WRITING

The Search for Shadow Ranch

The Search for Shadow Ranch

I blame my lust for the lawless West on Nancy Drew and The Secret of Shadow Ranch by the magnificent author Carolyn Keene. When exotic Nancy took off for a vacation at the Arizona ranch with her pals Bess and George a young Kris Radish, growing up across the street from a Wisconsin cornfield, all […]

February 25, 2018 | By | Reply More
Finding the Confidence to Write The Missing Girl

Finding the Confidence to Write The Missing Girl

I’ve wanted to be an author for as long as I can remember. I grew up in Essex and Berkshire, the youngest of five children and an only girl. I was quiet and shy and spent most of my time reading and writing stories. My parents encouraged me with trips to libraries and bookshops. Most […]

February 24, 2018 | By | Reply More
Writing Fiction based on Family History

Writing Fiction based on Family History

My novel, When It’s Over, set in Europe during WWII, is based on a true story: the story of my mother’s experience as a refugee from the Holocaust. She was a young woman, an anti-fascist activist from a secular Jewish family, when she fled Czechoslovakia and then Paris, and spent the war years in the […]

February 22, 2018 | By | 2 Replies More

HOW TOs and TIPS

Past Imperfect: the Complications of Historical Authenticity

Past Imperfect: the Complications of Historical Authenticity

People who don’t usually read historical fiction are often surprised to find out how much research goes into a historical novel. Yes, novelists use their imaginations to flesh out the details, but we also do extensive research to make the setting of our novels feel authentic to the reader. All good novels incorporate sensory details, […]

February 22, 2018 | By | Reply More
Writing With Readers On The Mind

Writing With Readers On The Mind

To write stories is always to be alone in a room, with only our characters for company. But what about readers? To write presupposes their eventual existence. Yet for a writer just setting out, doubtful of success, the reader is as fictional as the rest of it. We write for various reasons. To understand ourselves […]

February 20, 2018 | By | 1 Reply More
How To Find Writing Time

How To Find Writing Time

Some days, I feel like a circus act, juggling a set of knives as I walk the tightrope, praying I don’t come crashing to the floor. But the truth is, I’m not employed by the Ringling Brothers. That job may be easier, to be honest. I am the wearer of many hats, the jack of […]

February 20, 2018 | 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

You’ve Got To Have Friends: My Haphazard and Incredibly Lucky Innovations in Book Marketing

You’ve Got To Have Friends: My Haphazard and Incredibly Lucky Innovations in Book Marketing

With so many books on the market, not to mention TV, films, the Internet and dozens of many other distractions clamoring for our collective attention, how does an author get her book to stand out? I don’t claim to be an expert, but as the release of my second book approaches, I think I have […]

January 30, 2018 | By | Reply More
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

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

Boekenweek in The UK: Interview with Esther Gerritsen

Boekenweek in The UK: Interview with Esther Gerritsen

In the countdown to the forthcoming Boekenweek – a week-long celebration of books and literary culture held in the Netherlands each March – the independent publisher World Editions is celebrating the best of Dutch literature in translation by way of a blog tour profiling three of their authors. Today, on the very first day of the tour, Books By Women is […]

February 8, 2018 | By | 2 Replies More
An American Marriage: Interview with Tayari Jones

An American Marriage: Interview with Tayari Jones

Real. Real is the best word to describe Tayari Jones’ novel, An American Marriage, which was just named Oprah’s latest book club pick. Roy and Celestial know love, and they struggled to be love amidst the swirling chaos that unfolded on fateful even in their new marriage. This novel captivates readers with the depths Jones explores […]

February 7, 2018 | By | Reply More
Interview with Anna Quinn, Author of The Night Child

Interview with Anna Quinn, Author of The Night Child

Anna Quinn’s breathtaking debut novel examines the impact of traumatic childhood experiences and the fragile line between past and present. Exquisitely nuanced and profoundly intimate, The Night Child is a story of resilience, hope, and the capacity of the mind, body, and spirit to save itself despite all odds. We’re very excited to feature her here on […]

January 15, 2018 | By | Reply More

Recent Essays

Crafting Resonance: Music and Writing

Crafting Resonance: Music and Writing

My feet are tired. I’ve been standing in front of a whiteboard most of the day, trying to tease apart strands of story in the novel I’m working on. Working like this is new to me, but I really like mapping out the book in this tactile way. It reminds me of playing music. I […]

February 19, 2018 | By | 5 Replies More
Darkest Moment In My Writing Career

Darkest Moment In My Writing Career

The second darkest moment in my writing career was when I reached that awful juncture with my then-agent: she asked me if I had anything else to show her because my novel didn’t sell. Editors had overwhelmingly praised it, but they wanted the next bestseller, not a solid mid-list novel. It was a crushing disappointment, […]

February 18, 2018 | By | 10 Replies More
Healthy Heart, Healthy…Writing?

Healthy Heart, Healthy…Writing?

We all have busy lives, whether we are juggling careers, doing the school run or running errands. It can be a struggle to get up in the morning, or find the motivation after a full day of work, to get our blood pumping. Yet, don’t we all feel a sense of achievement after we’ve worked […]

February 18, 2018 | By | 2 Replies More
How the Goddess Writes

How the Goddess Writes

As a writer, my writing is an extension of my life, my heart and my identity. Most writers can agree with the statement that writing isn’t something we do because we must. It’s something we do because we simply can’t not write. It’s an outpouring of our heart-mind onto paper, flowing in ways that are […]

February 16, 2018 | By | 4 Replies More
Do Other Memoir Writers Have This Experience?

Do Other Memoir Writers Have This Experience?

I’ll be briskly writing away at my desk, feeling like I’m in the zone, and the words are sliding out onto the page from that sweet spot inside. A scene from that time of my life will come to me. It’s a flash of memory that’s crystal clear. I see myself there, in that setting, […]

February 15, 2018 | By | 10 Replies More
Sexuality in Writing

Sexuality in Writing

If I recall how I first learned about sex, I would have to credit a variety of sources. For starters, it was my mother who taught me that sex led to pregnancy and periods were the start of the process. The period would happen soon, the pregnancy, God willing, not until I was married. Sex […]

February 14, 2018 | By | Reply More