Sharp blades, blunt force trauma, psychosis

What would your search history say about you?


Criminal intent, or maybe intent to write some more crime #fiction.straight razor

Armed and dangerous litterbugs and vandals

Does this story really describe a “culture clash” as the headline indicates?

It isn’t so much a culture clash between gun owners and the rest of us who enjoy the outdoors, it’s a story about some nitwits that we would call something else in an urban setting: vandals.

Shooting trees and leaving bullet-riddled trash in the forests and mountains?

Shooting a couch? How much skill does that take?

Those aren’t responsible recreational shooters. They’re armed and dangerous litterbugs.

Down with “politically correct”

“…’political correctness’ is merely a pejorative wielded by those who wish to protect the status quo.” Medium article

I couldn’t agree more and wish we could simply retire the term.

This isn’t to say that I agree with all of the various usage codes that have been dreamed up in academia and elsewhere. A “person of material wealth” is rich, dammit.

Rather than politically correct, let’s call some of that what it is: silly, absurd, over the top, a waste of characters … anything except PC.

A book review to make a writer’s day

This sort of thing reinforces the will to write.

Book review
Touch to read the review

More on the crime novel here.

I’m not sure why it was “unexpected!” but am not about to ask.

Recuperated, rejuvenated

I see it’s been awhile. A couple of days before that last post my bicycle and I crashed in the rain with a little help from a nasty railroad crossing and a momentary lapse of judgment. We’re all fine now, except for a sore shoulder, but haven’t felt like or even thought much about writing in the intervening weeks.

Working now to taper off of some pills that have kept yours truly in something of a fog, it’s time to get back to writing stuff. Probably (OK, most certainly), the followup to “Blood Solutions.” Time to get back more seriously on the road bike, too.

Another post soon to elaborate on the “rejuvenated” part of that headline.

Pedal on.

Progress on escape from literary obscurity

After posting recently about marketing an indie book and writing in the literary obscurity of my basement office in Longmont, I took a look around at some of the reader comments that have started coming in for my Des Moines crime novel, Blood Solutions.

They’re encouraging even if relatively few in number at this point:

Here are a couple posted by people who bought Blood Solutions on Smashwords…

English: Flag of Des Moines
English: Flag of Des Moines
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
  • Review by: chand305 on April 09, 2015 :
    This thriller will keep you on the edge of your seat as you follow Red Shaw on his quest to solve some grisly murders. Smith creates characters with depth whose interlinked lives are all affected by and implicated in the killings that take place in their city. The story pulls you in with its well-written and connected narrative threads and won’t let you go until the mysteries have been solved. Enjoy!
  • Review by: ianvanliew on April 08, 2015 :
    Red Shaw has a problem. A Des Moines-sized problem that’s a microcosm of all those unsolved murders out there, scattered around the UK and the US and Canada and points unknown. I’m a new fan of Red Shaw and I desperately want him to solve this particular problem before any more innocent parties are murdered. Will he or won’t he? Read “Blood Solutions” and find out!

And a couple more from Barnes&Noble readers…

  • Great book. i was hooked from the first chapter.  Great characters some you love some you just feel sorry for.
    I hope B.J. Smith writes a few more books about  Detective Edward Shaw .
    I look forward to his next book.
  • Great detective novel. Very good read. Can’t wait for the next one.

There are some nice, star-filled reviews on Goodreads, too, which are nice to see.

Good time to buy: It’s half-off at Smashwords for the next three days with coupon code LY86Z, and just $2.99 through Sunday for Kindle readers on Amazon.

Reaching out, one reader, one library at a time

It is trying—taxing, if you will—all this effort to make your writing stand out above the suffocating dreck* of 21st Century publishing.

“It’s a process,” my daughter wisely observed at dinner when I told her my first novel is now on the shelf at the West Des Moines Public Library, right there in the heart of my adolescence.

Blood Solutions turned up first at the Longmont Public Library just a few days ago, a few miles from my Colorado home, and it is slowly getting noticed and even purchased from various fine online bookstores.

It’s a process, for sure.

Ask the person in the next seat on the bus what she’s reading on that NOOK. Learn that she appreciates a good crime story. Recommend your new one.

Guy at the bus stop asks what’s new. Tell him.

Leave a copy lying around in your office, like a nightcrawler dangling below a bobber on a pond. Set the hook when a potential reader nibbles.

Send some emails. Ask beta readers and others to recommend your book on Goodreads, Amazon,, if they would be so kind and did actually like the story.

Mick Fleetwood
Mick Fleetwood (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Schedule some tweets. Revel in obscurity.

“Don’t be shy,” I remember Mick Fleetwood admonishing me again and again in his drum solo at the Pepsi Center. You say he wasn’t talking just to me? OK.

Still, don’t be shy. Build your platform.

Work on the next book.

I did ask for this, I remind myself

It’s a process, and it’s interesting, and rewarding.

* I tried to read 50 Shades of Grey a few months ago and barely made it past the first chapter. I wasn’t offended by the subject matter, but the writing was just too awful to go on.