"Was it worth it?" my son asks, referring to my unpublished novel, the 10-year endeavor that haunts our meetings, the elephant by my side. How can I answer him? He is 30 and facing the big questions: What shall I do that has worth?
We as advocates for female writers and editors should make an effort to celebrate the publications that employ large numbers of women. Community newspapers and journals do just that. Yet those publications tend to pay less than national ones pay.
When the editor called to say she liked the essay and wanted to buy it, I was convinced it was a friend playing a trick. It wasn't. In fact, the editor wanted to know if I had any other essays to show her.
Aren't there authors who stay outside the mainstream and are better for it? To satisfy myself, I concocted a version of objective analysis sufficiently rigorous to help a fiction writer relax. Scientists, shut your eyes.
The next time you hear someone say "no one reads anymore," show them Wattpad. With more than 20 million users, Wattpad is the world's largest community for readers and writers, and to the consternation of traditional publishing -- entirely free.
Years ago, the only way to get published was to type the manuscript, send it to a publisher, and hope for the best. But book publishing has changed significantly. There are more opportunities -- and many more pitfalls.
There are so many steps to getting a novel out into the world after you get your book deal or decide to self-publish (and a million other steps once it is out in the world) that it can easily take up all your time.
I adore my agent. He's one of the wisest and nicest men I've ever met in my life and I trust him completely. Still, I was nonplussed. Why shouldn't my book start with the point of view of a woman in her fifties?
Publishers don't decide which books they're going to publish while sitting alone in a dark room with one little lamp burning. It's not a secretive process and it's not just a matter of a singular person's whims or personal tastes.
In June I sent out a story to be considered for Best Lesbian Erotica 2014, but I could not have imagined the tangled internal politics that would ensue. That fight is emblematic of a broader schism in the queer community, one that calls up all the old questions of assimilation vs. liberation.
Ship of Souls combines urban fantasy with African American history; set in Prospect Park, the story features three unlikely friends who are pursued by ghosts from the Revolutionary War as they attempt to release the restless souls from the African Burial Ground in lower Manhattan.