Beyond Categorization, Meaningless Drivel, The Writer's Life, Trends

Fiction Trends of the Future!

Yesterday I was in the future. Wait, I mean in the future, I zipped back to yesterday. Or was it tomorrow that I…never mind. It doesn’t matter. Bottom line is what’s important here and here’s the bottom line: I know what book trends are going to be hot in three years. Yes, you heard me. (Really? Did you just hear me right now? Like in an audible voice? Because that’s either the coolest thing ever or a sign that you should schedule an emergency appointment with your psychiatrist.) While I was in the future, I did a little historical research.…

Read More

Beyond Categorization, My Thoughts, The Writer's Life

All Novels Are Love Stories (But This Post Isn’t)

I think it’s Monday. Is it? I had these great plans to write a clever post about how every novel is essentially a love story in disguise, but those plans got derailed by Real Life. So instead, I’m just going to offer this bit of writing advice (I’ll get to the “love story” post another day): Sometimes you just don’t have anything to say. I don’t mean “sometimes you don’t have anything of value to say.” I mean sometimes you just don’t have anything at all to say. When these times come, it’s not about writer’s block – it’s about…

Read More

Beyond Categorization, My Thoughts, Self-editing Tips, Snark Alert

What Your Editor Is Thinking

Ever wonder what your friendly editor is really thinking when she emails or calls to talk about your manuscript? Here’s a handy-dandy guide to help you understand the deeper meaning behind her words.* *** When your editor says: “I really like the basic plot. Nicely done!” Your editor is thinking: “Okay, there are 90,000 words here, so that’s a start. And the story has characters and they do stuff. That’s a good thing, too. But whoa baby there’s a ton of work to do. I’m going to have some long nights with this puppy.” *** When your editor says: “I’m…

Read More

Beyond Categorization, Meaningless Drivel

Free Book Ideas For You

A few years back when I was working in a real office and enjoying the perks of the cubicle life, I had a particularly prolific creative season during which I came up with lots of ideas for books that I was going to write someday. (Note to former boss: All these ideas occurred during my lunch hour.) So I compiled a list. (Um, during my lunch hour, of course.) When the season of idea abbondanza was finally over, my list had grown to 150 titles. Yes, 150. Last night, after accidentally looking in the mirror and remembering how old I am…

Read More

Beyond Categorization, Meaningless Drivel, My Thoughts, The Publishing Process, The Writer's Life

10 Stages of Grief: The Editor’s Note Edition

So let’s say you’ve made it through the first hoops and now your Amazing and Brilliant First Novel is sitting on the desk of a Real Life Editor at a Real Live Publishing House. Your contract has been framed and placed on the fireplace mantle between your dusty wedding photo and dustier 5th Grade Spelling Bee Champion trophy. You’ve spent the first part of your advance on the clothes you just have to have for that inevitable booksigning at the Barnes & Noble in Lincoln, Nebraska. And you’ve ordered business cards that list your occupation as “Author” to replace the…

Read More

Beyond Categorization, Meaningless Drivel

My Brilliant Idea

Pride and Prejudice  and Zombies by Jane Austin and Seth Grahame-Smith was a stroke of genius. Argue all you want about whether or not the book is any good, you can’t deny the brilliance of the concept. This got me thinking – what if, instead of merely adding zombies to an existing property, an author took the best of two novels and wove them together with a few twists of his own to create an Entirely New Work of Fiction? I mean, it would be at least two times better than either of the originals, right?* Here are the ideas…

Read More