Douglas Arvidson is a past winner of the WICE/Paris Transcontinental International Short Story competition. His short fiction has been published in Paris, Prague, and in literary magazines in the United States and he was recently invited to be a staff writer for the Prague Revue, a cutting-edge, online literary journal ( The novels in his fantasy series, The Eye of the Eye of Stallion, include The Face in Amber, The Mirrors of Castaway Time, and A Drop of Wizard's Blood. His new novel, Brothers of the Fire Star, was selected as a finalist in the ForeWord Reviews 2012 Book of the Year national awards and as a finalist in three categories in the 2013 New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards: Action Adventure Fiction, Historical Fiction, and Young Adult Fiction. It has become part of the pantheon of Pacific literature and is now included in school literature programs. Brothers of the Fire Star is an adventure story set in the Pacific during World War II and concerns two boys of different races and cultures who escape the island of Guam in a small sailboat when the Japanese army invades. They must then struggle to survive as they master the secrets of the ancient Pacific navigators. Appropriate for young adults as well as adult readers, Brothers of the Fire Star is available on Barnes & Noble, ( and Visit the author's website:

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Pond in Autumn
Flew to New England yesterday to connect with family. Got here a little late for the foliage but there is still some left. Cold and clear this morning, mist rising up from the water, ducks and two Canada geese out there swimming, church bells in the distance. Built a fire, made coffee, took a short walk.
Eli and Bailey and baby Anders (he with the croup) are here for a week and I'll see Dad as often as possible. Last night wine and laughter and getting reacquainted, pulling together again.
This is the setting for my next book: Red-Winged Black Bird on a Joe Pye Weed and it will be good to pick up details of New England that I have forgotten, like the feel of the cold on the forest and the smell of the air and the sound of walking on dried leaves and the fine and rich sadness of it all.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Here's the New Problem: Where Do I Put All Four of the Awards Stickers on the Book Cover?

Here's what it looks like with just two stickers. Now what?

Every writer's dream is to write something that wins awards. If you work very hard and are very lucky, this can actually happen. It happened to me after many decades of I-don't-care-if-I-never-get-published-I'm-going-to-keep-writing writing. A short story of mine was finally published, soon after, another won an international writing competition in Paris, and then, years after after that, a novel was accepted and years after that after two more novels. Then, the next one, the fourth one, the one pictured above, won a finalist award in ForeWord Reviews national book awards. 

So far, where to put the sticker was pretty easy: lower right hand corner will do fine. Then, last week, I learned that the book has been selected as as finalist in three categories in the New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards (Fiction-Adventure, Fiction-Historical, and Fiction-Young Adult). Of course, I was excited and in fact, blown away, and  so set about deal with a small, lovely problem: Where to put four awards stickers on the cover.

This is what I have so far, with just two of them on there. The New Mexico-Arizona stickers are big but, really, I'd like to show off all four of them. I mean, you've got to promote your books. I now see this will be impossible unless I want to cover up the cover, pretty much completely. I'll have to wait until the ultimate winners in the New Mexico-Arizona awards are announced on November 15 before I cover up too much of too many books. If lightning strikes and I actually win the gold, maybe those stickers will be smaller.

Bear with me on this.