Monday, October 20, 2014



I have always been a firm believer in helping others achieve their goal. Amazing things happen when you pay forward and assist others travelling along the same road you are on.

When I was, younger I thought there was no way to help others when you are struggling to reach the same goal. There wasn’t time to help someone else.

I was wrong. One of my studio story editors taught me a few lessons. Help others write a good script, and it helps you grow inside and out.

When I started writing novels, I decided to help others whenever I could, and it has paid off in spades.

You can sell thousands of books and still be on an island all by yourself. Or you can read as many books from unknown authors as you can and then review them – encourage the writer and help when you can.

Promoting someone else is a gift we all have, but most seldom use or choose not to lift a finger to help another writer find his or her audience. I believe when you help others you are also helping the goal you seek to reach.

First I acknowledge I love to read all different genres. I read children’s book with the same enthusiasm I do a thriller. I do have favorites, but never allow those to stop me from looking at the work of others. I thoroughly enjoy finding a raw talent writing his or her first book. Maybe the book was written several years ago, and few noticed it. The writer got discouraged and stopped writing. I read the book and see as well as feel the excitement the author had when the words hit the page. Some grammar mistakes have never stopped me from enjoying the story as I remember only too well being told the story is what counts. I remember being drilled with tiny and constant thoughts that repeated over and over – the story, story, and then the story.

Admittedly I make many mistakes in the grammar department. I can blame it on as many others as I can think of and yet I know it’s me and only me. I’ve hired editors. I’ve re-edited and stepped away from the work. When I return, I discover more reasons to edit some more. When it reaches the print stage along comes a reader or two (perhaps more), and they see the errors of my way. Sadly most of these critics didn’t see, feel or read the story. The grammar spoiled it for them, and I do understand how some can get lost with a mistake. I see it in films all the time – a visual mistake can pull your attention away from the screen for a moment. The other side of this issue is, a good film with some small mistakes is still a good film. It goes on to make money and win awards and everyone forgets about the mistakes.

When a book is printed this happens as well, but sadly a few bad reviews pointing out the mistakes and saying nothing about the story can crush a writer and the spirit of putting words to the page.

I read a book as though I’m on a treasure hunt. I can skip over missing commas, periods, quotation marks and misused words if the story is there. When I find a great story I get lost within all the grammar errors are forgotten, and I silently applaud the writer for a job well done. Later I’ll read a review of that same book and see several terrible reviews that tear the book apart over the grammar errors. Most of these reviews say nothing of the story or the hard work that went into putting all those words on the page. Many reviews written are by non-writers, and the labor of putting words to the page gets lost. My heart breaks easily when this happens. I know how hard it is to write a book. It takes lots of time and thought. A manuscript is truly a labor of love. Writing a screenplay is tedious and visual. Maybe script writing is shorter and harder to write. A novel takes time, weeks, months and even years to complete. The work of a writer is never easy. A careless critic demanding perfect grammar can destroy an author's pride. The work of a storyteller can easily shatter. Once the enthusiasm has been bruised a million wonderful words lovingly placed on each page gets ignored and the whole of a great story missed.

When I find a great story I talk about it. I help promote it and encourage other writers to do the same. I tell everyone who will listen when you promote another writer, that writer and his, and her friends will promote back. Every ten books you promote to help others the number explodes becoming a hundred helping you back. It’s as though a pyramid as been created just for you even though you started it by caring enough to say something good and encouraging to a struggling author.

I recently read a book by an author living in the UK. The book was a year old, and I’d never heard of it. I devoured the pages with the enthusiasm of a hungry child wanting another cookie. The book being well received in the U.K. had not been discovered here. I loved it, wrote a 5-star review and now look for other books by the author. The book title is “The Doll’s House” by Louise Phillips. I seek ways to help promote her name and this book in the U.S. just to let other writers know how something quite different can spark the mind and the imagination.

Louise Phillips isn’t the only writer I promote because my list is long and grows daily. I watch what other writers do to promote not only their books, but also the books of others. When you pay attention to a successful promotion, you see how it works. As an example check out the success of Russell Blake, Jinx Schwartz, Emmy Swain, R.S. Guthrie, Martin Crosbie, Tony Dunbar, Don Mize, Shayne Leighton, T.G. Brown, Nancy Lee Parish or Deborah Brown. There is a whole list of other successful writers, young, older, male and female who know how to put different genres on page. The above list includes thrillers, mysteries, children’s books, fantasy, vampire, and drama. Each of these writers has written reviews and done promotion for other writers. What goes around comes around.

Remember if you love to read as you do write, it’s easy to create a list of your favorite writers. Watch how they do business, promotions and see why they help others.

Some writers only talk about their work while others talk about books, writers and great stories they just read.

When you read, your next book think about the story first. See how far you get into the book, the story and the characters without noticing other issues. Reading is fun. It’s an escape from the daily anger and trouble around the world. Movies take us away visually while a great book captures our heart and soul and takes us on the whole journey not a visual shortcut.

Grammar is important, and I’m not saying we should ignore it, but the story is what takes us on our journey and keeps us there to the last page. I’ve read thousands of books, probably the same amount of screenplays, and I always look for the story. I love to get sucked in on the first few pages and stay there. As a filmmaker, I am guilty of reading scripts that quickly take and imagination in the first five pages. By page 10, if I’m not immersed I pass and move on. I know many readers of novels feel the same way, but in the book the set up is quite different and the more you know, the more you want to read. It still all comes back to the story.

Two famous best selling authors I read recently and have enjoyed most of the books they have written make mistakes. I know they have editors and big publishing houses and then more editing – and yet in their last two books I’ve seen errors, typos, and misspelled words. Even with all the help they have, some typos were missed. Did it stop me from reading their book? The answer is no. Was I disappointed? Again the answer in no and the reason is the story. It got me, kept me and pleases my hungry appetite. My reason for bringing this up is so you won’t give up when someone catches a mistake and makes a big deal out of it.

Promote your book and then pick a few other works by authors you may or may not know about and promote their books. Write a review for books you like and for those you didn’t like. I do this all the time. I’ll read a book and while I don’t like the subject or style find it well written and worthy of saying a few nice things about it.

Promote someone else and watch what happens. Join groups that help writers and promote their work as they promote yours. Your audience will open up; your writer's voice enjoyed, and the books you write will find new homes.

For the love of writing and all those who put words to the page – hats off to you all.

William Byron Hillman © 2014

My new IAN page is:

Just released:
HOAX – Prematurely Terminated a thriller
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Book Links:
Dream Searcher
Let's Sue ‘Em
Veronique and Murray:
Zebra's Rock and Me
Quigley's Christmas Adventure
In development Veronique and Murray's Honeymoon

Rollie Kemp Novels
Ghosts and Phantoms Part I:
Ghosts and Phantoms Part II:
Bad Rap:
Hoax – Prematurely Terminated
In editor’s hands - Looting

In editorial – Cheater

My next planned film is:
Quigley's Christmas Adventure
(Sequel to the hit film Quigley)