Friday, December 9, 2011


R. THOMAS BROWN exploded on to e-book scene this year with several very strong releases, among them the seriously creepy novella "Merciless Pact", two short story collections, and two e-shorts from Trestle Press (you can find them all on Amazon, right here).

He's a great writer who, bit by bit, is gaining the audience he deserves. That audience is only likely to get bigger still early next year, when Snubnose Press releases his first full-length novel, HILL COUNTRY.

He's also a voracious reader, and when he's not writing fiction (or working the ole' day job), R. Thomas Brown keeps a terrific blog, Criminal Thoughts, devoted primarily to reviewing new releases from other writers.

Which leads us quite nicely into his topic for this "No Rules". I'm very pleased to give you.. R. THOMAS BROWN...

Why am I here?
So, when Heath asked me to do this I was flattered that he asked, but also had no idea what to write about. I thought about something about reviews, or short fiction, or my writing. None of it felt right. Probably because I still wonder why someone might care what I have to say.
Not that I feel I don’t have worthwhile opinions. I’m actually a pompous blowhard who pontificates on a variety of subjects to any family member or friend who hasn’t left the room yet to avoid the verbal onslaught. (That’s not entirely true. I follow them if they leave.) But it’s different in a world where I don’t personally know the people.
I’m also fine giving lectures, teaching (did for years at community colleges) or other defined public speaking. This didn’t feel like that either.
I shrink in public gathering of a less formal nature. I have to force myself to speak in any social gathering. This felt like a social gathering. People I don’t know, coming around to see if there was interesting conversation. Not my best setting.
So, what is this all about, then? Other than two hundred words about me not knowing what it’s about. Well, I think the discomfort I felt about this is the same I feel when I submit a story, or self-pub something, or write a review. I worry, constantly, that someone won’t like it. That they’ll think ill of me for having written it.
When I don’t love a book I review, I cringe at the thought of the author reading it. I don’t want to hurt their feelings. Of course, I also believe that my opinion means nothing (we covered that earlier about my arrogance with friends, and sheepishness with strangers, remember, It’s just like four paragraphs ago. Are you paying attention? Have I already bored you? Oh, no. There I go again.)
The thing is, of course someone will. I don’t like everything I read or hear. So, some people will hate my review, story, book, blog post, whatever it is. I should accept that, and just hope that people care enough to hate it or love it. Just as long as it’s not ignored, right?
Right? Yes, dammit!
(Oh, I hope I didn’t offend anyone there. Crap, did it again.)


  1. Ha! Excellent post. Self-doubt is the monster that rips writing to shreds.

  2. And yet, it is a constant companion. It's a bitch that way.

  3. EXCELLENT! What a great sense of humor... invaluable to a writer, having to deal with other people's opinions of our perfect writing! Philistines! (Just kidding... I think!)

    I am glad to see that I am not the only one who goes through those same thoughts. I sometimes feel less than qualified to review an author's work since I am so new to this writing 'game'. I have to remind myself that I am doing the review as a reader, not an author.

    Funny though... that you look at self-doubt as a 'bitch'... I always think of it more as a 'heartless bastard'! (Haha... kidding again... maybe!)

    Great piece here, Ron! Looking forward to reading your works.

    Thank you, Heath, for such an entertaining guest! Btw... is there any punch left? I'm a little parched... all this talking... :D

  4. Never trust anyone who doesn't suffer from self-doubt.

  5. Agreeing with, well, everyone.

    You run a tight ship and your stories are excellent. It's a great mix.


  6. Self doubt...I'm in the same club, buddy. Great post. You know where I am.

  7. Thanks for dropping by, everyone. And the kind words. And yes, David, I do know where you are. And where you sleep. And where you keep the twine. And the shovel. And, oh, wait, that's not what you meant. Nevermind.

  8. Thanks, means a lot. From all of you.

  9. Hey, man. I don't doubt myself. I KNOW I'm a no-talent slug.