Archive for the 'Inspirations' Category

The Art of Creating Memorable Villains Whatever Your Genre

Today’s guest is Lisa Alber, author of Kilmoon, A County Clare Mystery. Lisa describes herself as “ever distractible,” and you may find her staring out windows, dog walking, fooling around online, or drinking red wine with her friends. Ireland, books, animals, photography, and blogging round out her distractions. Lisa received an Elizabeth George Foundation writing […]

In Praise of Paper Books

I recently started rereading a book I bought many years ago – one volume of an eight volume collected set of The Spectator, a London daily periodical from the early 18th century. William Addison and Joseph Steele wrote most of the The Spectator’s 2500-word, witty and wise essays on serious topics of social value. A […]

The Thrill of the Write

Recently I read on Kirkus about novelists “who do really funky research.” Like Jodi Picoult who spent time in a prison. Susan Minot traveled to Uganda to get to know girls kidnapped by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Peter Rock explored an underground shelter used by former members of a New Age religion. Ann Tyler has written: […]

Dear Soon To Be Published Author,

Yes, I’m talking to you. The one over there, not meeting my eyes for fear I’ll see the self doubt and despair that have begun to edge out your sense of purpose and confidence. And you, there in the corner, looking everywhere but at me, afraid to believe that your time is almost here. It […]

Love Every Word

Everyone who writes likely has a favorite book (or a hundred). And within those favorite books are favorite passages. My most often-revisited books fall open to specific pages, the ‘good parts’–those which hit an emotional high, or which spark a resonance within me, or even those that had me so completely enraptured in their literary […]

How Seth Godin Saved My Career: Lessons a marketing guru taught a literary novelist

Our guest today is Deborah McKinlay, author of some half dozen, nonfiction, humor titles, and the author of two novels The View From Here (Soho Press, 2011) and That Part Was True (Grand Central, 2014), a NYT Book Review editors’ choice on February 16th, and one of Parade Magazine’s “Ten Books You’ll Love For Spring.” It […]

Make the Music You Make

I’m addressing the kids today, and if you’re not one, but know someone who is, won’t you please pass this along? (If you find it worthy, I mean.) I’m hoping to help your young peers understand what to expect as they walk the writer’s road. I was a pack rat of words long before computers […]

When the Thrill is Gone

“You must write every single day of your life… You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads… may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.”― Ray […]

Get Over Rejection in 6 Easy Steps

Warning: Hacks for Hacks tips may have harmful side effects on your writing career, and should not be used by minors, adults, writers, poets, scribes, scriveners, journalists, or anybody. Stuffing your manuscript in the yellow envelope and mailing it to a magazine feels like putting your kid on the big yellow school bus for her […]

Writing the Rails

Ever since I read an article about writer Jessica Gross taking a writing residency aboard Amtrak, Arlo Guthrie’s “The City of New Orleans” has been on endless loop in my mind. Then, when I heard about the possibility of more residencies on trains, I immediately tweeted: @Amtrak Would love nothing more than to write an #AmtrakResidency […]

A Novelist’s Baby Blues or Surviving a Debut Launch

In continuing the look behind the scenes in publishing here at Writer Unboxed, I felt compelled to share something I very recently went through—the baby blues. My debut novel BECOMING JOSEPHINE—about the woman who stole Napoleon’s heart and enchanted an empire—just released last month. I should be so proud and still on a high. People […]

Negative Reader Reviews: The Antidote

“What other culture could have produced someone like Hemingway and not seen the joke?” –Gore Vidal  I have to be honest with you; the above quote makes me despise Vidal, but my loyalty to Ernest Hemingway makes my opinion irrelevant and unreliable. In general, I think critics have a place at the table, as long […]