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

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

Observations Upon Receipt Of My Own Book In The Mail

click to enlarge

I got a stack of galleys of my book in the mail.  A stack!

They are perfect for holding atop one’s head in celebration.  My new chapeau.

Apparently I have written and published a book.

And that thrills/excites/scares/thrills/scares/thrills me.  I guess I wasn’t prepared for the tactile quality of the books (cheap paperbacks, of course, in their galley form, but they’ll come out in hardcover so there are still surprises in store).  I wasn’t prepared to feel like maybe, just maybe, I have something in common with the heroines and authors I spent several wild months with

Writer Tip: Learn to Love The Wait

Be patient, Jo, don’t get despondent or do rash things, write to me often, and be my brave girl, ready to help and cheer all.

– Marmee’s last words as she leaves to take care of Father in Washington, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

When I update my friends and (gulp) fans about book progress, there always seem to be a million unanswered questions.  Is there a cover yet?  Have you seen it in print?  When will it be in stores?  Have any of the foreign rights sold?  How will you possibly wait until October to hold your book

getting published – perseverance is the name of the game

When I read the word “perseverance,” it’s in a self-conscious Jane Eyre type of voice, but that tongue-in-cheek delivery doesn’t really do justice to the concept.  All of the plucky heroines and authors of The Heroine’s Bookshelf have one thing in common:  they’re not easily swayed by fate’s slings, arrows, and twists in plot.  I’ve done my best to emulate them…but damn, it’s been difficult.

the contract.No, I’m not comparing the road to publication to the bitter moors or the rocky terrain of a broken heart.  But it has its own bumps.

I won’t bore you with all of the gory