How to Write Useful Reviews

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

For a long time, if I didn’t like a book enough to give it 4 or 5 stars, I wouldn’t leave a review. I’d quietly ignore the book, feeling like I was helping out the author by doing nothing instead of giving a three-star review.It turns out, ignoring a book is one of the worst things you can do for it. Sites like Amazon count the number of reviews in order…

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My Various Entry Points into THE ONES WE CHOOSE

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

A good story allows the reader to enter it from multiple vantage points. THE ONES WE CHOOSE is not just a good story, but an amazing story that will linger long after you put it down. It is truly one of my favorite books of the year, maybe because I engaged with the book on multiple levels. I entered the story as a single mother. As a woman who instigated…

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Self Promotion—Awkward Yet Necessary

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

I love talking about my book. I love posting on social media about my book. Having my book come into the world is one of the most exciting things that has ever happened to me. What I don’t love is feeling as if I’m a show-off, or begging my friends for help. Every time I post about my book, I’m secretly ducking the negative anti-promotion vibes I’m sure are headed…

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Writing Programs, MFAs, and What to do if You Can’t Afford Any of Them

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

When I started writing in a serious, dedicated way, I had 95 undergrad credits and three active student loans. I didn’t have a bachelor’s degree or an MFA and had never been to a writers’ workshop,  but I believed in my stories. As a gift, my parents paid for me to take a week-long writing workshop at the Chautauqua Institution, and more importantly, volunteered to babysit my boys (one of…

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Happy Birthday, FROM UNSEEN FIRE!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

  I love that my normal posting day is Tuesday, which is the day new books come into the world. (No one knows why this is, not even Judy Blume. I know this because I was in her bookstore on a Tuesday when they were shelving new books and I asked Judy Blume why books always release on Tuesdays and she said that she had no idea. Investigative journalism at…

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Let’s Talk About THE DIMINISHED

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Let’s talk about THE DIMINISHED by Kaitlyn Sage Patterson. I’ve been screaming with anticipation for this book to come out now it is finally here!   In a world populated by twins, Vi is “diminished” meaning the sole surviving twin of her pair, and the world waits for her to succumb to grief or murderous rage. Meanwhile, Bo, as single-born, is preparing to take the throne. There are sun ships…

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It’s My Release Day!

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Here it is: release week. It’s rather fitting that my regular posting day here is also my release day.  Today I’m driving to my hometown—Rochester, New York—for my release party. I am looking forward to seeing some of my childhood friends, some of whom are mentioned in the book, and others who were present at the time but not mentioned. I’m looking forward to my snack trays from Wegmans. (Wegmans…

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Interview with Crystal Wilkinson + GIVEAWAY For THE BIRDS OF OPULENCE

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Crystal Wilkinson was a guest lecturer my first semester of my MFA at West Virginia Wesleyan College. She spoke eloquently about circular, fragmented, and braided forms. She spoke about how Point of View can circle overhead like a bird, coming to rest over different people. I wrote it all down very carefully, because I was not particularly good at writing linear stories and it was the first time I heard…

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My Most Favored Things

I have many favorite things—I’m a lover of tchotchkes and have been collecting things since I was a child. For today’s post, I will take some pictures of my some of my favorite things with another one of my current favorite things, my brand new iPhone 7+. But first, let me tell you the top three most amazing things about my iPhone. (iPhone haters, just scroll to the bottom) It…

Tuesday, March 27, 2018
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Sometimes Time Spent Not Writing is Necessary

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

I left my husband because he wouldn’t read the stories that consumed me. OK, there was more to it than that—marriages rarely dissolve over just one issue. But it was a big issue for me. My mother—who had herself been a single mother of two toddlers (my brother and I)  and knew about such things—warned me that my writing time would evaporate if I left my husband. I’d have to…

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