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1. Lit Links

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What books are you planning on diving into this weekend? Any exciting plans? I am hopefully finishing up the Pulitzer Prize winning THE GOLDFINCH and then jumping into ASTONISH ME by Maggie Shipstead. We are also gearing up for the Boston Marathon that will be broadcast on Monday. Here are a few interesting literary links from around the web…

Books that grab from page one according to Kirkus.

Great interview with Judy Blume for American Libraries Magazine.

Donna Tartt “surprised” by Pulitzer for The Goldfinch.

Editor with string of hits is joining Little, Brown.

7 Brilliant Ways Authors Build Buzz.

World Read Aloud Day.

A literary couple at home.

Flatiron Books to publish Oprah in September.

ROOM by Emma Donoghue headed to the big screen.

21 female authors you should be reading. Will ReadWomen2014 change our collective reading habits?

Image via.

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2. Giuliana Rancic Pens Memoir

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According to Publisher’s Weekly, Giuliana Rancic sold world rights to her memoir to Crown Archetype. Rancic is currently co-anchor of E! News and also stars in the reality show, Giuliana and Bill with her husband, Bill Rancic. According to Crown the book will be an inspiring one, touching on everything from Rancic’s childhood, growing up poor in Naples, to her more recent battles with infertility and breast cancer.

There are many things that my fans, my friends, even my family never knew about my private struggle. I hope by writing this book and sharing my journey, I can be an inspiration to those facing their own personal turmoil.

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3. Happy National Poetry Month

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April is National Poetry Month. The Academy of American Poets, celebrates its 80th anniversary this year.

In 2011, Samantha Reynolds started Bentlily, a site where she documents her goal to write one poem-a-day.

I pledged to write one poem a day. Not to rack up reams of poetry — that was just a lovely side effect. No, the real goal was to train me to see the world constantly with the eyes of a poet, which means to slow down, savour, take delight in, and note the very essence of the world around me.

Poets.org has a poem-a-day for the entire month of April.

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4. Ben Affleck Stars in Gone Girl

Anticipation is steadily growing for the film adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s bestselling thriller, GONE GIRL. The studio has just released the first trailer and it certainly captures the essence of the book. Ben Affleck stars as Nick Dunne, a man who has become a suspect in the disappearance (murder?) of his wife.

Have you read the book? Are you excited about seeing the film?

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5. Why I Write: Mary Gaitskill

I would like to start a new segment of the site where I allow authors to answer the simple question “Why do you write?” I recently found a post about the author Mary Gaitskill on Brainpickings. Maria Popova (Brainpickings creator) found this gem in the book WHY I WRITE by Bill Blythe.

To satisfy a basic, fundamental need. I think all people have this need. It’s why children like to draw pictures of houses, animals, and Mom; it’s an affirmation of their presence in the corporeal world. You come into life, and life gives you everything your senses can bear: broad currents of animal feeling running alongside the particularity of thought. Sunlight, stars, colors, smells, sounds. Tender things, sweet, temperate things, harsh, freezing, hot, salty things. All the different expressions on people’s faces and in their voices. For years, everything just pours into you, and all you can do is gurgle or scream until finally one day you can sit up and hold your crayon and draw your picture and thus shout back, Yes! I hear! I see! I feel! This is what it’s like! It’s dynamic creation and pure, delighted receptivity happening on the same field, a great call and response.
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Mary provides another reason for why she writes:

To give form to the things we can sense but not see. You walk into the living room where your father is lying on the couch, listening to music. You are small, so he doesn’t hear or see you. His face is reacting to the music, and his expression is soft, abstract, intensely inward. It is also pained. It is an expression that you have never seen. Then he sees you and smiles, but the music still fills the room with that other expression…

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6. Weekend Reading Plans

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From the New York Times bestselling author of The Middle Place comes a new memoir that examines the bond—sometimes nourishing, sometimes exasperating, occasionally divine—between mothers and daughters.

When Kelly Corrigan was in high school, her mother neatly summarized the family dynamic as “Your father’s the glitter but I’m the glue.” This meant nothing to Kelly, who left childhood sure that her mom—with her inviolable commandments and proud stoicism—would be nothing more than background chatter for the rest of Kelly’s life, which she was carefully orienting toward adventure. After college, armed with a backpack, her personal mission statement, and a wad of traveler’s checks, she took off for Australia to see things and do things and Become Interesting.

But it didn’t turn out the way she pictured it. In a matter of months, her savings shot, she had a choice: get a job or go home. That’s how Kelly met John Tanner, a newly widowed father of two looking for a live-in nanny. They chatted for an hour, discussed timing and pay, and a week later, Kelly moved in. And there, in that house in a suburb north of Sydney, 10,000 miles from the house where she was raised, her mother’s voice was suddenly everywhere, nudging and advising, cautioning and directing, escorting her through a terrain as foreign as any she had ever trekked. Every day she spent with the Tanner kids was a day spent reconsidering her relationship with her mother, turning it over in her hands like a shell, straining to hear whatever messages might be trapped in its spiral.

This is a book about the difference between travel and life experience, stepping out and stepping up, fathers and mothers. But mostly it’s about who you admire and why, and how that changes over time.

Advance praise for Glitter and Glue

“Kelly Corrigan’s heartfelt homage to motherhood is every bit as tough and funny as it is nostalgic and searching. It’s a tale about growing up, gaining wisdom, and reconciling with Mom (something we all must do eventually), but it’s also an honest meditation on our deepest fears of death and abandonment. I loved this book, I was moved by this book, and now I will share this book with my own mother—along with my renewed appreciation for certain debts of love that can never be repaid.”—Elizabeth Gilbert, New York Times bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Love

“In this endearing, funny, and thought-provoking memoir, Kelly Corrigan’s memories of long-ago adventures illuminate the changing relationships between mothers and children—as well as everything else that really matters.”—Gretchen Rubin, New York Times bestselling author of The Happiness Project

“Kelly Corrigan parses the bittersweet complexities of motherhood with humor and grace. Her writing has depth and buoyancy and light. It’s a river on a summer day. You slip into the current, laughing, and are carried away by it. Glitter and Glue is a perfect gift for anyone with a mother.”—Mary Roach,New York Times bestselling author of Stiff and Spook

“In Glitter and Glue, Kelly Corrigan gives us a lovely and insightful lesson in what it means to be both a mother and a daughter. This book will make you laugh, it will make you cry, and I know that you will gobble it up in a single day, just like I did.”—Ayelet Waldman, New York Times bestselling author of Bad Mother

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7. Interview With Author Emily Liebert on YOU KNEW ME WHEN

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Debut author Emily Liebert has burst onto the scene with her new novel, You Knew Me When. At the heart of this charming debut is the concept of friendship; what it means, how it grows and how it can change you. Emily Liebert answers a few questions about her writing process, her inspiration and what’s next for her writing career.

