about Michael, visit his blog:

Now, check out Michael's latest release and remember to leave a comment for a chance to win a Kindle copy!

In a small village in early 19th Century young Eva is enthralled by the new young baron, Viktor Frankenstein.  Viktor promises to transform the traditional little town into a beacon of science and gives the book loving Eva access to his fantastic library. Eva becomes his student and assists him in a secret experiment, though she is kept in the dark about its ultimate aim. Soon after that Viktor introduces Eva to his “cousin” Adam. Adam is horribly disfigured with stitches running across his face. Viktor claims he is mute and simpleminded, but Eva takes pity on him and sets out to teach him to speak.…

What follows is a combination of tragic romance and classic horror as Eva is pulled between Viktor, who grows jealous and takes murderous steps to ensure his secret, and Adam, who possess tremendous strength 
and rage yet deep inside is innocent and vulnerable.

In his debut fantasy novel, Michael J. Lee retells the classic story by Mary Shelley as a dark romance with steampunk overtones.

Buy your Kindle copy now at Amazon.com Click HERE and at Amazon.co.uk Click HERE.

***Watch this fantastic trailer!***


  1. I never thought of short chapters before but I do see the appeal of something easily digestible. Good point.

  2. Hmm... I agree that short chapters are helpful. I should add, however, that I follow the 'string' theory - it's as long as it *should* be. In crime thrillers I think chapters *should* be short.

    I recently had an interesting discussion with a novice writer who said that she was given the good advice that sentences should always be short. My response was that 'yes, it is good to have short sentences, but a good writer knows when they should be long as well'. I think this principle applies to this discussion.

    I enjoyed your points - they are highly pertinent to good writing.


  3. I love short chapters. Awesome interview - thank you!

    Ellie Garratt

  4. Congratz to Gerry! You've won a Kindle copy of "My Frankenstein". Thanks for commenting!

  5. Thank you everyone for entering. Gerry I hope you enjoy your copy. Thank you Mysti for having me here. It was awesome!

  6. My pleasure! Come back anytime. I do interviews too :)


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