Writing without a goal

People told me that once I published a book, I’d have to be careful not to let “the industry” distract me from my love of writing for the sake of writing. I didn’t think this would be a problem for me, but it has been. Before publishing a book, I wrote the stories I wanted to — Read More

Why writers are crazy masochists

On Sunday, I was scrolling through Facebook (never a good thing), and thinking about how most people spend their time on weekends. For most people, those days off are dedicated to fun, letting loose, getting out and about (or, that’s what Facebook implies). For me, weekends are a little angst-ridden. I struggle with how much to work on — Read More

Flirting with nonfiction

While waiting for feedback on my idea for a second book, I’ve been working on something…different. I don’t know what it is yet, exactly. Meaning, I don’t know if it’s destined to be an essay or a book. But, I do know that it’s nonfiction, memoir-ish. I didn’t plan to work on something like this; — Read More

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

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

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

Writing: Art and craft

I’m late to the 2014 party and just finished (and loved) Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. As usually happens when I finish a novel I love, I Googled the author for insights into her writing process and found this interesting snippet on The Millions: “I took a lot of notes as I was — Read More

Enough with the artistic plight

This past weekend, I was having another bout of self-doubt (hey, I rhymed!) as I worked on a new novel. I started whining to my husband about how I don’t know where this book is going or if I can pull off the story and emotion I want. He said, “You’ll figure it out. Just — Read More

Writing when you have a day job

I’ve had a rush of inspiration lately. I want to write, write, write all the time and I can’t, can’t, can’t. Here’s where I’m at, fiction-wise: PEOPLE WHO KNEW ME comes out on May 24. I’ve had some marketing assignments related to the launch that are keeping me busy (more on this soon). While I was — Read More