My path to publication: A comedy of failures

Thursday, September 10, 2020

I wrote last week about how I hadn’t planned on becoming a writer, and how writing was something I came to after being unemployed for a long time. So already my path to publication was a little longer and had more forking paths than some people. I completed the rough draft of my novel in about six months in 2011, and I spent the next four years first learning how…

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A recession, a baby, an idea: The inspiration behind MONA AT SEA

Friday, September 4, 2020

I never planned on becoming a writer. What I actually wanted was an entry-level job in corporate finance. But when I graduated from the University of Kansas in December of 2008 with an MBA, the world looked very different than it had 18 months before when I started the program. Lehman Brothers had just collapsed. Countrywide imploded. General Motors needed a bailout to survive. And here I was with a…

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My biggest blooper.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

I was sailing along, finishing the last few edits to ARCHITECTS OF MEMORY’s sequel, when an e-mail came in from my amazing editor, informing me that ARCHITECTS’ cold reader had caught a medium-sized plothole during the second pass. That’s right. During the second pass. For those of you not familiar with the publishing process, by the time a book has reached the second pass, it should be nearly perfect. Production…

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What Wine to Drink With? Guest Author Alice Feiring Tells Us

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Alice Feiring is an outspoken author, journalist, and spitfire wine industry participant. Formerly the wine/travel columnist for Time and the Wall Street Journal Magazine, Feiring also writes for prestigious publications of every stripe, from The New York Times, The World of Fine Wine, to Afar. Over the course of her career her contributions to the world of wine journalism have earned her such major industry nods as a James Beard Foundation Award, a Louis Roederer International Wine Writer, Born…

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Inspiration from all sorts of places

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

This week, we’re talking about writing inspiration. I tried to answer this question in a delightful prose-oriented blog entry, but kept on getting foiled by having way too much to talk about—because as a former journalist, everything pretty much spurs me to pick up a pen! So here is a short list of things that have inspired me over the years. Make one for yourself — you might find it…

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My Most Perfect Day (Not).

My most perfect day was any day before the Coronavirus hit. I woke up, took my daughter to school, then spent the day writing (or procrastinating on writing which I hope is the same thing. #goals). Then I thought about what I would write next, to whom I would sell it, and working on my book marketing plan. And setting up book promotion events. And calling the press. It was…

Friday, March 20, 2020
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My Personality is My Writing…

Boy do I LOVE run-on sentences. I discovered this recently while working on the audio version book of The Trying Game: Get Through Fertility Treatment and Get Pregnant Without Losing Your Mind. Now, many authors don’t get to read their own books (especially novels) but when the head of Penguin/Random House first called me, she wanted me to read the intro to my book. But then she read my book, and discovered…

Friday, March 6, 2020
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Who Am I and What is My Brand?

God, the word “brand” seems to be the antithesis of actual writing.  But when you’re writing non-fiction that’s what publishers want to know. Not, “I have an idea for the greatest relationship advice book in the world,” but, who are YOU to write a relationship book?? See even if it’s the greatest business/relationship/pregnancy book in the world, or even a memoir on addiction/prison/infertility — it’s going to have to join dozens…

Friday, January 31, 2020
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Comp Titles – Something Old, Something New…

Friday, January 24, 2020

When I used to work as a newspaper editor, people would send in all kinds of crazy submissions. Like, hello? “We don’t publish poetry,” I would sometimes reply. “But you should!” They’d write back. (Which why I stopped replying). A publication (magazine/newspaper/website) wants to publish similar things to what they’ve been publishing but not the same. They don’t want ideas for new columns or things they should be doing. I…

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Writing Dreams — Dreams of Writing

Friday, January 17, 2020

Dreams are boring. That’s a rule in fiction. Also in life. No one wants to hear about your dreams. Not your night dreams, or nightmares, and not even your regular life dreams or goals: The former lacks narrative structure (“and then you were flying? Wait, I thought you were a shark?”) the latter makes people nervous because they may not be in touch with their own naked ambition. I don’t want…

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