Crafting the almighty query letter

Monday, November 11, 2019

After I’d put my novel through dozens of revisions over the course of many years, I felt confident enough to take the next step—pursuing representation from a literary agent. I combed through stacks of books at the library for guidance. Here’s what some of those books told me about crafting the almighty query letter: Get the agent’s attention with your introduction Reference comparables (books like my book) in the first…

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[News Flash] November 10, 2019

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Thank you so much to yesterday’s guest, Jenee Darden@CocoaFly ! Retweet and share on Facebook for a chance to win a copy of WHEN A PURPLE ROSE BLOOMS. When a Purple Rose Blooms – Guest Author Jenee Darden @DebutanteBall #ClassOf2020 #guest #author   News from the Class of 2020 Debs: Lisa Braxton has been asked to guest blog on a blog for women writers. She is sure the exposure she’s…

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Distraction? There’s an app for that!

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

We’re tackling the problem of distractions this week, and like many of us, I’m an expert at finding reasons to not write. Laundry to be folded? Dishwasher to be unloaded? Twitter to be checked for the fiftieth time in an hour? I’ve succumbed to all of these and a million more. Luckily, I’ve got a pretty simple and low-level hack to share. This works for me, given my oft-discussed proclivity…

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5 tips for successfully tackling distraction

Monday, November 4, 2019

I read once that air traffic controllers must be able to concentrate in a room where multiple conversations are going on simultaneously. For example, in a large airport tower, the room could be filled with the sounds of controllers speaking with several pilots about all manner of clearance, changing frequency, taxiways, takeoff, etc. Controllers must be able to make quick decisions and not be distracted by the conversations of their…

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Kathleen’s Daily Specials: Irrational Terror and Crippling Self-Doubt

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

I’m rolling my eyes at myself as I begin my “Writing Fears” post. I’m an anxious sort. I’m afraid of tons of things. In fact, my daily specials include irrational terror and crippling self-doubt.  Yesterday, Lisa wrote about her fear of losing her work. I’ve got that fear-base covered, too. Will I spill tea on my computer and fry it before I can back it up? Will the cloud implode?…

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The One Thing Scarier than Halloween

Monday, October 28, 2019

Halloween is a spook-tacular occasion, what with ghosts, goblins and ghouls ringing the doorbell and phantoms roaming the streets. If you’re a writer, what’s even more terrifying than Halloween, is being haunted by your fears. The 1980 major motion picture, The Shining, starring Jack Nicholson and Shelly Duvall, offers a spine-tingling example. Jack Torrance, as portrayed by Nicholson, is an aspiring writer and recovering alcoholic who accepts a position as…

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3 Tips for Working with an Editor

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Kathleen here with three tips for working with an editor. I think the aim of our prompt this week is to discuss our work with editors at publishing houses, and I’ll get there. But, really, my book (and all other books I know of) went through multiple rounds of editing before it was acquired for publication.  Here’s what I think you should do to get ready for those last rounds…

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The signs of a skilled editor

Monday, October 21, 2019

Usually when I submit an essay or short story for publication to a literary magazine or anthology, and it’s accepted, I only hear from the editor with an acceptance email and a permission to publish form attached. But when I submitted the essay, “The World I Didn’t Know Existed” to Inspire Press for the publisher’s Inspire Forgiveness anthology a few years ago, I got something entirely different. I got a…

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“I Want to Write Like That”: The Authors that Inspired Kathleen’s Debut

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

After I read Celeste Ng’s debut, Everything I Never Told You, I started thinking about writing fiction for real. It wasn’t that I had any delusions about writing quite as beautifully as Ng does. It was more that the story she told–of family members who loved each other, but didn’t really know each other–moved me so intensely. So, after I finished it, I started writing my own multi-generational (and highly…

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The Author Who Makes Me Cry the Most

Monday, October 14, 2019

It is not very often that a work of fiction makes me cry, but that’s what happened when I read Langston Hughes’ “Cora Unashamed,” a story in one of Hughes’ short story collections, which was made into a television film as part of the Masterpiece Theatre American Collection starring Regina Taylor and Cherry Jones. Cora is an African American housekeeper in the early 1900s isolated in an all-white town in…

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