The Hard Part of Writing

The hard part of writing a novel is not the writing, but the wanting to get my book finished and out to readers. I have a fairly good idea of how a book will go when I start writing it. However, I usually don’t write a formal outline and I usually don’t have all the details.

I basically develop the story as I write. So,by the time the book is completed, I have an excellent idea of how the story unfolded. Then, and only then, do I know for sure all the details about the story. That’s one of the reasons I am very anxious to finish a new book, like the one I’m working on now. I want to know how the book ends and until I write the ending, I’m not always sure.

I usually have a fairly good idea about the story-line, but sometimes the ending surprises me as much as it does the reader. For example, I was nearly finished writing “The Segmented Tail” and wasn’t exactly sure how I would end it. I had several ideas, but hadn’t selected one. Then, out of the clear blue Oregon sky. the ending came to me, like a flash of lightning or a thrown fir tree.

My new book, “The Trail in the Woods” is coming along the same way. As I go along, I make little corrections and add something that I realize helps develop the story. Do I know the ending, actually I do have a fairly good idea, but being the writer of the story, I have the ability to change it. That’s one of the things I like about writing novels, being able to change things to make it better. It’s just the waiting to get it finished that makes it hard for me.

I’m sixty some pages into writing “The Trail in the Woods” and I feel very good about its development. However, I can’t wait to see how it ends. Maybe, we’ll find out together. 🙂 Stan


The Trail in the Woods

“The Trail in the Woods” is my new novel that I’m working on. It’s a lot harder than people think to write a full-length novel. I’ve now written and published two, “The Killer Within” and “The Segmented Tail”. “The Segmented Tail” is better than my first book, and now this new book will be even better.
It took me a long time to write the first two and now I’m hard at work on this one. Like I said, It’s not easy to come up with a good story, develop it on paper, and have a good ending. The story has to be complete and it has to have a catchy beginning, a long middle, and an unexpected ending. It’s not enough to just write it with good flowing English, but it has to be well thought out.

“The Trail in the Woods” is a suspense thriller that will keep readers super-glued to their reading chair from beginning to end. It’s a thriller written to keep the reader guessing as to what is on the trail. Two people, Janet Johnson and Robert (Bob) Wildwood, start hiking the trail. Janet actually talks Bob into hiking the trail and Bob reluctantly tags along. The reason Bob doesn’t want to hike the trail is because, like he tells Janet, people that hiked the trail, disappeared and were never seen again. Although Janet kind of believes Bob, she’s not afraid and talks him into going.

The trail hadn’t been hiked for a long time and they have to use machete’s to clear it. Here’s an except from Chapter two that will give readers an idea of just one of the things that Bob and Janet encounter on the trail.

They cautiously walked towards the beginning of the trail and the fog. The closer they got, the more Bob felt unease. The hair on his arms started to stand up and he could feel the electricity in the air.
He looked at Janet and asked, “Can you feel it or is it just me?”
“If you mean the electricity, yes I can feel it too.”
They stepped on where the trail started and Bob expected to be eaten alive or just disappear. However, after a few feet of walking, he was relieved to know that he was still alive. The fog closed in on them and the trail. It seemed like the fog got denser with every step. “We should have brought fog lights,” Janet quipped.

I don’t know when I’ll finish “The Trail in the Woods”, but I know that it’s going to be better than “The segmented Tail”, which was better than my first book, “The Killer Within”. How do I know, because each new book I write gets better. I hope that you’ll read my first two books and get ready for this new thriller. I promise to try to finish it just as fast as I can. After all, I want to know how it ends too. 🙂 Stan

Book Reviews

I’ve now published two complete full length books, “The Killer Within” and “The Segmented Tail” and a couple of short stories on I’m waiting for people to start reviewing them and leaving honest reviews on My first book, “The Killer Within” has four reviews that were done a long time ago, all positive, but then the reviews stopped.

I’m giving away one of my short stories, which is a funny short story and is on Kindle, for free at Apparently, although it’s free, no one is reading it and no one is writing any reviews. Hopefully, it will only be a matter of time before readers start reading it and my other books and then start writing their reviews. My latest book, “The Segmented Tail” is a suspense thriller. Anyone who likes a Dean Koontz, Steven King, or a Peter Straub book, will like it. You can read all about me and my books on at I think “The Segmented Tail” is better than my first one, but I need readers to say that they also like it or tell me what they don’t like about it. A few good positive reviews would be worth a lot and hopefully start the sales ball rolling.

I’m working on my next novel, “The Trail in the Woods”, which is another exciting suspense thriller. However, it’s hard to keep going full speed when people don’t read my books and post reviews. Hopefully, if I keep writing, people will start reviewing. For those that have or will post reviews, I thank you from the bottom of my writing heart. Stan

Segmented Tail Kindle Edition now Available

I want to let everyone know that I published my book, The Segmented Tail, in a Kindle Edition. That means that if you have a Kindle reader or access to one, you can read my book at a low Kindle price.

