WRITING

Bad Girls

Bad Girls

She’s just too mean. That’s the comment I heard from an agent about the protagonist in the manuscript that I was pitching about nine years ago. That’s fine, I thought. Different strokes, right? Then I heard it again from a different agent that I had queried: “She’s so mean. It makes me not care about […]

March 23, 2017 | By | Reply More
Novels, The Movies, and Me

Novels, The Movies, and Me

Some novelists go to graduate school to get MFA’s. I went into the movie business instead. Permit me to share a memory from my time working as a Veep for the Samuel Goldwyn Company. I was in London for several weeks with a screenwriter named Paul. One day, after working on a script for several […]

March 21, 2017 | By | Reply More
Houses As Inspiration

Houses As Inspiration

We talk about how our relationships have changed us but comparatively little about how a love affair with a house can alter the course of our thinking and our lives. Where we live is our second skin, for women often part of our identity, so perhaps it’s no wonder that all my novels have been […]

March 20, 2017 | By | Reply More

HOW TOs and TIPS

Finding Your Purpose As A Writer

Finding Your Purpose As A Writer

The books of my youth erased me. Growing up, I read Nancy Drew mysteries long past my bedtime. I owned all the hardcover, yellow-spine books about the exploits of the young detective. I idolized my namesake driving her blue convertible through the idyllic town of River Heights with her red hair blowing in the breeze. […]

March 20, 2017 | By | 2 Replies More
Surviving the Dank and Lonely Editing Cave

Surviving the Dank and Lonely Editing Cave

As I write in this terribly uncomfortable chair, I’ve just finished over five months of straight editing. Five. Straight. Months. All writers know the woes of editing: The empty loneliness that sometimes accompanies us in our dark, dank, and dusty writing caves. The desire to slam your face into your keyboard because hey, maybe that […]

March 20, 2017 | By | 2 Replies More
The Distracted Writer

The Distracted Writer

It is always my intention to turn off wi-fi when I write. It has yet to happen. What if I need to look something up? After all, I write historical fiction and there is always a fact to check, a photo to look at, a map to consider. I often wonder how people wrote before […]

March 20, 2017 | By | Reply More

AGENTS

Q&A with Literary Agent Patricia Nelson, Marsal Lyon Literary Agency

Q&A with Literary Agent Patricia Nelson, Marsal Lyon Literary Agency

Patricia Nelson joined Marsal Lyon Literary Agency in 2014. She represents adult, young adult, and middle grade fiction, and is actively building her list. In general, Patricia looks for stories that hook her with a unique plot, fantastic writing and complex characters that jump off the page. On the adult side, she is seeking women’s […]

March 22, 2017 | By | Reply More
Q&A with  Evan Gregory, Senior Literary Agent  Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency

Q&A with Evan Gregory, Senior Literary Agent Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency

Evan Gregory began at Ethan Ellenberg in 2008. He is currently expanding his client list. He has widespread interests including: FICTION – Horror, Mystery, Thrillers, Science-fiction, Fantasy, Women’s literature. NONFICTION – Arts, Cinema, Photography, Biography, Memoir, Business, Investment, Cooking, Food, Wine, Health, Diet, History, Nature, Ecology, Parenting, Family, Politics, Current affairs, Pop culture, Entertainment, Science, […]

March 17, 2017 | By | Reply More
Q&A with Literary Agent Christopher Rhodes of The Stuart Agency

Q&A with Literary Agent Christopher Rhodes of The Stuart Agency

Prior to joining The Stuart Agency, Christopher Rhodes was an agent at The James Fitzgerald Agency. Previous to that, he worked at The Carol Mann Agency and in the sales and marketing departments at Simon and Schuster. Specializing in literary fiction and nonfiction, Christopher is actively seeking queries in the following areas: literary fiction and […]

February 15, 2017 | By | Reply More

MARKETING AND PUBLISHING

Promotion Is Pay, Pay, Pay as You Go

Promotion Is Pay, Pay, Pay as You Go

When you’re a published author, whether self-published, with a small publisher, or with one of the big boys, you find out pretty quickly that promotion, for the most part, falls on your shoulders—and stealthily slips its sticky fingers into your wallet. Business cards, bookmarks, Facebook ads, magazine ads, Website ads, Kirkus Reviews, BookBub, any number […]

January 15, 2017 | By | 12 Replies More
My Eight Book Deal

My Eight Book Deal

I can honestly say that I spent the first fifteen to twenty years of my writing life constructing stories that burned inside me but using characters I thought publishers and agents would like. Over the years the majority of rejections stated ‘we liked it but we just didn’t love it’. This comment caused me to […]

November 23, 2016 | By | 2 Replies More
A Day in the Life of a Publisher, with SilverWood Books

A Day in the Life of a Publisher, with SilverWood Books

SilverWood Books (silverwoodbooks.co.uk) provides self-funding authors with professional book production services, wholesale and retail book distribution, and a high level of support. Publishing Assistant Rowena Ball takes us through a typical day in the life of a dynamic publishing team… Morning Continuous communication is vital, and the day begins with running through our production schedule […]

