La Tavola

~ Jo Thomas ‘Write about what you know,’ people would tell me when I first started writing. The problem is, I didn’t know about anything…or so I thought! I knew I loved food, but I wasn’t a chef, or even one of those foodie types with fancy knifes and a cupboard full unrecognisable ingredients. I just loved to feed my friends and family. I loved the way food brought us around the table together. But what could I really write about? Then, my husband was asked to go and work on the west coast of Ireland. We went over...

Ready, Set, BAKE!

~ By Carole Matthews A Note from Melina (aka Melissa):  I may not bake as well as Mary Berry (though not for lack of trying). But I’m proud that that we have one thing in common.  We both adore Carole Matthews.  It was from Carole Matthews that I learned about The Great British Bake-Off, and I’ve been an addict from the first episode I was able to get my hands on.  The show is so soothing, with its rivers, fields, and adorable animals walking around. Even the music relaxes me.  The encouraging atmosphere in “the tent” reminds me of...

You Go!

 ~ By Laura Florand When Melissa first approached me about writing a post for this blog, I wanted to talk about craft. I wanted to talk about texture, which is one of my personal “things”. (I think it’s a huge benefit to authors to get out from behind their computers and go out into the world and absorb as much texture from it as they can, so that it will underly their writing. I could go on and on about it, but…) But then I thought about how many times I’ve heard a writer say, “I came back from...

A Little Girl And Her Big Dreams

~ By Anne Kemp There once was a little girl who dreamed in Technicolor of the life she wanted when she was older. The best and most favorite of her dreams were the ones where she was running away to an island so she could write a book. She knew it was hokey and farfetched, but one cannot help what they dream, or as they say, “the heart wants what the heart wants.” This same little girl had a vision of her life on the island. There was a small, crooked bamboo shack right on the beach, flip-flops freshly...

Pastime or Addiction?

And How Real Virtue Came To Be ~ By Katy Lee Thank you for inviting me to your virtual home today to talk about the gaming aspect of my novel, Real Virtue. Did you know video game addiction is becoming an increasingly difficult problem with the youths in America today? It can affect the everyday life and social situations of children through young adults. Video game addiction can hinder a child’s learning skills, cause real life problem solving to become more difficult, and cause a child to spend far less time with family and friends. In Real Virtue, the...

The Agent Search – Another Perspective

~ By Maureen McGowan These days, writers have options to get their books into the hands of readers, but many are still looking for something resembling the “traditional” publishing experience. And the simple fact remains, to up your chances of getting your manuscript read by editors at the big publishers, you need an agent. Since I’ve done the agent hunt thing, twice, I thought I’d share a few thoughts for those of you on the hunt, to put it in perspective, or at least to offer a slightly different perspective. I hope an empowering one. Yes, while on the...

As Old As You Feel

~ By Sandy James Thanks so much for having me today! My books have been reviewed by several different review sites, and I’m always grateful when a reviewer takes the time to read and comment on something I’ve written. Yet no matter how often I’ve had fantastic things said about my stories, like most writers, I focus on the less complimentary write-ups. I don’t mind good constructive criticism—in fact, I look at it as a learning experience that might make my next book stronger. But one particular comment that I’ve received more than once on my book, Turning Thirty-Twelve—and...

Revisions and Revelations

~ Nan Reinhardt I’m a romance writer—as yet unpublished—and I just finished working on revisions to my first novel. My critique partner and I have gotten through all twenty-seven chapters and ironically, there are more things to fix/revise that either of us imagined. Not dramatically changing the story line at all, but rather tightening up language, creating more tension between my characters, just making it better. What I’m learning about my writing is that I may not actually be a straight category romance writer. I thought that was what I wrote, but I don’t think it is. I think I’m...

Get Your Stiletto in the Door: Maureen McGowan’s Experience

Author Maureen McGowan visits the Chick Lit blog today to reveal the role the Get Your Stiletto in the Door contest played in her publication success story. The Get Your Stiletto in the Door contest is directly or indirectly responsible for a few of my milestones. I love this chapter’s contest. I’ve acted as entrant, judge and coordinator over the years. The first time I entered, I believe it was in 2004, it was with a very early draft of a darkly funny women’s fiction manuscript with an older heroine and two alternating timelines. It wasn’t exactly chick lit,...

Thoughts on Being a Best Selling Author

Note: This summer, we’ll occasionally be bringing back some of our favorite posts. Enjoy!  ~ By Eileen Rendahl A couple of weeks ago, I received an advanced copy of my new novel, Dead on Delivery. Generally, there aren’t too many surprises in an advanced copy. By the time we get to that point of the publishing cycle, I’ve read the book so many damn times I can do the dialogue in my sleep. I’ve seen mock-ups of the cover. I know who blurbed it. Sure, it’s a nice moment (is there anything better than that new book smell?), but it’s not...

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