Backstory Feast, by Emily Winslow

I love backstory. Beginning writers are cautioned against it, because it’s so alluring but kind of tricky to pull off. Flashbacks and memories can halt the present action. They can be pauses that seem to the reader as unconnected to the current story as a commercial break to a TV show. Or, done right, they can be players in the present action. Memories can be active participants in a scene,…

Monday, April 5, 2010

Fool Me, by Emily Winslow

The “Museum of Hoaxes” website has a delightful list of the Top 100 April Fools Day Hoaxes in history. Here is a sampling of some of my favorites: #15: Metric Time “1975: Australia’s This Day Tonight news program revealed that the country would soon be converting to “metric time.” Under the new system there would be 100 seconds to the minute, 100 minutes to the hour, and 20-hour days.” #31:…

Monday, March 29, 2010

Mark Your Calendars, by Emily Winslow

THE WHOLE WORLD comes out May 25th, and for the whole month of June I’ll be traveling around the US promoting it at the following fantastic bookstores. Do you live near any of these locations? Please come! New Jersey: Friday, June 04, 7:30 PM Words, Maplewood’s Bookstore 179 Maplewood Avenue, Maplewood, NJ 07040 (Just a 40 minute train ride from Penn Station, New Yorkers!) Ohio: Tuesday, June 08, 5:00 PM…

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Luck Factor, by agent Cameron McClure

The way I see it, an agent’s job is to eliminate the wildcard that is luck. I want to exert as much control as I can over the publication process, and leave as little as possible to chance. But you can never completely snuff out luck, or chance, or that factor X. As much as you might try. Maybe some of you are thinking: who invited this hopeless pessimist who…

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Lucky Me, by Emily Winslow

I have mixed feelings about luck. Philosophically and morally, I abhor the concept of someone being “lucky.” It’s not democratic. It’s not fair. But, in my personal experience, I recognize that I’m lucky. It’s not that nothing bad happens to me. Bad stuff has. But so much of the good stuff has been over-the-top good. There’s definitely a skew. I feel relieved when I find some kind of reason behind…

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Opposite of Me now out!

Things I really, really enjoyed about Sarah Pekkanen’s debut novel, The Opposite of Me: 1) I’m a tough girl to surprise. I can see the end of a joke, the point of a sermon, or pick out a killer on CSI or Law and Order right from the start. But, I had no idea who the heroine of The Opposite of Me was going to end up with. There were…

Monday, March 8, 2010

The OED is my friend, by Emily Winslow

When my sweetheart moved from England to California many years ago, he got there ahead of most of his belongings. He moved into a work friend’s spare bedroom and slept in a sleeping bag. I asked him (over the phone, in the course of our long-distance courtship) what of his things he missed most. His answer? His OED. The OED, in case you don’t know, is the Oxford English Dictionary….

Monday, March 1, 2010

Bad habits: a list, by Emily Winslow

My bad habits: 1) Snacking too much. 2) Pausing to check my email while I’m playing with the kids. 3) Staying up late because I’m too tired to get off the couch to go up to bed (and watching just one more recorded episode is so tempting!) 4) My most pervasive bad habit has to do with parking lots, but it applies all over my life: I’m an on-time kind…

Monday, February 22, 2010

What’s Next, by Emily Winslow

I was advised by author Manda Scott to finish the next book before the first one comes out. If you don’t, bad reviews of the first book will convince you that you can’t write, and good reviews will convince you you can’t write anything that good ever again! Yes, I can see my mind would definitely do that to me, so I’m working on it. These are the stages I’ve…

Monday, February 15, 2010

Stars, by Emily Winslow

I write about my sweetheart a lot, and also my boys. I love them to pieces. But I fear I’m a bit of a broken record on those subjects, so I challenged myself to choose a different subject for this week’s subject of “Love,” and the implication it carries, on February 14th, of romantic love in particular. A long time ago, in college, I was madly in love with a…

Monday, February 8, 2010