James D. McCallister

author of the Edgewater County series

Review (youtube): THE SHINING CODE 2.0

As a fan of master filmmaker Stanley Kubrick, I’m naturally eager to see the new documentary Room 237 currently making the rounds on the festival circuit, and thus not readily available for review. Instead, I thought I’d look at some of the doc’s source material, and what I found was a troubling, fascinating document that in its […]

Review (Blu-ray): HANNAH AND HER SISTERS (1986)

Seen at the time as a return to form for Woody Allen—never mind that prior to this movie he’d gotten wonderful reviews and Academy Award nominations for Broadway Danny Rose and The Purple Rose of Cairo (two of his best, incidentally)—Hannah and Her Sisters garnered as much commercial and Oscar acclaim as his prior, late 70s […]


So you’ve completed and revised a manuscript that’s a thriller, that’s a character study, that’s suspenseful and literary and exciting . . . an easy sell, right? Right. What if it’s set in a milieu that could be seen as distasteful or icky, however . . . like the brutal blood-sport of dogfighting?

MIRIAM MULLINS: Literary Crossover Fiction in Beta-Reader Stage

Backstory: A number of years ago I began a YA I called VISUAL PURPLE, in which an emotionally disturbed young woman, Courtleigh, 25, pretends for a variety of reasons to be 15 again—she interacts with actual teenagers, has a love affair, and through her actions engenders tragedy, violence, and her own downfall. During a few […]

Syrup & Steel

Readers of my Saturday Evening Post short story finalist ‘Trailer Trash‘ (a version of which also currently appears in Petigru Review, the journal of the SC Writer’s Workshop) have not only told me what a vivid picture I paint of my young protagonist’s ordeal in extreme housecleaning, but also in my scene-setting during the story’s […]

The Telling Detail

As I suspect many authors also experience, since my career’s started gaining some traction I get asked more often by aspiring writers for advice—to read pages, usually, or simply to give them some sort of insight or ‘secret’ to getting published. I can’t do that, though, mainly because there isn’t one surefire route to publication, only a […]

W. G. Sebald’s Writing Tips

I came across this blog post yesterday, and felt compelled to propagate these very useful writing concepts from the lauded German author W. G. ‘Max’ Sebald, a likely Nobel winner had he lived to receive the honor. Credit to poster Richard Skinner (and, of course, David Lambert & Robert McGill, who took Sebald’s workshop and […]

Revision Decisions: LET THE GLORY PASS AWAY

Backstory: I completed the first draft of last summer’s new novel, LET THE GLORY PASS AWAY, on August 21, 2012, after which it lay resting and untouched for nearly five months. With the turning of the calendar’s page and the dawning of a new year (and with 20 pages of notes and ideas at hand), […]

Auction in Support of the SC Writer’s Workshop is live!

Michelle L Johnson is a woman of many talents, and here we see her fine efforts to put on this auction in support of the ailing SC Writer’s Workshop, the details of which may be read in this prior post. A terrific effort, and for such a good cause. It’s a bad time for the […]

The SC Writer’s Workshop: A Crisis

Here’s the grim news: this the bad economy has hit the venerable SC Writer’s Workshop annual conference in the pocketbook, and in a serious way. This is one of the most well-run and -respected writer’s conferences in the country, and while they will be sure to figure out a way to soldier on with the […]