Writers

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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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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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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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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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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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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His Pen Was Quick

On July 17, Mickey Spillane, creator of the infamous Mike Hammer PI series, died. He was 88, and by all accounts he lived a pretty cool life.

In addition to writing several bestselling novels that readers adored, Spillane played a mystery writer on the 70s TV show Columbo, appeared in several commercials for Miller Lite beer, and married a hot second wife, Sherri Manilou, who posed for the cover of his novel The Erection Set.

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