Chris Orcutt

Writer — The Dakota Stevens Mystery Series, Short fiction, Plays — Editor & Speechwriter for Hire — Avid Golfer, Chess Player & Awesome Wood-Splitter — Twitter: @chrisorcutt

Chris Orcutt’s Favorite Short Stories

Two weeks ago, I wrote about the backstory of my short story collection The Man, The Myth, The Legend, explaining what was happening in my…

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Backstory: The Story Behind Chris Orcutt’s The Man, The Myth, The Legend

Between 2010 and 2011, I wrote over thirty short stories, many of which appeared in The Man, The Myth, The Legend or as chapters of…

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On the Virtues of Being Able to Write Anywhere

Compared to other novelists I know or have read about, I’m something of an anomaly: I’m a novelist who can write just about anywhere. While…

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Backstory: The Story Behind the Second Dakota Stevens mystery, The Rich Are Different — Part 2

Last week, in Part 1 of the story behind The Rich Are Different, I described my experiences during 9/11 in Manhattan and the months following, and…

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Backstory: The Story Behind the Second Dakota Stevens mystery, The Rich Are Different — Part 1

The novel that became The Rich Are Different was written during the winter of 2001–02, over a year before I even conceived of the Dakota…

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Writing in Asian Restaurants

I’m writing this blog entry in one of my favorite Asian restaurants: Momiji in Rhinebeck, NY. I’m not exactly sure why, but I’ve been writing…

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Backstory: The Story Behind the First Dakota Stevens Mystery, A Real Piece of Work

A Real Piece of Work and the entire Dakota Stevens Mystery Series might never have happened were it not for a bad office chair. During…

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FREE Giveaway! — A Sneak-Preview of the Prequel to The Dakota Stevens Mystery Series

The story of how Dakota Stevens and Svetlana Krüsh met and became an investigative team is one that has haunted me for 15 years—ever since…

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My Prodigiously Convoluted Yet Miraculously Productive Low-Tech Writing Process — Part 2 — With a Few Modest Writing Secrets

In the first installment of this piece, I described the first half of my writing process: Writing the first draft in longhand or on a…

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My Prodigiously Convoluted Yet Miraculously Productive Low-Tech Writing Process — Part 1

I’m writing this blog entry on my latest piece of low-tech equipment, an Olivetti Lettera 32 typewriter. All told, I now have six typewriters: •…

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Backstory: The Story Behind Perpetuating Trouble

The opening sentence of Perpetuating Trouble is absolutely true: “I was told to write this book by a pair of alien girls.” That incident with…

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Do Less, Achieve More

In recent weeks, there has been a lot of positive activity regarding my latest book, my memoir of the writing life, Perpetuating Trouble. But what…

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My new low-tech baby: The Olivetti Lettera 32.

Being a Novelist Isn’t a Job, It’s a Lifestyle

Back in December, after having completed the first draft of a 550,000-word, 1,600-page novel, I took a nearly month-long vacation (my first in years). For…

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Perpetuating Trouble: I’m Livin’ the Dream! Or Am I?

I’m pleased to announce the release of my personal memoir about the writing life, Perpetuating Trouble. I’ve been working on this book on and off since…

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Print book cover for THE RONALD AND OTHER PLAYS.

The Ronald And Other Plays: A Political Satire of How Trump Won the Presidency

Today I’m pleased to announce the release of The Ronald And Other Plays, a collection that includes five short plays and my first full-length play, The Ronald….

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Chris Orcutt walking in Vermont's Green Mountains, photo by Chris Orcutt

Only Have Time for Essentials

“At 46 one must be a miser; only have time for essentials.” — Virginia Woolf, diary, 3/22/1928 I stumbled upon this quotation earlier this week….

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Chris signing a copy of 100 MILES for a reader at the Junior League of Poughkeepsie Authors' Luncheon.

A Lovely Authors’ Luncheon with the Junior League of Poughkeepsie

Today I attended an Authors’ Luncheon hosted by the Junior League of Poughkeepsie. The luncheon was a benefit to raise money for a JLP–Dutchess Community…

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A REAL PIECE OF WORK — NOW ONLY 99¢!

Today I decided to price A Real Piece of Work, the 1st novel in my critically acclaimed Dakota Stevens Mystery Series, at just 99¢. This…

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A Helium-3 and Oil Timeline: Is There a Conspiracy Between the U.S. Government and the Fossil Fuels Industry?

While doing research for my book A Truth Stranger Than Fiction, I found a lot of material on helium-3 and oil, some of which suggested…

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Photo by DAVID ILIFF

Dakota & Svetlana ARE Going to be a TV Series

I HAVE DECIDED that the adventures of Dakota & Svetlana are going to be a television series.     As I helped a friend with…

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Paying Attention as a Fiction Writer

I have been writing fiction since I was 13 years old, when I first read Ian Fleming’s Goldfinger and was swept away not only by the…

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Write to Support Your Writing: A Guest Spot on The Author Biz

Whether you’re an aspiring author or a working journeyman writer, Steve Campbell’s podcast The Author Biz is worth your time and attention. And I’m not saying…

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The Night Before the Night Before Christmas

’Twas the night before the night before Christmas, And all through this writer’s head, Not a bad thought was stirring, not even dread. The writer…

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Kirkus Reviews Gives 100 Miles a Rave

More than anything, we writers want readers—particularly discerning readers and critics—to get our work. We want readers to see the parallels to other literature and to…

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A Written Interview with Authors in the Spotlight with Lucie Dunn

In my blog post yesterday, I mentioned my upcoming internet radio interview with Pam Stack, host of Authors on the Air, on Wed., April 30…

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ONE HUNDRED MILES FROM MANHATTAN — A Novel by Chris Orcutt — Now Available!

Please forgive the cumbersome title of this piece. I’m still sick and a little delirious, but I don’t want to put off my readers any…

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"Rejection": A collage by Chris Blanc.

Storytime: Chris Orcutt Reads “The Magnificent Murphy,” His Homage to The Great Gatsby

Recently I did a radio interview with Stephen Campbell, the terrific host of “Murders, Mysteries and Mayhem” on the Authors on the Air Global Radio…

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Orcutt Books Back on KDP Select

This is just a quick entry to let readers know that my books—The Man, The Myth, The Legend; The Rich Are Different; and A Real Piece of…

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THE MAN, THE MYTH, THE LEGEND is Now Available!

After several months of getting the words right, working with my cover designer and ebook formatter, and ensuring that the book I ask readers to…

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Publishing Your Ebook: Don’t Go It Alone

A year ago, when I published A Real Piece of Work, I did it the hard way. I formatted and converted the book myself. Although I…

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My Writing Secret Weapon

For as long as I’ve been writing—over 20 years professionally now—I’ve collected articles on writing, handwritten snatches from books on writing, examples from great authors,…

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The Indie Author's Guide to the Universe: An Interview with Jeff Bennington

Greetings, readers. Today, for the first time in the history of my blog, I’m making somebody else the focus. Today I’m going back to my…

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Chris Orcutt's Barbaric Yawp

“I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.”—Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass THE OTHER DAY, I wrote that I was going to “take it…

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You Don’t Need a Kindle to Read A Real Piece of Work

Friends, Romans, Countrymen: I’ve received dozens of messages from would-be book-buyers who say, “I’d love to read A Real Piece of Work, but I don’t…

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