Uncomfortable Answers

So…why write, again?

Last weekend, I had the honor of giving a book talk and participating in an author panel hosted by Pikes Peak Writers, and the question came up over and over again as we shared the difficulties of things like getting noticed, figuring out royalty statements, dealing with change in the industry, and all that waiting. It was one of the more honest discussions on the pitfalls of the business I’ve heard in a while, and probably raised the hair of the aspiring authors in the audience (sorry, guys).

This is not how I look while

Protagonists All

One of the motivations behind The Heroine’s Bookshelf was to remind readers (and myself) that we are protagonists of our own lives.  Call me egotistical, but I don’t see any reason why we can’t see ourselves as heroines, stars of our own particularly tricky novels, no matter how mundane or convoluted.

Tonight I had the pleasure of speaking with the North Metro Area Writers’ Meetup on the idea that leaning into your unique voice, purpose, and path can bolster a writing career. In my experience, when you stop thinking like a supporting character and start accepting a leading role in

A Modest Proposal for the Classification of Classics

Happy National Library Week!  In light of that happy event and my Friday appearance at the Boulder Book Store’s Revival of the Classics event, I’ve got classics on the mind.

When people hear that The Heroine’s Bookshelf deals with “classic” authors and books, there are two normal reactions:  the thrilled intake of breath…or the heaving, miserable sigh.  You know the one.  It’s the sigh that says “oh, GOD, here we go again.  She’s going to force a bunch of dowdy, out-of-date, unreadable yet somehow supposedly relevant trash down my throat.”  You can almost hear the death rattle.


(Heroic) Imperfection

You know how sometimes all conversation, media consumption, and thought seems to coalesce into a Grand Theme for a moment?  Well, lately, a cool 69 days since The Heroine’s Bookshelf was released by Harper, the theme has been (im)perfection.

Like many of you, I enjoyed Black Swan and Tron: Legacy in movie theaters Christmas week, but I also had the pleasure of reading Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz’s new biography of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Wild Unrest, and Daphne Kalotay’s exquisite Russian Winter.  Without spoiling any of them, I will say that each has something to say about the nature of

What Do They Owe?

My favorite part of readings and bookstore events is, by far, the Q&A period.  Opinions mesh and mingle, I am inevitably surprised by a question I’d never thought of, and I get to try to make sense of some really snappy and insightful quandaries.

At one of my recent events, the conversation turned to Harper Lee, mysterious author of To Kill A Mockingbird and subject of the Compassion chapter in The Heroine’s Bookshelf.  What’s behind her mystery?  Why, nothing more than the fact that she decided to drop off the face of the earth a few years after