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Showing posts from November, 2014

Favorite Christmastime Books

I have my favorite fall books, for sure, but it's books for the holiday season that I really do come back to every year.  They're part of the tradition, like decorating the tree or making mincemeat (some of my traditions are a little weird).


A Christmas Carol In Prose.  Confession: I am not a Dickens fan.  I find it somewhat sloggy, and though I have good intentions of attempting a serialized read to mimic how Dickens meant his books to be read, I can't get up the enthusiasm when there are other things to read.  But my Dickens reticence does not extend to A Christmas Carol.  First, the length--it's technically a novella, and the pace is downright sprightly for Dickens.  Moreover, it has a bright wit that most film renditions don't quite capture what with the focus on the saccharine-sweet "God Bless Us Every One" moments.  There are complex family dynamics and a far clearer understanding of a broken man, Ebenezer himself.  Well worth the read.


Nutcracker by …

Favorite Fall Books

I associate books with seasons, especially favorite books that I want to read over and over.  They become tied to times of the year, with some evoking lazing on a porch swing in deep, humid summer and others bundling up with a cup of tea while winter blusters against rattling windows.
A few of my favorite fall books:
Fire in the Blood by Irene Nemirovsky
It's no secret to anyone who's known me a while that I love Irene Nemirovsky, and this is one of my favorites.  The ultimate unreliable narrator delves into his memories and proves--he doesn't know himself as well as he thinks he does.  Cold and gorgeous and fading.  (For what it's worth, I'm already cranky about the movie adaptation of Nemirovsky's Suite Francaise, so don't even ask.)


Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
Something about a going to school story appeals to me in fall.  Descriptions of old-fashioned trains, classes we'd all love to take, and a fascinating school?  Beats even back to school shopping…

The Importance of Writing Something New

There's one question that led to me signing with my agent.  I didn't ask it--she did.

"Are you writing anything new?"

I had queried with a project I was really excited about, and was checking in on a full request.  My now-agent Jessica responded promptly and kindly (as is her wont) that she hadn't forgotten about it, and, by the way, was I writing anything new?

Fortunately, I was.  I had two projects going that I was excited about--both departures for me in terms of sub-genre within young adult, but both really fun writes that I was enjoying.  I told her about both, quick pitches that summed up the basics of the plot and what made the stories unique.  (Side lesson--be able to sum up your project effectively at any stage in the writing game.)

"I'm so glad I asked!" she replied.

No, I'm so glad I was writing something new!

This led to a request for material, and then The Call, the paperwork, and the All That Jazz, in an admittedly pretty unorthodox…