Author Interview: Brad Manzo!

28 02 2013

Hello all!

Do you need a funny book to make your week a little better? Check out How Not To Parent by Brad Manzo. Manzo chronicles the trials and tribulations of parenting, loving the wrong sports teams, and growing older in a collection of laugh out loud essays. This week Brad sat down with us to answer a few questions about his book and his life.

What makes a good story?

For me, the best stories are the ones that really happened, though that doesn’t always translate into a good piece for me. If I can tell a story to which others can relate and makes people laugh, I know it’s a keeper.

What is a typical day of a freelance writing like for you?
I have a full-time job so I write in the morning on my bus ride to work. I have an hour to kill, so I pull out my iPhone and start writing. I absolutely love this time because there’s nothing else I can really do. When you’re home and writing you feel guilty that the kids or housework is being neglected. But that bus ride is my time. The only downside is trying to type on a touch screen on a bumpy ride.

What inspired you to write the Imperfect Man column?

I’ve always enjoyed making people laugh. Before I started writing columns,  I was an aspiring sitcom writer. I worked for a couple of years with a mentor who wrote for All in the Family (as well as Sanford and Son and Three’s Company).  But you need to be in L.A. to break into sitcom writing and I was married with a child on the way. And I had a good technical writing job and lived in New York.

Instead of moving to LA, I started using the humor writing skills I learned and began writing humor columns. Over the next year or two with a new child, I found myself writing about parenting and poking fun at the foolish things I did. As my wife would quickly add, I had tons of material. That’s how The Imperfect Man came about.

What topics do you teach in your online writing courses?

I teach business writing, but as I point out in my class, the same principles apply to other types of writing.  Whether you’re writing jokes, a weekly advice column,  or a technical writing procedure, you have to know your audience. Also, clear and concise writing is best—eliminate unnecessary words. For example, if you’re writing a joke and your setup is too long, you can lose your audience before you get to the punch line. The same thing applies to business writing. People don’t have time during a busy workday to read wordy emails; cut to the chase.

What was the biggest challenge going from technical writing to writing How Not to Parent?
In technical writing, you’re just presenting information or procedures. You ‘re not offering opinions or thoughts. Six technical writers would write a procedure similarly but six people writing about parenting may offer six pieces that are completely different in style and viewpoint. I think the biggest challenge is changing your mindset. Humor writing and tech.writing are completely different animals.  Tech. writing is very formal.Additionally, in How Not to Parent, I had the freedom to write about whatever I chose.

Which chapter of How Not to Parent was the most fun to write?

Honestly,  it was all fun to write but most of the material focused on my married life over the last 10-12 years.  But when I wrote the Introduction and Prologue for the book, I wrote about things I rarely touched on in my column and in the book—my childhood, my single years and the horrible, rodent infested apartments in which I lived, and when I met my wife and finally grew up. Sort of.

What do your kids think about being the subjects of your book and column?

They’re only 7 and 10 so they still think it’s kind of cool. I wouldn’t dare write about teenagers. They already find you annoying and embarrassing and I wouldn’t want to add any more fuel to that fire.

I hope my kids read the book one day when they’re older and appreciate it for what it is—a light-hearted look at family life.

When you are not writing what do you like to do?

I love to read, play Wii with the kids, and watch sports on TV. Unfortunately,  my favorite sports teams—the New York Mets and the New York Jets—aren’t very good and the kids always beat me at Wii,  so I do a LOT of reading. I’m about to read The Girl Who Played with Fire, by Stieg Larsson.

Tell us about your upcoming projects.

I’m currently marketing some humorous greeting cards and working on a fictional book tentatively titled, The Toy Factory. I’m also hoping to do a few seminars on self -publishing and marketing a book. I’ve  learned so much over the last 2 years working on How Not to Parent.

Where can my readers buy How Not To Parent? (, ( and other online booksellers. It’s available for the kindle and as a paperback.

To learn more about Brad Manzo, his column, or his book go to

Find Brad Manzo on Facebook at

Follow Brad Manzo on twitter: @bradmanzo



How Can Goodreads Help Your Book Take-Off?

