Tag Archives: nonfiction

#WhatImReadingNow : Negroland

“Debi and Judi asked me if we know their janitor, Mr. Johnson. They think he lives near us.” “It’s a big neighborhood,” Mother says. “Why would we know their janitor? White people think Negroes all know each other, and they always want you to know their janitor. Do they want to know our laundryman?” That […]

Posted in Books You Might Like | Also tagged , ,

Let’s Talk (Again) About Plagiarism

Me, I’m an editor. And a writer. I’ve been earning a portion of my living as a writer for decades. I’ve been a self-employed editor for more than twelve years. I have a lot of friends who are editors or writers. So when, back in January, Monica Crowley—an author and television personality—was forced to withdraw […]

Posted in Your Editor Says … | Also tagged , , , ,

#WhatImReadingNow : How to Be a Cat Detective

Food A natural diet would require hunting for several hours a day and the consumption of as many as a dozen small rodents. How many cats living naturally eat twice a day from a predictable source? Cats spend up to six hours a day hunting, foraging, stalking, catching and consuming prey. The availability of food […]

Posted in Books You Might Like | Also tagged ,

My Reading Year 2016

It’s that time again. Man, where did that year go? Ayaan Hirsi Ali / Infidel / NF Jo Ann Beard / In Zanesville / YA Martyn Bedford / Never Ending / YA Geraldine Brooks / March / LF Sheila Connolly / Buried in a Bog / GF (don’t waste your time) Pat Conroy / My […]

Posted in Books You Might Like | Also tagged , ,

Short Saturday: Nonfiction Book Structure

When I clicked on this blog post from literary agent Janet Grant and read … Nonfiction Book Structure = More Than a String of Blog Posts … I stood up and cheered. Because, yes, she’s said a mouthful. You cannot just cut and paste together your blog posts and call it good. As Grant notes: […]

Posted in The Book Biz | Also tagged

Titling Committee Fail

The title of a book is a big deal. It’s the first thing readers see, so it’s an important marketing tool. But there’s no magic formula to creating a good title. Whether fiction or nonfiction, the title should be catchy, interesting, unforgettable; it should get the attention of potential buyers. And publishing companies have a […]

Posted in The Book Biz | Also tagged , , , ,

Fiction Arousal

I have started reading, and liking, fiction. This was not the case a year and a half … ago. Aside from a handful of short story collections (Carver, Canin, Moore) and an isolated novel here and there, my post-college reading-for-pleasure era has been marked by a shocking absence of fiction. I have been trying to […]

Posted in Books You Might Like | Also tagged

Short Saturday: A Considered Discussion of Traditional Versus Self

You know what I mean. A friend of mine—a professor of English lit at a local university who is just weeks away from having her first book (traditionally published nonfiction) in her hand—recently asked me about traditional publishing as opposed self-publishing. It seems even in academia, the “publish or perish” expectation is pushing some authors […]

Posted in The Book Biz | Also tagged , ,

Clean, Clear, Uncluttered Writing

Clutter is the disease of American writing. We are a society strangling in unnecessary words, circular constructions, pompous frills, and meaningless jargon. … But the secret of good writing is to strip every sentence to its cleanest components. Every word that serves no function, every long word that could be a short word, every adverb […]

Posted in The Writing Craft | Also tagged , ,

Be Careful, Little Mouse, What You Copy and Paste

A few months ago I was hired to provide content for a kids’ activity book that would have a focus on values, virtues, character building … and so on. I’m a parent, but that alone doesn’t make me an expert, so I did a little research—and in every single article, plagiarism was mentioned. Why? Because […]

Posted in Your Editor Says … | Also tagged ,