John R. Gordon is one of the finest novelists working today. His latest novel, Souljah, about a gay former child soldier navigating the harsh realities of life as a newly-arrived immigrant in London, is a spellbinding masterpiece that has just been shortlisted for a Lambda Literary Award.
This feeling rendered me concussed recently whilst I was having drinks in Soho, London's predominantly gay district. I looked around at all the punters in the venue, an upscale cocktail bar playing acid-jazz laced with techno-lite, and realized that I was the only black man in this space.
Wherever you look online, though, there's no specific attribution to a letter, diary, speech or book. So it might be something he never said. Doesn't it sound a bit too, well, life-affirming for Hemingway?
Even though my book was doing well and I was experiencing new heights in my career, I was confused about why I felt so stuck -- why new ideas for fiction no longer flowed as easily as they had done before. I felt like a hamster in a wheel, and this is why I started reconsidering my priorities.
My future sometimes feels hazy and, like most people, I'm afraid of failure. I say no to potentially exciting new ventures more often than not. But this is changing. I'm teaching the small, scared animal within to emerge from its burrow and greet the sun.
Before you have a printed book, you have a manuscript. These are different things, connected but distinct, like a butterfly and a caterpillar. Some indie authors get confused between the two. They have unrealistic expectations of their manuscript.
Writing is hard work, but it's not just fun, sometimes it's bliss. As for writing a novel or any other book, what could be better? Working on one, I feel enveloped, protected, uplifted, transported. It's the best sort of vacation.
Keep on keeping on, Christie. If you're a fan of romance novels, check out her books. And if you love her books or are already a fan, let me say -- "That's my cousin."
A reading is a performance. Don't ever forget that you're entertaining an audience and interacting with it. You need to see yourself as onstage, and that means getting somebody you trust to give you honest feedback from more than one reading.
If you have a story to tell, it's a wonderful time to be alive. Self-publishing gives authors creative control.
The most important role of an agent is to be honest, even when you don't like that they're not on board with your most recent idea. That's when you trust their experience and their role within the publishing community and just let it go or chat about self-publishing options.
When you publish a blog post on The Huffington Post's Comedy section, you assume people will get the obvious: It's meant to be funny, just like a fire truck hurtling down the street is a sign that, well, there's a fire somewhere, right?
The Book Doctors first met Judith Fertig when she won our Kansas City Pitchapalooza (think American Idol for Books). She was commanding without being overbearing, powerful but warm, a total pro.
I've positively reviewed Patricia Cornwell in the past, but when I had negative things to say about one of her books, some of her fans accused me of being jealous. OK, I have a confession. It's, like, 100 percent true, since she sells more books than I ever will. You know what else? It's true of all book reviewers.
Like any kind of writing, memoir writing is slow going. With each revision, you need to deepen the scene and your memoir's takeaways.
(Authors note: I have resolved this year to write more creatively from time to time. So, here is my first stab at a piece I dreamed up while...yes.....