iOS app Android app

Holly Robinson
Holly Robinson writes about pop culture, parenting, health, science and psychology for national magazines. She is the author of the novels Haven Lake, Beach Plum Island, and The Wishing Hill, as well as The Gerbil Farmer's Daughter: A Memoir. Read excerpts of her books as well as some of her recent articles and essays at

Entries by Holly Robinson

Why It's Harder to Write the Next Book Than Your Last--And How to Keep Writing Anyway

(1) Comments | Posted June 15, 2015 | 10:23 PM


I published my newest novel, Haven Lake, in April, and I have another book scheduled for publication in October. Yesterday, I started a new manuscript -- my fifth book under contract with NAL/Penguin Random House.

I have experienced more...

Read Post

Don't Sweat Your Synopsis. Just Write It! 8 Easy Tips

(0) Comments | Posted June 5, 2015 | 12:42 PM

Whether you're an aspiring writer pitching a book idea to agents, or a seasoned author whose editor expects a synopsis for each new novel, creating a synopsis can feel like the worst writing you've ever done.

That's because it IS the worst writing you've ever done. Imagine summarizing one of...

Read Post

4 Lessons That Revising a Garden Can Teach You About Planting a Novel

(0) Comments | Posted May 27, 2015 | 11:16 AM


Even the doctor was shocked when she saw me last week. "You poor thing!" she said, shaking her head.

That's not what you want your doctor to say to you under any circumstances, but she had a good reason: I came into...

Read Post

How One Novelist Was Dragged, Kicking and Screaming, Out of Her Barn to Embrace Social Media

(0) Comments | Posted May 4, 2015 | 10:51 AM


Like most writers, I spend hours alone and doodling on my laptop, even on Saturday nights. Until recently, I had zero interest in fist-bumping people on social media, preferring to spend my time on fiction rather than fall down virtual rabbit holes.


Read Post

Are You a Scaredy-Cat Writer? 3 Life Lessons to Give You Courage

(0) Comments | Posted April 24, 2015 | 11:15 AM

The year I turned thirty, I nearly died trekking over a mountain pass in Nepal. This was the same 17,769-foot pass through the Annapurna Circuit where, in October 2014, an unexpected snowstorm took the lives of nearly 40 people.

My adventure could have turned out just as badly. I had...

Read Post

One Writer's Homage to Booksellers, Librarians and Readers

(0) Comments | Posted April 4, 2015 | 8:41 PM

There's probably not enough wine in the world to get most writers through a book launch without the jitters. Luckily, writers have lots of people cheering us on.

I'm not only talking about our mothers and spouses, but about our booksellers, librarians...

Read Post

7 Tips for Writers Looking for Lucky Breaks

(2) Comments | Posted March 30, 2015 | 12:28 PM

I was walking with my kids on the beach when my father-in-law leaned over the balcony to shout, "Your agent's on the phone! He has a book deal!"

Was that my lucky break as a novelist? Not exactly. Remember Hillary Clinton's concession speech after losing her presidential...

Read Post

Raising My Own Flock of Sheep, Almost

(0) Comments | Posted March 10, 2015 | 1:49 PM

I didn't always love sheep. When I was growing up, my mother kept a small flock in a field next to our house, and our sheep did not exactly stand out as intelligent, or even interesting.

When the sheep shearer arrived, all he had to do was sit...

Read Post

Author Rachael Herron Tells Us About Love, the Coolest Writing Desk in the World and Her New Novel

(0) Comments | Posted March 3, 2015 | 2:35 PM


One of my favorite things about being a writer is having the chance to meet other writers whose books I admire. I probably admire few books as much as I do Splinters of Light, my new friend Rachael Herron's powerful, poignant, and...

Read Post

Radio Saved My Life

(0) Comments | Posted February 17, 2015 | 2:56 PM

My family always knows where I am by following the sound of my radio. I listen to it when I'm folding laundry, putting on makeup, washing dishes, knitting, soaking in the tub, scrubbing the bathroom, or doing nothing at all.

I don't have a fancy radio. Far from it: mine...

Read Post

Why I Finally Gave Up Cooking

(2) Comments | Posted February 12, 2015 | 4:48 PM


The first time I ever cooked for my husband, Dan, I fed him lasagna made with no-boil noodles and a jar of sauce. The first time he cooked for me, he opened what looked like an empty fridge, produced a smattering of...

Read Post

6 Survival Tips for Women Writers

(6) Comments | Posted February 4, 2015 | 9:41 AM


Whenever I speak to aspiring writers at libraries or bookstores, I inevitably hear stories like these from women:

"I used to write, but then I had my kids and quit."

"I just retired from my job, so finally I have a...

Read Post

Tempted to Read Your Own Book Reviews? Resist!

(1) Comments | Posted January 28, 2015 | 11:27 AM


Any artist knows that reading reviews of her book/play/movie/art gallery opening is bound to lead to pain and frustration. Why? Because even if the majority of the reviews are stellar, it's the poor reviews we will end up focusing on, and doing...

Read Post

How To You Kill Your Darlings and Lose 100 Pages

(0) Comments | Posted January 21, 2015 | 2:01 PM

In his iconic memoir on writing, Stephen King says, "Kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler's heart, kill your darlings."

In my case, I haven't just killed my darlings. I've conducted a bloodbath. A slaughter fest. A series of gory...

Read Post

One Stepmom's New Year's Resolution: Interludes in the Woods

(2) Comments | Posted December 30, 2014 | 8:38 PM


It's easy to be miserable after the holidays. Maybe you created a perfect holiday with your family, and you're grieving now that family and friends are leaving.

Or maybe you meant to create a perfect holiday, but obstacles intervened: feuding family...

Read Post

What Yoga Is Teaching Me About Writing a Novel

(1) Comments | Posted December 17, 2014 | 7:09 AM

I lowered myself to the mat and felt every joint complaining.

"Honor your intentions," the instructor was saying. "What intention are you bringing to the mat today?"

"Just to be able to get off the damn mat again," I muttered.

I never intended to be here,...

Read Post

The 5 Most Common Mistakes Writers Make

(2) Comments | Posted December 3, 2014 | 2:46 PM

Every month, I join Nevertheless Writers, a cross-genre group of five writers, to discuss writing and publishing at local libraries and schools. My favorite part of the evening is always the question-and-answer session, where everyone from teenaged writers of fantasy novels to aging hipster poets chime in with...

Read Post

NaNoWriMo: Writers, Ban 'Birdman' from Your Brain

(0) Comments | Posted November 26, 2014 | 12:55 PM

I recently saw Birdman, the brilliant, darkly comic movie starring Micheal Keaton as Riggan Thomson, a washed-up actor who made it big as the superhero Birdman in an action movie franchise. The plot revolves around him trying to inject new life in his career by writing, producing, and...

Read Post

7 Ways to Make Pimping Your Book for a Blurb Less Weird

(1) Comments | Posted November 12, 2014 | 12:23 PM

Let's admit it up front: Asking people to blurb your book is a pretty weird and humiliating process. Most writers are cut out to be solitary creatures who hunker down alone at desks and kitchen tables in flannel shirts and sweatpants, making up stories or researching nonfiction books. We aren't...

Read Post

What's the Point of Writing Fiction, If It Doesn't Pay the Bills?

(0) Comments | Posted November 5, 2014 | 5:28 PM

A few days ago, Bob Clary, the Marketing Manager at Webucator, asked if I'd be interested in writing a blog post about what keeps me writing fiction, and novels in particular, in honor of National Novel Writing Month. That led me to think about how I...

Read Post