iOS app Android app

Beach Plum Island

What Yoga Is Teaching Me About Writing a Novel

Holly Robinson | Posted 02.16.2015 | Books
Holly Robinson

"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.

The 5 Most Common Mistakes Writers Make

Holly Robinson | Posted 02.02.2015 | Books
Holly Robinson

I made so many mistakes along the way that I thought I'd offer a roundup of them to help aspiring writers avoid stumbling into the same muddy potholes that nearly swallowed me whole.

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

Holly Robinson | Posted 01.12.2015 | Books
Holly Robinson

There is no easy way to ask for blurbs, but take comfort in the fact that every writer has to do it. Now that I've just gritted my teeth and gone through the process for the fourth time, for my novel Haven Lake, I thought it might help newbie writers to think about these strategies...

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

Holly Robinson | Posted 01.05.2015 | Books
Holly Robinson

If you're trying to make a living as a fiction writer, I certainly know a great many self-published writers who are able to do that. Literary writers, or even commercial writers like me, have a tougher time making a solid income from our fiction.

Art vs. Commerce: Can Writers Make It Without Day Jobs?

Holly Robinson | Posted 01.01.2015 | Books
Holly Robinson

Novels are not cars to be assembled. You can't write them if the muse isn't with you, and the muse doesn't always come when you call her. Yet, if you want to make a living as a writer, you must find a way to go to the muse if she won't come to you.

Should You Scrap that Novel? Maybe Not

Holly Robinson | Posted 12.23.2014 | Books
Holly Robinson

There is always a point, about 250 pages into writing a novel, where I want to set fire to it.

How to Succeed as a Writer? It Takes a Village

Holly Robinson | Posted 12.15.2014 | Books
Holly Robinson

Long before I published my first novel, I tried to join a neighborhood fiction writing workshop, only to be told by one member, 'Sorry, come back when you get published. We can't accept novices.' Yeah, that stung.

Publishing's Unsung Heroes: Copy Editors

Holly Robinson | Posted 12.09.2014 | Books
Holly Robinson

Copy editors are worth their weight in gold, yet hardly ever garner a mention. So here it is, a shout-out to you, copy editors around the world: we writers and readers are so lucky to have you smoothing sentences and paragraphs and chapters. Thank you for all of your hard work.

A Magical Island: Making the Most of Your Novel's Setting

Holly Robinson | Posted 12.01.2014 | Books
Holly Robinson

To me, settings are far more than just places in books. I view settings as essential components of every novel, because so often places convey the interior landscapes of the characters and deepen the reader's experience.

5 Surefire Strategies for Marketing Your eBook

Holly Robinson | Posted 11.15.2014 | Books
Holly Robinson

As I looked back at the past year and dug a little deeper into the various marketing strategies I used, I realized that I did, in fact, discover some things that worked better than others.

Summer Reads: The Good, the Bad, and the Just So-So

Holly Robinson | Posted 09.08.2014 | Books
Holly Robinson

To qualify as a "great summer read," I want a book that offers sympathetic characters, depth of emotion, and a forward narrative momentum that keeps me sitting on the porch long after the fireflies have gone to bed.

How Do You Write a Novel? By Listening

Holly Robinson | Posted 08.25.2014 | Books
Holly Robinson

When people ask how I get ideas for my novels, I tell them that a writer's mind is like that junk drawer in your kitchen. You throw all kinds of things into that drawer: paper clips, rubber bands, business cards. Likewise, writers go around collecting snippets of dialogue overheard.

Is a Book Publicist Worth the Money?

Holly Robinson | Posted 08.11.2014 | Books
Holly Robinson

Of course, I had no idea how much money a publicist would cost, and I was gobsmacked by their fees. Finally, though, I found a publicist who used to work at a big traditional house and seemed experienced and smart. Here's what I've learned in that time.

How Do You Choose a Book Cover That Tells Your Story?

Holly Robinson | Posted 08.04.2014 | Books
Holly Robinson

Will the cover be "me?" More importantly, will it honestly represent the emotions and story I've put on the page and attract readers?

How Long Does a Novel Take to Write?

Holly Robinson | Posted 07.20.2014 | Books
Holly Robinson

I binged this past weekend. Not on reality TV or chocolate or martinis, but on writing. I booked a cheap off-season condo in Maine and wrote 17,822 words.

8 Tips for a DIY Book Tour

Holly Robinson | Posted 07.12.2014 | Books
Holly Robinson

Every writer hates the idea of being a carnival barker. Nobody goes out anymore, you tell yourself. Who wants to give a reading where the only people in the audience are your mom and that drunk guy?

Whether You're Building a Robot or a Book, Science + Creativity = Magic

Holly Robinson | Posted 07.05.2014 | Technology
Holly Robinson

No question about it. My husband and I are opposites. He's a software engineer and I'm a writer. When people glance at my computer screen, they're confronted by a maze of thorny paragraphs, while his is a jungle of coded symbols.

Eight Dog Tricks I Value Most

Holly Robinson | Posted 06.22.2014 | Healthy Living
Holly Robinson

My dog is now 8 years old, which makes him as middle-aged as I am, and he is comfortable in his own white furry skin. I'm trying to take lessons from him. You can't teach an old dog new tricks, maybe, but this dog has plenty to teach an old writer.

What Kind of Fiction Do You Love to Read or Write? Maybe It's Time to Push the Genre Envelope

Holly Robinson | Posted 06.14.2014 | Books
Holly Robinson

Is my novel a mystery? Is it literary fiction? Yes, and yes. But it's still considered women's fiction in the marketplace.

What Keeps a Woman Writing? Other Women Who Write.

Holly Robinson | Posted 06.07.2014 | Women
Holly Robinson

Any woman who works knows there isn't enough time in the day to get everything done. Even before we start our paid jobs, we've put in hours of lab...

The 10 Worst Things You Can Say to a Writer During a Book Launch

Holly Robinson | Posted 06.01.2014 | Books
Holly Robinson

Those of us who are writers know that publishing a book is a lot like the first weeks of motherhood, where you're binge eating, weeping, laughing hysterically, and want to sleep but can't. Some people say things that help you get through the day, but others make you cry all over again.

How Do You Write a Novel? Six Things That Stay the Same Every Time

Holly Robinson | Posted 05.25.2014 | Books
Holly Robinson

We are happiest when we're in our native environments, scribbling in journals or tapping out love stories and action scenes and terrifying near-death experiences on our keyboards. Writing is the only cure for publishing a novel. The sooner we get back to it, the better.

How Launching a Book Is Like Sending Your Kid to College

Holly Robinson | Posted 05.03.2014 | Books
Holly Robinson

As you abandon your child on that college campus, you envision the worst: a psychopath for a roommate, listless professors, alcohol poisoning, and fraternity hazing.

How to Keep Your Writing Warm When You Can't Write

Holly Robinson | Posted 04.29.2014 | Books
Holly Robinson

Unfortunately, a writing retreat, there's always the letdown. You come back and family life is the same exhilarating, exhausting Bermuda Triangle it always is. And there your bag sits with those fresh pages of your novel, untouched, as mine has been for the past four days since coming home.

Novel Building From the Bones up: Two Pros Contrast Indie vs. Traditional Writing Process

Holly Robinson | Posted 03.21.2014 | Books
Holly Robinson

First of all, let's define 'pro:' for the purposes of this article, a pro is someone who earns his/her primary income from writing. My friend Toby Neal and I are pros, with multiple novels and credits of various kinds under our belts.