It’s only 7 am and look what’s happened. A book lover whose reviews I’ve read for ages, tracking down her selections and nodding over her assessments, read my short story. It is my first ever review, and no, it’s not for a novel, but it’s by someone whose opinions I respect and she read my work, and if this happens oh, I don’t know, a few million times, I’ll probably get used to it, but right now I can’t stop smiling…
June 7, 2009
June 3, 2009
Last night I went to hear Lisa Unger speak on the release of her book, DIE FOR YOU. Rather than do the usual reading format, one of the bookstore staff interviewed her. It led to a very interesting conversation on many things writing. Incidentally, the book looks great, and I can’t wait to dive in!
I’ve mentioned my love of Lisa’s work before, so today I just wanted to say that the Mysterious Bookshop is worth a trip for anyone within the Tri-State area (or planning a trip to NYC or willing to drive…) Both the new releases and the older stock contained some fascinating finds. The walls are positively crawling with mysteries and suspense like jewels in a treasure chest. Amazon’s well ordered website just can’t accomplish the same thing. It’s great for a certain kind of book buying–Mysterious is great when you want to dive and come up with gold. The skeletons dangling from the ceiling are a nice touch, too, and the staff was warm, informed, and welcoming.
You could sit on one of the comfy leather couches for a few hours and get lost in a whole new world.
June 2, 2009
Actually, I want to thank my family, friends, and the many amazingly talented writers I’ve met lo these many years, which I’ve spent trying to learn the craft myself. I know that a short story pub is one small step in the writing world, but it’s a significant one for me. So thank you very much to everyone who went to the site, read so fast, and took time to send me your thoughts.
At the same time, I sort of feel like a fraud. Actually, I feel a little like I used to when I was nineteen or twenty and pretending that so and so was a Real True Boyfriend just because he asked if I’d mind dropping off my study notes in his dorm room. This wasn’t a relationship by any stretch, but by sort of tweaking things in my mind, I could pretend–even to myself–that I was on my way to something.
So now I’ve had people in my circle kind enough to take time out and read my work, and I’m fortunate to have a wide-ish circle. But it’s not anything like those writers I admire who get complete and utter strangers from Outer Mongolia writing to say, I read your novel and loved it! Telling people to come read my work and having them do it isn’t the same as having someone find you and say, This really spoke to me for such and such reason.
It’s like wrenching the dude from the dorm into some mental place he didn’t ask to hold in my life.
Or is it?
Maybe you have to start here to get there. Maybe all those writers whose names appear in my mind on movie marquis surrounded by glowing bulbs–Jacquelyn Mitchard, Craig Holden, Lisa Tucker, Maryann McFadden, Jennifer Egan, Debbie Galant, Harlan Coben, Lisa Unger, Cornelia Read, Jodi Picoult, Cammie McGovern, Laura Lippman, Tana French, John Searles, Jean Hegland, Lee Child, Stephen King, Kate Morgenroth, Linwood Barclay, Joy Fielding, Greg Iles, Thomas H. Cook, Peter Abrahams–all began a long way from Outer Mongolia.
Maybe it always takes some wrenching to get there.
June 1, 2009
This is a big day for me. Actually, this is a big moment. I’ve waited to do this in the way you might wait to buy a pair of jeans – or a slinky top – or even a flowered bikini – until you’ve lost those nagging five or ten or however many pounds. Except, since I am the type who refuses to diet and knows I’ll never look like those gals who wear bikinis anyway, that wasn’t what I was waiting for. I already bought the jeans and the slinky top, five pounds be damned. No, what I was waiting for was to start this blog.
A really, scarily long number of years ago, I began to write seriously and signed with my first agent. (OK, it was…No, I can’t say how many. Not yet. Maybe once I get used to this.) At that point it wasn’t essential to have a website and I wasn’t reading any blogs. But not longer after, when I began to get the sense that writing a novel, finding an agent who liked that novel, and selling the aforementioned novel might all be separate things, I made a vow. I vowed not to have a website built until I was published.
You’re thinking I just sold my “first” novel, right? Alas, no, not yet. My latest, a psychological mystery, is actually out on sub right now as we speak. I am with a new agent – not that my first wasn’t wonderful – and oh, how I adore this woman. She is smart, passionate, and inspired. So perhaps one day I’ll be writing in these pages news of a sale.
But something did happen for me that is enough of a milestone that I decided, what the hey, time to jump on the ole bandwagon. I mean, it’s not like I’m an early adopter. Not having a blog today is kind of like when your grandmother says, And you can really make a call on one of those tiny things?
So the other day a writer named Libby Malin – whose teen mystery I just ordered and am chomping at the bit to read – sent a post around saying she was starting a blog that would feature short stories. Not short stories of the sort that you may be used to (or not used to). Those are the kind of short stories that stopped me from ever submitting the ones I wrote. I like to tell stories with a beginning, a middle, and a – usually in some way justified – end. And somehow those seem to have trouble appearing in the short story publications.
Don’t get me wrong. I greatly admire the writers of those kinds of stories. They are inevitably deep, exquisite, and meaningful pieces of life or truth or consequences. I just can’t write them.
Anyway, Libby wanted to do something different. Something more in line with kind of writer I hope to be. She wanted to publish shorts that drew in the sort of readers who sit down with a book, get drawn away, and look up sometime after dinner was supposed to have been started, eaten, and cleaned up. Since that’s the kind of story I aim to write, I sent her one of mine. And Libby graciously decided to publish it.
She may not know it, but after – no, still can’t bring myself to say – however many years writing and crafting and trying to learn this crazy biz, Libby has given me my first legitimate publication cred.
And thank you, for reading. Please come back soon!
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