WRITING

Sending the Elevator Back Down

Sending the Elevator Back Down

Several years ago, I heard an author say that when a writer “makes it,” it becomes his or her job to send the elevator back down for those waiting their turn. It was a great way to encourage authors who’ve made it to the other side—who got the publishing deal or who’ve seen their book […]

December 10, 2016 | By | Reply More
Writing the Unthinkable

Writing the Unthinkable

When I first started to write, it was to escape. I longed, like a snorkeler, to slip beneath cool waters and linger below the surface of another world. Bangkok was a city burning on its fringes with protests, and I began by invoking these sights and smells. This grew into a novel, a portrait of […]

December 6, 2016 | By | 1 Reply More
Reaching Back and Recovering Women’s Voices

Reaching Back and Recovering Women’s Voices

My passion is bringing women back from the past. I wrote Wilde’s Women when I realised that (male, for the most part) biographers had largely ignored the brilliant women who helped make Oscar Wilde the man he was. That’s why, last Saturday, 26 November, having spent two intensive days sitting in a lecture theatre in […]

December 6, 2016 | By | Reply More

HOW TOs and TIPS

How Agents and Editors Influence My Writing

How Agents and Editors Influence My Writing

Writing your first novel is a wonderful experience – the words flow out because you’ve been itching to write them, you know what you want to say, pretty much how you’re going to say it and if you get stuck, you can spend months unpicking the plot holes and re-writing the passages that don’t work. […]

December 10, 2016 | By | Reply More
Awakening the Muse Through Meditation

Awakening the Muse Through Meditation

Many of us know the nature of meditation is to sit and relax, focus on one’s breath, and clear the mind, but I’ve found meditation can do just the opposite for creativity. By that I don’t mean I meditate to stress out and create a web of random thoughts, but rather to open a calm […]

December 9, 2016 | By | Reply More
Writing With The Seasons

Writing With The Seasons

As an author of six books (two memoirs, three novels and a children’s chapter book, all written and published in the last ten years) I found writing fun and enjoyable.  I never got my MFA or went to a writer’s critique group, but I always loved telling stories and it came easy to me until last […]

December 9, 2016 | By | Reply More

AGENTS

Q&A with  Nancy Cleary, Founder, Designer, Chief Hand-Holder and Cheerleader  at Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing

Q&A with Nancy Cleary, Founder, Designer, Chief Hand-Holder and Cheerleader at Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing

Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing is an award-winning independent press nestled on the Oregon coast in a tiny town called Deadwood. Nancy Cleary has spent over twenty-five years as a professional graphic designer and author branding expert. Wyatt-MacKenzie has published hundreds of products over the last 18 years with a special focus on mom writers. They traditionally publish […]

July 27, 2016 | By | 3 Replies More
Q&A with Erin George, Senior Associate Editor of Henery Press

Q&A with Erin George, Senior Associate Editor of Henery Press

ABOUT ERIN: After graduating with honors and a B.A. in English, Erin George, now a Senior Associate Editor, found a home at Henery Press. Her interest in publishing stemmed from a lifelong dream of reading fabulous books all day, every day, and editing was a perfect fit. She currently lives in Dallas, TX with her […]

May 7, 2016 | By | Reply More
Q&A with Literary Agent  Leigh Eisenman  of Hannigan Salky Getzler “HSG” Agency

Q&A with Literary Agent Leigh Eisenman of Hannigan Salky Getzler “HSG” Agency

Leigh is a junior agent with Hannigan Salky Getzler (“HSG”) Agency. After ten years of practicing law, she decided to follow her dream of becoming part of the New York City literary landscape. She worked for a year at Folio Literary Management prior to moving to HSG in the fall of 2015. Leigh is also […]

April 30, 2016 | By | Reply More

MARKETING AND PUBLISHING

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 | 1 Reply 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
A Day in the Life of a Book Publicist

