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Q&A With A.J. Walkley, Author of Vuto

Tracy Lee | Posted 09.21.2013 | Books
Tracy Lee

I was able to chat recently with A.J. Walkley, my friend and a novelist, right before the launch of her newest book, Vuto.

Unlike Rowling, They Were Denied Literary Fame

Dave Astor | Posted 09.18.2013 | Books
Dave Astor

J.K. Rowling tried to go under the radar by using a pen name for The Cuckoo's Calling, but many other great authors spent all or part of their careers involuntarily missing out on the literary cachet and cash they deserved.

Stranger in a Strange Land: a Malawian Experience and the Novel Vuto

A.J. Walkley | Posted 09.16.2013 | Books
A.J. Walkley

When I think back on my first impressions of Malawi, Africa, setting foot in the country as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in 2007, I always come back t...

The Five Best Novels Set In Greece

Henriette Lazaridis | Posted 09.15.2013 | Books
Henriette Lazaridis

If you're hankering for the Greek isles but can't manage an Aegean vacation this summer, why not go there through fiction instead?

Are Book Trailers the Next Big Thing in Publishing?

Scott Alexander Hess | Posted 09.14.2013 | Books
Scott Alexander Hess

Will there be a time when a hot book trailer and easy link to an e-book leads to a mega sales boost? Also, can emerging writers use a trailer to land an agent?

My Secret Summer With Anna K.

Carey Perloff | Posted 09.12.2013 | Arts
Carey Perloff

I have a dozen things I am supposed to be focusing on this summer, but for the past month, what have I snuck off to do whenever I have had a spare moment, like an addict looking for a fix? I am re-reading (for the third time) Anna Karenina.

Why Writers Should Kick That Amazon Addiction to the Door!

Holly Robinson | Posted 09.12.2013 | Books
Holly Robinson

There are few things more satisfying than publishing a novel: You get to make things up! You get to put yourself in other people's shoes -- and choo...

Life in Fast Forward

John Feffer | Posted 08.24.2013 | Books
John Feffer

The late 1960s, with the explosion of youth movements, the Vietnam War, and the transformation of popular culture, offered a grand opportunity for the reinvention of self. So, too, did the late 1980s, particularly in East-Central Europe.

Write the Great American Novel In 10 Easy Steps

Ester Bloom | Posted 08.20.2013 | Books
Ester Bloom

Be a dude, ideally dead. Questions to ask yourself: What's the body count? Are your characters suffering? Add more violence. Are your characters sufficiently coarsened by the inequities of modern life? Add more profanity.

Literature in Literature

Dave Astor | Posted 08.20.2013 | Books
Dave Astor

Literature in literature happens more often than we might think, and it's an effective device. We get a sense of a character's tastes, which helps open a window into her or his psyche and intellect. Heck, people who love books are usually smart and curious.

F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby Is Being Rewritten by Its Characters

Anne Margaret Daniel | Posted 08.17.2013 | Books
Anne Margaret Daniel

A new memoir has begun in the Believer magazine, with the first installment just published. It's by Robert Atwan, writing as "Thomas Buchanan." Yes, that Tom Buchanan, Daisy's husband, Nick's Yale frenemy, Gatsby's nemesis.

Slow and Steady Wins the Race: The Birth of Anything Is Possible

Thomas Bähler | Posted 08.11.2013 | Books
Thomas Bähler

Virtually the entire world knows the fables of ÆSOP, from which many great quotes have derived, such as the title of this piece. But his life has remained in the shadows. Until now. Somehow, as if by magic, ÆSOP's life has converged with mine.

Novelist Patrick McGrath on Writing, Setting, and Psychology

Ryan D. Matthews | Posted 08.10.2013 | Books
Ryan D. Matthews

Patrick McGrath is a convivial sort. Pushing hair from his eyes with a smile, he'll have you seated, snug, and sipping tea on the couch before you've had a chance to say hello.

Physics Can Be Fatal: A Talk With Elissa Grodin

Mark Rubinstein | Posted 08.07.2013 | Books
Mark Rubinstein

Elissa Grodin's father founded AMC Theaters and invented multiplex and megaplex movie theaters. She has an extensive background in film. Elissa studie...

Reading for Pleasure

Maria Rodale | Posted 08.07.2013 | Books
Maria Rodale

by guest blogger Maya Rodale, author of smart and sassy romance novels The New York Times recently published the sort of article that made me snort ...

Feeling Creatively Blocked? Turn Off the Noise in Your Head!

Holly Robinson | Posted 08.03.2013 | Books
Holly Robinson

We all have mornings like the one I had today: making breakfast, using the cattle prod to get kids off to school, kitchen cleanup, laundry, email, tex...

10 Best Names in Fiction

Judith Natelli McLaughlin | Posted 07.29.2013 | Books
Judith Natelli McLaughlin

These are arguably, and I stress the word arguably, the top 10 character names in fiction. In fact, when I discussed this list with my husband he thought there was more than one name that should be removed from the list. I kept them on anyway.

A Conference Organizer's Advice to Writers: Write Better

Karen Dionne | Posted 07.21.2013 | Books
Karen Dionne

I'm not talking here about the mechanics of writing, though craftsmanship is important. Like a clock, a novel has many moving parts--pace, momentum, tension, plot, characterization, story arc, character arcs--and they all need to work perfectly together.

'Boring' Protagonists Don't Have to Mean Boring Books

Dave Astor | Posted 07.02.2013 | Books
Dave Astor

When a key character in a novel is passive and/or modest, that spells trouble for the book -- right? Not necessarily. A seemingly boring protagonist ...

John le Carré Causes Author's Foxhunting Accident

Linda Howard Urbach | Posted 06.25.2013 | Comedy
Linda Howard Urbach

I knew Le Carré had a fondness for fox hunting and so I rented an authentic Lady's Victorian riding costume. Then I drove to St. Buryan a small village in Cornwall and stopping by the local stables, I arranged to hire a horse for the hunt.

Poems Have a History, But do They Have a Future?

Evan Gottlieb | Posted 06.15.2013 | Books
Evan Gottlieb

Certainly, poetry demands a different kind of attention than our other everyday pursuits. To get something meaningful out of a well-written poem, whether from the Renaissance or by one of today's many thought-provoking poets, one must be willing to linger over it, word by word and sentence by sentence.

Historical Fiction, Then and Now

Nina Sankovitch | Posted 06.09.2013 | Books
Nina Sankovitch

I love historical fiction. A writer takes what is known about a place in time or a character from the past, and then transports the reader further and deeper into what are the blood and guts of the past.

A Sexy New Novel About a Woman of a Certain Age

Mark C. Miller | Posted 06.08.2013 | Books
Mark C. Miller

Although the novel is perfect for women 40 and over in the dating pool, The Last Place She'd Look is filled with humor, insight, pain, defeat and sex that will be familiar and appealing to anyone who is in, has ever been in, or would like to be in the world of dating.

The Itsy-Bitsy Book Club 2013

Anna Leahy | Posted 06.04.2013 | Books
Anna Leahy

We've not chosen books from best-seller lists. Such books may be quirky, sometimes challenging, often beautifully printed. This year, we turned to Correction of Drift by Pamela Ryder.

'Fake it Till You Make it' -- A Slightly Degrading Catchphrase

Judith Natelli McLaughlin | Posted 06.01.2013 | Books
Judith Natelli McLaughlin

What do you think? Are you working on a real project that gratifies you at this moment in time? Are you offended by the phrase "fake it till you make it?"