Joe Barlow Writes

Quirky Books for Quirky People–New Thoughts on Writing and Publishing in the Digital Frontier

So, a formal introduction, then…

tubesAs we all know, the Internet is a series of tubes. Every computer in the world is connected by a mixture of twine, plastic, and wax, allowing cybersurfers to slide from one digital destination to the next, like wind passing through the gap in a first-grader’s smile.

Or something. I’m not very good with this technical stuff.

Because of the digital sorcery that allows us to teleport all over the planet simply by typing random subjects into a search box, there are many possible ways you may have found this site:

Perhaps you’re a writer, interested in reading about the ongoing adventures of another writer. If so, welcome.

Perhaps you’re a mystery fan, looking to find out more about the types of novels I write. If so, welcome.

Perhaps you’re a spambot hoping to share with me the exciting news that I’ve won ten million pounds in the UK lottery (which, judging from the amount of notifications I receive, I seem to do about twice a month, despite having never been to the UK). If so, welcome! I don’t discriminate against machines. Robots kick ass.

No matter how you might have found me, I’m pleased to meet you.

On my previous writing blogs, I typically discussed the business of freelance writing. I’ve been writing professionally since 1997, both as a corporate tech writer and as a newspaper/magazine freelancer. I made a living doing that for many years, but it wasn’t always the type of work that satiated one’s muse.

That’s why, after a bit of soul-searching two years ago, I promised myself that I would write a novel within 12 months. Although I like many genres, mystery is by far my favorite, and that’s where I set my sights. More specifically, I envisioned a detective story that gently satirized, yet also revered, the hard-boiled crime tales of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett.

I got busy pounding the keys, and although progress was sadly held up by a death in my wife’s family, I completed the first draft of that novel, Coffee to Die For, about eight months later. I’m already hard at work on the sequel, tentatively titled The Phantom of Mulberry Street, while Coffee percolates (no pun intended, I promise… oh, alright, you caught me, I intended it) for a while. Soon I’ll pull it out of the metaphorical desk drawer and begin work on the second draft.

[UPDATE: Since the time this post was originally written, over a year ago, I’ve completed the second draft of Coffee, and I’m nearly finished with the third draft as well.]

That, in a nutshell, is why I’ve started this blog: to chronicle my fiction-writing pursuits, and to hopefully connect with others who are interested in doing the same.

And now you know a little bit about me, if you didn’t already. No doubt we’ll learn more about each other in the days and weeks to come.

Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to sign up for my mailing list if you want to stay notified of my various writing projects!

Now remember, kids: it’s a great big world out there. Let’s go break some stuff.

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