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Category: Writing Process

How to Throw a Book Launch Party

How to Throw a Book Launch Party

In December, I had the pleasure of hosting my first-ever book launch party. After years of aspiring to be a published author, I’ll admit to plenty of daydreaming about what a book launch party would look like. I envisioned my friends gathered around my local independent bookshop, sipping wine and eating finger foods, while I regaled them with stories about the process of writing my novel.  Things didn’t quite happen in that manner exactly, but I did have a very…

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I Turned My Basement Into a Book-Themed Bar

I Turned My Basement Into a Book-Themed Bar

“This is what I want,” I said as I sipped a delicious Great Gatsby (champagne, orange bitters, orange peel, sugar cube) inside Battery Park Book Exchange, a champagne bar/bookstore in Asheville, North Carolina. In February 2019, I moved into a house that had a rather nondescript basement brimming with possibility: a wood-burning fireplace flanked by tall built-in bookshelves, a buffet space with cabinetry above and below, and plenty of empty space with which I had no idea what to do….

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A Look Ahead: Gearing Up for a Busy 2020

A Look Ahead: Gearing Up for a Busy 2020

It’s been a bit quiet on the website lately, but I’m happy to say it hasn’t been because of inactivity. Several past periods of quietness could have been attributed to that, but not this time! In fact, I’m heading into the most active time I’ve had since launching this writing career so many years ago. I thought I’d provide a few updates. New River Gorge Creative Residency I have been selected as one of three creatives for the New River…

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Guilty Pleasure Reads

Guilty Pleasure Reads

I was recently discussing with a friend guilty pleasures in terms of entertainment – books, music, television, etc. The fact is, there isn’t too much entertainment I consume that I feel guilty about. I don’t shy away from my love of old sitcoms, folk music, and, as I’ve often been told, things little old ladies would like.  In fact, the older I get, the more abundantly clear it is that I inherited a lot of my personality traits from my…

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Am I Even a Writer?

Am I Even a Writer?

Pity, party of one. I’ve been in one hell of a terrible slump for probably a year or more, trying and failing to pump some life into a lagging writing career. I’m happy to report that I’m emerging from it, but it’s been a rather dreary time. I thought I’d share a little about why I’ve been feeling this way. Perhaps it’ll help other writers trying to dig their way out of the hole. My slump came to a head…

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Prolific and Diverse

Prolific and Diverse

  "Learning to be prolific would be high on my list of the most valuable writing skills a professional writer can have." – Brent Hartinger The quote above, which Brent Hartinger recently made on his Facebook page, landed in my newsfeed at the most convenient time – a time when I was yet again questioning my future as a writer. As I’ve documented plenty of times on the blog, my journey has been stalled by rejection after rejection, even after…

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The Unfinished Manuscript

The Unfinished Manuscript

"I won't leave any unfinished manuscripts." – Harold Robbins (Good for you, Harold. I can't make such a bold statement.) Question for writers: How many unfinished books are collecting digital dust in your computer's filing cabinet? There’s a folder on my desktop called Writing. Within that folder are several additional folders for each of the projects I’ve worked on over the years – novels, screenplays, short fiction, poetry. There are outlines, character biographies, and of course the manuscripts themselves. Some of them are…

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Writing Actually is Rewriting

Writing Actually is Rewriting

You've heard it a thousand times: "writing is rewriting." Yawn! But actually, it's so true that it's punch-you-in-the-gut frustrating. I’ve documented the writing process of my first manuscript, Welcome to Straightville, ever since I started this website, and it’s a process that is still in motion. In a nutshell, I started writing the book during a semester break in graduate school back in 2008. I worked on it slowly over the next few years before I decided that a writer…

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How to Build a Book Tree, Part Deux

How to Build a Book Tree, Part Deux

In my last post, I provided a step-by-step guide to building a book tree for the holidays. I approached the project with limited research and a limited number of books, ending up with a rather small tree that, while cute, was just a little too little for my liking. If Charlie Brown had built a book tree for the Christmas play, it would've looked a little something like mine. Okay, maybe it wasn't that bad. But after staring at the…

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Writing is Rewriting

Writing is Rewriting

This whole novel writing without novel selling thing has been a blast, but… For those of you who may be new to my little corner of the Internet, let me catch you up before telling you how I plan to spend my summer rewriting pretty much everything I've ever written. 2008: I started writing my first novel. 2011: I finally finished what I thought was a decent draft of that novel and began querying literary agencies (far too soon, I…

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