Tell us the story behind the story. How did you come up with the plot for You Knew Me When?

I’ve always been interested in the bonds of female friendship. When I was younger, I had a best friend who dumped me when I met my first serious boyfriend. And I’ve had other friends who’ve either been disappointing or quite the opposite — who’ve stuck by me through the best and worst of times. I wanted to explore this. I also wanted to present two women — one with a husband and child, who was unhappy with her job and the other with a big career, but no family to speak of. It raises the age old question — can women really “have it all”?

What was the most challenging aspect of writing You Knew Me When?

The most challenging aspect, for me, of writing any book is actually sitting down at the computer and starting to write. Some days you just don’t feel it. And every now and then, that’s ok. But you can’t slack off all the time! So I push myself to start writing and, usually, once I do the words start flowing.

What is the message you want readers to take away from your book?

That friends and family are more important than anything else. That’s not to say that building a career and life for yourself isn’t important, but you have to remember to cherish the people that were there for you in the beginning.

Describe your writing schedule. Do you outline? Any habits?

I always write a thorough outline and brief character descriptions before I start writing a book. It’s a chapter by chapter outline. Sometimes I’ll end up going in a different direction, but I find that it’s much easier to sit down and write when you have a plan. When I’m in writing mode, which is about six months or so out of the year (the rest is spent on publicity, partnerships, editing etc…), I typically write about four hours/day. I try to wrap up the writing by 4pm, so I can return emails and deal with other work items.

What books are on your nightstand? What are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading These Girls by Sarah Pekkanen. I only read one book at a time.

What authors inspire you?

Judy Blume, Jennifer Weiner, Jill Kargman, Emily Giffin, Jane Green, Sarah Pekkanen, and Elizabeth Noble

What have you learned from this experience?

That writing a book isn’t just about the writing. You could pen a masterpiece and if no one knows about it, you’re in trouble! Marketing and publicity are a huge piece of the publishing success puzzle.

What is your advice for aspiring writers?

Develop a thick skin. You will have doors slammed in your face. But when those doors are slammed in your face, kick them in!

What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?

Don’t sweat the small stuff. I’m not sure I’ve followed that advice, but it’s good nonetheless!

What are you working on now?

I just finished writing the first draft of my next novel, The Love That Lies Ahead. So I’ll be in the editing phase of that soon. And I’ll be chatting with my editor next week about my idea for novel number three!

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This interview originally appeared on Huffington Post Books.

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8. Alice Hoffman: Cover Designer

The Wall Street Journal recently profiled Alice Hoffman and focused on the input she has on the covers of her books. We live in a society that certainly does judge books by their covers and the art of cover design is one that is highly scrutinized from all angles (sales, design, art, appeal). Authors typically do not have a say in the covers of their books. Oftentimes they are sent a cover (possibly a few versions if they are lucky) and are told this is how their book will look. According to Nan Graham, senior vice president and publisher at Scribner, “Never in the history of the world does the author come up with the perfect cover, and certainly not the day you get the manuscript.”

In 2010, when Hoffman sent her editor the draft for her historical novel, “The Dovekeepers,” set during the siege of Masada in ancient Israel, she included a photograph by Joyce Tenneson she found while writing the book. The image, of a long-haired woman with a white bird on each shoulder, became the novel’s cover.

This week, Ms. Hoffman’s newest novel, “The Museum of Extraordinary Things,” was published with another cover she proposed. The glowing image is of a creature that appears part-fish, part-fairy, with a long tail, wings and the suggestion of a human torso. Ms. Hoffman found it in a coffee-table book while browsing a New York bookstore. “As soon as I saw it, I thought, this is the photograph I always wished I’d taken,” said Ms. Hoffman, who submitted it along with her draft. (via Wall Street Journal)

Summary of THE MUSEUM OF EXTRAORDINARY THINGS

Mesmerizing and illuminating, Alice Hoffman’s The Museum of Extraordinary Things is the story of an electric and impassioned love between two vastly different souls in New York during the volatile first decades of the twentieth century.

Coralie Sardie is the daughter of the sinister impresario behind The Museum of Extraordinary Things, a Coney Island boardwalk freak show that thrills the masses. An exceptional swimmer, Coralie appears as the Mermaid in her father’s “museum,” alongside performers like the Wolfman, the Butterfly Girl, and a one-hundred-year-old turtle. One night Coralie stumbles upon a striking young man taking pictures of moonlit trees in the woods off the Hudson River.

The dashing photographer is Eddie Cohen, a Russian immigrant who has run away from his father’s Lower East Side Orthodox community and his job as a tailor’s apprentice. When Eddie photographs the devastation on the streets of New York following the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, he becomes embroiled in the suspicious mystery behind a young woman’s disappearance and ignites the heart of Coralie.

With its colorful crowds of bootleggers, heiresses, thugs, and idealists, New York itself becomes a riveting character as Hoffman weaves her trademark magic, romance, and masterful storytelling to unite Coralie and Eddie in a sizzling, tender, and moving story of young love in tumultuous times. The Museum of Extraordinary Things is Alice Hoffman at her most spellbinding.

 

What are your thoughts on book cover design? Do they impact your decisions? Do they play into your overall perception of a book?

