Ming Holden makes her book debut with her non-fiction novella, The Survival Girls, based on her work with Congolese refugee women who are survivors of gender-based violence. Ming's work is proof of what fresh energy can bring to a development project.
Ksenia Anske's forthcoming debut novel, Siren Suicides, is the wrenching tale of a teenage girl, Ailen Bright, who jumps off a bridge to escape an abusive father, and is transformed into a mythological siren who can kill with her voice,
Begging for blurbs is one of the more misery-producing aspects of being published. It can leave us desperate and depressed. It's humiliating to have to grovel for blurbs, rather than have your publisher secure them for you.
Would we have discovered the works of authors like Hemingway, Faulkner, Joyce, Maugham, O'Hara, Fitzgerald, Roth and many other modern masters if we had to come across them through the fragmentation and puzzling pathways of cyberspace?
I recently read a manuscript written like a stream of conscious to the author's closest friend. I was bored and it was never clear to me who the book was for. That experience got me to thinking about some lessons for new authors...
Like it or not, if you're a writer, there's no escaping the writer's life. There's no "Get out of jail free" card when it comes to the feelings, obsessions and worries that accompany any writer's efforts.
I'm a southern Kentucky native -- grew up just a few miles away from the Tennessee state line, turned to Nashville in my growing up as the nearest "real" city -- and yet this weekend's Southern Festival of Books was my very first.
Debut author life is full of false starts and hesitations. Mostly you have no idea in hell what you're doing. You race across streets -- metaphorically speaking -- hoping you won't crash head first into someone's sedan.