Cornucopia of Thanks

The Black Irish Books crew, Steven Pressfield, Callie Oettinger, Jeff Simon and I (mostly Steve, Callie and especially Jeff) put together a really cool Thank You promotion for everyone who takes time to read our stuff at and here at  You can check it out here.

Included in that Thank You promotion is the book I referred to in my last post, the one that  pushed Steve Pressfield from “unpublished starving artist” to bestselling writer.  Steve put Norm Stahl’s Foolscap Method to the test when he wrote his first published novel, which not only put his work into bookstores, but also onto big screens. The Legend of Bagger Vance adaptation was directed by Robert Redford and starred Matt Damon, Will Smith and Charlize Theron. Steve writes about the entire experience in The Authentic Swing, also part of the promotion, which lays out just how he practically applied Norm Stahl’s advice.

Next week, I’ll begin fleshing out exactly how my version of the Foolscap Method, The Foolscap Global Story Grid works.  I’ll walk you line by line through it.

In the meantime, I’ve had two interviews that I’ve recently done transcribed which cover a whole slew of stuff like:

  • my early years in the publishing business and how I learned my craft
  • why today’s authors need to learn to be their own editors
  • the two tracks (macro and mirco) an editor can take and how the story grid combines both
  • why authors must start their writing with a strong understanding of genre
  • how experience in stage acting translates to writing
  • what separates the best of the best from everyone else
  • why a scene must revolve around a story value and move from one place to another
  • the importance of understanding surface language and subtext

One PDF is The Writing Coach Interview

The other PDF is The Author Biz Interview.

Or you can listen to them here and here.

Next year, Black Irish will be bringing out my book based on the content in this site, The Story Grid,  and we’ll definitely figure out a similar way to reward all of you for your support before we release it widely.  The book is in production now, so hang in there.

For new subscribers and OCD Story nerds like myself, all of The Story Grid posts are now in order on the right hand side column of the home page beneath the subscription shout-out.


19 comments on “Cornucopia of Thanks

  1. Just finished reading the chat with Kevin (thank you SO MUCH for the transcriptions; I just can’t concentrate on audio — besides, I’d have to turn Garth off to listen to it.) Super to see my mentor Larry Brooks get a mention.

    Love Steve’s idea of printing story grid business cards. When I know the drill, I’m going to do just that with my best book so far. It is rhythmic, almost musical.

    Off to read the interview with Stephen Campbell. Thanks so much for sharing these.

    I have so much to learn.

  2. Mary Doyle says:

    Thanks for posting these transcripts Shawn! I enjoyed both of them – a nice start to what’s going to be a busy day. Your generosity in sharing these posts every week is one of the things I’m most grateful for this year. As Joel said, “so much to learn…”

  3. Joel D Canfield says:

    The story about James Patterson is priceless. What it tells me is that I’ve been right along about how marketing-hate among authors will be a powerful force for attrition over the next 5 years, leaving a clear path for those of us who know and love marketing our stuff.

  4. Jule Kucera says:

    Ooh, goody! Thanksgiving presents! Thank you for your consistent and surprising generosity. Happy Thanksgiving to you.

  5. Priceless, Shawn! A happy thanksgiving digestion to you and yours!

  6. Jeremy says:

    Thanks and Happy Thanksgiving to the entire team and my fellow commenters! The information and conversations on this site have provided tremendous insight into this craft, and we’ve only scratched the surface.

  7. Like others who have commented on your posts, Shawn, I am deeply grateful to you (and to Steve Pressfield) not only for the things you are both teaching me but also for your unbelievable generosity in sharing your posts. There is no question that my next book will be far superior to my first thanks to your insight and to Steve’s. How lucky am I that in this incredible age of technology, I can connect so easily with the two of you?! How lucky am I that you are so willing to share?! From the bottom of my heart to yours, thank you.

  8. Fran Civile says:

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your team Shawn and to commenters on this site! Fran

  9. Derick Tsai says:

    GREAT podcasts Shawn!

  10. Thanks for the Interview shoutout Sean – It had a blast speaking with you on The Author Biz.

  11. Thanks for the Interview shoutout Shawn – It had a blast speaking with you on The Author Biz.

  12. Steve says:

    Can’t wait for the book Shawn, loved the podcasts and really appreciate what you’re doing here.

  13. PJ Reece says:

    My wife and I crawled into bed and listened to the Authorbiz interview. My wife couldn’t sleep for all the juicy info. Couldn’t do anything. Thanks a lot!

  14. Kevin Johns says:

    Thank you for sharing the interview with you audience, Shawn. It was such a pleasure to speak with you, and certainly one of the high-lights of my podcasting career thus far.

    1. Shawn Coyne says:

      Hi Kevin,
      It was my pleasure. Also feel free to share the transcript with your audience as well.

  15. Judy Potocki says:

    Thank you, Shawn, Steven, Callie and Jeff — the whole gang at Black Irish Books. I just downloaded the transcripts to read tonight and secured my incredible digital stocking stuffer! Wow.
    You are treasures. I can’t wait to continue with the Story Grid lessons.
    May you all have a prosperous and transcendent 2015!

  16. DC Harrell says:

    I caught you on the AuthorBiz and that’s why I’m here. Thanks both to Stephen Campbell for introducing you (to me) and to you for producing this stuff. I’m only a month and a half behind. Looking forward to the next bit.

  17. Shawn and all at Black Irish Publishing – I wish I’d found you guys this time last year. I’m working my way through each post on the Story Grid from the beginning, and one third in, you’ve already set me straight on editing ‘problems’ that have had me tied in knots for a year – thank you, so much.

    Also just read both transcripts – absolute gold on scenes and construction in the one, and the Author Biz podcast with Kevin was a genuine pep-talk for this writer, still trying to figure out what to do and which way to aim in the new publishing landscape. I’ve been paralysed by fear of doing things the ‘wrong’ way, but what you had to say about generosity, giving things away for free to build and connect with readers has helped enormously – so another thank-you for that!

    Now I’m off to read some more.

    1. Shawn Coyne says:

      Hi Piper,
      Glad to have you here.
      All the best,

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