On the Poetry of Isaac Brock

Thursday, October 18, 2018

For this week’s post on literary influences, I’m republishing an essay I wrote about the intersection between song lyrics and poetry and how an unlikely rock band influenced a younger version of myself to think and read differently. The essay, On the Poetry of Isaac Brock, originally ran on Vol. 1 Brooklyn. When I was a freshman in high school, I had one of those rare things that stay with…


Weird, Random Shit About Me

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Calling Debut Authors! We Are Accepting Applications for the 2018 Debutante Ball! Click the link below to learn more. Calling Debut Authors! Now Accepting Applications for the 2018 Debutante Ball! Our topic this week is to discuss some weird, surprising things people may not know about this year’s Debs! I met James Taylor when I was around 17 years old. This picture was taken at a Litchfield County fair, circa…



Friday, June 23, 2017

If you’re reading this, it’s the day after my birthday and I’m sipping rum on a beach in San Juan, Puerto Rico, hopefully not too hung over after salsa-ing the night away. Which is a great lead into my music writing soundtrack! Now I typically don’t listen to music while I write. I find it too distracting. But lately, since I’m writing a book about a Cuban girl who dances,…


Clyde Barrow: The Boy Who Wrote Bonnie Parker a Doggone Song to Show Her How He Cares

Thursday, June 22, 2017

This week the Debs are talking about music and its impact on our writing and our life.  As Amy said on Tuesday, we like it quiet when we write. No distractions, please (besides kids, social media, and those voices in our heads…). Even though music doesn’t get any billing while I’m writing, I still incorporate music in my writing life–as motivation. Prior to my book deal, almost on a daily…


The Soundtrack for My Writing Life

Monday, June 19, 2017

This week the Debs are talking about music and its impact on our writing and our life.  Music is something that I have always connected with, very deeply, even as a young child. For a time in my life I worked in radio as a DJ, a radio music manager and eventually as an alternative promoter for Virgin Records. I really wanted to be in music, in a terribly desperate…


Art Influences Art

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Film, paintings, music, books– they all carry transformative powers. When the timing is right, and the recipient open, art inspires action. Art often also influences other art, interacting with the creative spirit of another without the artist even knowing. Over a decade ago I used a retention bonus to take a year off work to write a novel. Given the odds of getting published and my lack of a formal writing education, this sabbatical was about…


The Music That Made THE LOST GIRLS

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Music is critical to my writing process. When I sat down to work on THE LOST GIRLS, I’d turn on Pandora and hit the playlist I’d — unoriginally — named “The Lost Girls.” Out flowed a brooding soundtrack of melancholy, loss, helpless faith, and forlorn love that shivered all along my nerve endings to my fingertips. (Doesn’t that just make you want to race out and preorder the book right…


Losing Myself in the Past: My Writing Playlists

"Anything Goes" by Cole Porter
Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Historical fiction requires a completely different mindset. To lose yourself in another time, it helps to experience it. To write MODERN GIRLS, I needed to block out the twenty-first century and pretend I lived in the first half of the twentieth century. So I immersed myself in the spirit of the 1930s, using every sense I could. I looked at the paintings Dottie sees at MOMA. I listened to music…


The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living Playlist

Monday, June 20, 2016

There is, of course, baking in THE CITY BAKER’S GUIDE TO COUNTRY LIVING, but music plays almost as important a role in the story. My main character Livvy plays the banjo, and one of the ways that she connects to the people of the town of Guthrie is by joining a contra dance band. Here is a CITY BAKER’S GUIDE playlist Rodney Miller—Sheehan’s Reel. Rodney Miller is an incredible fiddle…


Sona’s WIP Playlist (Or: EMO-fest 2015!)

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Unlike some of the other lovelies of the Deb Ball, I didn’t have a playlist for TINY PRETTY THINGS. With three characters going at once, my writing time for that book was usually all about finding the right first line for a chapter — i.e. pondering for hours — and then spilling the whole thing out. Yes, each girl had murky (sometimes mournful) emotional depths, but the way I wrote…