November 10, 2016 | By | 2 Replies More

SHORT STORIES

Here’s Why: Short fiction by Anne Leigh Parrish

Here’s Why: Short fiction by Anne Leigh Parrish

Here’s why. You slump, shrink, curl down in your seat, never stand up straight. As if an arrow might pick you off. Not an arrow, a bullet. Not a bullet, a blow. Not a blow, words. Not words, looks. Here’s why. You’re a freak. Four inches in one year? Your father’s colleague says he keeps […]

May 20, 2016 | By | 1 Reply More
Short Fiction: The Gingerbread Man by Judy Pollard Smith

Short Fiction: The Gingerbread Man by Judy Pollard Smith

“Where are you off to? “ Sally had asked me. I felt a bit guilty I must admit. I was supposed to be home boning up for my job interview in the morning. I really wanted the job at Kelly and Hart Publishing and I don’t know where my head was when I agreed to […]

February 26, 2016 | By | 1 Reply More
Short Fiction: A Sliver of Ivory by Vanessa Lafaye

Short Fiction: A Sliver of Ivory by Vanessa Lafaye

He wanted you to have this. It was written with exaggerated clarity on a scrap of paper, as if the author was unsure of the reader’s grasp of English. The torn paper, rather than a proper card, another signal from the sender. It was signed Elaine, with a rounded, buxom capital E. On the padded […]

January 19, 2016 | By | 2 Replies More

INTERVIEWS

Q&A with Joselin Linder

Q&A with Joselin Linder

Joselin Linder is a regular contributor to the NEW YORK POST, whose work has also been featured on THIS AMERICAN LIFE, MORNING EDITION and LIFE OF THE LAW. She spoke at the TEDX GOWANUS event in Brooklyn in 2014, presenting for the first time on the subject of her family gene and the deadly illness […]

March 14, 2017 | By | Reply More
Q&A with Colleen Oakley

Q&A with Colleen Oakley

Colleen Oakley is the author of CLOSE ENOUGH TO TOUCH (Gallery, 2017), BEFORE I GO (Gallery, 2015), and LOVE NOTES: 1OO GREAT WAYS TO GET KISSES, CUDDLES, AND REALLY GREAT SEX (Hearst, 2010). The interviewer honestly cannot introduce Colleen better than she does. Isn’t she magnetic? In her words – If a fairy granted me […]

March 9, 2017 | By | Reply More
Q&A with Literary Agent Katie Kotchman of Don Congdon Associates

Q&A with Literary Agent Katie Kotchman of Don Congdon Associates

  In non-fiction, Katie Kotchman specializes in business (all areas); narrative non-fiction such as popular science and books about social/cultural issues; self-help that focuses on success, motivation, and psychology; and pop culture. Katie is actively seeking new non-fiction clients with built-in platforms from whom she can learn something new. In fiction, she’s interested in representing […]

January 29, 2017 | By | 1 Reply More

Recent Essays

Women Writing the Erotic: Sexual Themes in Fiction

Women Writing the Erotic: Sexual Themes in Fiction

Love, yearning, loss, truth and deceit, freedom and constraint: these themes have long occupied a place in our literary canon. From classical literature, we’re familiar with the torment between Cathy and Heathcliff, and between Jane and Rochester. Within the subtext of these two classic stories of love, lies a narration of sex and sexual desire, […]

March 19, 2017 | By | Reply More
It’s Not Rejection; It’s Feedback.

It’s Not Rejection; It’s Feedback.

I imagine the easygoing among us don’t remember their first time receiving constructive criticism; teflon, some people, or indifferent. Not me. In primary school the report card system was E for excellent, S for satisfactory, and U for unsatisfactory. I swam in a pool of excellence until the day I received an S in handwriting. By the […]

March 18, 2017 | By | 6 Replies More
How To Write What Hurts

How To Write What Hurts

You have a story to tell; something you’ve experienced that can help other people. It’s been burning inside of you, screaming that you give it a voice. But, as I know too well, sitting in front of the computer is a completely different animal. Words freeze up as thoughts refuse to be expressed. Memories hide […]

March 17, 2017 | By | 1 Reply More
How Ancestral Research Can Lead to Memoir

How Ancestral Research Can Lead to Memoir

In November, 2011, ten years and one month after the death of my mother, Nannie B Chandler Nelson at age ninety-six, I found myself eager to explore my ancestral roots through her blood line.  The challenge was more significant than me, I believe, than for a person who has visited with, and heard tales of […]

March 16, 2017 | By | Reply More
Get A Real Job!

Get A Real Job!

Imagine asking a best-selling author for advice on your writing career and being told to get a real job first? Well, that’s essentially what happened on Twitter last week when Diana Gabaldon, author of the Outlander series, started a bit of a controversy with this tweet: ‘English Major = Want Fries With That? Pick something […]

March 16, 2017 | By | 2 Replies More
Transitioning From Freelance to Full-Time Writer

Transitioning From Freelance to Full-Time Writer

How I Found Freelance Writing Jobs  In fall 2015, I started researching how to build a freelance writing business to make money. I signed up on Upwork.com and was able to search for assignments. I also began researching start-ups in my home city, Chicago. Blogs are all the rage for companies these days. They drive […]

March 16, 2017 | By | Reply More