This Handbook for Mortals Thing

I won’t go into the details—there are plenty of articles all over the ‘net that will give you the blow by blow if you want it—but the basic story is this: a new YA novel titled Handbook for Mortals suddenly turned up in the #1 spot of the NYT Bestsellers List. That’s not so outrageous,…

The Order of Parts

Writing has a lot of steps. People who don’t write don’t understand that. Sometimes people who do write still don’t understand that. So I thought maybe I’d break it down a bit. 1. Writing 2. Critiquing 3. Beta 4. Editing 5. ARCs 6. Release That’s a simplification. In truth most of these stages loop. You…

2016

If you follow publishing news at all, you’ll have read that the Association of American Publishers announced revenue was down 5.1% in 2016 (from 2015). Adult fiction declined 0.9%. But children’s and YA grew 5.9%, and almost 90% of those sales were in print. My current WIP is a YA novel, and I won’t give…

Becoming a Writer: Step One

Someone asked me the other day, “So what do I need to know about being a writer?” For context, this person is working on his first novel. I’ve read enough of his work to know he has the basics down: grammar, spelling, punctuation. He reads a lot, too. I feel like you have to read…

The Popularity Contest Writer

I’ve noticed more and more—and maybe it started with shows like American Idol, where contestants rely on voters in order to succeed—that “awards” in writing are based more on how many votes a writer can muster than whether or not their work is any good. For example, cover art awards offered by various bloggers and…

IWSG: Lessons

It’s time again for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Posts go up the first Wednesday of each month. Read more posts and/or join in here. I recently completed a writing retreat and workshop in France. As idyllic as it sounds, I was insecure about it! Six writers, all strangers (at least to me), in an…

Greetings from France!

I’m currently attending a writing retreat/workshop at La Poterie in Château-du-Loir. I’ve only been here one full day, but already I’m learning so much. Also feeling nourished by the fresh air and beautiful environment. I don’t know that I’ll be updating much because the goal is to focus on writing, but I promise lots of…

Self-Publishing

This is not by any means meant to be a comprehensive list of how to self-publish. But someone sent me a message on Facebook asking for self-publishing guidance, and I wrote, well, a lot. Like, a really long answer. And it occurred to me that others might like this information, too. The important thing to…

Bay Area Book Festival

Yesterday I had a table at the Bay Area Book Festival. It was only their third year of operation, and I think they may still be struggling with organizing themselves and figuring out what kind of festival they really want to be, but over all it was a good time. Well, except really windy. I…

5 Years

Five years ago today, we flew from Boston to San Francisco to become Californians. I don’t regret a minute of it. California is better for my health—mental, physical, and emotional. While there are things about Boston that I miss, I struggled with seasonal depression and panic attacks during the snowy season. Due to a lung…