The Joy of the Nightmare of Querying

Vanilla Ice said it best. “Love it or leave it you better gain weight, You better hit bull’s eye the kid don’t play.” Okay, that actually makes a lot less sense than I remember rapping as a teenager, but the key here is that there are some things that I really hate doing and writing query […]

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Something I learned about writing today: It’s okay to have fun

Writing groups. Like blogs and sea monkeys, they are born with such enthusiasm and yet so often stall and die after a very short time. I have been a member of at least three that have long since expired, which was why I was very much inspired to read this post by Alaya Dawn Johnson, […]

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Something I learned about writing today: what makes a killer page one

The first page is the most valuable property in a book. If a reader doesn’t feel compelled to get beyond those first few paragraph than the rest might as well be pi numerals. I have been told this many times by editors, and yet one of the biggest pieces of feedback I got about a recent manuscript was that […]

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How’d she do that? A peak into the making of Ruta Sepetys’ new novel

As much as I love reading books, what I love even more is the stuff that isn’t on the page: the journey that the author took to creating their finished work. In so many cases, this story can be just as dramatic as the works themselves–such as with this one, about how a pair of […]

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Something I learned about writing today: It takes a village

I don’t know if anyone else besides the author and the people listed within them ever actually reads them, but I have soft spot for Acknowledgments pages. They are like a little peak behind the scenes, a tiny glimpse into how the book in my hand was created. And sometimes a much needed lull at […]

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Something I learned about writing today: manuscripts are like cats

I have suddenly found myself paralyzed in an indecision of the Coke or Pepsi magnitude. I recently got some feedback on a manuscript I ‘finished’ several months ago, and would be totally ready to dig into it if however I also happen to be two drafts in to a completely new one, leaving me with in a […]

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Things that inspire me to write #3: Eleanor Updale’s The Last Minute

Like setting and conflict, time is one of those Important Novel Elements discussed in every writing class I have ever taken. When does one scene take place in relation to another? How is that conveyed? And whatever you do, don’t go overboard on the flashbacks. All good advice, of course, however, nothing makes me more […]

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Things that inspire me to write #5: Meg Tilly

She acts, used to dance, and has published a growing list of highly acclaimed Young Adult novels. Meg Tilly is one of those people that have the annoying tendency to excel in whatever art they take hold of.  And as a writer whose painted mountainscapes look like something out of Dr Seuss book (and not […]

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Things that inspire me to write #7: Rachel Vincent’s idea fog

  Anything two feet ahead of me no longer exists and the sky is a constant slate of white. The fog has settled on my part of the world and doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon–and I’m starting to think that may not be such a bad thing. In the acknowledgements section of Before I […]

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Things that inspire me to write #29: The ‘Best Ofs’

The year in photos, the top 40 songs, the 100 most influential people…that’s right, the ‘BEST of’ season has officially arrived. With New Years Eve quickly approaching, every magazine, newspaper and website in the world suddenly appears to be focused on that one all important question: what the hell did we do with the last 365 […]

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