Friday, June 25, 2010

Friday Fun Facts: July/August 2010 Writer's Digest

"You have to really love what you're writing about to write a really good book..." ~Charlaine Harris

Sharing the latest news from Writer's Digest ~ this month's issue focuses on memoir writing, which isn't really my thing, but they always have some interesting articles for all writers. Among them:

"Based on a True Story" recounts one writer's chance encounter with James Frey, the infamous author of A Million Little Pieces who was lambasted by Oprah for fabricating large parts of his memoir. Many people called him a fraud, among other things, but the author of this article doesn't feel that way at all. She argues instead that all memoirists fabricate to a certain extent, because they are writers telling a story. (By the way, I don't agree with her. Because Frey couldn't sell his story as a novel, he marketed it as a memoir, which in my mind suggests much more "truth" than a novel does. If all of us seeking the elusive contract simply lied to get it, where's the integrity? But I digress...)

"Emerging as a Writer" talks about the value of MFA creative writing programs. While they require absolute devotion of huge amounts of time and energy (and money too, I'd guess, though the article doesn't mention that), they're also greatly rewarding. They allow you to surround yourself with fellow writers and delve really deeply into your own strengths and weaknesses. Not sure I'd ever go through with getting my MFA, but I wouldn't mind taking a class or two.

"In Her Blood" discusses the tremendous success of author Charlaine Harris, who writes the Sookie Stackhouse series (basis for the TV show "True Blood"). I've read some of her books and really liked them, even though I'm not a big vampire fan. Interesting to find out that she took exactly one creative writing class in her life and also that she spent many years writing "cozy mysteries" before she broke out of her own mold and tackled paranormal. And while she definitely credits the vampire/paranormal trend with boosting her own success, she also says giving herself the freedom to do something different, something she really wanted to try, added to it as well.

There's also an article called "Raising the Stakes" that I haven't looked at yet, about adding tension/stakes to your story. Definitely looking forward to that one!

Thanks again to the editors of Writer's Digest for producing another helpful issue!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Writers' Wednesday: Two Nice Reviews

“Be happy. It's one way of being wise.” ~ Sidonie Gabrielle

I love the casual reviews I get from readers every now and again. The other day on one online forum I frequent, a fellow author wrote "Woo hoo - those "One Night" books are a hoot! I love them - didn't realize they were yours, Allie!" (I'm not exactly sure what she means by a "hoot" since they're love stories, but it sounds like a positive response).

And then last night I received this lovely email from one of the women at the Ladies' Literary Society, where I spoke a couple of weeks ago:

"I finished your latest book last evening and it is THE BEST YET! I really enjoy your writing and spoiler here so I deleted it... The happy ending really gave me a lift after an extremely stressful day. Thank you!"

They both made my day :)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Monday Mentionables: Win a SONY eReader!

Hey all, yesterday was my day as featured author over at Tilly's Greene's blog, and every comment during this ENTIRE month enters you to win a SONY hop on over, read, and comment if you'd like! (I have to admit: reading comments from people I don't know, who've read and enjoyed my other books, is still such a thrill :)


I'm pleased to say that we have found homes for all 6 kittens that have been growing up in and around our garage these last few weeks! Can't believe how big they've gotten: check out these pictures!

Stretched out in a flowerbox (apparently the towel-lined boxes weren't good enough. or dirty enough)

Sometimes, flowerpots are even preferable to flower boxes...

And even better with a friend

Of course, exploring the world outside is nice too...