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9. Motherless Brooklyn Headed to the Big Screen

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According to Deadline, Edward Norton will star, direct and write the film version of Jonathan Lethem’s MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN. Brett Ratner and James Packer’s RatPac Entertainment have stepped in to fully finance the film for a late 2014 production start in New York. While Lethem’s novel is contemporary, Norton has set the story in New York in 1954, a time of great change in the city. He plays Lionel Essrog, a lonely private detective afflicted with Tourette’s syndrome, who tries to solve the murder of his mentor and only friend. Armed only with few clues and an obsessive mind, Lionel slowly unravels closely guarded secrets that have major ramifications. It leads him through Harlem jazz clubs, Brooklyn slums and sets him against thugs and Gotham power brokers to honor his friend and save a woman who might his own salvation.

This will be Norton’s second time behind the camera after he made his debut on Keeping The Faith. He set this up at New Line as the book was published, right after Norton got an Oscar nomination there for his mesmerizing performance in American History X. Norton currently stars in the Wes Anderson-directed The Grand Budapest Hotel, and most recently wrapped the Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu-directed comedy Birdman, both for Fox Searchlight. He’s repped by UTA and attorney Robert Offer.

“We all know Edward Norton is one of the most compelling actors of our generation, but I also know he’s an exceptional writer and filmmaker,” said Ratner, who directed Norton in the 2002 adaptation of the Thomas Harris novel Red Dragon. “As soon as I read his script for Motherless Brooklyn I knew this was a project I wanted to get involved with and am thrilled to partner up with Edward and Class 5. Edward’s script has melded elements of Jonathan Lethem’s terrific novel with an original story that at once feels classic and entirely fresh. And with Edward playing Lionel Essrog, the brilliant private detective with Tourette’s Syndrome, this will be a tour de force performance.”

Here is more information about MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN:

From America’s most inventive novelist, Jonathan Lethem, comes this compelling and compulsive riff on the classic detective novel.

Lionel Essrog is Brooklyn’s very own self-appointed Human Freakshow, an orphan whose Tourettic impulses drive him to bark, count, and rip apart our language in startling and original ways.  Together with three veterans of the St. Vincent’s Home for Boys, he works for small-time mobster Frank Minna’s limo service cum detective agency. Life without Frank Minna, the charismatic King of Brooklyn, would be unimaginable, so who cares if the tasks he sets them are, well, not exactly legal. But when Frank is fatally stabbed, one of Lionel’s colleagues lands in jail, the other two vie for his position, and the victim’s widow skips town. Lionel’s world is suddenly topsy-turvy, and this outcast who has trouble even conversing attempts to untangle the threads of the case while trying to keep the words straight in his head.  Motherless Brooklyn is a brilliantly original homage to the classic detective novel by one of the most acclaimed writers of his generation.

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10. Today Show Picks a New Book

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The Today Show Book Club has made a new selection, UNDER THE WIDE AND STARRY SKY by Nancy Horan, author of the wildly popular LOVING FRANK.

Here are some details of their latest pick directly from the Today Show’s website:

The third TODAY Book Club pick is “Under the Wide and Starry Sky,” the second novel by Nancy Horan, the celebrated author of “Loving Frank.” Share your thoughts about Horan’s windswept romance by joining the TODAY Book Club community, a fresh and interactive digital discussion series. RSVP to the Google Hangout with Nancy Horan, happening Thursday, Feb. 27 at 11 a.m. ET., follow @TODAYsBooks and stay up to date with the TODAY Book Club newsletter. 

Book worms, get ready for a little romance: TODAY Book Club’s latest pick is Nancy Horan’s historical fiction, “Under the Wide and Starry Sky.”

Remember the old adage, behind every great man, there’s a great woman? In Robert Louis Stevenson’s case, it was true. Horan’s sweeping book centers around the famed “Treasure Island” author’s life with his wife and muse Fanny Van de Grift.

“I am led to great women by first becoming interested in the men, the artist,” Horan told TODAY’s Natalie Morales.

That was the seed for her first novel, “Loving Frank,” the best-selling portrait of Frank Lloyd Wright’s complicated relationship with one of his clients, Mamah Borthwick Cheney. Both were married when they met.

Horn uncovers a similarly complex and unconventional love affair in her latest book, which delves into the profound impact Van de Grift had on Stevenson’s writing.

“They had a remarkable romance that truly led to some great creations of literature that are still influencing our lives today,” Marissa Schleicher, executive director of the Robert Louis Stevenson Museum, told TODAY.

At the start of the novel, 35-year-old Van de Grift, a mother of three, leaves her philandering husband behind in San Francisco — an incredible feat for a woman in the 1870s. She travels to Europe, where she eventually meets the young but sickly Scottish writer. Once divorced, she moves around the world with Stevenson, from Switzerland to New York to Australia. Van de Grift becomes one of her husband’s toughest critics — but Stevenson wasn’t always receptive to his modern wife’s criticisms.

“She was adventurous. She was game,” Horan said. “She had a lot of grit. She was very inventive.”

Horan drew heavily from the couple’s letters and Stevenson’s writings to paint a realistic portrait of their relationship, based on both fact and fiction.

“What I did with this book and also with the previous book is take the journey with these couples,” she told Morales.

Published by Ballantine Books, “Under the Wide and Starry Sky” hit bookstores on Jan. 21. Join in on the conversation by tweeting your thoughts with the hashtag #TODAYBookClub, and RSVP for a Google Hangout with author Nancy Horan and Natalie Morales on Feb. 27.

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11. Want Not by Jonathan Miles

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WANT NOT by Jonathan Miles (Houghton Mifflin)
Waste not, Want not: that’s the idiom that the title of Jonathan Miles new novel, Want Not, comes from. It’s about the psychology of waste. It can be human, toxic, food, debt and sickness. Jonathan Miles tells the story through three narratives: a young freegan couple Talmadge and Micah, who met at Burning Man. They are squatters who live off of things they find in dumpsters. While Talmadge comes from money, Micah, grew up poor in Appalachians and had to scrounge for food to survive.
The second story is about Elwin Cross Jr., a professor of applied linguistics, who is morbidly obese and his wife has just left him. He has a job in New Mexico where he has to create a warning sign that will last generations to let people know there is an underground crypt where radioactive waste will be stored.
The third narrative is about Sarah, Dave, and Alexis. Sarah has lost her bond broker husband on 9/11. Since then she has married Dave, a cruel debt collector who makes a lot of money forcing people to pay unnecessary credit card debt. Alexis is Sarah’s daughter from her first marriage.
It’s a funny novel that is also dark just like his brilliant debut novel, Dear American Airlines, and reminds me of another literary Jonathan: Mr. Franzen. It’s a book that will make you think about waste and being wasteful. Highly recommended.