4 12 2012

Reblog Week: How Goodreads Can Help Promote Your Book!

Savvy Writers & e-Books online


GoodreadsGoodreads  is a kind of Facebook for people who love to read books. A free website for book lovers. Imagine it as a large library that you can wander through and see everyone’s bookshelves, their reviews, and their ratings. You can certainly post your own reviews and catalog what you have read, currently reading, and plan to read in the future. There is more offered on their website: join a discussion group, start a book club, contact an author, and even post your own writing. More tips about the benefits of joining Goodreads and how you can use Goodreads to promote your blog.
How can friends recommend your book?
Or how can you recommend books from your writer friends?
To send out a book recommendation, go to the book’s page and click on the “recommend it” link at the top right side of the page. A new site…

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Promotional: Correction Line, A Book Review

21 11 2012

This Saturday, Charles Henry Editing is launching a weekly book review series! Our first book is Correction Line by Craig Terlson.

Craig Terlson’s fiction has appeared in Carve, Hobart, Smokelong Quarterly, Bound Off, 3:AM, Slow Trains Literary and many other literary journals in the United States, United Kingdom, and South Africa. Correction Line is Terlson’s first novel,  and it looks like a doozy.

Here is a brief description of Correction Line from

If not for the sharp curves of prairie correction lines, grid roads would converge into one point. When encyclopedia salesman Roy Blake meets Lucy, an ex-palmist living in a secluded house, he hits a different sort of curve. After a failed sales visit, Roy returns to find the house trashed and her dog tied up in the basement. Just as he discovers a shelf of glowing mason jars, two men carrying shotguns arrive and start smashing furniture upstairs. Before the men can flush him out of the basement, a chemically induced explosion levels the house and Roy barely escapes. Lucy pulls Roy into a world of bowling hustlers, Cuba-loving assassins, strange healing liquids, and guys that take baseball way too seriously. Curve balls meet curved roads, and Roy hits a correction line that will drive him toward a man who controls an entirely different salesforce.

If you’d like to read Correction Line go to:

To connect with Craig Terlson go to:

If you would like to have your work reviewed please go to the ‘Other Services’ to read what to send in an email to Carolyn Elias at Please note that the earliest review slot available is December 15th, 2012.

New Titles By Carolyn D. Elias

18 11 2012

Hello Readers!

I am happy announce in December I will be publishing two books of poetry!

The Hospital and Other Poems, and, Letters to Myself will be available for purchase for $4.99 at:

I hope you enjoy them!

Copies for book reviewers will be made available in early 2013. Please email Carolyn Elias at to request a copy.

Self Editing: Ten Books That Will Make You An Expert Editor At Home.

5 11 2012

A successful writer is also a successful editor. Here are ten books that will help shape any manuscript into an artfully crafted book or article.

1. Chicago Manual of Style, 16th Edition.

Every craft has a bible and the Chicago Manual of Style is ours. It states the standard guidelines that professional book publishers abide by and is what the editorial staff of any publisher is going to use to clean up your manuscript. It is also dead useful. It is divided into three parts: the publishing process; style and usage; documentation. It is a helpful guide in explaining how to create front matter, why some numbers are written out, and how to make sure every reference is correctly cited. You can sign up for a 30 day free trial online, buy an online subscription or buy a print copy here:

2. Associated Press Stylebook, 2012

The journalist’s Bible. The 2012 edition provides fundamental guidelines on spelling, grammar, punctuation and usage, with new chapters on fashion and broadcast terms and an expanded social media chapter, in addition to chapters on food, social media, business, sports and media law. The 2012 Stylebook includes more than 270 new or revised entries since 2011. You can buy a print copy or an online subscription here:

3. The Christian Writers Manual of Style: Updated and Expanded Edition by Robert Hudson

The Christian Writer’s Manual of Style is an essential tool not only for writers of religious materials, but for their editors, proofreaders, designers, copywriters, production managers, and even marketers.It  includes points of grammar, punctuation, usage, book production and design, and written style that are often overlooked in other manuals. It focuses on information relating to the unique needs and demands of religious publications, such as discussions on how to correctly quote the Bible, how to capitalize and use common religious terms, and how to abbreviate the books of the Bible and other religious words. Also included are rarely found items such as: an author’s guide to obtaining permissions. This edition has been completely updated since the 1988 edition and contains more than twice as much information as the previous edition. This is the most detailed and comprehensive guide of its kind.

