The Woman Behind Albert Einstein

The Woman Behind Albert Einstein

Hadn’t everything important already been written about the great scientist Albert Einstein and his life? What fresh light could I possibly shed on the iconic man and those lives intertwined with his? These were the questions that plagued me as I dug into the research for my book, The Other Einstein.

Writing and Reading In and Out of Season

Writing and Reading In and Out of Season

Other than seasonal baking (and eating), I’m not particularly adept at holidays. I forget to get cards in the mail. I lag in putting up—and taking down—decorations. If anything, my family is worse, celebrating holidays minimally…

Taking Control of Your Backlist

Taking Control of Your Backlist

There’s a prejudice in publishing that even those who aren’t on the inside have understood for years. Traditional publishers are “better” than independents. While that might still be the case for the most part, the tables are turning in favor of the independents, and those of us who have previously been published…

Writing Your Way Home

Writing Your Way Home

I live in Chapel Hill, home of the Tar Heels and many illustrious University of North Carolina alums, including Thomas Wolfe who famously said, “You can’t go home again.” And yet most writers would disagree with his sentiment. The concept of home is one huge, goopy gray area that echoes with contradictions and powerful emotions—positive and negative. Home represents beginnings and endings; home represents moving on and never letting go.

When Words and Music Come Together

When Words and Music Come Together

The combining of music and poetry seems the most natural thing in the world. After all, poetry is musical by nature, plumbing the music of language in the pure sounds behind the sense of words. Adding actual music could be redundant, the results cloying, or overbearing. Yet, as composer Jeffrey L. Briggs showed…

The Tribe’s the Thing

The Tribe’s the Thing

The trajectory of my writing career has never been a normal one (if there is such a thing). My major was English, not Creative Writing, because I loved reading and writing about literature (I still do), and I didn’t finish my graduate degree until I was thirty….

A Writer’s Success Isn’t Book Sales Alone

A Writer’s Success Isn’t Book Sales Alone

It happens every day to writers: your book gets published and, as excited as you may have been, it goes nowhere or doesn’t go where you thought it would. Maybe it had a bad cover, poor marketing, another similar book came out at the same time with better packaging—you name it….

Crossover Fiction About Families

Crossover Fiction About Families

The magic pixie dust for how to reach lots and lots of readers may be elusive, but two things about book discoverability are indisputable: readers are always on the look out for good stories and writers are increasingly desperate to find their people. While the definition of crossover fiction…

Writing in the Round

Writing in the Round

Writers have a complicated and ever-changing relationship with the reader. And by the reader, I mean that hypothetical audience to which you’re supposed to be writing, that intended receptacle for your wisdom, your crafted prose, the performance of your particular form of entertainment: the delivery of a story….

Not a Review of Gail Godwin’s Memoir, Publishing

Not a Review of Gail Godwin’s Memoir, Publishing

It’s easy to compare ourselves to other writers and it’s a maladaptive practice we all engage in all the time, like kids looking around the table to see who got the biggest slices of pizza. The truth is, for all the differences we think exist, we have so much in common….

BEA and BookCon 2015: A Week-long Magic Carpet Ride

BEA and BookCon 2015: A Week-long Magic Carpet Ride

Alan Zweibel author, comedian, actor said at a panel at BookCon 2015 in New York City, “if you’re really lucky, you get to be friends with the artists you admire.”

From May 26 to 31 I felt a buzz about me like none other I’d experienced as a writer. I walked into the Javits Center…

Miami in Minneapolis: More on AWP

Miami in Minneapolis: More on AWP

The AWP Conference and Book Fair is an annual destination for writers, teachers, students, editors, and publishers. Each year more than 12,000 attendees join for four days of dialogue, networking, and unrivaled access to the organizations and opinion-makers that matter most in contemporary literature. The 2015 featured over 2,000 presenters and 550 readings. The Book Fair hosted over 700 presses, journals, and literary organizations…