One of the more pleasurable aspects of hosting a writers’ blog is to squee or commiserate with all of YOU on the crazy business of publishing fiction. Despite the recent challenges to the publishing industry, 2008 was an inspiring year for WU readers and contributors. WU made the Writer’s Digest list of top 101 websites for writers two years running. No wonder, with the wonderful writers we have helping us with this forum!
Joining us in 2008 was RITA-award-winning women’s fiction author Barbara Samuel , who described her journey as she rebranded her image with a new name, Barbara O’Neal. She released a new novel, which marked a new turn into magical realism, THE LOST RECIPE FOR HAPPINESS. We hope 2009 is just as successful for Barbara, if not more.
Internationally bestselling children’s author Sophie Masson also joined us in 2008. Sophie, based in Australia, offers perspectives on the YA market and from her unique heritage. THOMAS TREW AND THE ISLAND OF GHOSTS was nominated for a prestigious Aurealis Award. She’s also entering the US market with her Shakespeare-inspired series, beginning with THE MADMAN OF VENICE. She also shared deluxious recipes with us, for which we are exceedingly grateful. We wish Sophie the best of luck and know that 2009 will bring good things for her.
Contributor Allison Winn Scotch hit the NYT’s bestseller lists this year with her high-concept novel THE TIME OF MY LIFE (and movie deal!). We were privileged to have Allison detail the journey of TIME OF MY LIFE from idea to galley, as well as her secrets for success. She also took time out to interview novelist Julie Buxbaum for all of us here at WU. If 2008 was Allison’s breakout year, we can’t wait to find out what 2009 has in store for her!
Bestselling fantasy author and stalwart contributor Juliet Marillier continues to vault to the top of the fantasy lists. In a dizzying blitz of releases in 2008, Juliet hit the market with WILDWOOD DANCING, CYBELE’S SECRET, and the eagerly awaited HEIR TO SEVENWATERS–for which she was also nominated for the Aurealis Award! She took time out of her schedule to interview bestselling fantasy author Joe Abercrombie for WU readers. Juliet’s had her share of challenges as well, and we wish her all the best for 2009.
Freelance editor, blogmeister for the wildly popular Flogging the Quill website, and writer Ray Rhamey has added entrepreneur to his list of achievements. Ray’s editorial accomplishments are legion, and we were fortunate to benefit from his insights regarding the craft of fiction, from creating a really good bad-guy to viewing a story as a river. Ray got serious about self-publishing and compiled his years of experience in his book JUMP-START YOUR NOVEL WITH KITTY-CATS IN ACTION. We know that 2009 will be a successful year for Ray and his debut book.