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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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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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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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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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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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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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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It’s four days until Christmas, and I’ve gotten hardly any Christmas letters. You may remember those from the distant past….say, 1995. In mid-December, your mailbox would fill up with cards from great-aunts and cousins and friends from college who’d moved far away. The cards almost always included a one-page summary of what the family had…

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The cover design process is one of the most exciting and nerve-wracking parts of publishing a book. A great cover helps sell your book to readers, but it also needs to convey the story and tone in the right way (so those readers know what they’re getting). And take note, aspiring authors: the publisher gets…

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When a fellow writer recently told me she’d abandoned her latest manuscript after working on it for eight months, I felt awful for her. How terrible to spend so much time and mental energy on something that didn’t pan out, and how brave to finally say enough was enough. Sometimes you know it’s for the…

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