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12. January Picks

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On Such a Full Sea by Chang-Rae Lee

Known for his realistic fiction about immigrants in modern America, Lee has decided to go the dystopian fiction route. Here he imagines a future United States where immigrants have come from China because conditions at home have become unlivable. Downtown American cities like Baltimore, where the novel is set, becomes labor settlements of these “New Chinese,” where they fish for food for the wealthy living in communities outside the cities. Fan, a diver, looks for her missing boyfriend and ventures out of the confines (and safety) of her home to the outlaw “outer countries” and to the wealthy enclaves of the “Charters.”

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Andrew’s Brain by E.L. Doctorow

Ragtime author Doctorow has written his 12th novel, about a cognitive neuroscientist who we think is his therapist. The novel is a series of conversations that makes it very “Waiting for Godot” like talking about subjects like consciousness, the reliability of memory and existence of free will. The more Andrew talks we learn more about his past and his regrets. It’s a departure both in time and style for this masterful writer.

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Alena by Rachel Pastan

Pastan’s third novel is modern day retelling of Daphne Du Maurier’s classic Rebecca. Even echoing the novel’s famous opening lines “Last night I dreamed of Manderlay again.” But this novel is set at a cutting edge art museum on Cape Cod called the “Nauk.” The unnamed narrator is an assistant curator from the Midwest who is visiting the Venice Biennale, where she meets an enigmatic founder of a Massachusetts art museum and gives her the job of the curator. It’s been two years since the tragic death of the beloved former curator Alena and our narrator finds herself in over her head, when the staff stifles her creative vision in favor of honoring Alena’s legacy.

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13. Happy Bookidays! Giveaway Day 1

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image via Media Tinker

Starting today and running right into the New Year we will be hosting a Holiday Book Giveaway. Today’s BOOKIDAY GIVEAWAY is for Mary Kay Andrews CHRISTMAS BLISS.

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From the New York Times bestselling author of Summer Rental comes a novella that celebrates love, the holidays, and antiques. Christmas is coming, but Savannah antique dealer Weezie Foley is doubly distracted both by her upcoming wedding to her longtime love, chef Daniel Stipanek and also by the fact that her best friend and maid-of-honor BeBe Loudermilk is due to give birth any day and is still adamantly refusing to marry her live-in-love Harry. Listeners have come to love these characters in Mary Kay Andrews’ three previous Savannah novels: Savannah Blues, Savannah Breeze, and Blue Christmas. Christmas Bliss offers Andrews’ legions of fans the best of many things: familiar characters, a new novella for Christmas, and a celebration of Mary Key Andrews’ own favorite pastime-antiquing. Blue Christmas was a fan favorite, and now Christmas Bliss is sure to fly off store shelves and into the hands of Andrews fans in bestselling numbers.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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14. What We’re Reading: The Signature of All Things

Elizabeth Gilbert’s latest release, THE SIGNATURE OF ALL THINGS was selected as an Amazon Best Book of the Month for OCTOBER 2013. Here’s a great interview with Elizabeth for BookPage in which she talks about the inspiration behind THE SIGNATURE OF ALL THINGS and what she has planned next.

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A glorious, sweeping novel of desire, ambition, and the thirst for knowledge, from the # 1 New York Times bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Love and Committed

In The Signature of All Things, Elizabeth Gilbert returns to fiction, inserting her inimitable voice into an enthralling story of love, adventure and discovery. Spanning much of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the novel follows the fortunes of the extraordinary Whittaker family as led by the enterprising Henry Whittaker—a poor-born Englishman who makes a great fortune in the South American quinine trade, eventually becoming the richest man in Philadelphia. Born in 1800, Henry’s brilliant daughter, Alma (who inherits both her father’s money and his mind), ultimately becomes a botanist of considerable gifts herself. As Alma’s research takes her deeper into the mysteries of evolution, she falls in love with a man named Ambrose Pike who makes incomparable paintings of orchids and who draws her in the exact opposite direction—into the realm of the spiritual, the divine, and the magical. Alma is a clear-minded scientist; Ambrose a utopian artist—but what unites this unlikely couple is a desperate need to understand the workings of this world and the mechanisms behind all life.

Exquisitely researched and told at a galloping pace, The Signature of All Things soars across the globe—from London to Peru to Philadelphia to Tahiti to Amsterdam, and beyond. Along the way, the story is peopled with unforgettable characters: missionaries, abolitionists, adventurers, astronomers, sea captains, geniuses, and the quite mad. But most memorable of all, it is the story of Alma Whittaker, who—born in the Age of Enlightenment, but living well into the Industrial Revolution—bears witness to that extraordinary moment in human history when all the old assumptions about science, religion, commerce, and class were exploding into dangerous new ideas. Written in the bold, questing spirit of that singular time, Gilbert’s wise, deep, and spellbinding tale is certain to capture the hearts and minds of readers. (via Amazon)

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15. The Painted Girls Heading to the Small Screen

According to Deadline.com, the CW and CBS TV Studios are working on adapting THE PAINTED GIRLS by Cathy Marie Buchanan into a television show. “THE PAINTED GIRLS is set in 1880′s Paris against the backdrop of the turbulent and exciting world of “La Belle Epoque” – decadence, poverty, sex, drugs and a serial killer running rampant through tht ecity. It revolves aroudn three sisters studying at a top ballet academy, one of whom becomes the muse for Egard Degas and his famed paintings of ballerinas.” via Deadline. No word on casting yet but we will keep you updated.

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THE PAINTED GIRLS by Cathy Marie Buchanan

SUMMARY:

A gripping novel set in Belle Époque Paris and inspired by the real-life model for Degas’s Little Dancer Aged Fourteen and a notorious criminal trial of the era.

