Takin’ the long way around: FROM UNSEEN FIRE’s path to publication

Monday, December 4, 2017

A tale of a book, from pen to shelf: November 2011 — Project begins, called simply Aven, as Cass’s 2011 NaNoWriMo project, an attempt to get herself writing creatively again after several years devoted to academia. December 2011 — Cass sets to finishing the draft and polishing it up. July 2012 — Cass scrambles to finish editing her draft in the hopes that it’s fit to be seen and attends a…

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The LIMELIGHT Timeline: Piece of cake? Not exactly.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Question: So you’ve published your first novel, SMALL ADMISSIONS. I hear you’re working on a second. Has it been easier this time around? I hear the second book is a piece of cake. Answer: A piece of cake? Seriously? Ha. LIMELIGHT TIMELINE April 2015: Sign contract for SMALL ADMISSIONS! Yay! Celebrate. May 2015: Time to start thinking about that new book! Do that, meaning… sit and think. Gaze off into space….

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10 Steps To Help You Process the Notorious Edit Letter

Friday, April 14, 2017

I recently read a thread on facebook about receiving the dreaded edit letter and the hatred, the pain, heartache, and tears it induces. In short, an edit like is the psychopathic killer ready to slice to this shit out of your expectations and pre-conceived notions on what the final version of your book will be like. However, I’m one of those weirdos that LOVE receiving edit letters. I appreciate anything that…

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A Behind The Scenes Look: Editing BECOMING BONNIE

Thursday, April 13, 2017

This week, the Deb’s are chatting about the editing of our novels. As writers, we pick up tricks of the trade as we go along. We never stop learning and improving. I like that about our industry. While revising my novel, BECOMING BONNIE, I felt like I had ample opportunities to grow (i.e. it required lots of editing). But it was in that messy, chaotic state of tackling my edits…

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Re-Writing Caged Eyes

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Caged Eyes may have taken me a decade to write, but I can summarize the process easily: expand and contract. My first draft was a factual recount, a straight linear narrative one might read in some kind of textbook. It made for a terrible memoir, I assure you. Over several additional drafts, I went to the opposite extreme. I added details, dialogue, and reflection, and suddenly my memoir doubled in…

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A Fan Letter to my Freelance Editor

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

I remember the day when I pulled my car off I-95 and sat crying in a parking lot outside of a McDonald’s. And the day I went to bed at 1:00 in the afternoon and stayed there. Until 1:00 the next afternoon. And then there was the morning that I called my sister, yelling, “Fu*k it! I quit!” What prompted my outbursts, foul moods, and misery? Phone calls with my…

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The Best Kind of Editing

Monday, April 10, 2017

This week, instead of doing our taxes, the Debs are talking about auditing, err, editing.  In the fall of 2007, I took a novel-in-progress class at Grub Street with instructor and author, Lisa Borders. It was the first time I was showing anyone the novel I was working on, which turned out to be the early drafts of FEAST OF SORROW.  It was there that I met Anjali Mitter Duva,…

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A Deleted Scene from Caged Eyes

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

At the beginning of their processes, memoirists have a tendency to think everything they put on the page is critical. It’s only natural, after all: we write from memories, and often those we start with are the strongest, the most powerful, and it takes a while to understand that what life moments are most key for our psyche aren’t necessarily key to the particular story which we are telling. The…

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Lucky coffee? That’s totally a thing.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

I could never, ever discount the role that luck played in the publication of my book, SMALL ADMISSIONS. Of course, I believe in hard work (meaning writing, writing, writing, and then revising, revising, revising) above all else. The hours of editing are certainly, in my opinion, the single most important part of getting a book to the level of being publishable. But at the end of the day, certain things…

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My editorial letter: if it’s nice, say it twice

Friday, January 8, 2016

I was in a mild panic when I received my editorial letter. I’m grateful that my editor was especially encouraging. In particular, she wrote a glowing opening in the email and then repeated it in the opening of the word doc letter she attached. I tackled the issues in three parts: 1) the chapter-by-chapter changes she requested 2) the line-by-line edits on the manuscript and 3) the big picture edits….

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