WRITING

Why I Put Dogs In My Fiction

Why I Put Dogs In My Fiction

Every time I attend a book club or read at a bookstore I am asked “Why do you include dogs in all of your books?” In fact, I didn’t include animals in my novels until my second book, ‘Lost & Found’ when a black Labrador with a heroic personality walked onto the stage of my […]

December 14, 2017 | By | Reply More
All Set

All Set

You probably learned in high school that, along with story and character, setting is one of the essential elements of a novel. Those days of hurried readings and book reports are long gone, but I clearly remember thinking: who cares about setting? I just want to know what the story is about. Except that the […]

December 10, 2017 | By | Reply More
The Song that Wrote the Book

The Song that Wrote the Book

I loved everything about HBO’s adaptation of Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies. I shivered at the ominous crashing of waves beneath the precarious bridge Reese Witherspoon drove across in the opening credits. Felt the chill first notes of “Cold Little Heart” by Michael Kiwanuka, the perfect soundtrack to all those rich folks’ deceits and machinations. […]

December 10, 2017 | By | Reply More

HOW TOs and TIPS

From Multiple Rejections to #1 BestSeller

From Multiple Rejections to #1 BestSeller

Typically, the word rejection carries a negative connotation. It might conjure feelings of inadequacy and subsequent withdrawal for some, or strengthen in others the will to overcome whatever the obstacle or hurdle to stand in the way of achieving a perceived goal. Most authors encounter rejection in some way, shape or form in their pursuit […]

December 13, 2017 | By | Reply More
Shades of Brave In Memoir

Shades of Brave In Memoir

If you write memoir or personal essay you’ve no doubt heard this: You’re so brave. As if memoir is about confessing to having had certain feelings or experiences. When I first began publishing personal essays, I understood the comment but was perplexed by it because it seemed so far from my intentions. I didn’t feel […]

December 9, 2017 | By | 4 Replies More
Playlists: Music as a Portal to the Past

Playlists: Music as a Portal to the Past

Ever hear your high school prom song and land square on your butt in the middle of the dance floor wearing that poufy confection with shoulder pads you thought looked awesome in the 80s? Or tear up when your wedding song plays on the oldies station at the hair salon? Or maybe reminisce about the […]

December 7, 2017 | By | Reply More

AGENTS

Q&A with  Laura Bradford, Literary Agent

Q&A with Laura Bradford, Literary Agent

The Bradford Literary Agency is a boutique agency which offers a full range of representation services to authors who are both published and pre-published. Our mission at the Bradford Literary Agency is to form true partnerships with our clients and build long-term relationships that extend from writing the first draft through the length of the […]

November 7, 2017 | By | Reply More
Q&A with Sarah Landis, Literary Agent Sterling Lord Literistic

Q&A with Sarah Landis, Literary Agent Sterling Lord Literistic

Before joining Sterling Lord Literistic in 2017, Sarah worked as an editor for fifteen years, holding roles at G.P. Putnam Son’s, Hyperion Books, HarperCollins Children’s Books, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers. Over the course of her career, Sarah has had the pleasure of editing many talented authors including the likes of: Jodi […]

October 29, 2017 | By | Reply More
Q&A with Literary Agent Patricia Nelson, Marsal Lyon Literary Agency

Q&A with Literary Agent Patricia Nelson, Marsal Lyon Literary Agency

Patricia Nelson joined Marsal Lyon Literary Agency in 2014. She represents adult, young adult, and middle grade fiction, and is actively building her list. In general, Patricia looks for stories that hook her with a unique plot, fantastic writing and complex characters that jump off the page. On the adult side, she is seeking women’s […]

March 22, 2017 | By | Reply More

MARKETING AND PUBLISHING

Social Media: To Share Or Not To Share?

Social Media: To Share Or Not To Share?

In this golden age of social media, I still find it a bit of a novelty that I can tweet my favourite author.  Even more so on the occasions when they tweet me back! Having this kind of direct access to an author would have been unimaginable just 20 years ago.  Back in the old […]

July 4, 2017 | By | 14 Replies More
Covering Your Assets

Covering Your Assets

  When you browse around in a bookshop or on Amazon or Barnes & Noble or wherever – what is the first thing you look for when choosing your next book? The author’s name? The amount of stars it has from reviewers? The book’s description? Or is it the book cover? I admit to often […]

May 26, 2017 | By | Reply More
How to Build a Better Book Launch

How to Build a Better Book Launch

You have worked your heart out to write your book, sweated, been anxious, revised, revised, revised, researched, then sweated some more, revised again, copy edited, argued with designers over the book cover and at long, long last…you have a finished book. Congratulations! Now, how to give it a coming out party, to help it debut […]

