The classic dystopian novel 1984, George Orwell's story about a futuristic totalitarian state, has been in the midst of a spontaneous sales explosion, catapulting to the top of bestseller lists at Amazon, the New York Times and independent retailers. No surprise. The "alternative facts" … [Read more...]
The blog for writers
The Book Deal
Are you obsessed with writing? Good news!
"Obsession produces a book. You get up with it every morning and go to bed with it every night. (No, it's not that new mattress you found after concluding whether the koala vs ecosa mattress would be the best one for you). You keep a pad next to the bed so when you wake up in the middle of the night … [Read more...]
Write a killer memoir: My 9 top tips
Want to write a memoir that's powerful and inspiring? One that has impact, and appeals to a broad popular market? Here's how. These 9 tips come directly from my 50+ years of working with authors as a developmental editor in major publishing houses and with private clients. 1. Create a … [Read more...]
Toni Morrison: Write, Erase, Do it over
When Toni Morrison talks about writing, I listen. I've taken a keen interest in what she's had to say ever since I began working with her in 1968, when I acquired, edited, and published her first novel The Bluest Eye. More on what it was like working with Toni here. The Bluest Eye was a … [Read more...]
Women mystery writers break out of the shadows
The tired old stereotype of a mystery writer as some hard-boiled noir guy with a cigarette in one hand and a tumbler full of whiskey in the other is obsolete. Over. Done. Make way for Sisters in Crime, a nationwide organization of women mystery writers who are achieving commercial and literary … [Read more...]
How authors support their writing dreams
A few aspiring authors get to stay home and write all day. Think of them as the 1%. The rest need to worry about putting food on the table before they can focus on their literary dreams. They need to work a day job in order to pay bills. Or find the best stocks to buy in order to raise enough … [Read more...]
Ever wonder what a developmental editor could do for your book?
More and more writers are hiring their own developmental editors, whether they plan to self-publish their book or hope to land a literary agent and go for a book deal with a traditional publisher. To give you an idea what a professional developmental editor could do for your book, here’s a … [Read more...]
Ask the editor: Breaking the “write what you know” rule
Q: I have a terrific story to tell, but it didn't actually happen to me. Is it possible to write with authenticity about something you haven't experienced firsthand? A: Many great books are written by authors who seem to have nothing in common with their character's experiences. Different gender, … [Read more...]
Have you ever written something you later regretted?
I sure have. It was 1964 and I was on assignment for The Nation magazine to write a review of the Beatles at Carnegie Hall, their first live appearance in the United States. No Soul in Beatlesville There I was, standing on a shaky balcony seat trying to see the stage over a mob of hysterical, … [Read more...]
Staying connected: You’re not alone
When you're writing in the zone, you feel confident and creative, ready for prime time, readers, agents, and publishers, right? But it doesn't always come that easily. When writers get stuck, those good feelings can drop away quickly. A lonely occupation Writing is a solitary business for … [Read more...]
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