Social Media Strategies for Historical Fiction

I recently gave a presentation to the Historical Novel Society conference on effective social-media strategies for historical-fiction authors. The goal was to share what I’d learned after ten years of stressing over my social-media presence: was I doing enough to sell books? Which platforms should I be on? What should I post and how often?…

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Writer’s Fog

I started to write this a few weeks ago. A quick post on my website–the kind of thing a professional writer should be able to pull off in a few minutes. I thought about how to express what I’d been feeling, and I tried to come up with a clever headline, then I wondered whether…

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Ghosts of Projects Past

How do you know you’re a “real” writer? When you can’t not write. When, despite all the rejections and self-doubt, your brain keeps conjuring new stories. There have been months-long stretches when I felt tapped out and wrote barely anything—this year in particular. But a recent browse through a forgotten “Fiction” folder on my computer…

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Stuck-at-Home Mother’s Day Gift Guide

Mother’s Day might look a little…. different this year, so here’s a quick guide to pampering Mom when you can’t leave the house! Breakfast in Bed Just because you’re sheltering in place doesn’t mean you shouldn’t celebrate Mom! Start her day off with a skillet of eggs, bacon and pancakes, though if someone (Mom!) hasn’t…

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Paying It Forward (Literally)

I graduated from journalism school right as the industry began to decline (great timing!). For years, I worked as a magazine editor and writer at publications that were fighting mostly losing battles with the Internet. Who wants to pay to read something when you can find it online for free? I’m as guilty as anyone–I…

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Back to School

When my daughter suggested I sign up for her high school’s Career Day to talk about being a writer, my first reaction was, “OMG, MY TEENAGER IS NOT COMPLETELY EMBARRASSED BY ME–I WIN AT PARENTING!” My second reaction was, “OMG, what am I going to tell these kids about being a professional writer?” Because even…

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Memorable Reads of 2018

This is not a Top Ten list. I read a lot of books, and as I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten more ruthless about bailing on those that don’t grab my attention fairly early on. By definition, then, all the books I finished in 2018 were books I enjoyed–which made it impossible for me to winnow…

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The In Crowd

A few months ago, I went to a publishing party in New York City. Despite what some might assume about the writing life, this is not the kind of invite that comes my way often. Sure, I was a little intimidated, but also really excited. All those years of typing, alone, had led me here,…

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Real Social Networking

I hate “networking.” I always feel awkward interacting with groups of people I don’t know (introvert alert!) and I’m much better at self-deprecation than selling myself. And though I spend a fair amount of time online, so-called “social networks” come with their own drawbacks: snippy Facebook comments, Twitter trolls, nasty Amazon reviews, the possible undermining…

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#WritingTips: Write What You Love?

No one needs another Titanic book. That’s what kept going through my head as I started work on what would become ON A COLD DARK SEA. Everyone’s seen the movie; the tragedy has long since been over-exploited. But I had this idea I couldn’t let go of, one of those all-too-rare inspirational moments when I…

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