Archive for the 'REAL WORLD' Category

There is No Horse & Cart. On Finding Success as a Writer.

Before we get to today’s post, I wanted to make you aware of an offer by a group called Writer Mamas. These women are trying to raise funds so that several WU community members can attend the Writer Unboxed Un-Conference in November. To that end, they’re selling $200 worth of writing books and guides for half cost. Click here to learn more about the offerings.
 

 
“That’s putting the cart before the horse, isn’t it?”

This is probably the metaphor I like the [...]

If Buddha Wrote a Novel

By Jenny Downing on Flickr’s Creative Commons

Today’s guest is Renee Swindle, the author of newly released A Pinch Of Ooh La La and Shake Down The Stars (NAL/Penguin). Her first novel, Please Please Please, was an Essence Magazine bestseller. Renee has an MFA in creative writing from San Diego State University. An admitted tea snob, Renee lives in Oakland with three rescue dogs and three cats—“Yep, six animals and me,” says Renee.

Dish magazine says, “Swindle has a way of making [...]

You Are So On (Because They Are, Too)

My address is 2025 Avenue of the Stars. 

This is as it should be, of course. 90067.

With my sunglasses so firmly in place that I can barely read anything on the screen, I’m writing to you on the eve of Phil Sexton’s Writer’s Digest Novel Writing Conference in Los Angeles. It’s at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza again this year, the kind of hotel that’s designed to look good on you.

My Unboxed co-star Barbara O’Neal will be here at #WDNWC this [...]

To Promote or Not To Promote: An Existential Question

It’s no secret that publishers do little these days to promote most books but that there’s an infinite number of steps authors can take to fill the void, from DIY to hiring an outside publicist. Nor is it a secret that even the most exhaustive efforts can potentially get you….almost nowhere in terms of sales.

This may be why many authors opt not to do much promotion if any aside from what their publishers have planned (typically mailing out galleys and [...]

Cooking a Book

Wikimedia Commons

There’s this guy. He’s an adrenaline junkie. The woman’s a massage therapist. They meet and… and… and… well of course they fall in love. That’s a given. But it won’t last (or will it?). And then there’s something about traveling from Montana to Maine and jumping out of a million airplanes. His name’s Elias… no J.P., and hers is Ellie. No. Allison. And of course they both have secrets—his involves feeling responsible for someone’s death, maybe an ex-lover. [...]

More on Voice and Structure

I posted some time ago about the challenges of voice and structure in my (then) work in progress, a novel called Dreamer’s Pool, first instalment of the Blackthorn & Grim series,  which is a historical fantasy/mystery series for adult readers. At that point I was wrestling with the self-imposed limitations of the format – three contrasting first person narrators alternating chapters. I love writing in first person, but I wondered at that point whether my control freak approach was forcing [...]

How to Keep Writing? Break It Down.

photo by Jeff Golden

Please welcome multi-published author-extraordinaire Claire Cook today to Writer Unboxed! Claire wrote her first novel in her minivan when she was 45. At 50, she walked the red carpet at the Hollywood premiere of Must Love Dogs, starring Diane Lane and John Cusack. She is now the USA Today bestselling author of twelve books and a sought after reinvention speaker. Her latest book, called Never Too Late, is a writer’s helpmate and resource tool, and an writer’s [...]

Nominal Doppelgängers

Photo credit: Torbus (Flickr CC)

Today’s guest is Elizabeth Silver, author of The Execution of Noa P. Singleton, an Amazon Best Book of the Year, Amazon Best Debut of the Month, a Kirkus Best Book of the Summer, Kansas City Star Best Book of the Year, Oprah “Ten Books to Pick up Now,” and selection for the Target Emerging Author Series.

Elizabeth’s writing has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Los Angeles Review, The Millions, and others. A graduate of the [...]

Writer, Interrupted

By Flickr’s See-ming Lee 李思明

Today’s guest is Maryann Reid, award-winning author and TV/radio social commentator. Maryann has been featured by countless media outlets including USA Today, Essence, Glamour, The CBS Early Show, and The Wendy Williams Experience. In addition, she is a popular guest lecturer at colleges—where she has taught writing and business skills to groups who want to lead their ideal life on their own terms. Maryann has been profiled in The New Yorker, Newsweek, Oprah.com, and NBC [...]

Marketing Tips for Agents and Authors

Flickr Creative Commons: Michael Summers

When I chatted with Teri a few months ago about this post, I wanted to tackle the question of money and advances and marketing dollars. I was feeling frustrated that certain publishers continued to make seven figure offers on debuts which no doubt continued to take the wind out of the sales of every other book placed in the same publishing season as said book.  Why put all your eggs in one basket? Clearly you [...]

The Magic Trick to Landing an Agent at a Conference (Hint: There’s No Magic Involved)

photo from Microsoft Office

You’ve revised your manuscript, sent it out to beta readers, revised again, and now it’s cards on the table time. You’re bringing your book to that fancy conference that’s coming up and shelling out the cash for a session with an agent.  But how do you make the most of your 15 minutes of professional attention?  How do you even choose which agent to meet with? 

There’s no magic password or handshake that will guarantee [...]

It Doesn’t Have to be Either/Or

photo by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes

I was sitting at my desk last Monday, working on my new manuscript (okay, kind-of working, kind-of surfing the internet) when Tweetdeck alerted me to the fact that Random House was offering my second novel, Time of My Life, at a promotional price of $1.99. I was as surprised as I was elated: namely, very. Surprised because I parted ways with Random House (amicably) when my imprint was shuttered (R.I.P. Shaye Areheart Books – I still love [...]