Photo by Kat Tuohy Photography

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Got Questions? I've Got Answers

1) My book club would like to select one of your books for their pick. Is there a reading group guide?
Indeed, there are! Click on the Books link above, then the cover of the book you're reading. You'll find a Reading Group Guide in the menu to your right. Also, if you select the book for your club, I will do my very best to call in - time and hour permitting, given that I have two kids and am usually brain-dead, if not in bed zoning out to a trashy magazine by 10pm.

2) I'm an aspiring writer: do you have any tips for success?
Yes, I have oodles of them. For the past four years, I've answered questions from both aspiring and published writers over on my blog, Ask Allison. Check it out, and I hope you find it useful. While I no longer have the time to answer a question per day, the archives are ripe with answers, and I still do chime in there several times a week, when my schedule allows.

3) Okay, but can you give me anything specific now?
Yes, sure. Keep trying. Listen to criticism. Be open to improvement. The single biggest mistake, in my opinion, that aspiring writers make is that they believe that are already in top form. Most of the time, you're not. I know this because at one point in my career, I, too, believed I was headed for the best-seller list...and guess what? That manuscript never even sold. Take your ego out of the equation and dedicate yourself to being the best possible writer you can be, which means you have to really listen to constructive criticism and at times, set aside a work that isn't as good as you once thought it would be. There's no shame in trying. Every time you step up to the plate, you give yourself an opportunity to improve.

4) I've written a novel. Will you blurb it? 
As much as I'd like to blurb every (good) book that is sent my way, I simply don't have time. If you have a debut novel coming out, send me a note, and I'll try my best. I like to give preference to those just starting out, as I've been there, done that, and know what a boost (ego or otherwise) a blurb can do for you. That said, please do remember that I already have a fairly substantial stack of requests, and I can only read so quickly or have so many free hours in the day. 

5) Is it true they're turning Time of My Life or The Theory of Opposites into a movie?
It's true that both books were optioned for movies, but Hollywood is fickle, so taking the long-view, who knows? But I'm always just thrilled when someone (anyone!) has a wider vision of something I've written, so it's all just a bonus. Feel free to use the resources below to hear the latest as soon as I hear it myself.

6) How can I stay in touch?
The best thing to do is to follow me on Twitter at @aswinn or head to my Facebook fan page. I chat with readers all the time on both places and make a point to be as responsive as possible, not to mention post updates on all of my news (without being overly annoying about it). If you want to get in touch with me immediately to tell me just how much you loved one of my books (or, okay, have a complaint about one, though let's be honest, I'm not as anxious to hear them), feel free to email me. I am trying my very best to respond to all emails, but if it takes me a while, I apologize. I'm, um, busy!