Paris. 1878. Following their father’s sudden death, the van Goethem sisters find their lives upended. Without his wages, and with the small amount their laundress mother earns disappearing into the absinthe bottle, eviction from their lodgings seems imminent. With few options for work, Marie is dispatched to the Paris Opéra, where for a scant seventy francs a month, she will be trained to enter the famous ballet. Her older sister, Antoinette, finds work—and the love of a dangerous young man—as an extra in a stage adaptation of Émile Zola’s naturalist masterpiece L’Assommoir.

Marie throws herself into dance and is soon modelling in the studio of Edgar Degas, where her image will forever be immortalized as Little Dancer Aged Fourteen. Antoinette, meanwhile, descends lower and lower in society, and must make the choice between a life of honest labor and the more profitable avenues open to a young woman of the Parisian demimonde—that is, unless her love affair derails her completely.

Set at a moment of profound artistic, cultural, and societal change, The Painted Girls is a tale of two remarkable sisters rendered uniquely vulnerable to the darker impulses of “civilized society.

 

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16. Divergent Trailer Released

The theatrical trailer for Veronica Roth’s dystopian tale DIVERGENT has been released and is sure to appeal to fans of THE HUNGER GAMES.

Here’s the summary of DIVERGENT for anyone who is new to the game and hasn’t yet been swept under the tidal wave of fan love for Roth’s story.

In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are. But Tris also has a secret, one she’s kept hidden from everyone because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves… or it might destroy her.

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17. Live By Night Gets Theatrical Release Date

The film adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s Live By Night, directed by Ben Affleck, will be released on Christmas Day, 2015. Affleck will star in the film but no other names have been announced.

Affleck’s first outing as a director was a film based on another Lehane novel, 2007′s Gone Baby Gone.

Live by Night (Harper/ Morrow)

Combining edgy suspense and the vivid period detail that made The Given Day a smashing success, award-winning, bestselling author Dennis Lehane delivers a masterful epic of Prohibition-era America told through the story of a charismatic young gangster on his rise through the glitz and the violence of the Roaring 20s

“Lehane deserves to be considered among the most interesting and accomplished American novelists of any genre or category.”-Washington Post

By 1926, Prohibition has given rise to an endless network of underground distilleries, speakeasies, gangsters, and corrupt cops. Joe Coughlin, the youngest son of a prominent Boston Police captain, defies his proper upbringing and his father’s strict law-and-order orthodoxy. Graduating from a childhood of petty theft to a career in the pay of the city’s most fearsome mobsters, Joe enjoys the riches, thrills, and notoriety of being an outlaw.

But life on the dark side carries a heavy price. In a time when ruthless men of ambition armed with cash, illegal booze, and guns battle for control, no one-neither family or friends, enemies or lovers-can be trusted. For men like Joe, beyond the money and power, even the threat of prison, one fate seems more likely than all others: an early death.

Joe embarks on a dizzying journey up the ladder of organized crime that takes him from the razzle-dazzle of Jazz Age Boston to the sensual shimmer of Tampa’s Latin Quarter to the sizzling streets of Cuba. Live by Night is a relentless epic layered with a diverse cast of loyal friends and callous enemies, tough rumrunners and sultry femme fatales, Bible-quoting evangelists and cruel Klansmen, all battling for survival and their piece of the American dream. At once a sweeping love story and a propulsive saga of revenge, it is also a spellbinding tour de force of betrayal and redemption, music and murder that brings fully to life a bygone era when sin was a cause for celebration and vice was a national virtue.

Affleck is currently at work playing the lead in David Fincher’s adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, set for release on Oct 3, 2014.
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18. Interview with Alison Atlee, author of The Typewriter Girl

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Tell us the story behind the story. How did THE TYPEWRITER GIRL come to be?

Setting was everything for this story. I’d found a vintage postcard of an English seaside town, and the card featured a switchback railway, a forerunner of the modern roller coaster. When I saw it, I knew I wanted to set a story there. I needed a character to build the roller coaster, and another one to shake up the town where it is built, and that’s how John and Betsey came to be.

I’d also recently read Pygmalion (later the basis for My Fair Lady), so when I was picking names, Liza/Elizabeth was in mind, as well as two details about that character: one, that she owned a birdcage, “its occupant long dead,” which I found such a poignant detail for George Bernard Shaw to mention; two, that she was always insisting, “I’m a good girl, I am!” I named Betsey, gave her a living bird, and wondered, what if she wasn’t a good girl?

What was the most challenging aspect of writing THE TYPEWRITER GIRL?

This isn’t the most challenging, but I’m always so glad when readers appreciate the epigraphs at the beginning of each chapter because putting them together nearly drove me nuts. They come from an actual 1890’s typing manual. I made a photocopy and started cutting out sentences and passages I liked or thought would work with certain scenes. Eventually, I had a wall covered in scraps of paper and sticky notes as I pulled everything together.

That was for submission. Revisions after the book sold meant scenes added and deleted, and I had to do some of it all over again. Luckily, I saved those scraps!

 What is the message you want readers to take away from your book?

I would be thrilled for a reader to come away from The Typewriter Girl wondering, “Can I give my dreams a little more growing space?”

Betsey begins the story having accomplished quite a bit for a woman of her class and education, and she thinks if she can just hold on, maintain that much, it will be good enough. She’s afraid to hope for more. One of the pleasures of writing this story was discovering all the ways her dreams could get bigger, go wilder, and I hope that resonates with readers.

Describe your writing schedule. Do you outline? Any habits?

I have a direction in mind, and draft from that. When I get stuck, I go to a “synopsis” where I re-tell the story to myself, ask questions, begin a great many sentences with the word “maybe.”  That usually gets me through to the next thing, but it’s such a mess! Once I took my laptop into the Apple Store for some help, and when that synopsis file came up on the screen, I nearly leapt up onto the table to hide it from the Apple rep. I think I might have been less embarrassed if it had been naughty photos!

What books are on your nightstand? What are you currently reading?

