Category Archives: Writer’s Life

Ghost town

But in fairness, I’ve been writing steadily since August, and I’m maybe 1/4 to 1/3 of the way through what I think will be not only a publishable novel, not only a hell of a novel, but a maybe just maybe important novel? Nah, it’s science fiction, so strike that last bit. But hell of a novel? Yeah. This one makes me look back at Gator & Shark and say, What the hell was I thinking?

I feel good about it. That is all. And now I’m going to write.



I have a new project. I figure, those of you dogged enough to stick with Balls & Walnuts deserve a treat, even if it’s a decidedly incomplete treat. It’s Baked Alaska without the meringue. Pizza without the pepperoni. Foreplay without the orgasm.

But I had a decent writing day today, at least 1000 words, and they were good words, too. Lots of great show-don’t-tell world-building. The new stuff is from Chapter Two, which I have not yet transferred to the blog. I’m getting a better feel for my protag — that’s been my biggest roadblock all along — and most importantly, I see my way forward on the plot.

This will be one of those novels where I won’t know my way until I get there. I mean I have only the most general idea of where this is going. I haven’t constructed a well articulated puzzle (like How to Write a Damn Good Mystery says I should); I’m relying on the Muse to get it right. The result will be messy, the way all of Philip Marlowe’s mysteries were messy. But this is fine. Really.

I went to see Sara Gran at a bookstore in Hollywood about a month ago, and one of the questions I asked her was, “Do you know how your mysteries will end, or do you let your novels grow organically?” She liked the way I phrased the question. She also answered organically. If it’s good enough for Sara Gran, it’s good enough for me.


Hey! Look! A contest!

You can win a signed, hard cover edition of Sara Gran’s Claire DeWitt and the Bohemian Highway


(see my review here) by helping me promote either my free ebook at Smashwords


or my Kindle book,


Here are the rules:

1. Multiple “entries” possible. Each entry will function as a lottery ticket, and I will decide the winner based on a drawing of such tickets. I have only one copy of Sara’s book, so there will be only one winner.

2. Each of the below will count as one entry:

a) Shout out this contest on twitter, facebook, or your blog. Your shout must include the URL for this blog post. If you do so on twitter, facebook, and your blog, that will count as three entries.

b) If you’ve read Gator & Shark, leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads. (If you do both, that will count as two entries.)

c) If you’ve read Nothing But Light, leave a review on Smashwords or Goodreads. (Ditto.)

3. Contest will end when interest dies down — probably next Monday evening.

4. Important: to get credit, you must indicate in the comments below what you have done.

Any questions?


Now, here’s a nice review!

“Literally anything and everything happened in this funny, exciting, and slightly confusing book. As I read it seemed to get crazier and crazier. The book takes place in the near future so the politics and the tech flow directly from where we are currently and that is frightening. If I hadn’t been reading it on my phone I would not have been able to put it down until the end.”

— over at Goodreads. I’m gonna beg prettily for her to rate me at Amazon.


More adventures in Manga Studio 5: Rule 34

Today, I played with Manga Studio’s free props and rag dolls. I wish there were more — I’d have a blast goofing off with these. It’s a shame that my options are so limited; otherwise, I could run a web comic on freebies alone. Yes, yes, I know I have to use my own art. But that doesn’t stop me from having some fun.



First stab at a webcomic

My self-assessment: not bad for a first go. The gutters are too wide, and I’m still not happy with the lightning and rain effects, but otherwise? I can live with it. I’ll see in a moment how it looks on the page.

You don’t want to know how long this took me.



Review #2

(4 stars) Snarky satirical SciFi Romp with Metaphysical Meanderings, June 16, 2013

Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: Gator & Shark Save the World (Kindle Edition)
Doug Hoffman’s Gator & Shark Save the World, my first (pre)Summer read, proved to be entertaining and enlightening. What starts off as half teen-coming-of-age and half-Washington-insider-satire gains momentum as heroine Katherine “Shark” Buscage finds herself transformed from martial-arts tomboy to First Daughter to unlikely rescuer of humanity. Along the way, Hoffman sends up multiple presidential administrations (past, present and future), lampoons the Beltway establishment, and spotlights the dark and absurd implications of American Christian Fundamentalism’s obsession with Apocalypse and Rapture. Ambitious? Yes. Readable? Definitely. In line for a Nebula or a Pulitzer? Probably not, but I think you’ll find that this admittedly tall tale becomes a real page-turner with every page you read. But read it quietly – you don’t want to wake the core.

Voila, a well written review. Yay! I want more!


First review

Goodreads’ Tammy K gives it 3/5 stars:

“This was truly a bizarre read. It’s part Science Fiction, part Fantasy and part Satire.

“Reminisce to Alice of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, the main character Shark finds herself entangled in a battle of supernatural beings where all sides want to use her for their own ends.
This was not an easy read. The settings were so odd at times that they were impossible for me to imagine.

“The characters complex, maybe a bit too complex as I was not able to relate to many of them.

“The plot was ever unwinding, ever expanding and often confusing. Yet when I reached the end and could reflect back on it, I had a few of “aha” moments.

“So do I recommend this book? Yes, but selectively so. There are adult themes such as rape, and sadistic torture inside the story so it is not suitable for young readers. Other then that, I would think that readers who enjoy the rich and complex world, and logic defying nature of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland might also enjoy this story.”

If Gator & Shark resembles Alice in Wonderland, then it’s this sort of Alice:



Gator & Shark free, 5/3/13 to 5/4/13

Gator & Shark Save the World will be free at Amazon from 5/3/13 (12 AM PST) to 5/4/13 (11:59 PM PST). Just follow the link.

I suspect it helps me a little more if it’s a paid sale, since Amazon keeps a separate tally for free and paid purchases. But either way, you’ll help my rank (one rank or the other!) so purchase away.

It would also be very cool if you could review the book on Amazon. But really, I’ll be happy just to get more readers.

Check out the review page at Ask David. The same site also has a beautifully formatted sample from the book.


I have a page on Amazon. You know what to do.

Here’s the Amazon link for Gator & Shark Save the World.

Here’s the Facebook post, modified to suit the blogging arena . . .


So many reasons to buy my book:

1. I don’t publish crap. Ever. If you don’t believe me, Amazon has posted the first three chapters for you to sample.

2. I’m a first-time author. Somewhere in the Bible, “supporting first-time authors” is a major mitzvah. (Shouting this out on your blog? That’s a mitzvah, too, as is leaving glowing reviews at Amazon. The ancient Israelites were all about leaving glowing reviews at Amazon. The Ten Commandments God gave to Moses? 4.7 stars — a few Philistines voted.) And if you’re an atheist, well, atheists are into good deeds, too, right?

3. Guaranteed to make wingnut heads explode!

4. Low, low price of $3.99. Face it, you spend more than that whenever you go to Starbucks, and my book won’t turn into pee two hours after you buy it.

5. Best of all, the story and characters are ripping good.

If the price is a problem, I will be hosting a few free days. To be announced.


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