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Questions, comments, concerns

Archive for the ‘Publishing’ Category

Paul A. Toth

My Siamese Twin

November 6th, 2009
by Paul A. Toth

SARASOTA, FL-

This has been what I call the Year of Ice. Colder than a shaved polar bear. Sayonara 2009. It’s been a year of pills, pills and more pills, until finally I seem to have reached some kind of treaty with bipolar disorder, which barely warrants discussion given that virtually everyone is now diagnosed as bipolar. Still, it’s important to note that when I write “ice,” I mean anxiety, yet when I write “anxiety,” I do not describe all attributes of “ice.” (more…)


Paul Clayton

Writing From the Gut!

October 29th, 2009
by Paul Clayton

SAN FRANCISCO-

I recently flew south to do a piece for Poets & Writers magazine about a rather unorthodox writers camp. Called The Write Stuff, it’s run by a writer named Rock Adams. Ever hear of him?

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Suzanne Burns

Diary of a First Book, Entry 4: Still Loving Morrissey and Shopping at the Gap

October 23rd, 2009
by Suzanne Burns

BEND, OR-

Don’t ever agree to your book being published if you have a fear of public speaking. I can say that, over the past five months, I have almost completely conquered this fear. I have beaten it out of myself. My husband has stood by, helplessly watching the self-berating, doling out the necessary Kleenex and gelato cups, weighing in on every outfit I’ve tried on. My vain (in more ways than one) attempt at looking just the right combination of serious literary writer and hot-ass bitch has culminated in committing the worst of sins: I bought a black T-shirt from the Gap.

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Paul Clayton

IeBAF 2001

October 10th, 2009
by Paul Clayton

SAN FRANCISCO-

You’re a writer, right? You’ve been writing for eight years, ten years, fifteen… and you’ve had a few small successes. But not with ‘the book,’ the one you poured your heart into over the years, the one that is not merely an entertainment, but is true, containing the essence of yours and others’ experiences, and the little bit of insight it all gave you. You’ve submitted it to the big New York houses hundreds (sometimes it seems like thousands) of times… with no result other than enough rejection slips to stuff a queen sized mattress.

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Peter Schwartz

Heart VS. Head

October 8th, 2009
by Peter Schwartz

AUGUSTA, ME-

In my worst moments, when I’m awake and shouldn’t be, when I feel as though I am merely surviving this life, I think: what am I? I don’t know what I am but I do know a little about the habits of the creature that is me. Maybe the most important duality I inhabit is that between focusing on my mind and focusing on my heart. When I’m in my mind, I’m serious, possibly a little cranky, and doing something useful like accepting my next friend on Facebook. When I’m in my heart, I’m either writing my next new poem or practicing one of my more inspired hobbies like autoerotic asphyxiation or Reiki. (more…)


Litsa Dremousis

Suggestions, Verities, and Such:

October 5th, 2009
by Litsa Dremousis

SEATTLE, WA-

Historians assuredly will view this epoch and, among other things, conclude we fussed and churned way too much over pubic hair.

We elected a president, not Santa Claus. We’re not going to get everything we want in the first three fourths of the first year of the first term.

While I know otherwise, I prefer to think ships float by magic: the water displacement theory strikes me as kind of sketchy.

Ladies, we’re nearly 52% of the population. Perhaps more of us could act accordingly?

Also, might a tiny but attention-grabbing portion of us stop writing to and marrying serial killers?

And fellas, might a tiny but attention-grabbing portion of you stop serial killing?

Is anything more resplendent than a lilac tree in spring?

Nutella, while medicinal, is extremely potent and should be handled as such: the combination of spoon and jar seems to hurl one into a time lapse and next thing you know, your evening is shot to hell and your shirt looks like an eight year-old’s.

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Greg Olear

This Is My First Novel

September 29th, 2009
by Greg Olear

NEW PALTZ, N.Y.-

Today is the official release date of Totally Killer, my first novel.

That’s what my oh-so-brief bio leads you to believe, anyway. “This is his first novel,” it says, as if I’d suddenly decided, after floundering about for the first thirty-five years of my life, to bang out a book, and a few months later, voilà.

As Hemingway concluded in his first novel, “Isn’t it pretty to think so?” (more…)


Suzanne Burns

Diary of a First Book, Entry 3: Voodoo Doughnuts and First Loves

September 28th, 2009
by Suzanne Burns

BEND, OR-

I have learned many things over the past few months of book touring. Number one, grabbing a book-buying audience’s attention in the summer months is like convincing me that Dan Brown, or Stephen King, is a good writer. Number two, if you read in a venue where they make maple-bacon doughnuts, they will come. Number three, there is no other bookstore like Powell’s City of Books in Portland, Oregon. (more…)


Paul Clayton

More Publishing Marketing Tips, Advice, and Considerations for the Serious Modern Writer

September 27th, 2009
by Paul Clayton

SAN FRANCISCO-

What if you were lucky enough to be a fly on the wall at a publishing house marketing meeting?  Or, barring that, a junior intern seated not at the table, but in the second tier of chairs, where your job was to serve coffee to the big boys and girls.  Well then, you’d be privy to some really good insider information on what was hot and what was not, wouldn’t you?  Well I know such a person and she called this in to me the other night, so I thought I’d share. 

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Paul Clayton

Thoughts on Publishing and PR, Marketing, and Other Dirty Tricks!

September 17th, 2009
by Paul Clayton

SAN FRANCISCO-

I’ve been thinking a lot about book titles lately. My first published book (not the first book I’d written, but the first I’d sold), Calling Crow, had originally been titled by me as Cacique. Envisioned as a historical thriller, ala Clavell’s Shogun, I put a lot of thought into the title.

