Monday, January 27, 2014

Our Top Story Tonight...

Hear ye, hear ye!

Lots of news from the T. M. Bilderback book universe…

Due to several contractual SAG broadcast commercial productions, and other contractual acting jobs, narrator Scott O’Neill had to give up the audiobook production of If You Could Read My Mind – A Nicholas Turner Novel.  I certainly wish Scott well, and I hope that he can return to us soon!

Meanwhile, production duties for If You Could Read My Mind have been picked up by a newcomer to the T. M. Bilderback universe:  Meagan Cunningham!  I’ve heard her audition, and Meagan does a fantastic job.  I think she’s a perfect fit for this book, and I believe that you’ll like her very much.

Gold – A Short Story is now available as a Kindle story.  It’s a bit too short to provide a decent paperback, so its availability is limited to Kindle right now.  I’m hoping it will be available as an audiobook soon.  Here’s the link to

Also, now available is The Best Of Justice Security Volume 1 – A Three-In-One Omnibus.  This combines the first three Justice Security Novels into one volume:  Mama Told Me Not To Come, Jackie Blue, and Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go.  The book is available both as a Kindle book, and a print edition.  Here is the link for the Kindle edition at

Another note about The Best Of Justice Security Volume 1:  The print edition is also available at

And that’s the news for now!  A lot has been happening in the last few days, and it’s all very exciting!  I certainly hope that you’re having as much fun with this as I am!

Until later,

Keep reading!

Michael  (T. M.)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

You Got To Have Your Support

Support is necessary.

If you’re writing fiction, you have to have supporting characters.

Main characters are great, but they can’t do everything.  They have to have characters surrounding them that can also perform things that your characters are unable to do.

A supporting character can be an antagonist, or the main character’s best friend.

A well-rounded supporting character can be what you need when a break is needed.  They can be comic relief, or support for your antagonist.  They can be plot points, and can provide necessary plot twists.  They can require rescuing, or provide an antagonist from which someone must be rescued.

In my Justice Security series, Tony Armstrong is an example.  Tony is a “grunt” – a uniformed member of Justice Security.  For the first three stories in the series, Tony was a background character, in charge of the “grunts”, and heading up the front desk in the Justice Security building.  He was limited to a few lines in each of the first three stories.

Then came Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go.  Tony becomes one of the main characters, trapped inside the nightclub secretly owned by Esteban Fernandez.  It’s revealed that Tony was Special Ops, and had been in Afghanistan.  Tony had the presence of mind to hide, and go undercover with the bad guys when the club was taken.  Steve, the silent cameraman for the reporter Miriam Apple, was revealed to be a former Army Ranger.

Both are instrumental in saving the day.

Your supporting characters can make or break your fiction.  They’re there when you need them, so don’t hesitate to use them!

Keep reading!

Michael (T. M.)

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

It's A Cliffhanger!

When is the right time to stop?

You’ve gone on and on, trying and trying…you’re tired, and you seem to have exhausted every avenue remaining.

What’s left?

Finding the right place to stop when you’re writing fiction is almost as difficult as finding the correct place to begin.  And, almost as important, is how you stop your story.

If you’re writing a stand-alone piece of fiction, you should have all of the problems solved, or in a state that your fictional hero or heroes can control.  The story should conclude with all issues resolved

Unless you’re writing something that you intentionally leave open for the reader to forever wonder about.

I’ve heard that called a Hitchcockian ending, named after the famed film director.  One of Alfred Hitchcock’s most famous movies, The Birds, comes to mind.  As Tippi Hedren and the others drive away, we see literally millions of birds perched everywhere, as if waiting for something.  What happened after that?

The viewer is left wondering, and is forced to use their own imagination.

Many pieces of fiction end that way, leaving things undone to the point that the reader must draw their own conclusions.

Is this fair?


Often, things that happen in real life have no endings.  Why should our fiction be any different?

This way of “non-ending” things really carries over into a fiction series.  In a series, the very word “series” indicates that things will not be concluded into a neat package at the end of the story.  Many strings may be left untied, so that the hero or heroes of the series will have more actions to perform in later stories.  The open-ended story strings could be a choice still to be made about something in a personal life…or something as strong as the escape of the villain.  Or something leading you to read the next story.

