A DOOR BETWEEN US: A love letter to Tehran

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Why did I move to Tehran in 1996? I’m still not sure. I hadn’t set foot in the country since we’d left in ‘81 leaving memories of Iraqi bombs and traumatic family imprisonments behind us. I suppose I was young and wanted adventure. I wanted to reconnect with my father’s family and homeland. And I had romantic notions of being of service in some way.  The first days, weeks, and…

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The World of Minor Dramas & Other Catastrophes

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

I’d always thought of world-building as something that happened in science fiction and fantasy, which is probably how I ended up with such a dialogue-heavy draft of MINOR DRAMAS that my agency’s in-house editor, in a fit of exasperation, asked me if I thought I was writing a play. Layering in setting (for me, it goes hand-in-hand with inner thinking), led me to a much richer, seemingly tangible final product….

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Lettin’ The Scene Roll—With Bonnie Parker

Thursday, October 20, 2016

This week we’re writing about protagonists, in terms of conflict and drama. Do we make choices for them? Or let our characters lead the way? As a writer, I’m a mixture of a plotter and a seat-of-my-pants drafter. Considering I write historical fiction (and I don’t want to piss people off who study history…) I try to align with historical fact as much as possible. The beauty with BECOMING BONNIE is not…

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Food is Everything

Monday, June 6, 2016

I’ve been a pastry chef for over twenty years, and have spent my whole adult life in a kitchen, so when I set out to write my first novel, it felt very natural to build it around food. In the first scene of my novel my protagonist, pastry chef Olivia Rawlings, is making meringue. And the inciting incident involves a flaming baked Alaska. The setting of THE CITY BAKER’S GUIDE…

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Dynamic Settings: More than Just a Backdrop

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

In writing Vintage, I spent a lot of time thinking about settings. I had a blast creating the vintage clothing shop of my dreams. And as each woman’s story unfolds, there are interludes that take place in completely different locations and moments in time. In my favorite novels, setting is more than a 2D backdrop. Instead, it’s completely intertwined and indispensable to the drama, comedy, or mystery taking place. Some…

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Finding the Universal in Unfamiliar Places

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

I moved around a lot as a child, but I grew up mostly in Miami, a city which people are constantly moving in and out of. I suppose that’s part of what made it feel like home. In Miami, when you meet someone, it’s not unusual that they’ll ask your name, followed by “Where are you from?” It’s not the question you think it is. It’s not: where did you…

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