Thank you VERY much for the “s” on “books”–I keep them stashed everywhere, so I’m always in-progress on more than one. On the nightstand right now is Where the Light Falls by Katherine Keenum. I have an issue of Lapham’s Quarterly on my kitchen counter, and the audio of The Night Circus for car rides. The Secret Countess by Eva Ibbotson is on my phone for waiting rooms and lines, and then there’s the stack for research, including Hallucinations by Oliver Sacks.

Which authors inspire you?

Today I’ll pick Simon Winchester for his curiosity and use of the English language–rich, unexpected, and impeccable.

What have you learned from this experience?

One of my elementary school teachers had a poster of Garfield the cat and Odie the dog up in a tree with the caption, “It’s amazing what one can accomplish when one doesn’t know what one can’t do.”

I went into writing for publication pretty blindly, and for me, that worked. If I’d known everything ahead of time, I would not have believed I could do it.

What is your advice for aspiring writers?

So much to say here, but I might start with what I said above–don’t worry about the industry until you have to. Worry about craft, worry about your characters, worry about finishing the story. All the publishing stuff doesn’t matter until you’ve done your time on that part.

Also, by “worry,” I mean learn/work/focus.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?

Getting enough sleep makes all the difference.

What are you working on now?

The next couple of books, of course! And reconfiguring my writing space.

Thanks, Alison, for stopping by Bookfinds. You are an inspiring author and have written a gorgeous novel! We look forward to all of your future work! Read more about Alison on her website

 

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19. Salinger

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In the new documentary and book “Salinger” it is revealed that his estate will be publishing five new books between 2015 and 2020. Some of the unpublished works will feature recognizable characters: one will be a book about the Glass family called “The Family Glass,” while another collection will focus on rest of the Caufield family and “The Catcher in the Rye” will be included in that collection.
There will be also a novel set in World War II based on his first marriage and a novella about his war experiences. There will even be a book about the Vendanta Religious Philosophy. The New York Times has reviewed the book today and the movie (and the book) will be out on September 6th.
Here is a summary of the book by David Shields and Shane Salerno from Goodreads:
Based on eight years of exhaustive research and exclusive interviews with more than 200 people—and published in coordination with the international theatrical release of a major documentary film from the Weinstein Company—The Private War of J.D. Salinger is a global cultural event: the definitive biography of one of the most beloved and mysterious figures of the twentieth century.

For more than fifty years, the ever elusive author of The Catcher in the Rye has been the subject of a relentless stream of newspaper and magazine articles as well as several biographies. Yet all of these attempts have been hampered by a fundamental lack of access and by the persistent recycling of inaccurate information. Salinger remains, astonishingly, an enigma. The complex and contradictory human being behind the myth has never been revealed.

No longer.

In the eight years since The Private War of J.D. Salinger was begun, and especially in the three years since Salinger’s death, the authors interviewed on five continents more than 200 people, many of whom had previously refused to go on the record about their relationship with Salinger. This oral biography offers direct eyewitness accounts from Salinger’s World War II brothers-in-arms, his family members, his close friends, his lovers, his classmates, his neighbors, his editors, his publishers, his New Yorker colleagues, and people with whom he had relationships that were secret even to his own family. Shields and Salerno illuminate most brightly the last fifty-six years of Salinger’s life: a period that, until now, had remained completely dark to biographers. Provided unprecedented access to never-before-published photographs (more than 100 throughout the book), diaries, letters, legal records, and secret documents, readers will feel they have, for the first time, gotten beyond Salinger’s meticulously built-up wall. The result is the definitive portrait of one of the most fascinating figures of the twentieth century

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20. Piper’s Book Nook for Whatever After: Sink or Swim

This might be my favorite book review of all time! Enjoy Piper’s Book Nook and her review of Sarah Mlynowski’s WHATEVER AFTER: SINK OR SWIM.

Here’s a summary of Sarah’s latest in the Whatever After series.

Once again my brother and I are in hot water . . .

We weren’t planning to mess up the fairy tales. The first two times we did it by accident. But when our magic mirror pulls us into the story of the Little Mermaid, we have no choice but to try and rewrite it. Let’s just say the original story does NOT end happily!

Now we need to:
– Convince our mermaid to keep her tail
– Plan a royal wedding
– Avoid getting eaten by sharks

We’ve got to find a happy ending for the Little Mermaid . . . before she’s fish food and we’re lost at sea forever!

Scholastic Press, May 2013

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21. Vince Flynn

A terrible loss today in the literary community. Author Vince Flynn passed away after a long battle with prostate cancer. He was 47 years old. Flynn was the author of 15 novels centered around Mitch Rapp, an undercover CIA agent. The majority of his novels have become New York Times Bestsellers. Interestingly enough, Flynn self-published his first novel, TERM LIMITS, in 1997 and was then picked up by Pocket Books. Flynn leaves behind a wife and three children. He will be missed greatly in the world of publishing.

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22. Top 10 Books on My Summer Reading List

It’s that time of year again! Time to start planning your reading itinerary for the hot summer months ahead. With vacations and trips to the beach around every corner, you have to make the tough decision as to what books earn that valuable and limited real estate in your beach bag. Following the guidelines from The Broke & the Bookish, here are the Top 10 Books on My Summer Reading List. Trust me, it was very hard to narrow this list down to 10. I will certainly be mentioning more beach books in upcoming posts but these great titles will get you off to a great start!

1. The Astronaut Wives Club by Lily Koppel – The original, and much more exciting, “real housewives.” These were the women behind some of the most well-known men in the history of NASA.

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2.) Time Flies by Claire Cook – I love everything this woman writes. She really knows how to get to the heart of what women think, do and feel. She is also the master of the novel of reinvention.

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3.) The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen – A huge hit in the YA world with major crossover appeal. Even if you are far beyond your teenage years, you will relate to the characters that Dessen creates.

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4.) The Fort by Aric Davis – An exciting mystery surrounding a group of teenage boys and the crime they witnessed. The problem is, who will believe them?

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5.) The Never List by Koethi Zan – Echoing frightening current events, two girls who create a list of things to “NEVER DO” break their own rules and make a terrible mistake. The girls are held captive for three years with tragic results. Now one must come to terms with the events of her past.

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6.) The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls by Anton Disclafani – Beautiful coming of age story set in the 30′s at an all girls preparatory school/camp.

