Monthly Archives: June 2011

A Very Personal Take on Revising a Novel

Ever wonder about how other writers revise their novels? How they solve their biggest plot problems? How they chop and replant themes and characters while doing their best not to ruin the other 100,000 words? As the author of several novels … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Plot, Revision, Writing | Tagged , , , | 18 Comments

I Ordered My Flipback!

It’s still June 29 here in Oregon, but it’s the 30th in England, so I just purchased “Cloud Atlas” by David Mitchell over at Although the £9.99 pricetag seemed quite reasonable, I nearly balked at the £11 shipping to America. This fascination I … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Flipback, Reading | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Portland Writing News That Makes Me Happy

Scott Sparling’s debut novel, WIRE TO WIRE, is racking up more wonderful reviews, including this piece touting its thrills and dark humor in Sunday’s Oregonian. That adds to the novel’s other excellent publicity, including raves from Kirkus, Playboy and a starred … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Community, Writing | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

How to Find Time to Write During the Summer

Last week was glorious. My daughter went to preschool every morning for camp. This week stretches ahead, one unbroken stretch of mommying and playdates and groceries and the start of the birthday season in our neighborhood. We’ll have a great … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Writing | Tagged , , | 17 Comments

Countdown to the Release of the Flipback

On June 30, British publishing house Hodder & Stoughton will release the first 12 titles in the flipback book format,  and we’ll go from buzz to actual reports on how this product is received by the book-buying public. That’s six … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Flipback, Reading | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

Contest: Win a ‘Let Your Story Grow’ Mousepad

This spring, I posted a picture of my bright-green mousepad, which implores writers to “Let Your Story Grow.” It makes me happy every time I use my computer. And it’s a great reminder that it’s OK to leave the laundry … Continue reading

Posted in Community, Contest, Writing | Tagged , , , | 43 Comments

Children’s Author Interview: Paula Kay McLaughlin on Young Adult, Middle Grade and How Characters Drive the Story

Children’s author Paula Kay McLaughlin is one of those writers who always has worlds spinning in her head. I haven’t met her, but I can just tell from the novels she’s working on right now. (That’s right, novels.) She’s a … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Seven Questions, Writing | Tagged , , , , | 10 Comments

Writing Challenge #6: Pick a Prompt and Go for It!

When I interviewed novelist Yuvi Zalkow, I suggested everyone view his presentation, “I’m a failed writer.” If you missed it, today’s challenge is for you. Pop over to his site. Watch all 14 minutes of “I’m a failed writer #1: Revisions.” You’ll … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Revision, Writing, Writing Challenge | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

Prostitution, Or Writing What I Don’t Know

It’s time for another status update on my work-in-progress. As I’ve mentioned before, the first draft of my new novel, LOST NOTES, has taken me into many unknown places, both in terms of subject matter and setting. I’ve never written historical … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Plot, Revision, Writing | Tagged , , | 38 Comments

Interview: Author Michael Gettel-Gilmartin on Middle-Grade Fiction, Writing Habits and Successful Blogging Techniques

I’m pleased to feature middle-grade author Michael Gettel-Gilmartin today on Seven Questions, my interview series that features writers and other creative professionals. While Michael and I are neighbors here in Portland, Oregon, and we have a friend in common, we … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Seven Questions, Writing | Tagged , , , , | 9 Comments