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The following two authors are this month's choices. Our hope is to provide a glimpse, a snapshot, an overview of some of the finest writers of our time making waves both tidal and ripple.
Background INfo: Past editor of Inscriptions, current editor of Scribe & Quill, author of The Complete Writer, editor/writer of two blogs Elemental Musings and Elemental Muse Live Journal, mother, feature article writer, advanced student of communications and philosophy, time management guru.
INfluences: "By and large, my adopted dad, the teachers I had during school and Stephen King. My dad died before I turned seven, but I remember he'd read to me every night without fail from Aesop's Fables, Babar's Adventures and Grimm's Fairy Tales. He taught me to love words and to imagine."
Advice: First of all, don't give up. Second of all, realize there are countless people out there who will play armchair quarterback and who will give you a million reasons why you can't or won't succeed, and only five to 10 reasons why you might. Some people think you need to go to J-school or have a high-end degree in English in order to succeed. That's bunk. Third, network with other writers -- see who's successful and experienced, find out what they're doing and then model your behavior and work habits after theirs. Finally, don't take rejection personally -- it's a business and your writing is a product, plain and simple. Keep queries and submissions out there all the time and don't wait by the mailbox, pining
away for a reply. Focus on your work and know that if you keep at it you'll succeed."
The Future: "Right now, finishing up the rest of Sun Signs For Writers (it's over 3/4 complete) and then I have two proposals I need to write and submit to my agent. In addition, I have two completed fiction manuscripts I hope to sell (my agent doesn't handle my fiction, only my nonfiction work). Also, I want to try writing horror again since it's been a long while. Along the way, I hope to inspire new writers not to ever give up and to act as a mentor for them whenever possible. A lot of newbies get thrashed and raked over the coals by 'seasoned' writers and I think that is not in the spirit of giving. The industry is difficult enough; we must all become a family with members who help one another -- especially the newest members of the writing family!"
Background INfo: Novels -- Everything She Thought She Wanted, The Good Wife Strikes Back, Revenge of The Middle-Aged Woman. Addresses issues facing most women today: mid-life crisis, loss, aging, body image, career, marriage, affair temptations, friendship, and personal evolvement. Worked as a reviewer and blurb writer for publishers before becoming a book author.
INfluences: "Virginia Woolf wrote that the stuff of fiction lies all about one, 'in the drawing rooms and kitchens where women live'. She struck a chord with me. What happens in our private lives is incredibly important and significant. To cite the truism: we don't die saying, 'I wish I had spent more time in the office'. But we might well die wishing we had not neglected our family, friends, inner life or religious beliefs. For women in particular the last few decades have been ones of huge change and the results of those upheavals provide a rich and fertile subject for the novelist."
Advice: "Hang on to your confidence. It is easy to be over awed and worried by advice and directives. Of course, writing is a continuous process of learning but what will make your writing successful - in the sense of sentient - is your individual voice and vision. Do let that be diluted by prescriptive advice. By all means listen, act on what you think appropriate, accept stringent criticism if necessary but remember to listen to your own inner guide."
The Future: "In the U.K. the collapse of the Net Book Agreement has certainly seen melt-down in pricing (and, thus royalties for authors) which is not good. It had meant that the supermarkets have stepped in with huge discounts and the small independent bookshops are struggling. This has resulted in a flattening out of choice as publishers are forced only to publish books that will make certain margins. This means there is a danger of the 'take a punt' and 'I have a hunch about this book' will be eroded out of the publishing process. On the other hand, publishing is a lot more wised up and professional about positioning, branding and selling its books. There is less publishing in deep secret which was the case even 10 years ago."
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