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7.) The Silent Wife by A.S.A Harrison – Touted as the next Gone Girl…but better.

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8.) The Engagements by J. Courtney Sullivan – A story that explores the reasons behind marriage, from every angle. Loved Maine so much that I MUST read this one ASAP!

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9. THE SILVER STAR by Jeannette Walls - Loved The Glass Castle and Half Broke Horses. Has to be a winner.

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10.) Revenge Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger – Because when an author writes a sequel to one of the most popular books, you have to read it, right?

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23. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes {Bite Size Blurb}

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

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24. Stealing Harper Blog Tour with Interview and Exclusive Excerpt

Today we are beyond delighted to host Molly McAdams and her New Adult Novella, STEALING HARPER, on Bookfinds. Molly McAdams

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1) Tell us the story behind the story. What was the inspiration behind TAKING CHANCES & STEALING HARPER?

    It was actually a dream! Almost all my books come from my dreams, and I start expanding on them. There’s a lot of my life in those stories, but it all began with a dream ;)  

2) What was the most challenging aspect of writing TAKING CHANCES and then STEALING HARPER?

Um, for sure getting through the “scene that shall not be named” I was very much so in love with all my characters, so moving on from the heartache was extremely difficult.

3) What is the message you hope readers take away from your stories?

That life is short and unpredictable, so we need to enjoy them while we can and live them to the fullest. Always look for the beauty in what’s happening in your life. 

4) Describe your background. What moved you towards pursuing a writing career?

My background definitely didn’t hint at becoming an author! I didn’t like reading until about four years ago, and didn’t start writing until a year or so after that. It wasn’t until a year and a half ago that I started seriously writing and couldn’t stop, and before I knew it, TAKING CHANCES and FROM ASHES were completed. Even then I had no idea that it was going to turn into a career, it was all just a whirlwind of events that led to me doing this full time. But I’m loving it!

5) Describe your writing process. Do you outline? Any unique writing habits?

I’ve only outlined once, and it was because I had the first half completed and then bits and pieces and couldn’t figure out where they fit and what I needed to finish. So I outlined the last half of one of my books. But for the most part, I just write what comes to me as it comes. I’m not sure if this is unique, but I have to have the lights off, and I have to have music playing. Every now and then I’ll go to Starbucks and write, but they usually aren’t some of my best days :) I think I just like being around people haha. But put me in a dark room with music on and I can’t help but fall into my character’s worlds.

6) What books are on your nightstand?

I’m actually reading Date Me by Jillian Dodd! 

7) Which authors inspire you?

Nicholas Sparks and A.L. Jackson. They don’t shy away from anything and they always bring out the most amazing emotions in their readers. 

8) What have you learned from your publishing experience?

That self-publishing and traditional publishing are INCREDIBLY different. There are pros and cons to both, and both are amazing. I feel very blessed to have experienced both, and hope that I’m able to continue with traditional publishing.  **********

9) What is your advice for aspiring writers?

Always write for yourself, don’t write for anyone else. And don’t write something just because that’s whats “in” right now. Write what is interesting to you.

10) What are you working on now?

I’m writing Deceiving Lies, its the sequel to Forgiving Lies, which is coming out Oct. 29th :)  

 

AND NOW…

 

AN EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT OF STEALING HARPER BY MOLLY MCADAMS (in case you missed the excerpt that ran just before this, check it out at Reading Lark)

She looked shocked and hurt. Good. Maybe now she’d stay the hell away.

“If the way we are disgusts you so much, feel free to stay at school next time.” I stood and hated that I couldn’t help but look at her once more before walking away.

“Chase,”

My eyes shut and I took a deep breath in. Would it be weird to ask her to say my name again?

“I’m really sorry, I was out of line.”

Wait – she was apologizing? I turned and looked at her, confused. Oh God it was a bad idea to turn around, if her sweet as hell voice hadn’t been bad enough, the way her eyes had gone back to completely wide and innocent was about to do me in.

“I was raised not to back down to people, but what I said was too much. So, I’m sorry. I don’t know you, I shouldn’t judge you.”

I huffed and the corners of my mouth twitched. Snarky and sweet. Bad combination. Sexy combo – so damn sexy. But bad. I shook my head and my brow rose when I realized I wanted to get to know this girl. Now that was a bad idea. I turned and took the long way around the house, giving my hard-on time to go down.

 

 If this is your first taste of Molly McAdams and Stealing Harper, check out the below links for some of her earlier stops and to see where she will end up next. 

STEALING HARPER Blog Tour Schedule

USA TODAY: 05/06/2013 – STEALING HARPER Blog Tour Guest Post
FRESH FICTION: 05/07/2013 – STEALING HARPER Blog Tour Guest Post
BOOKALICIOUS: 05/08/2013 – STEALING HARPER Blog Tour Guest Post

READING BETWEEN THE WINES: 05/09/2013 – STEALING HARPER Blog Tour Guest Post
ONCE UPON A TWILIGHT: 05/09/2013 – STEALING HARPER Blog Tour Guest Post
ROMANTIC TIMES: 05/10/2013 – STEALING HARPER Blog Tour Guest Post & Spotify Playlist curated by Molly McAdams

CHICK LOVES LIT: 05/11/2013 – STEALING HARPER Blog Tour Guest Post
BOOK READING GALS: 05/12/2013 – STEALING HARPER Blog Tour Guest Post
FLIRTY AND DIRTY BOOK BLOG: 05/13/2013 – STEALING HARPER Blog Tour Interview

SUPERNATURAL SNARK: 05/14/2013 – STEALING HARPER Blog Tour Interview
CONFESSIONS OF A BOOKAHOLIC: 05/14/2013 – STEALING HARPER Blog Tour Interview
LIVE TO READ: 05/15/2013 – STEALING HARPER Blog Tour Guest Post
READING LARK: 05/16/2013 – STEALING HARPER Blog Tour Guest Post
BOOKFINDS: 05/17/2013 – STEALING HARPER Blog Tour Interview

