“The Role” by Richard Taylor Pearson – Cover Reveal

I’m thrilled to reveal the cover for my upcoming novel “The Role.” Ben Baldwin, the designer, worked closely with me, my editor, and the press, and I absolutely adore the result.

The idea that such a talented artist drew something based on what I wrote is truly amazing. Ben’s interpretations of my characters – some of which are exactly what I pictured, others wildly different – are perfect. As we get closer to the release date, I’ll reveal which actors I would choose to play each character. For now, I’m just happy to look at my cover and know I’m one step closer to publication Without further ado, here it is:


Title: The Role

Genre: LGBT Fiction

Publisher: Lethe

Publication Date: Spring 2016.

Format: Paperback and E-book.

Preorder it: | Lethe | Amazon |

Author: Facebook | Twitter |


Synopsis: Mason Burroughs is an actor on the verge of giving up after being turned away at audition after audition. But his life changes when he bumps into Kevin Caldwell, an old crush from acting school. Kevin helps Mason land a role that could make him the next Broadway star. However, as rehearsals begin, Mason learns that there’s a lot more drama than just what’s on stage. With a personal trainer claiming he can mold his body to resemble a Greek statue, an underhanded understudy waiting in the wings to replace him, a megalomaniacal director, and Kevin hellbent on breaking up Mason and his boyfriend, Mason must choose how much he is willing to sacrifice to make his Broadway dream a reality.






With each morning comes a new chance

I think one thing about being a writer, or really a human, is that you begin to understand there is a special time of day that really speaks to you. For me it is not late at night, nor is it the early morning. It is blissful hour of 10:00 a.m. at That time, I’ve had my morning caffeine, I’ve read what happened while I was asleep, and I’ve generally had my brain working. At 10, something really magical happens, and I normally find myself working until 2 pm. Then I wonder why I’m starting to be crabby and slow down. The answer? I worked through lunch. I usually refuel, but that momentary break, seems to do something to me, and I can never quite get back in the zone.

I think knowing your body and knowing when you are likely to be in the best mood/zone to write/work is important. For me, I try and make 10:00 a.m. a priority. I make sure nothing is going to get in my way, and it is easy for me to do that, because well…I’ve got all morning to do it.

I was really touched that so many people commented on my last post, so I wanted to talk about something that people could weigh in on. I also figured loyal readers might want something where I don’t complain.

So anyone got some thoughts? Are there any night workers? I just have to ask…how do you do it?

Average time?

So something that has had me on edge lately, is that I never know if I am ahead or behind in time. When I was in the writing phase, I knew what a decent goal was. I knew most writers wrote 1,500 words a day, or at least attempted to. In editing/revising/rewriting it is much harder to quantify your progress. I’ve gone pages without changing a word, and then spent an hour on a paragraph. So it’s hard to deal with.

I was listening to a new podcast I found lately called “Dead Robots’ Society” It doesn’t sound like it would be, but it is, in fact, a writing podcast. I scrolled through the archives to see them talk about writing. The two hosts argued over the term “editing” is editing just cleaning up grammar? Or is it revising/rewriting? Or is revising/rewriting a part of editing as a whole? This made me curious. Do people think it is taking me months to check grammar when I claim to be “editing” a book? Should I be saying “revising” instead. I think editing includes grammar checking as well as revising/rewriting when needed.

I think when all you are doing is grammar checking, you are really just copy-editing.

Editing is something that tends to get ignored. I find tons of hints on how to write,  but not a lot on editing. I wonder why this is. Is it because it is assumed that once the story is written, editing is easy? If so…I must be doing it wrong.

Walking it Off

So in school I really hated the phrase “walk it off.” Mainly it was just something Coach’s said, and it was never something I liked, because the advice seemed insane. Taking a walk, alone, after just being brutally tortured is bad advice. However, walking to clear your head, an just get your body into some movement? Well…in addition to being good for your physical well being (I have done a lot of sitting since Saturday afternoon) it also helps in other ways.

As I said in my last post, I have a lot of stuff on my plate right now. All of it is good, but it certainly makes it harder to get work done. So…even though I’m certainly more tired at the end of the day now, I also need to find the energy to get some writing/editing done. This is especially daunting for me lately,because my day job basically involves writing and editing, but instead of fiction, it’s legal work. Now in comparison, even my rough fiction is more interesting that the best legal brief, but editing still uses the same part of my brain that has been working all day. So I needed to give my brain a break, and I’ve found walking works. So while “walking it off” isn’t good advice to a traumatized gay kid in high school, it might be good for that kid when he grows up to be a lawyer/writer.


So this week, I’ve not been super productive on the book front. I’m still in the middle of editing chapter 12. Part of this is because I got some legal work, which is great. I really would ADORE a paycheck right now, as it is something I’ve not had in quite some time. Therefore, I can’t really complain. Especially since I’ve been really incredibly fortunate up until now, to have so much time to edit my book.  Since I am new to editing, I’m slow at it, and that is part of the reason it is not done. That is something I’ve had difficulty accepting. I mean technically I have had months to do this. Why couldn’t I just edit a chapter a day, or something like that? While I am certain I  could have done this, I’m also equally certain the product would be weaker as a result. Still…part of me thinks….I could at least be querying agents, who would read it, and probably get me a real editor, who would make this process easier and faster.

