Category Archives: Authors & Other Writers

Short Saturday: Comments Authors Like to Hear

Do you love to go to book fests and fairs and meet your favorite authors? I know I do. Now that I’ve been editing for some years, I’ve actually been fortunate enough to hang out with authors whose work I admire. One of those is Sarah Loudin Thomas, the author of about the sort of […]

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Short Saturday: The Fiction Author’s Dilemma

I’ve been following Catherine Ryan Howard’s blog for some years. It’s almost been like watching her “grow up” right in front of me—from a sweet, sassy, opinionated self-taught self-publisher to a woman who’s gone back to college and finally attained her dream of being traditionally published. The blog—indeed, the whole website—has changed (not in a […]

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Pay No Attention to the Reviewer Behind the Curtain …

Book reviews and book reviewers don’t require any appearances or performances from the author (unless, like Norman Mailer, you show up at newspaper offices to pick a fight with the book review editor—how many of those are left now?). But reviews definitely contribute to an author’s public image. Sometimes even a well-intended review will corral […]

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Writing: Turning Pain Into Honey

Once, in a New Yorker article, [John Updike had] quoted the German philosopher Theodor Adorno: “In the history of art, late works are the catastrophes.” But the poems he was writing were good. He knew the poems were good. Before he got sick, Updike had been afraid that he was losing the dizzying talent of […]

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Humbled By the Story

Flannery O’Connor wrote in “The Nature and Aim of Fiction” that most people who write “are more interested in being a writer than in writing. They are interested in seeing their names at the top of something printed, it matters not what.” This, I realized once I’d been kicked in the face with the fact […]

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Compulsive Proofreaders Unite!

During a recent visit to the Florida island where our parents live, my brother and I had dinner with them at a fancy restaurant. As we bent our heads over our menus—all of us, that is, except my father, who can’t see—I realized that our identically rapt expressions had nothing to do with deciding what […]

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Following Your Own Path

In the eyes of others you have something called a Career. Certain people, should you be lucky enough to have them, like your agent or your editor, will hasten to tell you that what you need now for that career is another novel or another book of the same kind of poems that everyone loved […]

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The Mysteries of Fiction

I was talking to a reporter the other day and she asked me if I thought my studies in philosophy had affected my writing, shaped the forms I chose to write in. I told her that I didn’t separate knowledge into genres or categories because it seemed to me that all of us were probing […]

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Study This: A Spool of Blue Thread

I’d forgotten how much I enjoy Anne Tyler, “winner of the Pulitzer Prize” (in 1989 for Breathing Lessons) as the cover of my hardback copy says, conveniently leaving out a host of other prizes and details, including that her first college prof, Reynolds Price, once said she was almost as good a writer at sixteen—when […]

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Short Saturday: Writer, Take Care of Yourself!

You know about eating right, getting plenty of sleep, getting up from the desk every once in a while (better yet, get one of those cool standing desks) … but because you are writers, there are other hazards you need to keep your eye on. Author Chuck Wendig should know. He puts himself out there, […]

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