4. Self Editing for Fiction Writers, Second Edition: How to Edit Yourself Into Print by Renni Browne and Dave King

This book is not for the faint of heart, (you’ve been warned) if you are serious about the craft of editing pick up this book and several pens in multiple colors. This book will teach you step by step how to analyze every aspect of your writing like an editor. It has chapters on dialogue, exposition, point of view, interior monologue, and other techniques take you through the same processes an expert editor would go through to perfect your manuscript. Each point is illustrated with examples, usually drawn from the hundreds of books Browne and King have edited. You might not like the look of your manuscript after using this book but the helpful techniques can prevent the same mistakes from reoccurring.

5. The Subversive Copy Editor: Advice From Chicago by Carol Saller

This volume is humorous and instructive. Written by a veteran copy editor at The University of Chicago Press, Saller explains what rules are essential to maintain a good readable book and what rules can be bent. It provides a lighthearted way for remembering what rules to keep and what rules to break.

6. New Hart’s Rules: The Handbook of Style for Writers and Editors adapted by R.M. Ritter

Twenty chapters give information on all aspects of writing and of preparing copy for publication, whether in print or electronically. New Hart’s Rules covers a broad range of topics including publishing terms, layout and headings,how to present numbers and dates, how to treat illustrations, hyphenation, punctuation, UK and US usage, bibliographies and notes, and indexing. The chapters have been compiled by a team of experts and consultants, and the book draws on the unrivalled expertise of Oxford’s Reference Department. It is also endorsed by the Society for Editors and Proofreaders.The text is designed and organized for maximum accessibility with clearly displayed examples throughout. Authoritative and comprehensive, New Hart’s Rules is the essential desk guide for all writers and editors.

7. A Good Dictionary

Every writer and editor needs at least one good dictionary. Most have a favorite and few others to supplement their chosen dictionary. Since there are quite a few to choose from I suggest spending an hour comparing dictionaries and picking the right one for you. I like the New Oxford American Dictionary which is the the Americanized version of the Oxford English Dictionary because I work primarily with American authors. Other editors prefer Merriam Webster, or the Concise Oxford English Dictionary. Pick whichever book (or combination of books) work for you.

8. The Copy Editor’s Handbook: A Guide for Book Publishing and Corporate Communication by Amy Einsohn

The Copyeditor’s Handbook is a lively, practical manual for newcomers to publishing and for experienced editors who want to fine-tune their skills or broaden their understanding of the craft. The exercises are accompanied by answer keys and detailed line-by-line explanations.

9. Developmental Editing: A Handbook for Freelancers, Authors, and Publishers by Scott Norton

This handbook provides an approach to developmental editing that is logical, collaborative, humorous, and realistic. Norton starts with the core tasks of shaping the proposal, finding the hook, and building the narrative or argument, and then turns to the hard work of executing the plan and establishing a style.The book also gives advice on how to adapt sophisticated fiction techniques (such as point of view, suspense, plotting, character, and setting) to nonfiction writing. Developmental Editing equips authors with the concrete tools they need to reach their audiences.

10. Style: Lessons in Clarity and Grace by Joseph Williams

This is the editorial equivalent to Strunk and White. This book provides quick and dirty tips on getting a polished style and eloquent prose. It is small, light, and perfect for looking up a question about style without having to lug out a gigantic reference book. It is perfect for desks and offices.

Promotional: Author Interview, Dyane Forde.

3 11 2012

Charles Henry Editing is now conducting author interviews! Friday, November 9th, 2012 we will be posting an interview with fantasy writer, Dyane Forde. She is the author of The Eagle’s Gift and The Purple Morrow. You can read her work at:

Read more about her on Facebook

Or friend her on Twitter @PurpleMorrow

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