If my only goal was simply to get the thing done…that might have worked. However, I think my book is actually pretty good, and as such, it deserves the best shot I can give it, in order for it to become published. This makes me frustrated, because it is hard to go several days without looking at my manuscript, but after doing legal work all day (which is basically nothing but writing and editing) it is hard to do work on my manuscript. Especially since I don’t stop doing my legal work until I can’t do it anymore.

I realize I’ve basically said this over and over on this blog, but sometimes just writing about it is helpful.

Word Count: 92,548

Penny for your thoughts?

So I’m still working on my book, but some readers have expressed an interest in the current state of my work in progress. I have provided a preview of the current version of my first chapter. I’d be thrilled if people read it, and provided feedback.


Current Word Count: 92,483

Finding Hope in the Pages

So I have been editing more. My last few posts have been sad, because I’ve felt that way. I found myself reviewing my own work, trying to forget about editing what is to come, and instead reviewing on what I’ve already worked on. I found this useful, because I found that I actually enjoyed reading it. I talked to a friend yesterday, and got to talking about my woes. She pointed out to me that while it is amazing to have beta-readers, none of them are particularly interested in LGBT literature. I agreed, and she and I were both quick to point out that it is still unclear if that is the “genre” of my book. I used to worry I was writing something only for gay readers, but once I let that worry go, I was free to just tell the story I wanted to tell. Upon reading what I have most recently revised, I can now see that I’ve really crafted my manuscript to tell that story. I could feel the strange kid/adult in me from college, actually get excited about the book, because it was the story he always wanted to read.

So I found hope within my own pages, and while I’m not fully out of the funk, I’m definitely feeling better. I’m confident now that my main character is someone that people will relate to. Especially people like me.

Word Count: 91,892

Going back

It occurs to me that the idea of returning is layered over and over in what I want to discuss today. I’m having issues, on Sunday I fixed my 10th chapter, and am now poised to work on chapter 11 (of the book, not Bankruptcy). However, since Thursday of last week, I’ve had a hard time getting back into my former editing groove. Part of this was the wall I hit, part of it was the fear I felt and blogged about, but lately things have felt different. I was ecstatic over fixing chapter 10, but I don’t have anyone who truly shares that joy. Whenever I discuss my book, people are good, and humor me, but part of what got my jazzed about editing, was the faith I had in my manuscript.  I am sad to report, that faith has somehow been shaken.

I think one reason for this is that I had a few prospects of earning some money, which I want to do, so I’ve been distracted. But that shouldn’t make me believe my book is any worse. However, I’m wondering if I had put a lot of faith in my manuscript, because I had nothing else to put my faith in. The job market wasn’t exactly helping me, so I felt compelled to “do something” each day, and that meant hours of editing. Now that things are picking up a little in other aspects of my life (I’m also in a show at the moment) I’ve been distracted.

While these new pick-ups in my life are great, I’m finding it impossible to return to the mindset I was working with before. The one that was convinced that my book was not only excellent, but marketable. I think a big part of the issue is…no one really cares about the book except for me. There’s no reason anyone SHOULD care about a book that is technically written, but by no means finished.  I think this is why a lot of people love writing as a collaboration. It’s so much nicer to have someone to talk to.

Current word count: 91,857

Waiting while you work

This week started out so well. I was getting lots of editing done, and generally making progress. However, I hit a wall, one that I will figure out eventually, but instead of just being a typical annoyance, it’s hit me harder. Every day that passes me by, I wonder/worry that there is some sort of clock ticking away the time I have with this book. Hundreds of authors query agents each day, and the odds of someone pitching something similar to my story, has started to worry me. I realize this has been an issue before now, but now that I’m close…I worry about this so much more. It takes so much mental energy to constantly maintain the self-control I need to prevent myself from querying agents right now. After all, my book is technically done. But it’s not ready. It’s like I’ve assembled a cake, baked it for 1\3rd of the time it needs, and now I want to pull it out and serve it. Sure I’ve probably cooked enough so that the raw eggs and ingredients won’t kill you, but it won’t be nearly as good as if I had taken the time to let it cook all the way through.

I am lucky, I have time during the day to get a lot of work done, but I still feel the urge to master my query letter to the big name agents who seem to be in good spirits these days. I’ve noticed several agents I have on my list, have accepted people lately. I worry they will feel too overloaded by their new clients, to accept me too.

Pacing yourself to the end

So with a fully sketched out outline for an ending, all that is left is to write it. My guide has served me well, and each day I end my writing knowing exactly where I will pick-up. This fact should elate me, I should be extremely happy that the ending is in sight once more, and that I will get there soon. However, while those things to make me happy, I am finding that my ability to tell the story does tend to slow down after I hit 1,500 words in a day. This isn’t a bad thing, as that word count is completely respectable, but now that I know how the story ends, my desire to get there faster has never been stronger. This makes me find writer fatigue far more annoying than before, and while I’ve managed to at least get 1,500 words out every day that I write,  it never feels like enough. December is drawing to a close, and if my hopes of getting most of my editing done in January are going to come true, that means I really need to get my first draft fully completed as soon as possible.

I am aware that over the next three days, I won’t get much writing done at all. I am returning home to AR, which I hope will serve as a good bit of inspiration and rest, as when I come back (on Christmas day) I want to finish the year out on a big note.

Here is hoping!

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