Those choices, however, are not up to the reader.  They remain forever locked in the choices made by the writer and creator of the piece of fiction.  Those choices, if left open, invite a sense of excitement in the reader, with the hope that you will read the next entry in the series, or see the next episode of the show, or see the next installment of the movie series.

It’s called a cliffhanger ending.

Why is that important?

I’ll tell you sometime…{wink}

Keep reading!

Michael  (T. M.)

Friday, January 17, 2014

You're History!

Have you ever given any thought as to what you’ll leave for your mark on the world?

The famous western writer, Louis L’Amour, said in more than one novel, “Stick your finger in the water and pull it back out.  That’s how big a mark you’ll leave.”

I used to think that was true.

Then, I discovered that I like to write.

I write stories…all fiction, of course.  And I hope that my stories will continue to entertain readers long after I’ve left this earth.

Have you noticed, that with only a few exceptions, artists are remembered long after history has forgotten almost everyone else?  And by artists, I mean writers, painters, sculptors, and singers.

Leonardo da Vinci is remembered today for his numerous paintings and inventions.  Who was his next-door neighbor?  The mayor of the city he lived in?  How about his country’s leader?

Nobody knows, and nobody really cares.

What is remembered about da Vinci is his wonderful paintings…small pieces of pleasant beauty from his time on earth.  He will always be remembered.

Another artist – this one a writer – is William Shakespeare.  The numerous plays he wrote are still being enjoyed and analyzed today.  Colleges and universities across  the world are looking for hidden meanings in every word of his writing…and, if the truth be told, Shakespeare was a hack, writing only to earn money to feed himself and his band of actors.  His plays were probably written only to spoof current political and social climates.  His acting troupe were most likely the SNL players of his time.

But he’s remembered.

I hope that I live long enough to add another fifty or so titles to my bibliography.  I have notes and ideas for that many, if not a few more…so I’ll keep writing.  And writing.  And writing.

And I hope that my writing will be remembered.

And, I hope that it still entertains readers a hundred years into the future.  That’s the most a person can hope for.

Keep reading!

Michael (T. M.)

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Print Is Holding Its Own

I read an interesting statistic today.

According to an article on, ebooks are surging as the devices are multiplying, but print books are holding their own.

It says that even readers in the age group eighteen to twenty-nine are still using print books, and the reasons are many.

I find it quite enlightening.  Even though I’m well older than that age group, it reflects my reading habits as well.

My reasons for still using print?

Cost, for one.  I’m a huge reader, and, much to my wife’s chagrin, I like to have a large variety of things around that I haven’t read yet, so that I’ll always have a choice…and I keep what I’ve read, because those that love reading, like me, will go back and re-read a favorite author or book again and again.  When I can pick up a paperback copy of a catalog title for a dollar or less, I don’t think twice about it...but an ebook copy averages around eight dollars.

Now, eventually, I will purchase that book as an ebook, and keep it in my Kindle library.  But, I weigh costs.  Once I purchase a book through Amazon for my Kindle, I’ve purchased it forever.  I’ll have it for the rest of my life.  I can keep that paperback book, too, for the rest of my life…but, if an accident happens to that paperback, and I drop it in the toilet or something, replacing it may involve a prolonged search, and the condition may not be as good as the one I had.  If I drop my Kindle in the toilet (don’t laugh – I’m sure it’s happened somewhere in the world already), I replace the Kindle, download my ebook again, and I’m good to go.

So, the average eight dollars for an ebook compared to a dollar for a paperback is actually a pretty good deal.

My other reason for real books vs. ebooks is availability.  No matter what, not all books are available for an ereader.  For example, for some odd reason, the only early Dirk Pitt adventure by Clive Cussler that is available is Raise The Titanic!, and I don’t have a clue why.  So, I’m stuck with a shelf of early Clive Cussler paperbacks that are taking up space, gathering dust, and gradually deteriorating from age.  They’re well-read, because early Cussler happens to be a reading favorite of mine.  But, I’d love to have them on my Kindle.

Availability is something that still must be worked out…especially for deep catalog readers like me.

Note:  A word to Marvel Comics…DC is gradually making available Kindle editions of early Batman and Superman comics.  Why don’t you?  Amazing Fantasy # 15, featuring the first appearance of Spider-Man, comes immediately to mind…

Here’s the link to the story I’m referencing:

Keep reading!

Michael (T. M.)