Reggie Lutz is one of those people whose feed you look forward to when scrolling absently through Facebook. Her updates are engaging and off the wall, and seemingly effortless in a social media world that I’ve learned requires a certain kind of savvy that doesn’t come naturally to everyone. She also writes beautifully – her […]

“No ideas?” “Oh,” he thumbed his mug handle, “I have ideas.” “Well, then. There you go. Write them.” “Can’t.” “Why not?” “Because. What’s the point?” “What do you mean?” “I mean,” he said, “what’s the point? I start writing a paragraph, or I imagine a scene, and I just stop. I think, ‘Why bother?’” “Doug, […]

There were two things he wanted. Three. Three things he– no, four. Four things he wanted most of all– “John?” Her voice sounded woodrowsy, his name like a plate of rice. “Huh?” he said, and he heard something else. Something red surrounding them on the grass. Five things, now that he thought about it, and […]

Hannah Goodman, Sucker Literary founder

Hannah Goodman, Sucker Literary founder

I know Hannah Goodman in a few different capacities: Hannah as a reader, Hannah as a truly funny person I hope will continue to contribute to Inside the Writers’ Studio episodes (catch Hannah awkwardly trying to explain her choice of reading materials in the IWS episode “Writing Advice from Real Writers“), and Hannah as an author of young adult fiction.

I recently read the first two of the three available books in her Maddie Hickman series (My Sister’s Wedding, My Summer Vacation, and Fear of Falling) and was reminded of how much I loved reading YA when I was young enough to fill in the little check boxes on the order forms the teachers would hand out in school (Apple books, anyone?). I’d missed that excitement, but reading Goodman’s stories brought it all back. Continue reading

It’s exciting to have a finished project, and it’s hard to get noticed.

Alone, those are just the facts. But throw in someone who has just finished their first project, and witness the gory, inadvertent self-mutilation resulting from the LOOK AT ME! explosion.

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When I learned that an author I’ll call Ms. Y had a son in the Army, I asked her if she might be interested in reading Pretty Much True… . (At the time, it hadn’t yet been placed with a publisher and was just sitting around in my computer doing nothing.) She responded with “Yes,” but she also asked if I was looking for an endorsement. Continue reading

When I was interviewed a few years ago by an NPR personality, I was “coached” on one of my answers. S/he asked me a question, I answered, and then s/he moved the microphone to the side. “What I was trying to get you to say was [phrase]. I’m going to ask you again.” S/he then […]

A friend told me I was being too “journalistic” when answering interview questions about
Pretty Much True… .

“You wrote a fictional story in which the characters and actions were different but the feelings and the fear were the same. Get PERSONAL.”

I never wanted to do that before, because I wanted to emphasize that the overall feeling of the experience, not my experience but the experience, was what was important. But she made me see that one experience, the story, wouldn’t exist without the other, the reality. Continue reading

The Facebook page “Sentence Me” recently shared the following quote from the 2001 article “Sentenced to Death” by Salon book critic Laura Miller: “Just as nuclear physicists strive to impress other nuclear physicists and dog breeders value the admiration of fellow dog breeders over that of the uninitiated masses, so people who write serious fiction […]

I just wrote something very close to the following (it’s been very lightly edited for blog-worthiness) in a personal email and thought it was worth sharing here.

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