[News Flash] December 1, 2019

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Thank you so much to yesterday’s guest, Susan Shapiro @Susanshapironet, author of THE BYLINE BIBLE. Read her tips for getting published!   Interview with “Byline Bible” Author Susan Shapiro @DebutanteBall #ClassOf2020 #guest #author   News from the Class of 2020 Debs: Lisa Braxton has been assigned another book review due this week and hopes she meets her deadline.     Kathleen West is in a cave working on Book 2. Her…

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So Much to Be Grateful For (And Yet…)

Friday, November 29, 2019

“You have a book coming out. Aren’t you excited!” “Excited” is not the word that I or anyone around me would use. A chicken running around without her head, is more like it. Others wouldn’t be so kind. But the run-up to a book can be very fraught. You have to get blurbs, those advanced praise quotes you see on the back of books and on websites like Amazon and…

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My Book Pitch Letter

Friday, November 15, 2019

We can discuss pitching and pitch letters till the sky turns green, but what would probably be more helpful is if I show you my book pitch. Unlike fiction and possibly memoir (the debate is out there on memoir) non-fiction, which needs a lot of research to complete the book, is sold on proposal. (I’ll talk proposals another time). But you still need a pitch letter. So here’s mine. Dear…

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How to Deal with Distractio– Wait is that a Text?

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Hey, let me tell you what I’m trying to do at this very moment: prep for my author marketing meeting, watch videos for learning how to write a TV treatment, upload all the business cards of people I met at a professional conference this weekend, write an article about a conference I attended two weeks ago, photoshop my author photos, upload guest author interviews and write this piece. Oh, and…

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What is Scarier than Empty Space?

Friday, November 1, 2019

Well, I’m glad Halloween is over. Now it’s time for more prosaic fears. Myself. Yup, it’s that time of year again, when my book edits were submitted (“This is the last time you can make substantive changes,” GULP) and I am in that twiddling thumb space. I’ve been in this space before — the first time I handed in my draft in June — but after that I collapsed. I…

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Funny Thing About Working with an Editor

Friday, October 25, 2019

Maybe you don’t know this about me yet, but I’m a big procrastinator. I mean BIG. So when I ship my book/story/article off to an editor, I’m like whew. I’m not fretting about what they’ll say, worrying if it’s good enough, or how to make it better, I’m just done.  Like, it’s not my problem anymore. (It is though, but not at that very moment.) I felt the same way…

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My Desert-Island Top 5 Books (That Influenced Me)

Friday, October 18, 2019

To paraphrase Nick Hornby, My desert-island, top-five most memorable books in chronological order: 1. Escape to Witch Mountain Tony and Tia were different. (Didn’t we all feel that way as kids?) They could both read minds and had telekenisis – they could move objects with their minds. That was a talent I tried to practice as I suffered silently at the dinner table. Instead of paying attention to what was…

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“I Want to Write Like That”: The Authors that Inspired Kathleen’s Debut

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

After I read Celeste Ng’s debut, Everything I Never Told You, I started thinking about writing fiction for real. It wasn’t that I had any delusions about writing quite as beautifully as Ng does. It was more that the story she told–of family members who loved each other, but didn’t really know each other–moved me so intensely. So, after I finished it, I started writing my own multi-generational (and highly…

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The Author Who Makes Me Cry the Most

Monday, October 14, 2019

It is not very often that a work of fiction makes me cry, but that’s what happened when I read Langston Hughes’ “Cora Unashamed,” a story in one of Hughes’ short story collections, which was made into a television film as part of the Masterpiece Theatre American Collection starring Regina Taylor and Cherry Jones. Cora is an African American housekeeper in the early 1900s isolated in an all-white town in…

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When The Muse Calls With Inspiration — You Listen

Friday, September 13, 2019

You always hear people talking about muses whispering in their ear, as if in a trance, or their “characters” speaking to them. Well, I’m not a novelist so I don’t have characters to take over the heavy lifting of writing, but I will say that it feels like someone else wrote up my book proposal. I had been working for a while on a memoir about my infertility, based on…

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