I'm addicted to book review porn the way some people ogle real estate ads, vacation brochures, or the latest iPhone gadgets. When I first read the advance reviews of Jennifer Brown's debut novel, Modern Girls, I knew this was a must-read.
For all of you readers out there, the next time you pick up a novel, consider this: Why did the author choose this point of view? What would have happened if the book had been told from a different perspective? Or even multiple vantage points? The answers may surprise you.
You think you know how to write a book after you've written one, but oh, no. The challenges of each new manuscript are different from the last, and so is the process of getting it written. That's part of the joy.
A few years after first discovering Prince Edward Island as a single mom with two young children, I invited my second husband, Dan, to see the island for the first time. I was beyond nervous. What if Dan saw this island and shrugged his shoulders?
After making my first foray to Prince Edward Island with my friend Emily and our four children over twenty years ago, I returned to Massachusetts and vowed to return every year. I made good on that vow.
For the purposes of this article, a "pro" is someone who earns his/her primary income from writing. Toby Neal and Holly Robinson are pros (although Toby is mostly an indie and Holly mostly traditionally pubbed), with multiple novels and credits of various kinds, and they're also friends.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Actress Holly Robinson Peete was great to interview as she was a memory from my teen years, her collecting interests began with a favorite item from her childhood, and one of her passions has to do with children.