Exactly what is Magical Realism fiction — what is it, and what differentiates it from fantasy? Since it’s the category I’ve chosen to read most and often write, I think a lot about this. The many good lists of magical realism fiction online point us toward some stories that seem to me to belong more in the category of fantasy. More
I was thrilled to be part of the first Women’s Fiction Writers Association quarterly Author Happy Hour, sharing secrets of success — and lots of the struggle along the way — with three other wonderful novelists who have recently published books.
Click the link above to watch the Youtube!
We laughed and talked about the whole process of writing and publishing, the writing life, and our own unique formulas for approaching the creative act. More
Happy 2018! What are your new year’s writing goals? Someone in one of my writers groups asked me, while wishing me a happy 2018. I was shocked to realize I don’t have many. My debut novel launches on January 23 — The Renaissance Club, my time-travel love story, available now on Amazon for pre-order. I have a poetry collection coming out in August — Arabesque, from FutureCycle Press. And I’m finishing the last revision before querying agents and publishers of my new novel, The Romantics. Plus I’m writing a new musical play.
For me, 2018 seems to be all about finishing up big projects and sending them off to sail in wider waters, with new readership and audiences. Do you have a book making its debut in 2018? Maybe your writing goals revolve around book marketing — blogging, doing interviews, giving readings, offering giveaways. These all require a lot of writing. But my big 2018 writing goal is to start writing a new novel.
Would you give up everything, even the time in which you live, to be with your soul mate?
That’s the question my main character, May Gold, has to ask herself when her adventures in Italy in The Renaissance Club bring her face-to-face with her idol, 17th century genius sculptor Gianlorenzo Bernini. She has always admired — maybe more than admired — the fiery, expressive artist who could make marble come alive. What would you do if you could meet the historical person you most admire?
Click the link below to get a preview:
I’m thrilled to share that you can pre-order it, in either ebook or paperback, on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and iBooks. Delivery date will be the official release: January 23. If you grab a copy now, you’ll do a sort of time-traveling yourself, having it in your hands in January, when it releases. You can congratulate your past self for giving you a New Year’s present! Perfect for a cozy read during winter nights.
It was the best of days, it was the worst of days on Day 10 of National Novel Writing Month. Because I wrote for an hour first thing, it was the best. But actually, mostly it was the worst of days. Consider having:
- Your heating installed over a 3-day period of mistakes, confusion, and changing personnel.
- Three of your 4 website disappearing for no reason — all paid for and not hacked.
- The world’s stiffest neck from writing all week.
And yet, I wrote. And so am happy. What is it that makes writers have to write to achieve the peculiar bliss we know in our imaginative worlds? What makes you write? I’m almost sure most of you reading this do write. Please let me know in the comments what propels you to do this crazy cantilevering out into the unknown that is the act of creating something.
And Yet, I Wrote – Day 10 of National Novel Writing Month
I committed my month of November to #NaNoWriMo, as it’s affectionately called by its participants. My goal is to revise a (mostly) complete draft of a new novel, The Ro30-daymantics. I knew from last year’s writing marathon that forcing myself to write every day is a little like forcing myself to have cherry pie every day. There are days when I’d rather not — but most days, I’d definitely rather.
Here I am on a weeklong stay-at-home, self-designed week of working on my new novel — my DIY writing retreat — and I’m thinking, “What do you do on a writing retreat during breaks? You talk to other writers!”
So here I am, kibbitzing with you, fellow writer. I hope you’ve had an hour or more of writing today — possibly you’re even on your own DIY writing retreat — and that it’s going well. My goal is to complete the first draft of my second novel, The Romantics. It’s a tale of two estranged half-sisters who inherit a house on the Ligurian coast of Italy, along with its resident ghost of the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, who once lived there. Their story explores the price of individuality and the depth of love of family, as well as the value of heart over head in mapping out a meaningful life. There are some love interests, but the two opposed sisters are at the heart of this love story. More
Magical realism in women’s fiction gives the reader and writer a broader canvas of possibilities. When you’re reading about women and their relationships (the broad definition of women’s fiction), elements of magic provide visual ways to describe a character’s feelings, frame internal events, and create adventures. Magical realism in women’s fiction can be small touches or big events, such as time travel. I used two magical realism elements in my novel The Renaissance Club , a butterfly emanating from a woman’s mouth when she answers her lover More
It’s the best of times — having a book or two or more out in the world, for people to read. It’s the worst of times — feeling the constant pressure to get books into readers’ hands and Be An Author, publicly.
I’m feeling the best and worst times right now, as I prepare to have two new books launched in 2018. What to do today? That’s the first thing I think of, not the new novel or poem I’m working on. And since I’ve pledged to write two hours first thing in the morning, the question now is, do I blog or tweet or Facebook about a book already out — or do I close the curtains and the doors, pretend I’m a mushroom hidden under the forest floor, and plunge into the solitary delight of creation.
The truth is, the creative process can get lost in the marketing part of Being An Author. And that’s a shame. Writing should be the core thing.
I need to not know what comes next in my writing, so I don’t outline. I just set aside two hours first thing every morning to find inspiration. I can paint my nails, watch the leaves stir in the trees, tend my roses, but I have to be thinking creatively and feeling the creative wind blowing. For me, this is the magic spell. Make the time, and things come. Your time might be midnight or dinner hour or noon, but see if a schedule works for you.
Of course blogging and posting on social media is also writing. Sometimes the muse inclines her head toward one or another platform and says, “Go talk to them.” And then you can be both Author and Writer and maybe mention your book while you’re at it. (The Renaissance Club, forthcoming in January 2018 from Fiery Seas Publishing.)
Sibling relationships and specifically sisters is what I’m thinking about. I’m finishing a new novel. It’s about two half-sisters who feud about an inherited cottage in Italy with its resident ghost of the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley.
Sisters — we love to explore these complicated lifetime pairings. In real life and literature, sisters stand out. From Jane Austen with her siblings, to Emily Dickinson and hers, to those fabulous Brontes, the stories of siblings have made a huge impact on us, even if we’re only children. We devour the sisters who are subjects of novels, in a sister-craze that isn’t new, but seems like a current trend. Reading about sisters makes us consider our connections and how they affect our lives.
I’ve been thinking a lot about that, following my brother’s death. It’s a subject that fascinates me and one I’m going to be exploring as I spend the month of February finishing the first draft of my new book.
Sense and Sensibility is my favorite sisters story. I love the contrast in personality between the two, the tension hovering around the core of sisterly love, and the way their stories intertwine. I patterned my sisters on Elinor and Marianne Dashwood, because their differences fascinate me. In contemporary language, their story is one of reconciling the values of logic with feeling — a journey we all have to take. Having your opposite in your family life, while often frustrating, is the magic formula to growth and wholeness. And that’s what my story is about. That’s what all my stories are about. The journey to that more full existence.
And I threw in a dash of Brontes, so of course my sisters are both writers.