Friday, September 4, 2009

Author Fridays Presents...Arlington Nuetzel!

Welcome to another edition of Author Fridays! Sit back, relax and read about
this week's featured author, Arlington Nuetzel

Arlington Nuetzel is the author of three books: "The Low January Sun",
published by iUniverse,
and "2027, New Madrid, Missouri" and "Murder in March Commons" both
published by Publish America

A retired laser engineer, Nuetzel has attempted careers as a rock star, a
horse trainer, a dog breeder, an airline pilot and a ski instructor. "I
failed at almost all of them," he says, "so, a leisurely life of writing has
great appeal."

He loves reading, travel, horses and music, especially the blues, and yes,
he reads and writes interchangeably. "I have the incredible benefit of being
married to a novelist who edits my work," he tells me. "I return the favor.
It is a heavenly relationship. We love each other's work. In fact, that is
what drew us together in the first place."

When it comes to favorite authors, Nuetzel asks, "Who doesn't love Kurt
Vonnegut? Ellmore Leonard is a hoot, But my inspiration is and was John D.
MacDonald. I haven't ripped him off but his characters have walked into my
writing because they are contemporaries of my own characters and they all
get along."

Nuetzel says he did not realize he wanted to be a writer until his journal
was full of junk, and he received a check from Madison (WI) Magazine. He
says he had to cut a thousand words before they would accept the piece, and
they actually paid him to do that.

A machine tools salesman in his twenties gave him a lot of time on the road,
and often, he would pull into a shopping mall parking lot, just to make
notes in a spiral steno book. Those notes became the inspiration for his
first short stories on a mechanical Olivetti on the bar in his rathskeller.
He has been writing ever since. "I wanted to make a mark with a longer
story, and I wrote my first novel a few years ago," says Nuetzel. Now, he
works on one a year.

When I asked Arlington Nuetzel how he gets his ideas for stories, he
replied, "It's a great shock. Time stands still. The story finds you. My
characters write their own dialogue and advance the plot for me. It is
amazing. I don't have to do anything but type. I'm first an educator.
People will be entertained by my books at the beach, pool or on the plane,
but they will also find out about useless stuff like where the Bootheel of
Missouri came from or why airplanes fly or how a lens actually works."

Every author has their own advice to give to those who wish to become
published, but I think Nuetzel's advice is some of the best I've heard. He
says, and I quote, "Find your own voice. Write stuff, get an editor, then
self publish. Promote yourself relentlessly as your own brand. Don't push
the book or books, promote yourself as an author. First, though, edit like
there is no tomorrow. Then edit some more. You must have a professional
editor do the same. Don't release your work until it is pure. Remember, if
you edit yourself, you will read your own errors as correct. I'd like to
advise new writers to, first, know that you can do it. Be a writer. Network
and share your failures and also the stuff that works. Be a mentor. Above
all, pay attention in restaurants and at Wal-Mart. There are stories
everywhere. Write some short stories. They are the black and white film that
cleans out your camera and your tenth story will become a novel. Just keep
writing and good luck."

To learn more about Arlington Nuetzel and his books, please visit him at
And, be on the look-out for his techno-thriller and a collection of short
stories due out this fall!

Thank you for joining me for this week's edition of Author Fridays. Be sure
to come back next Friday, same place same time to read about next week's
featured author, Laura Ann Ford!

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