My Grandmother’s Purse & Why It’s So VINTAGE

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Congratulations to Susan Gloss on the launch of Vintage today! It’s a wonderful read filled with treasure for both women’s fiction fans and vintage enthusiasts, and it’ll make you want to rummage through your closet with a close friend to rediscover the stories behind the items we keep. We are so excited for you, Susan! There’s a difference between living our lives surrounded by things, and living it surrounded by…


The Secrets That KILMOON Keeps

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A very happy pub date to Lisa Alber! KILMOON is officially out in the world today, and is sure to intrigue, enlighten and engross readers everywhere. As one of the Debs said earlier, launch weeks are like Christmas around here…we couldn’t be more thrilled to celebrate Lisa’s big debut, and to have you celebrate with us! ::Natalia clears throat, puts down the confetti momentarily to switch gears into her topic::…


No Time to Fix Mixed Metaphors: Jumping Back In

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Leave it to me to dive back into my early morning writing routine right when we’re all still groggy from the time change. But remember how I said that my writing goes in seasons? This is the start of a big one for me. Because the truth is, I haven’t had a chance to touch my current WIP for several weeks now. I’ve been busy with a major freelance writing…


13 Thoughts & Reflections About #AWP14 & Writers Conferences

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

As I write this, I’m sitting in an airport terminal in Dallas, waiting for my final flight back to Austin. Bare with me, I’m exhausted. Not only did I spend the last four days in Seattle for AWP (Association of Writers & Writing Programs conference) with 13,000 other writers, but my flight home got cancelled overnight. I’m so ready to be home. But so very happy I came. I’d love…


An Ocean Orange: The Short Story That Set Everything in Motion

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

It’s weird, but I remember a nightmare I had when I was twelve. I’d had a fever, so that night when I went to bed I was already in an off kind of place. I remember the dream because I’d never been more frightened in my life: there was a tube of paint, and a tiny man standing on it. I was trying to make him hold still, but the…


3 Things I’ve Learned About Writing & Competing Against Others

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

#1: If you must compete, compete against your peers.  The first writing contest I ever won was for a local haiku competition my teacher entered me into. I was in the sixth grade, and my entry was: Splish! Splash! Raindrops fall Making puddles ev’ry where So that flowers grow I was thrilled to learn it won first place. Obviously, my mom was, too. We showed up at our local indie bookstore…


On First Loves & Lost Letters

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

They say you only get one first: first kiss, first love, first heartbreak, first moment you cry tears of happiness. And I believed that. I thought I’d write this post about my first real boyfriend, my high school sweetheart, and how we have a paper trail, boxes full of notes that I kept and had forgotten about until today. How it’s sweet to look back and smile at how we…


Jealousy or Admiration? The Books I Wish I’d Written

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

This week’s topic makes me think of the movie As Good As It Gets. Because when I think of the books I wish I’d written, it almost sounds like jealousy. How come I didn’t think of that? How come I haven’t written a line so good I want to carry it with me always? There’s Bel Canto by Ann Patchett. Loosely inspired by the Japanese Embassy Hostage Crisis in Lima,…


Guest Author Kathryn Craft on The Evolution of a First Line

Saturday, February 1, 2014

It’s such an honor to welcome Kathryn Craft to the blog today. Her debut novel, THE ART OF FALLING, is the story of a dancer who suffers (but somehow survives) a traumatic, 14-story fall and must find a way to pick herself back up and come back to a life of movement. The Art of Falling offers great fodder for book clubs that enjoy deep discussion: body image, food issues, overcoming rejection,…


My “First” Line: 5 Years, Countless Drafts & Thousands of Lines in the Making

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

First lines of books are a lot like debut novels. Just because they come first in a narrative doesn’t mean they were the first written. There are many authors whose “first novels” are actually the second, third, or tenth they ever wrote. And I won’t bother trying to think of how many lines of Chasing the Sun I actually wrote before scribbling what would eventually become the first line. Suffice…