With eyes wide open

Thursday, June 17, 2021

We’re blogging this week about writing advice, and my favorite piece of wisdom is an oldie but a goodie, and is something I’ve applied both to my writing and my life: Be a person upon whom nothing is lost.  This is paraphrased from the venerable Henry James, seen here looking like a big old bag of fun: The longer quote, published in his essay, “The Art of Fiction” in 1884,…

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Back to the future: Misadventures in exposition

Thursday, May 27, 2021

If you’re thinking of writing a novel and wondering where to start your story, a good rule of thumb is: Start as close to the end as possible.  There are many reasons for this, among them that your story should be focused and not meander, readers have short attention spans, and 1000 page sprawling Tolstoyian dramas are unlikely to become bestsellers. But often, we don’t know where the end is….

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Interview with Laura Brooke Robson, author of GIRLS AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

I’m excited for this week’s interview with Laura Brooke Robson as we share an agent, the incredible Danielle Burby who has such a good eye for interesting and mind-expanding content that I just know Laura’s debut is going to be amazing. GIRLS AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD will be out on June 8th and has been described as a heart-stoppingly romantic fantasy debut set in a world on the…

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The Purge! (or, Getting that first draft out of your system)

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Ernest Hemingway famously said all first drafts are garbage, except he used a way more *effluent* term instead of garbage. This is something that I’ve, at various times, thought was completely true, completely false, and now believe is somewhere in the middle. First drafts are your best effort at the time, and I hate to say anyone’s best effort at the time is no good. I’ve also read lots of…

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Hemingway, Proust, and the Authorial Brand

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Sooner or later every aspiring author is going to be told that they need to work on building their brand, improving their platform, increasing their presence. I grate at these terms. I don’t like to think of myself as a brand. I’m a person. I have a personality. I have interests and quirks and an aesthetic and a manner of speaking, and these things transmit through my writing and my…

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The autodidact’s reading list

Thursday, February 11, 2021

I’ve written previously about how I have an MBA, not an MFA. And how that didn’t work out so great for me. So when I was unemployed and stuck in a tiny apartment while raising a newborn baby, it wasn’t a great time to contemplate going back to school for yet another masters degree. Plus, I reasoned, I’d always been told I was a great writer. How hard could it…

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Interview with Elizabeth Everett, author of A LADY’S FORMULA FOR LOVE

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

This week’s interview is with Elizabeth Everett whose debut novel, A LADY’S FORMULA FOR LOVE will be released next week. Preorder now! Below, Elizabeth talks about the story behind her book’s title, advice for her younger self, her editing process and her love of early mornings. Enjoy!   ABOUT ELIZABETH Elizabeth Everett lives in Upstate New York with her family. She likes going for long walks or (very) short runs to…

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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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Interview with Kelly Duran, author of CAN’T TAKE IT BACK

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

This week’s interview is with Kelly Duran, whose book CAN’T TAKE IT BACK tells the interconnected stories of four women over the course of a kindergarten school year. Read below about Kelly’s transformative trip through Europe, her hope for connecting with readers through her books, and her recognition of writing as an integral and necessary part of her life that enhances all her other roles.    ABOUT KELLY Kelly Duran…

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The 3Ps of my Publishing Journey: Partners, Polishing, and Patience

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Thanks so much for stopping by the Deb Ball! This time we’re talking about our paths to publication. Join in the conversation by sharing where you’re at on your own path. Do you have dreams of writing but are having trouble putting pen to paper? Do you already have several full novels written but are struggling to find an agent? Are you somewhere in between? We hope you’ll find some…

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