RSSCategory: On Writing

How My Degree in Sociology Influences Me as an Author

How My Degree in Sociology Influences Me as an Author

I am often asked what inspires the books I write. Like many authors, my standard response is that inspiration can come from anywhere: a news story, a poem, a song, or a conversation I overhear on the street. But when I step back and consider this question from a broader perspective, I realize that what […]

March 28, 2017 | By | 1 Reply More
The Huntingfield Paintress

The Huntingfield Paintress

Imagine it. You are a vicar’s wife living in a tiny Suffolk village in the 1850s. You are expected to serve tea to neighbours, to be modestly attired in a boned corset and full skirt and from time to time, to take a basket of provisions to a local family in distress. That’s about it. […]

March 27, 2017 | By | Reply More
After The Kids Are Gone, What’s Next?

After The Kids Are Gone, What’s Next?

When trying to decide what to write about next, I think about an issue or topic I’d like to explore and then figure out who is going to tell the story. My first book, The Good Life, examines the popular American belief that living a good life is dependent on material abundance, with a CEO’s […]

March 27, 2017 | By | Reply More
The Truth About My Memoir

The Truth About My Memoir

I’ve written articles and blogs and given many talks—both before and after my book was published—about why I wrote my memoir. It’s not that the reasons I talked and wrote about aren’t true; it’s just that they weren’t fiercely true. Accessing my truth hasn’t always come easy. Let’s just say the truth played hide and […]

March 25, 2017 | By | 1 Reply More
Bad Girls

Bad Girls

She’s just too mean. That’s the comment I heard from an agent about the protagonist in the manuscript that I was pitching about nine years ago. That’s fine, I thought. Different strokes, right? Then I heard it again from a different agent that I had queried: “She’s so mean. It makes me not care about […]

March 23, 2017 | By | 4 Replies More
Novels, The Movies, and Me

Novels, The Movies, and Me

Some novelists go to graduate school to get MFA’s. I went into the movie business instead. Permit me to share a memory from my time working as a Veep for the Samuel Goldwyn Company. I was in London for several weeks with a screenwriter named Paul. One day, after working on a script for several […]

March 21, 2017 | By | 1 Reply More
Houses As Inspiration

Houses As Inspiration

We talk about how our relationships have changed us but comparatively little about how a love affair with a house can alter the course of our thinking and our lives. Where we live is our second skin, for women often part of our identity, so perhaps it’s no wonder that all my novels have been […]

March 20, 2017 | By | Reply More
Women Writing the Erotic: Sexual Themes in Fiction

Women Writing the Erotic: Sexual Themes in Fiction

Love, yearning, loss, truth and deceit, freedom and constraint: these themes have long occupied a place in our literary canon. From classical literature, we’re familiar with the torment between Cathy and Heathcliff, and between Jane and Rochester. Within the subtext of these two classic stories of love, lies a narration of sex and sexual desire, […]

March 19, 2017 | By | Reply More
How Ancestral Research Can Lead to Memoir

How Ancestral Research Can Lead to Memoir

In November, 2011, ten years and one month after the death of my mother, Nannie B Chandler Nelson at age ninety-six, I found myself eager to explore my ancestral roots through her blood line.  The challenge was more significant than me, I believe, than for a person who has visited with, and heard tales of […]

March 16, 2017 | By | Reply More
Get A Real Job!

Get A Real Job!

Imagine asking a best-selling author for advice on your writing career and being told to get a real job first? Well, that’s essentially what happened on Twitter last week when Diana Gabaldon, author of the Outlander series, started a bit of a controversy with this tweet: ‘English Major = Want Fries With That? Pick something […]

March 16, 2017 | By | 2 Replies More