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Paul Clayton

Smiley Face Fiction

September 13th, 2009
by Paul Clayton

SAN FRANCISCO-

I sent one of my stories to a so-called literary magazine and got back the strangest rejection letter I’ve ever received — and I’ve been doing this for over thirty years. I’d never heard of The @$$!@# Reader until the night I picked up (but didn’t buy) a copy at my local Borders where I go with my daughter, D, every Wednesday afternoon. (more…)


Richard Cox

You spin me right round (like a record baby)

August 20th, 2009
by Richard Cox

TULSA, OK-

In fiction, one common and generic way to refer to well-drawn, realistic characters is to call them “round.” As in:

…characters as described by the course of their development in a work of literature. Flat characters are two-dimensional in that they are relatively uncomplicated and do not change throughout the course of a work. By contrast, round characters are complex and undergo development, sometimes sufficiently to surprise the reader.

2009. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. (more…)


Shya Scanlon

I Want to be Famous

August 14th, 2009
by Shya Scanlon

LOWER EAST SIDE-

Like most aspiring authors, I’ve read quite a number of interviews with famous writers. One of the things they continually bring up is the following advice: focus on the work, and not on whether or not you’re going to become famous. The obvious but never-discussed subtext of this advice is that aspiring authors spend a lot of time focusing on becoming famous. I’m not going to argue with this.

In fact, in the name of honesty and transparency and of the big blog in the sky, I’m going to air some of my most base, fame-seeking, attention-getting, insecurity-balming, fever-dream ambitions.

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Elizabeth Collins

Life Lessons at the Literary Agency

August 13th, 2009
by Elizabeth Collins

PHILADELPHIA, PA–

Fresh out of college in 1993, I landed a job with a literary agent. Don’t ask me how.

The job, however plummy it seemed, was actually insane. Every day was a lesson in Real Life.

The first thing I learned was: Don’t let the bike messengers use the bathroom.  They’re usually shooting up in there. 

I got screamed at, reamed out, when I let the messenger use the bathroom. 

“Don’t you know what they do in bathrooms!?” My new co-worker was horrified.

I could imagine it, yes, because it is hot in NYC in summer, and bike messengers must drink a lot of water.

“Heroin!” she shouted. “Smack! They’re junkies!”

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Aaron Dietz

I’ve Decided Not to Reject People

August 5th, 2009
by Aaron Dietz

SEATTLE, WA-

A few weeks ago I started a literary publication called SPAM Publishing.

Now I have to deal with submissions and the impossible challenge of deciding what to publish.

How do I get myself into these things?

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P.T. Winton

The Bastard Child of Jackson Pollock and Claude Monet

July 30th, 2009
by P.T. Winton

PARIS, FRANCE -

Emerging from the Metro station in Montmartre, Paris, the sun plays through a haze that makes all the edges of the city drip with dew. I think back to the maps that got me here.

I came from Germany — a trip in a couchette as resilient as birch wood, to the Metro sub-station in France. Then a quick and jarring ride on the Metro to Montmartre. Paris was going to be a different experience than Germany. The Metro map told me so.

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Suzanne Burns

Diary of a First Book, Entry 2: It Ain’t About Unicorns, Bitch

July 26th, 2009
by Suzanne Burns

BEND, OR-

This book-pimping thing has brought both extreme highs and lows during the first month, as Misfits and Other Heroes has made its way into the world. I have cried and eaten one too many donuts, been routed to an Internet porn site when I Googled myself and been told by a local bookstore owner, “We don’t carry books about unicorns,” when I tried to explain how my short stories hover around the genre of magic realism.

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Greg Boose

The Lending Library: A Stephen Elliott Experiment and Interview

July 20th, 2009
by Greg Boose

CHICAGO, IL -

I don’t remember if I caught wind of it through Facebook or Twitter, in an email or if I just stumbled across a headline on the web, but when I heard that author Stephen Elliott was sending around a limited amount of advance copies of his new book, The Adderall Diaries, for free, I kept the information to myself and emailed him immediately.

He calls it the Lending Library.

Asks that people read his book in a week and then send it along. Just pay for the first-class postage and don’t mistreat the book for the next person.

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Megan Power

The Virgin Interview: D.R. Haney on Banned for Life

July 19th, 2009
by Megan Power

SAN ANTONIO, TX-

“It all began with a fuck,” goes the brash opening line of D.R. Haney’s first novel Banned for Life, and the strange seduction begins.

For those who haven’t read Haney’s sprawling debut, it follows Jason Maddox’s serio-comic adventures in the underground punk scene, stretching beyond mosh pit mayhem and barroom brawls to explore death and obsession and purpose. The author zigzags confidently between a resonant coming-of-age tale in North Carolina, la vie boheme in hardscrabble New York, and a tempestuous L.A. love affair which leads our narrator to Belgrade for climax and denouement.

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Lance Reynald

Recapping a Tour, or The Mirror Conspiracy Comes Full Circle

July 19th, 2009
by Lance Reynald

PORTLAND, OR-

There have been names thrown out over the years: Arrogant. Enigmatic. Freak. Media Whore. Self-indulgent. Vain. Narcissistic.

All names that suggest I’ve been spotted, seen and made note of. Words that the people closest to me find laughable and would say are totally off base. There is no owners manual for living with these words. I suppose it’s presumed that when these words come into play that you are immune to the effects of them. No self help books to give you perspective, no wisdom or advice for you.

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