Writers Chatting: Beach Read 4

Summer is winding down and I have several nice emails from writers with essays for us and other writers with questions. So we’ll hit the ground running come September. But for now…this caught my attention.

This Netflix movie, filmed in Colorado, caught my eye Friday and sent me on a hunt for the book and Colorado author, Kent Haruf. I found his story fascinating.

From his obituary:

Kent Haruf pulled a wool cap over his eyes when he sat down at his manual typewriter each morning so he could “write blind,” fully immersing himself in the fictitious small town in eastern Colorado where he set a series of quiet, acclaimed novels, including “Plainsong,” a 1999 best seller. Mr. Haruf often wrote a chapter a day…

Punctuation, capitalization, paragraphs — they waited for the second draft. The first draft usually came quickly, a stream of imagery and dialogue that ran to the margins, single-spaced.

His wife did the copy editing on Our Souls at Night, after imploring, “Don’t you dare die before you finish it”, which he finished just before he died. It’s now in my book queue. Has anyone read Plainsong?

How is your summer writing coming along?



Writers Chatting: Beach Read 3

We all seem to be in agreement that summer is time to kick back and relax a bit. So with that in mind, here is the next in our summer’s Writers Chatting open threads.

Besides writing the next great beach read, what is your favorite beach read? A few of mine, in no particular order: Jaws, One for the Money, Jurassic Park, To Kill a Mocking Bird and as a youngster, the first three Trixie Belden books.

Have at it!



Writers Chatting: Beach Read 2

We all seem to be in agreement that summer is time to kick back and relax a bit. So with that in mind, here is the next in our summer’s Writers Chatting open threads.

Enjoy!



Writers Chatting: Beach Read 1

We all seem to be in agreement that summer is time to kick back and relax a bit. So with that in mind, here is the first of the summer’s Writers Chatting open threads.

Enjoy!



Writers Chatting: Chapter 7

I spent most of yesterday transplanting roses from the backyard (where nothing is safe!) to the front yard. These roses are from my friend’s garden and I’m looking forward to making my own bouquets this summer. I have an unbelievable variety and many, many plants.

For today’s writing thread, I’m digging into my email basket and highlighting a nice piece from WereBear on creating a web presence to promote yourself.

From WereBear:

You’ve written a wonderful book. Now what? That was the position I was in when I listened to all the friends who urged me to “write a book” about the cat insights I had developed through years of running an amateur cat rescue. So I did.

I could not get an agent or publisher. Angry and exasperated at the process, I took it to the virtual streets. I started my own website, Way of Cats, with blog posts based on everything I had organized and crafted into the book. Was the publishing industry right, or was I right?  Read more



Writers Chatting: Urgent Advice Needed

Really pretty sundog yesterday when I was out gardening.

Had a request from Mnemosyne this week:

Right after I get back from Disneyworld (have you heard I’m going to Disneyworld?😉) I’m going to a writing conference where I will be pitching my novel, and I need advice!

So let’s help her out…



Writers Chatting: Chapter 5

Lars Leber Photography

Lars Leber has become one of my favorite local photographers. Above is Grand Prismatic Spring Sunset (Yellowstone National Park, WY)  – a late summer sunset.

There were quite a few requests on publishing last time. I put out a call for advice on all aspects. This week we’ll start with Paul Wartenberg’s advice on securing an literary agent.

Let’s also talk about where everyone is at with their works. What stage are you at? How is it feeling?

Don’t forget you can click on the Authors In Our Midst under the quick links to see all the great advice in the writers chatting threads (and all 0ur great authors, too!)

Now from Paul:

There are superheroes in the world, people with Talents, and the ones who choose can get to train and suit up to work the streets fighting crime and saving lives.

Body Armor Blues can be found here and Paul’s author page is here.

I’ve taught a class on self-publishing at my library a couple of times, and I start with describing the three (and a half) methods of writers getting published. The first method is the traditional route: getting signed by a major – or small press – imprint such as Penguin or HarperCollins.

Going that route has the hardest steps but the biggest rewards. The major imprints aren’t kind to new or emerging authors, but it’s because they’re swamped by hundreds of wordsmiths banging at their door. And they’re swamped because the major imprints have the greatest reach to every market: the retail stores, the libraries, the schools that can purchase hundreds if not thousands of copies of your work. The large publishers can market your book everywhere it can, set up deals for bookstores to display your covers, get you interviews and signing tours and reviews. Everybody (usually) wants to sign a contract with one of the big guys, because that’s money up front, that’s a solid chance of making the bestsellers lists, that’s playing in the major leagues.

Read more