The daunting outline

When you want to get your first novel published, you have to submit the entire manuscript for consideration. Nonfiction is different in that you can get a book deal based on a detailed proposal. I always envied this. But, now, as I’m working on pitches for various ideas for my second novel, I’m realizing the difficulties. — Read More

The state of the book

Every now and then, I feel the need to do a post about the state of publishing. Are books really dying? It’s hard for me to believe because I LOVE books and cannot imagine life without them. But, it appears that many people can totally imagine life without them. According to a 2015 survey by the — Read More

Why you don’t want to be friends with a writer

I hate prioritizing. Or, rather, I hate having to prioritize. I frequently fantasize about a stress-free life with wide open spaces of time to gradually tackle everything on my life to-do list. The key word in that sentence: fantasize. The reality is that I have a very busy day job, meaning the only “free time” I have — Read More

The nonfiction in fiction

I’ve done a handful of radio and newspaper interviews since my book came out (I have one tonight, actually), and every single person has asked me if the book (or its characters) are based on real life. The truth is simple: No. The core of PEOPLE WHO KNEW ME is fiction, in the truest sense. — Read More

The writer’s fraudulence complex

In the April issue of Poets & Writers, Leigh Stein wrote a piece called “Poet, Writer, Imposter” that had me nodding along vigorously. She starts: “To begin with, my credentials are worthless. I’m no expert. A better writer should have gotten this assignment. My editor is ignoring my e-mails because my work is unpublishable and — Read More

Since we last talked

As I type this, dinner is in the oven and my husband is on the phone with Barnes & Noble. He likes to call different stores around the country to see if they have my book. We get very excited when they do. Speaking of my adorable husband (he will hate that I used the word — Read More

About last night

Last night was my very first book event at Pages in Manhattan Beach. It was a small, intimate affair with a very supportive and enthusiastic audience. I don’t love to be the center of attention (which is why I’m the introverted writer that I am), but I was comfortable last night. It was fun to talk — Read More

Publishing Journey: T minus 1 week

It is incredibly hard to believe, but my launch date is ONE WEEK FROM TODAY! It all became real when I came home from work yesterday to a box of 20 books from St. Martin’s. It’s very surreal to see my name on the cover of a book. My husband and I drank champagne while we — Read More

Why we write: Finding meaning

In the most recent issue of Poets & Writers magazine, the feature article (“The Deepest Place” by Kevin Nance) is about Adam Haslett and his new novel, Imagine Me Gone. The novel is based largely on events and losses in Haslett’s own life, centering around the mental illnesses that infiltrated his family. Haslett says, “The — Read More