Finding Your People: A guide for new writers

Thursday, November 19, 2020

A funny consequence of having a book coming out is that friends and family (and the occasional stranger on the internet) now come to me for advice on writing and publishing. It’s weird to give advice because I feel like I’m still learning these things myself. I don’t have an MFA – I literally just learned about the concept of negative capability this summer!     But when I’m asked…

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The Jackhammer in the Basement: On writing (or not writing) through distractions

Thursday, October 29, 2020

“It’s a black fly in your chardonnay. It’s a death row pardon two minutes too late.” Alanis Morissette was kind enough to give us many definitions of irony in 1995, and to those I would like to add, “It’s a jackhammer in your basement when you’re trying to write a blog post about writing through distractions.” We’re getting our house earthquake-retrofitted — a project that was initially supposed to take…

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World Building in the Real World

Thursday, October 8, 2020

When writers talk about “world building” they mean more than just setting. Setting is where a story takes place. But a fictional world is setting, history, the special rules of that particular place, the people who inhabit that world, as well as the general tone or atmosphere that sort of floats over every page. The setting of the Harry Potter books is England, but in order to build her fictional…

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What’s next for my writing career?

Thursday, August 20, 2020

I have had such a ride this year in publishing The Goddess Twins! There’s no way I will ever forget this journey of launching my debut novel – it has stretched me more than I ever thought possible in a multitude of directions. Out of all the highs and lows, I feel most grateful for the reader feedback. After years of work and insecurity and secret hopes about what this…

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Interview with Alia Volz, author of Home Baked (and Giveaway!)

Saturday, August 8, 2020

I’m so pleased to present Alia Volz, our guest blogger this week! She is the author of Home Baked, a humorous memoir of a ‘sticky’ family business, which launched April 20th. I met Alia at AWP, pre:pandemic, and her energy and storytelling talent have burned bright in my mind since. I’m honored she will share some stories with us. About Alia Volz: Author of Home Baked: My Mom, Marijuana, and…

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Changes made during the editing of The Goddess Twins

Thursday, July 9, 2020

I honestly feel like my editing process, while admittedly draining, was pretty positive. I never felt like my final editor hated the book, and I have heard some horror stories of writers who felt their editor was not honoring their book in the editing process! I am super grateful for my editing team at SparkPress and their confidence in my writing ability and in the strength of the story of…

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Interview with Suzanne Nugent, author of Brunch and Other Obligations

Saturday, May 9, 2020

I am excited to introduce our guest author for this week, Suzanne Nugent! Suzanne Nugent is a writer committed to exploring women’s lives and relationships through poignant comedy and drama. She holds a dual degree in journalism and film from UMass Amherst and studied screenwriting at UCLA. She was shortlisted for the prestigious Academy Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting and has received accolades from the Denver Film Festival and the San…

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Interview and Book Giveaway: Martina Reaves, Author of I’m Still Here

Saturday, April 25, 2020

I am pleased to introduce Martina Reaves to the Debutante Ball this week! Martina Reaves grew up in a Navy family and lived in thirty-four places before she finally settled in her current home in Berkeley. She became a mediator in 1986 and in 2007, she dropped writing legal documents and began writing fiction and memoir. She loves creating serenity in her home with her wife, Tanya, and their son,…

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What Inspires me to write, even in a pandemic

internal monologue not for everyone
Thursday, April 2, 2020

Recently, I read a post on someone who found out that not everyone has a running inner dialogue in their minds. I was as shocked as the original poster at this discovery. My mind has always been a chatterbox; I just assumed it was the same for everyone! My inner world is constantly questioning, observing, judging, apologizing, and taking stock. I’m like a ringmaster, struggling to bring peace to a…

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My Favorite Types of Scenes to Write and Why

Monday, March 9, 2020

I have a love-hate relationship with scenes that establish setting of the story. I find these scenes the hardest to write, but also the most rewarding. When I write them well, my readers tell me that they feel as if they are there, perched somewhere in the scene itself, having a bird-eye view of the action. They can visualize the scene, experience it along with the characters. Setting is the…

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