How Coca Cola and Tesla are helping my novel

I found myself in Coca Cola World, Atlanta, yesterday with my two sons. I’m not sure how this happened. I don’t drink Coke, neither do my kids. But we were in Atlanta visiting my husband on the set of the Dynasty and we hadn’t done anything overly touristy. It was late in the day, which ruled out the Georgia Aquarium and the Civil Rights Museum. I knew we would be back and I wanted to take my time in both…

A good rejection

I've started submitting my novel to literary agents. Of course I had high hopes, but I'm realistic enough to have braced myself for the inevitable rejections that would follow. The first one was a doozy. I was not prepared at all for it. I got a request for an exlusive first look at my full manuscript from my dream agent. What? The crash came  48 hours later (they are apparently very quick readers), in the form of a polite pass.…

Review – One Cut by Eve Porinchak

One Cut is a deeply disturbing true story of how quickly a young life can completely change direction. This is not a tale of complete innocents finding themselves randomly caught up in a situation they have no control over, but one of boys dabbling in petty crimes, cheap thrills, and local disputes with other teens — all of them clueless about how quickly these things can escalate. Eve Porinchak's well-researched, if somewhat biased account, places us in a football field-sized…

The Finish Line

While I wouldn't say I'm close to finishing my first novel (if you don't count the one sitting in a box in the back of a dark cupboard), there is a light at the end of a not-too-long tunnel. Trying wrap up many, many months of work brings with it a whole new set of feelings and self-sabotaging behaviors (eating, getting a sudden urge to do laundry, etc.). This blog by Timothy Hallinan on Finishing Your Novel is really helping.…

The Importance of Place

While working on my novel (I'm 65,000 words in), I've been feeling as though some of the locations were chosen in too random a way. Plus there were a lot of them. I've just finished reading Tana French's "The Likeness", a great read in the same genre I've chosen to work in. French boils her locations down to three or four spots in and around Dublin, Ireland: a formerly grand country mansion with its spooky back lanes, the nearby college library where the murder victim…

A Writer’s Routine

"The repetition itself becomes the important thing; it’s a form of mesmerism." Haruki Murakami "You might not write well every day, but you can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page." Jodi Picoult "Turn off your cell phone. Honestly, if you want to get work done, you’ve got to learn to unplug. No texting, no email, no Facebook, no Instagram. Whatever it is you’re doing, it needs to stop while you write." Nathan Englander I love…

Review – The Painter by Peter Heller

Painting by Jim Wagner I love this book. It's a visual feast, bringing in the landscapes of Colorado, and the art of a naturally talented, yet tormented painter, Jim Stegner. But what I loved most about this novel was how much we were able to get inside the protagonist's head and heart. As a woman it really is a treat peeking into the mind of such a masculine male protagonist. In the novel I'm currently writing, my protagonist is also…

There are no mistakes

I've spent the last two years (between running a couple of small businesses, and bringing up a couple of kids), adapting a story I wrote seventeen years ago into a two hour TV pilot. I finished it. I showed it to a few people. It's OK, but it's not blowing anyone's hair back. I decided to put it aside and start on a new project. Something fresh - one of the many ideas backed up like planes on a runway…