A Day in the Life of a Book Publicist

When I first daydreamed what it would be like to be a book publicist I imagined myself introducing an author to a packed Barnes and Noble book signing. In my daydream I also look like Angelica’s Mom from Rugrats. The reality turned out to be a bit different. When I’m asked what it’s like to […]

October 18, 2016 | By | Reply 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 Kerry Lonsdale

Q&A with Kerry Lonsdale

Kerry Lonsdale is the Wall Street Journal and #1 Amazon Kindle bestselling author of EVERYTHING WE KEEP (Lake Union, September 2016) and the upcoming ALL THE BREAKING WAVES (Lake Union, December 2016) and WHAT WE LEAVE BEHIND (Lake Union, publication date TBD). Kerry is also a founder of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association. She resides […]

November 3, 2016 | By | Reply More
Q & A with Grace Bonney

Q & A with Grace Bonney

Grace Bonney is the author of IN THE COMPANY OF WOMEN: INSPIRATION AND ADVICE FROM OVER 100 MAKERS, ARTISTS, AND ENTREPRENEURS (Artisan, 2016) and the founder of design blog Design*Sponge. Her first book, DESIGN*SPONGE AT HOME, became a national bestseller. The New York Times called D*S called “Martha Stewart Living for the Millennials.” The site reaches […]

October 4, 2016 | By | Reply More
Q&A with Caroline Leavitt

Q&A with Caroline Leavitt

Caroline Leavitt is the American novelist who penned CRUEL BEAUTIFUL WORLD (Algonquin 2016), already on two Book Club Lists and an Indie Next Pick and praised by Marie Claire, Pop Sugar, Shelf Awareness, Minneapolis Star Tribune, New York Newsday, NPR’s Weekend Edition and more. Caroline is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author […]

October 4, 2016 | By | Reply More

Recent Essays

How Book Reviewing Influences My Writing

How Book Reviewing Influences My Writing

Before I published my books, and before I understood the importance of book reviews for an author, I always tried to leave a few sentences on Amazon and Goodreads about my reading experience. I’m a great believer in leaving (and reading) reviews for restaurants, holiday resorts, hotels, and other products, so why should books be […]

December 8, 2016 | By | 3 Replies More
Letting The Story Open The Door

Letting The Story Open The Door

I love short stories. Reading them, writing them, choosing them for Literary Orphans, the online literary magazine I have the privilege to spend time with. In many ways, although I’ve written two novels and am half-way through a third, I feel that short stories will always be by home, and first love. The submitted pieces […]

December 7, 2016 | By | Reply More
Sticking with It

Sticking with It

When my contemporary YA novel, Wesley James Ruined My Life, hits bookshelves next July I will be 42 years old. Forty-two is not old (at least, I like to think it’s not!), but it did take me a bit longer than some to land a book deal. There are examples of authors who hits it […]

December 7, 2016 | By | Reply More
Why Would You Do That? Understanding Motivation

Why Would You Do That? Understanding Motivation

We ask a lot of our characters. We put them in situations where they must create magic, find love, battle terrorists, win back their crowns, navigate secret space portals, solve murders, and everything else we can imagine as writers. We also ask our readers to invest their time and money on the adventures of these […]

December 5, 2016 | By | 3 Replies More
Why It’s Important To Write -and Read- Romance and Erotica In An Age Of Plentiful Porn

Why It’s Important To Write -and Read- Romance and Erotica In An Age Of Plentiful Porn

He’s one of my oldest friends, and so, when the words come out of his mouth, I first think I’ve misheard him. “Excuse me?” I say. And he says it again, and I ask him to repeat it, again. No, that’s what he actually said. “How do your parents feel about your new career as […]

December 5, 2016 | By | 2 Replies More
Walk a Mile In Your Characters’ Shoes

Walk a Mile In Your Characters’ Shoes

“Write what you know.” Apparently, it was Mark Twain who gave this famous bit of advice, with which, to be honest, I don’t always agree. As a writer of historical fiction set hundreds and thousands of years past, it’s impossible to truly know what happened in those times. I don’t really know if all the […]

December 5, 2016 | By | 4 Replies More