What follows is a list of websites, books, places, and other things I find inspiring, beautiful, or useful. To keep this page fresh, I’ll be rotating and updating items on an occasional basis. Enjoy!
writing and publishing
Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. I’m thrilled to have been awarded a residency fellowship to work on my second novel here. VCCA is a working retreat for exceptional national and international artists, writers, and composers sequestered in the rolling foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains.
Salt Cay Writers Retreat. I was fortunate to attend the SCWR in 2013, where I workshopped my fiction with author Robert Goolrick (A RELIABLE WIFE) and other publishing luminaries. A life-changing experience in an intensely beautiful environment.
National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. Write a novel in a month? Write a novel in a month. I’ve done and “won” NaNoWriMo two times. It’s a great way to push past your inner editor and get those words out.
Poets & Writers Writers Residencies database. As described. Helpful and inclusive.
The Purple Crayon. The site of children’s book author-editor Harold Underdown. If you want to create and publish children’s books, this is a must-visit.
A Crowdsourced List of Resources for Beginning Novelists. On my blog. Everything from the Snowflake Method to books galore.
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. Probably my favorite book, I consider Jane Eyre the feminist ur-text. I first encountered it when I was eleven. I don’t know how many times I’ve reread it since then.
Possession by A. S. Byatt. A romantic romp through academia set simultaneously in modern and Victorian England. If you love the PreRaphaelites as I do, it’s great fun to spot all the references. I recently reread it as inspiration for the Next Novel.
Fingersmith by Sarah Waters. I love all of Waters’ novels, but this one is my favorite. A literary potboiler. Don’t start reading it before sleep.
The Anatomy of Story by John Truby. My favorite book on the craft of story. Though it’s pitched toward screenwriters, there’s lots for novelists to take inspiration from.
The Fire in Fiction by Donald Maass. I’ve taken two novel-writing workshops with Maass, both which were tremendously helpful. Maass’s fiction writing techniques really do work. I find his concept of microtension to create narrative urgency especially valuable.
Leighton House Museum. A stunningly beautiful home that serves as a paean to the Aesthetic art movement. Peacocks, silk rooms, indoor reflecting pools, and more. Located in the heart of Kensington, London. Right, photograph of Leighton House’s Arab Room.
Kelmscott Manor. William Morris’s arts and crafts-decorated summer home in the Cotswolds.
Highgate Cemetery. Part nature preserve, part burial grounds. Numerous luminaries are buried here including Elizabeth Siddal, Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s wife and muse. I set a pivotal scene in A GATHERING OF SHADOWS at Highgate.
Brooklyn Botanic Gardens. Peace, quiet, and a Japanese garden in the heart of New York City.
Ditmas Park Corner. All about the bucolic Brooklyn neighborhood where I live.