Here at Chez Art and Words apre le NaNoWriMo, I’m deep into design and holiday projects (see above). Like many in December, I’m on a push to finish everything up between now through the end of the year. Regardless, I can’t let the following friends’ and colleagues’ news go uncelebrated:
1. Congrats to my friend Heather Webb whose new novel RODIN’S LOVER was featured in January’s Cosmopolitan magazine (right). They wrote, “You’ll be drawn into this story of obsession and passion between the artist and his apprentice/muse.” High praise indeed!
2. Author Robert Goolick (A RELIABLE WIFE) has just published a Christmas story entitled THE FINAL BALL OF ORIANNE DE PREMONVILLE. It can be found on Amazon under the Kindle Singles section, and involves the most beautiful red dress in the world. (I workshopped my opening chapters of A GATHERING OF SHADOWS with Goolrick at the Salt Cay Writers Retreat.)
3. There’s a massive giveaway of 22 books going on at the Historical Fiction Co-op. To enter the giveaway, click here. I’m a member of this wonderful group, along with C.W. Gortner, Lynn Cullen, Michelle Moran, and other notable authors.
4. Finally, on my author friend Christy English’s blog, I loved her thoughtful, funny interview with indie author Ellen Seltz (MR. MOTTLEY GETS HIS MAN). When I contacted Ellen about featuring the interview, she wrote regarding her decision to self-publish: “I think publishing is going the way of music and film—content with a broad appeal is going to benefit from that large distribution network, and niche content is better off in a focused channel.”
Other sage advice from Ellen:
Being an unpublished novelist may or may not correlate with being an inexperienced writer, or creative professional. If you have already developed your artistic sense and professional distance, great – go on and start learning the specifics of the form and the business side. If you don’t yet have a reliable sense of what professionalism is, or more importantly, how to tell whether you have written crap or not, then put publishing on hold till you get your crapometer calibrated. Put your stuff in front of strangers (Strangers! Not your friends!) and see how they react. This is one of the benefits of the query/rejection/polish/resubmit process of legacy publishing, it forces you to see and relate to your work differently.
Read the rest of the interview here.
Quick fly by this morning, since I’m eager to get down to increasing my NaNoWriMo word count*: In Art and Words publishing news, the iOS 8 update for the ever-popular Goddess Tarot app was just been approved by Apple. Huzzah!
More about the app: The Goddess Tarot app has been personally designed and adapted by me from the best-selling print edition of my deck. It is available in free Lite and paid Full versions, as well as for Android. The Full version (right) includes four inspiring readings, a journal to record your readings, and more.
If you already own the app on your iPhone, iPod or iPad, the iOS 8 update is a free download from your device. If you don’t, well, what are you waiting for? Learn more here.
Better yet, let’s do a giveaway: The first three people** to comment on this post will be given a code redeemable on the App Store for downloading the Full version of the app.
So, ready, set, comment. May the fastest fingers win!
ETA: The giveaway is now closed. That was fast! Congrats to those who won.
*Note NaNo word count widget in the sidebar. Accountability and all that.
**US residents only. Sorry!
Yes, this is really what Salt Cay looks like.
Remember last October? When I went to the Salt Cay Writers Retreat in the Bahamas and workshopped my novel with Robert Goolrick, Amy Einhorn, and other amazing publishing peeps, and swam with dolphins? Where I made friends that will last a lifetime, and had my writing transformed? I’ve good news: the Salt Cay Writer’s Retreat is now offering a scholarship sweepstakes.
Entering is uber-easy: Simply sign up for the SCWR mailing list on their website and refer your friends for a chance to win. One winner chosen at random will receive a full scholarship to attend the retreat ($3000 value, not including airfare and hotel). Twenty others will receive a $500 discount.
For more information and the fine print, visit here.
In parting, here’s some snippets of wisdom I took home from the Retreat:
Agent Jeff Klein (Folio Literary) on marketing a book: “A book for everyone is a book for no one.”
Author Robert Goolrick (A Reliable Wife) on what is literary fiction: “It’s a bogus term. A book is either a good book or a bad book.”
Editor Chuck Adams (Algonquin Books) on the ideal reader: “Once you know the story you’re going to write, you need to imagine the reader you’re going to write it for.”
Agent Michelle Brower (Folio Literary) on point of view in a novel: “The choice you make brings you closer or further from character. Point of view is a tool for suspense and tension.”
Editor Amy Einhorn (Flatiron Books) on novel endings: “You don’t want the ending to be exactly where it appears to be going, where the reader can figure it out. A SIMPLE PLAN has a great ending, where we have no idea where the author is taking us.”
Thanks to everyone who participated and left such nice comments on my recent interview with novelist Jennifer Laam! Without further ado, the winner of the autographed copy of Jennifer’s THE SECRET DAUGHTER OF THE TSAR is….
Congratulations to Christi Craig! I’ve just sent you an email with information on how to claim your prize. I know you’re going to enjoy it!
For more information about THE SECRET DAUGHTER OF THE TSAR, Jennifer Laam’s official author site offers excerpts, reviews, and information about the historical events inspiring her novel. She can also be found online at Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and Pinterest.
Photographed recently at the American Wing of the Metropolitan Museum in New York City.
In other news, tomorrow marks your last chance to enter our book giveaway for Jennifer Laam’s fabulous new novel THE SECRET DAUGHTER OF THE TSAR. In it, Jennifer seamlessly braids together the stories of three women: Veronica, Lena, and Charlotte, and imagines an alternate history for the Romanov family—one in which a secret fifth daughter, smuggled out of Russia before the revolution, continues the royal lineage to dramatic and unexpected consequences.Learn more here.