Author Archives: Brian A. Klems

Favorite Piece of Clothing Eulogy

You favorite article of clothing has finally out-lived its life (and then some). It's time to say goodbye, but you love it so much you feel a need to send it off properly. Write a eulogy dedicated to that piece of clothing and all the times you shared together.

5 Tips for Translating Crime Novels

Over the past forty years, I’ve translated what seems like every conceivable kind of book, from classics like Anna Karenina to a biography of the Constructivist painter Lyubov Popova, abstruse works of philosophy, and monumental histories—but my focus—with a significant exception for some forays into not-quite-so-contemporary fiction of the past hundred years—has been contemporary...

List Factors: How to Build Your Own Email List

If I could point to one external factor that has had the biggest positive impact on my career as an author, it would be my email list—and I’m far from alone. Most writers today know they should probably have an email list, but misinformation and confusion abound about what exactly that list should entail,...

Note Found at a Construction Site

You're a construction worker and, while in the middle of a dig to build a new building, you stumble upon a box with contents in it. There are five very specific items in it along with a note: "When you find this, call me. This is only phase one." The is a phone number...

Watch Out For Famous Friends

You've been given the opportunity to go on an adventure with two famous people (dead or alive). As the adventure unfolds, it becomes clear that those two famous people plan to kill you. Write a scene about that adventure, who the famous people are and what you do to escape death.

Last Day of Summer Break

You're a teenager and it's the last day of summer break. This is especially painful for you because, over the course of those summer months, you fell in love for the first time and that person is moving away (and breaking up with you). Write the scene where you say goodbye.

A Broken-Hearted Song

You're the lead singer/songwriter of a band that's working on its debut album. You're one song short, until you're longtime significant other unexpectedly breaks your heart. Filled with sadness, you compose a song that expresses how you feel—and that song completes the album. Write the lyrics to that song.

Soccer Threat

You're a star soccer player for your country's national team. Your team has made it to the finals of the World Cup. Just before kickoff, you are hit by a wadded up piece of paper that is thrown at you from the stands. You pick it up, open it and there's a note: "I've...

Shark Attack

You're sailing in the ocean with friends when a shark attacks your boat, knocking off your friend who is driving the boat. There are two others on the vessel with you and you have to work with them to quickly save the driver from the water (and being eaten by the shark). Write this...

Where Everybody Knows Your Name

You've been going to the same bar every night for the past five years. In fact, you're such a regular that when you enter the, the other patrons yell your name and the bartender already has your drink waiting for you. But then one Friday you arrive and no one seems to recognize you,...

Father of Mine

Start your story with: "My dad gave me three life rules to live by: 1. (fill in the blank), 2. (fill in the blank) and 3. (fill in the blank). The first two were easy, but the third one proved difficult all because of a cheeseburger. Let me explain."

The Trick to Winning Big Literary Prizes

This month, many of the best contemporary books are going to receive prizes and plaudits in some of Britain and Europe’s top literary awards and ceremonies. The first of these took place on 8 May, with the announcement of winning entrants in the 2017 British Book of the Year Awards, where the Fiction Book...

Harry Potter Comes To Your House

What if Harry Potter came to your house for dinner? Write this scene as if you were a teenager, he's new to your school and you're introducing him to your parents. Also, after dinner, he makes a request of you. What is it?

Superhero Twist

You receive a mysterious call from a friend who asks you to meet him or her at a secret location. When you arrive, that friend reveals that he or she is, by night, a superhero. What's more, the friend needs your help in solving the latest case. Only problem is you can't help. When...

Bowling a Perfect Game

You're on the verge of bowling a perfect game (getting a strike in every frame). It all comes down to your final throw, which needs to be a strike to pull off the feat. There is a bit of an issue though--you are very superstitious and believe that you need to replicate everything you...

New Literary Agent Alert: Connor Eck of Lucinda Literary LLC

Reminder: New literary agents (with this spotlight featuring Connor Eck of Lucinda Literary) are golden opportunities for new writers because each one is a literary agent who is likely building his or her client list. About Connor: Prior to finding a home at Lucinda Literary in 2016, Connor began his career at The Weinstein...