LAURA’S REVIEW BOOKSHELF: 05/17/2013 – STEALING HARPER Blog Tour Interview
GIRLS IN THE STACKS: 05/18/2013 – STEALING HARPER Blog Tour Guest Post
SHORT AND SWEET REVIEWS: 05/19/2013 – STEALING HARPER Blog Tour Guest Post
SHH MOM’S READING: 05/20/2013 – STEALING HARPER Blog Tour Interview
MUNDIE MOMS: 05/21/2013 – STEALING HARPER Blog Tour Interview
MARIA’S SPACE: 05/22/2013 – STEALING HARPER Blog Tour Guest Post
LOVE ROMANCES AND MORE.COM: 05/23/2013- STEALING HARPER Blog Tour Interview

 

 

 

 

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25. Amy Sue Nathan {Interview}

One of my favorite aspects of the internet is discovering new writers with creative passions and dedication to their work. Amy Sue Nathan personifies this passion. She is the debut author of THE GLASS WIVES (St. Martins Press) and has created an inspiring website, Women’s Fiction Writers that focuses on the “authors, books and craft of women’s fiction” and champions the works of others. We are delighted to welcome Amy to Bookfinds.

Tell us the story behind the story. How did THE GLASS WIVES come to be? 

Well, it’s complicated.  I’d been writing most of my life, but took a creative hiatus to be a stay-at-home mom. Then, I divorced. A few years later my ex-husband passed away. And after the dust kind of settled, I started writing again. First blog posts and essays, then short stories. Finally I decided to tackle something longer. I knew that to do this I needed to have a big story to tell, one that would keep a reader turning the pages until The End.  I contemplated writing a memoir, but realized that I’d lived through some pretty awful times and did not want to relive them. So instead, I took a nugget of truth—a suburban divorced mom whose ex-husband passes away—and I wound it up tight and then let it spin out into a fictional tale of motherhood, friendship, betrayal and forgiveness.  And while all of those things have been part of my life, the way they’re written in The Glass Wives is purely fictional. Except for the fact that my protagonist Evie has a dog. I have two.

What was the most challenging aspect of writing THE GLASS WIVES?

Patience. Patience is the hardest part of writing and publishing. You wait for time to write, time to edit, time to get feedback from readers and critique partners. Then you wait for an agent and editor. And then you wait for reviews. And readers. And for time to write another book.  The solution? Keep busy! I have to remind myself of this quite often.

What is the message you want readers to take away from your book?

That there are many ways to be a family, and that normal is subjective. I think in today’s society, people say they believe families come in all shapes and sizes, but when presented with a different-looking family, some people just don’t know what to think or say or do. I don’t believe we need any labels other than “family.”

Describe your writing schedule. Do you outline? Any habits?

On a good day I write in the morning, starting at around 6 am. I stop to do the morning mom things, like make lunch and hang out with my daughter before she goes to school. My schedule will change in the summer, it always does. But I always start writing early, and if I’m lucky, I don’t stop.  I also tuck social media, blogging and all things book related into my day as well. Not to mention dogs and laundry.

I didn’t outline The Glass Wives except as I went along. When I’d write a chapter or even a scene, I’d write out what was going to happen next. But, I have outlined my next novel.  And I’ve started outlining my next two novels as well!

As for habits, my bad habit is checking the Internet too often. My good habit would be talking aloud to myself as I write sometimes.  I think it helps me to both see and hear what I’m trying to convey.

What books are on your nightstand? What are you currently reading?

I’m reading an advance copy of The Wednesday Daughters by Meg Waite Clayton and The Third Son by Julie Wu. On my nightstand? The Chalice by Nancy Bilyeau, The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath and a pile of writing books and other books I’ve read recently that remind me what I’ve enjoyed.  I also love audio books and I’m listening to Gods In Alabama by Joshilyn Jackson.

Which authors inspire you?

That changes depending on the time in my life and career. Right now I admire authors who not only write and publish wonderful novels, but who are active on social media and engaged with not only their readers but also with aspiring authors and other published authors—you know, the ones who seem to be doing it all and doing it well! A few who come to mind are Meg Waite Clayton, Eleanor Brown, Therese Walsh, Caroline Leavitt, Kimberly Brock, Randy Susan Meyers…okay, that’s more than a few. And there are definitely more.

What have you learned from this experience?

Not to give up. Ever. I know that it’s not easy to get a debut novel published today. I don’t know that it was ever easy, though. Now, there’s a noisy book culture and it’s harder to be heard. I think the key is perseverance.

What is your advice for aspiring writers?

Ha! See above? Really there are two bits of advice. The first is to know what you want. Not what others want for you, not what you think you want or think you should want.  Figure out the best route for you and your book. Then, the second part is, don’t give up.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?

Undoubtedly the best advice was from author Therese Walsh and it was—to separate business from craft. I found myself trying to wrangle popular fiction elements into my work-in-progress because I knew those things were selling.  What I had to do was step away and just remember the bare bones of the story I wanted to write. And no, there was no place in there for magic or vampires.

What are you working on now?

I’m working on a novel about a blogger.  And no, it’s not about me, even though I’ve been blogging since 2006. What makes this main character different from me is that I’m at a point where everything I write online is almost TMTI (too much truthful information). I’ve learned that comes with the author-territory and I’ve come to embrace it. In my new novel, however, everything my protagonist blogs about—well most of what she blogs about—is a lie.  The novel explores what might make someone do that, and what might make someone finally tell the truth.

Can you tell us a little bit about your website Women’s Fiction Writers? What inspired you to start it? What has the site taught you about the women’s fiction genre?

I knew I wasn’t writing romance or chick-lit, and I had a hard time finding like-minded writers online. Everyone “women-centric” writing group seemed to have a heroes and a happily-ever-afters. And while I have no problem with either of those, it’s not what I write. After years of searching, and joining some groups that didn’t meet my needs, I figured that like my characters—and like a lot of women I know in real life—if I wanted something specific and special I was going to have to make it happen myself. So I did. WFW took on a life of it’s own pretty quickly. Now if I could only get it to do the dishes.

The best thing about WFW is knowing I’m not alone. Equally awesome are the in-real-life friendships I’ve developed other authors.

What is your definition of Women’s Fiction?

To me, women’s fiction is a story where the main character saves herself.

 

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