Being an Author, Not a Writer

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Something horrible happened to me the day I became an author: I stopped being a writer. I spent six years working on THE LOST GIRLS. It was the great pleasure of my life, second only to raising my children. Each morning I woke up and immediately started figuring out how I could avoid as many of my obligations as possible so I could spend more time writing. Days when I…

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In Defense of the Luddites

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

I’m not the youngest girl in the room, but in most things I like to think I’m younger than my age. I’m reasonably fit, and my body doesn’t feel like it’s 50 when I ask it to do things like run or bike or ski. I watch a bunch of TV shows that target a demographic I haven’t been part of for over a decade (Crazy Ex Girlfriend! The New…

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The Politics of Rejection

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

I’m writing this post while watching live coverage of the New Hampshire primary returns, and as this bizarre passion play unfolds on my television screen I’m struck by how relevant it is to this week’s topic of rejection. We writers moan about how we’re cursed with near-constant rejection, and it’s true: even the most successful writers receive dozens, even hundreds, of “we regret to inform yous” for every accepted submission…

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The Evolution of a Title: THE LOST EVANS GIRL SISTERS OF STILLWATER BROKEN ARROW LAKE WHO WERE LIGHT ON THE LAST DAY OF SUMMER ONCE

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

When you sell your book to a traditional publisher, it quickly becomes apparent that the story you lavished for years with the meticulous attention of a cat licking its fur doesn’t belong wholly to you any more. It’s now the foster child of an entire consortium of professionals whose sole purpose is to bring it into the world and sell as many copies of it as possible. Of course, this…

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This is My Brain on the Internet

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Social media is killing me. It’s rotting my brain from the inside. Not just social media, actually, but the entire internet. That may seem like hyperbole, but right now I’m feeling pretty damned overwhelmed by the vast rabbit-hole-ness of what’s flying around on invisible waves of data and crashing into my consciousness every time I turn on my computer. Right now I have the following tabs open on my toolbar:…

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Envy, the Vast Literary Cognoscenti, and Me

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Ah, envy. What a complicated topic, especially for writers. And now comes my turn to examine the green eyed monster. First I have to distinguish envy from jealousy (sorry; writers are word nerds).  Envy is when you covet what someone else has. For example, when I go to Book Passage to hear debut novelist Garth Risk Hallberg read from CITY ON FIRE as part of his publisher-funded national book tour and…

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Heather’s Favorite Books of 2015

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

This week, we’re discussing our favorite reads of 2015. Here are mine! THE END OF THE POINT: Finding a writer you love who’s been around for a while is like finding candy in your coat pocket. I picked up this novel in paperback — it was a New York Times Notable Book in 2014 — and was instantly swept up in the lilting cadence of Elizabeth Graver’s prose and the verisimilitude of…

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She Says Tomahto, That Guy Over There Says Tomato: My Experience On Submission

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

This week we’re talking about our submission process, and what’s been interesting to me is how different each of those processes were. Louise’s path was deceptively easy — she was fortunate enough to impress a great editor with her first forty pages, but then she had to fulfill the promise of those pages and nurture that editor’s interest for three full years. Jennifer’s first novel died in submission, and she…

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