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Entries in writer unboxed (10)


I'm Back on The Merry-Go-Round

So today, I'm over at Writer Unboxed, chatting about the endless cycle of the published author. Right now, I'm three and a half months out from the publication of The One That I Want - eeek! - and the nerves, anxiety and existential debate (Do I write for myself? Do I write for my readers? Does it really matter?) has begun all over again. You'd think that after a few times on this ride, I'd be better prepared (psychologically, that is), and in some ways, I am, and in some ways, it's as fresh as the very first time. (Resisting urge to include That's What She Said joke.)

Anyhoo, check it out and if you've ever felt the same way, please weigh in!


You Gotta Have Voice

And I'm not just talking about on American Idol. Today, I'm over on Writer Unboxed talking all about why I think that the voice of your novel and your protagonist is, in my opinion, the most important factor (among many important factors) of your book. As I've noted here, I sincerely and mightily struggled to find the voice of Tilly, the protagonist in The One That I Want, so I share how I eventually (and hopefully) found that voice and why it was so critical that I did.

One thing that I forgot to include in that post is that I think it's really critical to heighten the stakes with your characters' voices. I touched a bit on that, in terms of making them less blah, but when you're writing, ask yourself if this person were your friend, would you actually find them interesting? We all have friends whom we adore but with whom we wouldn't want to spend 300 pages, much less listen to them for 300 pages. This is what you're asking readers to do: listen to your character talk for 300 pages, so make sure that he or she is interesting enough to do just that.

Check it out here - enjoy!


Let's Start at the Very Beginning

So today I'm over at Writer Unboxed discussing why I think it's soooooo important to focus a lot of time and energy (and yes, angst) on the first few pages of your manuscript. In fact, this entry was sparked by a lovely comment left here about the excerpt I posted of The One That I Want - and I was so grateful for that comment that I had to write an entire post about it. The bottom line: you never get a second chance to make a first impression, so use those first few pages wisely.

Read more here.


Fact vs. Fiction

Today I'm over on Writer Unboxed answering a reader question about how many details you actually have to get right when writing a novel: where can you blur the lines between real and make-believe?

Come chime in here:


Your Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Review

So today I'm over at Writer Unboxed talking about that lovely rite-of-passage for every published author - yes, the really, really, really bad review. I share my own experience when a newspaper that shall remain nameless but rhymes with Pashington Toast, gave The Department of Lost and Found a "D-." YES. A D freakin' minus. Hey, hey reviewer, thanks for the "minus!" I really needed that just to push my dignity a little further into my bowels. :)

No, really, in the end, it's all okay. Head on over there to find out why.



What a Difference (or Not) a Best Seller Makes

So back in October of last year, shortly after Time of My Life hit the New York Times best seller list, I opined that not much has changed, except that I get to introduce myself, with you know, the fancy title of, "I'm a New York Times best seller." :) (Oh yeah, don't think I don't work that baby.) Though I was surprised that, well, life went on as normal, I also suspected that things might change for the paperback release. (Yes, feel free to click through the link and buy it right this very second, and then pass the link on to all your friends and family!)

And indeed, with the release just three weeks out (ack!), I think that maybe they have. Thus, I'm over on Writer Unboxed today talking about the differences that having a best-selling book can bring.

Check it out here!


Guess What? I Do Give a Twit!

So today, I'm over at Writer Unboxed talking all about how I fell in love with Twitter, and why I think that all authors should be aware of what a valuable marketing tool it can be. 

Head over there and check it out! And thanks for all of the feedback on the new site! 


To Tweet or Not to Tweet?

That is the question I'm talking about over on Writer Unboxed today. I've jumped in full hog to Twitter and am chatting about how useful (or not) I've found it to be.

Check it out here!


Booking Book Clubs

So today I'm over on Writer Unboxed talking about my experience interacting with book clubs - the good, the bad, the very occasionally ugly.

Check it out here.


Asking the Big Questions

Today, I'm over at Writer Unboxed, getting all philosophical and posing the question about why we write.

Check it out!