Author Archives: Brian A. Klems

Books and Characters

Write a story that begins with the title of the book you’ve most recently read and ends with the name of your favorite character that you’ve written.

Killing Clichés

Write 10 sentences using a different cliché in each. Now, rewrite the sentence to eliminate the cliché and find a more clever and creative way to convey its meaning.

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Crafting Action For Thrillers

Hi All! Barbara Poelle again….remember yesterday how I was salivating for a new thriller author? I asked my author Nick Petrie (THE DRIFTER, Putnam, out this week!) how he hooked me in…here’s what he had to say. About Nicholas Petrie: He received his MFA in fiction from the University of Washington, won a Hopwood...

Portal Games

After a grueling day at work you go home. The sweet allure of your couch and captain crunch is over powering! You arrive at the door, stick in the key, yank it open and … see a writhing horde of Minotaur chanting in the night and then one notices you and charges. You slam...

Classic Comedy

To get the story straight, Dave, we think, has become a chicken. Just the worst of luck with that guy. Tom is claiming he married the futon that’s now covered in yogurt, Carl is on the chandelier with the dog and you just walked in after getting groceries. What the heck happened here?

The Room

One day as you were cleaning you noticed air being sucked towards the base of wall near the cupboard. Perplexed you went closer to investigate. The air was going in, slightly yet in. You hold your breath and gingerly peel away at the wallpaper until a huge wrought iron door stands before you. Where...

Here Comes Santa Claus

Ah it’s the Holidays! You can tell from the festive charm and snow in the air. You vaguely remember it being July yesterday but, oh well. Upon leaving your house to spread charm to your neighbors you walk three feet and hit a huge transparent barrier. Is, is this glass? You feel up the...

Choose Your Own Story

The office building seemed normal enough. You shrug off the feeling of dread as you enter the doors. There’s no receptionist. Simply two doors. One is green, the other orange. Which do you take? Why are you there? What happens next?

An Unexpected Visitor

Oh boy you do love packages! Yet this one’s different. It’s oddly colored, like a deep maroon. The material is unlike anything you’ve ever felt and something is violently shaking the box. The worst part is you never ordered anything. So how big is the box? What’s inside? Where did it come from?

Forbidden Basement

You are renting a room in someone’s house as you transition to living in a new city. The owner tells you that basement is absolutely, 100% off limits. You don’t bat an eye at this request, until you start hearing noises from the basement at night. After several week of this, you sneak downstairs...

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How Long Does It Take To Write A Novel?

That’s the question I asked myself when I started to outline my second novel, Sleeping Embers of an Ordinary Mind. I hear you say: Surely, you already knew! But I didn’t. I wrote my first novel, A Calculated Life, over the course of several years with frequent breaks of many months. I kept coming...

Thanksgiving Burgers

Write about the only time you hosted Thanksgiving. Start with the line, "For my first Thanksgiving as host, I bought the biggest turkey they had in the store," and end your story with "And that's why we all ate hamburgers."

Hey Diddle Diddle

Write a love story about the dish and the spoon from the classic nursery rhyme “Hey Diddle Diddle.” How did they meet and why did they decide to run away together? Will their relationship last?

Cadaver Concert

You receive an invitation in the mail one day requesting your presence at a “Cadaver concert.” You have no idea what this means or who sent the invitation. However, as a mortician, you are intrigued. You show up at the appointed place at the designated time. What do you find?

Hallucinations Galore!

A ferocious storm is moving into your town: 40 mph winds, hail, the whole deal. But you are a postal worker, and you operate no matter the weather, out you go. As you drive along, a tree branch falls in front of you and you slam into it, knocking yourself unconscious. You wake up...