I hope that more people will read my book. I’d rather have ten people read my book at $2.99 a copy than to have no one reading it at $11.99 a copy. The paper back is still available and I think probably a better keeper. However, my goal is to let people read what I write. I will still have my drawing for five free paperback books on my birthday, February 14th. Please let me know if you like the Kindle edition better. Thank you for your continuing support. Stan

My Writing Style

I love writing suspense thrillers and I’ve been honing my skills by writing electrifying stories since I was in grade school. I write in the vein of Dean Koontz, Peter Straub, and Steven King. However, I have my own unique style. I like to keep the reader attentive, engaged, and interested in the story that I’m telling. Without keeping the reader glued to every page, then I feel that I’ve failed the reader. So, I try to incorporate something attention grabbing into each sentence and page that I write. I am the author of the published suspense thrillers, “The Killer Within” and “The Segmented Tail”. Both books are available on I am currently working on my new thriller, “The Trail in the Woods”.

To best illustrate my style, here are excerpts from three of my books:

The Killer Within

“Oh my God! Barbara thought. She’s the little five-year-old girl that we just admitted. She was the last one on the list of twenty-two that she’d just given Dr. Stottlemeyer. Emotion overwhelmed her and she couldn’t say anything for a moment. All she could think of was that Melissa would die and she was so young. When Barbara couldn’t think of anything to say, she muttered that she was happy to meet her and that she’d stop by later. Then, she quickly excused herself and hurried on to the nurses’ station.”

The Segmented Tail

He looked down at Sandy lying peacefully on the floor. “We’d better get a port-a-potty for her. I don’t want her going outside.”
“I’m not sure it would do any good,” Rhonda said, shaking her head, “the Nelson’s were inside and it didn’t save them. God, I hope they catch whoever is doing this soon!”
“Whoever or whatever,” Philip added.
“You think it might not be a person?” she said, looking questionably at him.
“I’ll be honest with you. I’m not sure what it is, hon.”
“Well, who or what, they can’t get them off the street soon enough as far as I’m concerned.”
He looked at his watch and said, “I think I’d better start getting ready for work. I’m supposed to meet Frank at the station in an hour. Maybe, this will be the day that we catch whatever it is.”

The Trail in the Woods

“I don’t like the looks of it!,” Bob exclaimed nervously.
“Don’t be a coward and chicken out on me.”
“I’m not chickening out, just saying I don’t like the looks of that fog.” Bob opened the car door and stuck his foot out. “Let’s go,” he said, reluctantly.
Janet got out and the two of them walked towards the start of the trail. “That’s weird looking fog, does it have a name?”
“People around here call it electrified fog,” he said.
“I’ve never heard of it, sounds strange. Why do they call it that?”
“I’m not sure, but people said that their hair stood up and they could feel an electrifying presence.”

Unbelievable Metamorphosis

As I have previously written, I put together a fan page on Facebook for those who want to follow my writing endeavors. I did a little advertising by showing the first few pages of Chapter 6 of “The Segmented Tail”. So far, in less than three weeks, I have had 13,751 people view it and 6,075 of those viewers have indicated that they liked it. The preview has gotten way more views and people liking it than I ever expected; and the viewers and liker’s are growing more by the hour. It’s been a metamorphosis from the beginning till now. Amazing and way beyond my wildest expectations. I believe the book to be outstanding, but I never expected acceptance of this magnitude.

It’s fun to watch the people viewing, liking, and buying the book. As an author, it keeps me very excited and keeps me working harder on my new book, “The Trail in the Woods”. Thank you all, Stan

Is The World Coming to an End?

The short answer is no.  The long answer needs some explaining.  If you look at all that’s happening in the world, it’s easy to reach the conclusion that the world is quickly drawing to a close.  However, all that you see and read is a little distorted.  The same things we’re seeing today have been happening for a long, long time, in fact for centuries.  Wars, people fighting, turmoils, upheavals, catastrophes, political/religious unrest, and natural disasters are nothing new.  We don’t have to accept them, but we do need to understand that they occur.

The bible says the world will come to an end and science says the same thing.  So, we can bet on it happening, but hopefully not quite yet.  For those that believe in the bible, there is hope.  As Billy Graham once said, “I have read the last page of the Bible. It is all going to turn out all right.”  For those that believe in science, then the world will definitely end, but science says probably not for a long, long time.

As humans, we need to enjoy the life we have, and let what will happen, happen.  Be prepared for the end, but don’t look for it to happen immediately.  If the world ends tomorrow, I hope that we can all say we did our best with what we had.  If the world ends eons from now, then most of us alive today won’t have to worry about it.  However, in the meantime, we should all continue to live our lives to the utmost.  It’s not just the time we’re alive, but it’s also the quality of life while we’re alive that’s important.  Always remember, that life is meant to be lived.  Whatever time  we have here on earth, it’s for a lifetime.

What does this have to do with my writing, everything.  I love to write and its something that I’ve been doing for a long time.  However, a few years ago, I gave up writing because of my wife’s death.  It took me a long time to get over it and to some extent, I probably never will.   Then, to make things keep going negatively, I lost my oldest son.  Thankfully, I met another beautiful lady that I love very much and we got married.  She’s shown me that life can continue.  Now, that I’ve had a few years to think about life, I’ve come to the conclusion that life is meant to be loved and enjoyed.  So, that’s one of the reasons that I’ve finally returned to writing.  I recently finished and published my book, “The Segmented Tail” and now I’m working feverishly on my new book, “The Trail in the Woods.”

When we don’t enjoy life, we can become depressed and that can be depressing.  I hope that we can all enjoy life while we’re here and that we can be thankful for the opportunity we got to be here.  I know I am and I intend to continue doing what I like doing, writing.  I hope that the world doesn’t end tomorrow, because I won’t have had a chance to finish my book or the new one’s I’m planning.  Stan Straub