SHORT STORIES

Here’s Why: Short fiction by Anne Leigh Parrish

Here’s Why: Short fiction by Anne Leigh Parrish

Here’s why. You slump, shrink, curl down in your seat, never stand up straight. As if an arrow might pick you off. Not an arrow, a bullet. Not a bullet, a blow. Not a blow, words. Not words, looks. Here’s why. You’re a freak. Four inches in one year? Your father’s colleague says he keeps […]

May 20, 2016 | By | 1 Reply More
Short Fiction: The Gingerbread Man by Judy Pollard Smith

Short Fiction: The Gingerbread Man by Judy Pollard Smith

“Where are you off to? “ Sally had asked me. I felt a bit guilty I must admit. I was supposed to be home boning up for my job interview in the morning. I really wanted the job at Kelly and Hart Publishing and I don’t know where my head was when I agreed to […]

February 26, 2016 | By | 1 Reply More
Short Fiction: A Sliver of Ivory by Vanessa Lafaye

Short Fiction: A Sliver of Ivory by Vanessa Lafaye

He wanted you to have this. It was written with exaggerated clarity on a scrap of paper, as if the author was unsure of the reader’s grasp of English. The torn paper, rather than a proper card, another signal from the sender. It was signed Elaine, with a rounded, buxom capital E. On the padded […]

January 19, 2016 | By | 2 Replies More

INTERVIEWS

Q&A with Lydia Kang

Q&A with Lydia Kang

Lydia Kang is an author of adult and young adult fiction, poetry, and narrative non-fiction. She graduated from Columbia University and New York University School of Medicine, completing her residency and chief residency at Bellevue Hospital in New York City. She is a practicing physician who has gained a reputation for helping fellow writers achieve […]

October 5, 2017 | By | Reply More
Q&A with Jardine Libaire

Q&A with Jardine Libaire

Jardine Libaire’s searing second novel WHITE FUR (Hogarth, May 2017), a postmodern Romeo and Juliet is charged with grit, lust, sex, fury, temptation, and desperation. (More below. The interviewer is chomping at the bit to spill it all here, but let’s get to some questions for Jardine first.) Jardine also collaborated on the book GRAVITY […]

September 24, 2017 | By | 3 Replies More
Q&A with Kathleen Barber

Q&A with Kathleen Barber

Kathleen Barber was raised in Galesburg, Illinois. She graduated from the University of Illinois and Northwestern University School of Law, and previously practiced bankruptcy law at large firms in Chicago and New York. A registered yoga teacher and incurable wanderer, when Kathleen isn’t writing, she enjoys traveling the world with her husband. Her debut thriller […]

September 14, 2017 | By | 2 Replies More

Recent Essays

Fictional Characters to Murder or to Marry

Fictional Characters to Murder or to Marry

Actually, I found this a worrying exercise for it turned to be much easier to find a character to do away with than to marry. In my teenage years, I badly wanted to kill off Jane Austen’s Emma for she was ‘handsome, clever and rich’ and I was most definitely was none of those things. […]

December 8, 2017 | By | Reply More
The Writing Is The Best Part

The Writing Is The Best Part

Many people tell me that they’ve always wanted to write a book but don’t think they could actually do it.  I always encourage them to try.  Each of us has a story to tell, it’s just a matter of finding the time.  What I don’t tell people is this: The writing is the easy part.  […]

December 8, 2017 | By | Reply More
Writing Biography: How Obstacles Made Me A Better Writer

Writing Biography: How Obstacles Made Me A Better Writer

Invariably, the first question I get asked at book signings is how did I learn about Louise Arner Boyd and why did I write about her? While it’s difficult to identify that exact moment when the spark was lit and I committed to writing her life story, it all began in the remote wilderness of […]

December 7, 2017 | By | 1 Reply More
On Deadlines

On Deadlines

A little over a month ago, at the end of October, I agreed to write this piece about deadlines. At that time, my editor was expecting me to deliver a draft of my new novel by Christmas. As I type, there are two and a half hours left until the end-of-November deadline for this article […]

December 6, 2017 | By | Reply More
How Life Gets In The Way Of Writing

How Life Gets In The Way Of Writing

THINGS happen in threes. Seriously. Scientific fact. One based on years of meticulous research and general observation by me. And my mother. And her mother before her. And, er, all my friends. Births, for example. You never hear of a single birth. Start any conversation about babies, and before the topic has been exhausted, you’ll […]

December 5, 2017 | By | Reply More
Living With Your Characters

Living With Your Characters

I was lucky enough to meet the legendary Iris Murdoch, years ago. I was one away from her at a dinner table and when the man between us left for a moment, and being in the early stages of a first novel, I leaned over to ask if she could possibly give me any tiny […]

December 3, 2017 | By | 3 Replies More