I’ve just returned from the biggest, brightest, zingiest writing conference of the year, the annual gathering of The Association of Writers and Writing Programs. (AWP or, if you were following the social media hashtag, #AWP15.) More than 11,000 writers, editors, agents and publishers… read more here…
Ben Mezrich is not the kind of author who worries about artistic or journalistic niceties, and even less about the opinions of critics. Janet Maslin, a reviewer for The New York Times, blasted one of his “nonfiction thrillers” by wryly noting his skill at “making up conversations he did not hear, sexing up parties he did not attend,” and other writerly techniques of which she does not approve. At a recent Breakfast Salon at the Betsy Hotel, where he was Writer in Residence, Mezrich laughed off barbs like that with no trace of bitterness or resentment.
Anyone wondering what writers talk about when they are at ease together might have liked being a fly on the wall at the Betsy Hotel the other night. Most literary events at the Betsy are not only public but also free. But this was a small private dinner party put together by the hotel and one of its literary partners, the Creative Writing Department at Florida International University….
February brings us Black History Month and along with it the usual thoughts about why attention to the culture of African-Americans is limited to one short month—and the coldest at that. Shouldn’t all the cultures of our society be a year-round presence and part of an ongoing conversation? I’d venture to say the answer is yes, read more here…
You shuffle from session to session, ingesting the proclamations of speakers as you would the invitations of a circus barker. Over here, a ten-step system for writing a synopsis! Step right up for everything you need to know about book marketing! Create intriguing characters! Hook readers with your first five words! Read more here.
Book enthusiasts love to compile “best of” lists and post them at the end of December. Every year I consider doing it too, but when I sit down to write, I find myself bristling much like Emily Nussbaum did over creating a top ten list of TV shows. Not only is it impossible to have read all the novels published in a given year, but it feels as silly as comparing paella to democracy. Read more here.
In light of the historic news of renewed diplomatic relations between U.S and Cuba I was compelled to share an excerpt from a creative nonfiction story I’ve been documenting for the better part of five years. This is the very beginning of a book for young adults about teenagers who fought in the failed Bay of Pigs invasion in Cuba… read more here
The Wolf Chronicles trilogy is the first thing I wrote, and as I penned Promise of the Wolves, I was both researching wolves and learning how to write. It was natural for me to find parallels between wolf behavior and what it takes to write a book. Here are some of the things I learned from my furry muses: Read more here
We are so grateful for the many wonderful #LitChat sessions we’ve had this year, that we’re taking a break this week. We’ll be back with #LitChat MediaMonday on December 1 and then on December 3, Diane Chamberlain will join us to discuss her 22nd novel—yes, you saw that right, her 22nd novel—The Silent Sister. Read more here.
This month, in honor of Nanowrimo (which I will attempt—next year) and also in response to the #777 challenge originally posed by Heather Demetrios to Lisa Papademetriu who later challenged me, I’m going to post a few thoughts on community. But first, let me explain what the #777 challenge is. Basically it’s a dare to post seven full lines of a current work in progress from page seven, seven lines down. Read more here.
Many of us owe the familiarity of this phrase and concept to Virginia Woolf who penned the famous essay entitled, A Room of One’s Own. Although Woolf’s essay focused on women in particular, how women must have money and a room in order to write, the concept also applies to any author’s need for creative space and freedom. Artist residencies offer just that – …. read more here.
While preparing for the publication of What the Lady Wants and drafting my next novel, I took a moment to contemplate one of those writerly conundrums that gets debated back and forth a lot: is it better to write under contract or not? Read more here.
From the moment my husband and I announced our engagement—twenty-six years ago—I’ve heard just about all the marriage advice imaginable. “Marry your best friend.”“Marriage is work.”“Don’t go to bed angry.” Cliches without specifics didn’t resonate with me then, and now that my daughter is about to marry, I’m thinking long and hard about the pearls of wisdom I want to impart to her. Read more here.