Thursday, October 07, 2010

"Speak English or else"

"If the pillory suffices, there is no need to resort to the gallows" is one of my new favorite phrases.  (another fave: "I seem to have come without my gunbelt.")

I found this phrase in one of my must-read blogs "veteran drudge John E. McIntyre's YOU DON"T SAY, this morning, and through linkage there, found this:  Speak English or else which just cracked me up.

Making twitter work for you as an author

A blog post by Robin Becker, author of BRAINS, about Twitter.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

What a great piece of news!

Remember those writing contests we had so much fun with this summer?

This one in particular

Write a story, one hundred words or fewer, using these words:


bonus points if you can include this phrase: "Till death us do part."

The winner of that contest was probably the best entry I'd ever seen in a flash fiction contest, and a lot of you agreed with me.

And now, in the comment column today, news from the winner:

PS, four months later.

Thanks again for running this contest, Ms. Reid. I rewrote the story and it just sold to Escape Pod. Yay!

wooo hooooo!!!  Congratulations!

Reason (x+1) I ♥ New York

The Sandpit from Sam O'Hare on Vimeo.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

One of the very best books on writing ever

Betsy Lerner's THE FOREST FOR THE TREES has been revised and updated.  I think it's one of the very best resources for writers at all stages of their career, but particularly helpful to those starting out.

I'm not the only one:

“Lerner doesn’t preach on how to write a book but rather tries to help writers and would be authors cope with such problems as ‘being alone with it.’ It’s a survival course. She wants to help the writer who cannot get started embark, the writer stalled between projects ingnite; She wants you to be an effective self-promoter and not a self sabateur. The book is also an affirmation that late bloomers can become successful writers.”
-The New York Times

“Lerner has a wicked sense of humor. But don’t think that means her book isn’t brilliant. It is. Cleverly disguised as a sensible reference work, [this] is in fact a riveting safari throught the wilds of a writer’s brain, as well as an honest and unpatronizing guide to publishing from every angle. Its tone is singularly authoritative, compassionate, irreverent, and unafraid.”

“Lerner describes the self-promoter, the natural, the wicked child, and the downright mentally ill. She explains the ambivalence that almost every writer feels about writing for oneself versus for the public…Her beautifully written book of observations and advice seems to be coming from a friend.”
-Columbia Journalism Review

“Remarkably generous about inviting writers behind the editorial curtain, [Lerner] sings like a canary the trade secrets of editors and agents, offering solid, insider advice on every step of the publishing process…with this book, Betsy Lerner becomes what every writer hopes for — a friend in the business.”
-Chicago Tribune

“With an early promise not to ‘Strunk you over the head with rules about style,’ Lerner, a former editor in New York’s top publishing houses, provides inspiring, uncondescending advice for writers.” 
-Entertainment Weekly

The new edition goes on sale this Tuesday.  Three words:

Buy it now.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Ruthlessly lifted from

"what is your book about?"

I've wept. I've caterwauled. I've begged. I've pleaded.

Please please tell me what your book is about in the query letter.

A lot of you really don't seem to want to do that.

But here's yet another reason you really REALLY need to suck it up and figure it out: you'll use that pitch for things other than the query.

What fresh hell is this, you ask?  Tawna Fenske's blog post reveals all.

Thrilling indeed!

Holy moly, it's real!

Gary Corby on THE PERICLES COMMISSION in the International Thriller Writers newsletter here.

Friday, October 01, 2010

"and you should be alive to see it."

Ellen DeGeneres isn't laughing about this.  You won't be either.

Ack! Help!!!

I'm attending Left Coast Crime in 2011 and attendees are asked to nominate novels for the LCC awards.  Of course, I can't remember the books I've read and loved this year, and like a true shinolaforbrains, I didn't keep a list. Plus the year isn't over!

Help!  In the comments column of this blog post please give me your suggestions for books that fit in these categories:

Best humorous mystery novel

Best historical mystery novel, covering events before 1950

The mystery (short story to novel length) that best captures the landscape of the Southwest

Best sidekick in a mystery novel

To be eligible: works must have been published for the first time in the United States during calendar year 2010. If published in other countries before 2010, works are still eligible if they meet the US publication requirement.

10/10/ know it's going to be weird!

So of course, Jeff Somers will be part of a reading that night.

Here are the deets

When I put client events on my datebook, I also try to rally the troops:

Me to Sean Ferrell: Jeff is doing a reading on 10/10/10. You in? Drinks after I hope!

Sean: Sure! I'll go if Jeff will void the restraining order.

Me:(cc to Sean) Hey Jeff, can you call off the restraining order for one Ferrell, Sean? We need as many in the audience as possible, right? I'll make sure he wears pants so you don't have to.

Sean: I thought I told you pants were off the table. Speaking of which, who the hell took my pants off the table. They were freshly ironed.

Jeff: Can I get you guys to start chanting "Pants, pants, pants!" every time I try to speak?

Sean: The real question is, can you get us to stop?

(#gracetopia whispering from Twitter: I think they should both wear poodle skirts)

For this and other hilarity, mark your datebooks now!

Mild-mannered dog walker by night...

By day, she's the fiercest typo-fighting, auction-running, splendiferous agent ever!

And wouldn't you know it, she's on Guide to Literary Agents blog today as well.