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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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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