Monday, April 16, 2018

Query Critique

Query critique time!  For everyone who enters (and those who don't) spread the word so that even if you don't submit a query, you encourage others to read and comment.  Thanks :)



If you're not familiar with how to enter, take a look at my previous post to read the rules.  Good luck!  

Monday, April 9, 2018

Happy Pub Day!

I have another great book publishing tomorrow: Alana Delacroix's MASKED DESIRE, the second book in her Masked Arcana series with Kensington Lyrical!  The series is about supernatural beings living in Toronto, their ruling council, and the mysteries and romances they untangle.

The Caffeinated Reviewer said of the first book in the series: "MASKED POSSESSION is the first novel in the Masked Arcana paranormal romance series by Alana Delacroix. From its brilliant world building to sizzling romance I fell hard. This was my first read by Delacroix, but it won’t be my last."

Here is Alana to tell you all about MASKED DESIRE!




Tell us about the book!

MASKED DESIRE is the story of Michaela Chui, a masquerada, or shapeshifter who takes on human forms, and an extremely sexy exiled fey named Cormac Redoak. When they’re forced to work together to solve the murder of a ruling council member, they end up discovering that they might need each other more than they want to admit.


Was the experience of writing this book (as a contracted sequel) different from writing the first book?  How so?

I was more nervous because there were expectations I hadn’t had to deal with before. I had a deadline, for one. I was also working on the edits and the marketing for my first book (MASKED POSSESSION) at the same time, and thinking about how to set up the final book in the trilogy, MASKED DESIRE. I had to work on my time management as well as the actual writing, making it feel more like another job in addition to my nine-to-five. At the same time, I had an editor who I could go to with questions, and that support was fantastic.


What have you learned about the publishing process (or anything specific about publishing romance) since you've started writing these books?

Absolutely, the steepest learning curve has been the marketing. Even though I work in communications and PR for my day job, marketing in the romance biz is a completely different beast. I’m still wrapping my head around all the different platforms and how to increase my visibility in front of readers. It’s particularly difficult as I don’t even use Facebook in my private life. And I prefer print books to e-books! I now dedicate time each day to working on my book and author marketing. You now can follow me on Twitter, Instagram, subscribe for my monthly newsletter, and like me on Facebook.
Did you feel like you were involved in the various stages your book went through?  What kind of input did you have and do you think that is an experience unique to working with Kensington? 

Good question. My editor involved me in creating the blurbs, asked my thoughts for covers and was open to discussions regarding edits. This was everything I wanted. It was very important to me that the women be shown on my covers, and I’m very pleased that Michaela is on this one looking so very gorgeous. Unfortunately, it’s still not very common to have Asian women as heroines and featured on the covers of romance novels.

What is one of your favorite plot twists? 

Well, I don’t want to reveal any of the twists in MASKED LONGING, so I’ll go more general. My favourite three are:
1.     Surprise! I’m not really dead.
2.     Surprise! I’m a double agent.
3.     Surprise! A steady diet of french fries, cheese and wine are good for you. (This last one has not yet happened.)

Can we expect to see any of the characters from MASKED POSSESSION?

You can. Caro and Eric, the stars of MASKED POSSESSION, are there and still madly in love. Stephen and Estelle make an appearance, and we see a bit of how their relationship has progressed…or not. You’ll read about them in the last in the series, MASKED LONGING.

What is some fun promotion you've done for the book?  Anything upcoming we should be keeping our eyes or ears out for? 

It’s set in Toronto, so I’m planning some great social media posts about the locations they took place. You’ll see Cormac’s tree in High Park, get the recipe for the congee Michaela uses as a weapon, and see the infamous graffiti alley on Queen West where Michaela kicks some ass. We’ll also take a trip up to Manitoulin Island, which was the inspiration for the  masquerada training base.

What can we expect next in the series?
As well as discovering what happens to the Dawning’s attempts to control humanity, with the powerful Yangzei at the helm, you’ll find out if Stephan and Estelle can overcome a huge, and I mean huge, betrayal of trust to find love. And beat the bad guys.

Now fun question!  If these books were turned in to a movie (or movies ::salivates::) who would you cast to play the main characters?

Oh, oh, love this one. Okay.
Michaela Chui – Constance Wu. Can’t wait to see her in Crazy Rich Asians.
Cormac Redoak – Charlie Hunnam. This is on looks only, I’ll be honest, but I’m sure he’s a great actor.
Madden – Javier Bardem. Yep.
Rendell (a fey and Cormac’s nemesis) – Will Yun Lee, but with long hair. He’s got a great attitude that fits Rendell to a T.

Queen Tismelda – Tamara Taylor. She can pull off Tismelda’s cold cruelty—with a hint of insecurity—perfectly.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Happy Pub Day!

Tomorrow is the pub day for Greg Bruno's BLESSING FROM BEIJING: INSIDE CHINA'S SOFT-POWER WAR ON TIBET, which untangles the chains that tie Tibetans to China and examines the political, social, and economic pressures that are threatening to destroy Tibet’s refugee communities

Greg is an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in The New York Times, Foreign Affairs, The Guardian, Forbes, and UAE-based The National.  He has spent over a decade living in and writing about China, and is a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, where his previous work on U.S.-Pakistan relations earned him top honors from the Overseas Press Club and an Emmy nomination from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

His book is chock full of interesting insights and interviews, so be sure to buy a copy!




Tell us about your book and your journey to publication!

“Journey” is certainly the correct word for my publishing adventure; from conception to completion, it took me about a decade to finish Blessings from Beijing. Perhaps the easiest part was the title, which I settled on not long after a conversation I had with the Dalai Lama in October 2009.

The reporting and writing portion of my book began earlier that year, when I read a report by Human Rights Watch about life for Tibetan refugees in Nepal. China was pressuring Nepal’s government to restrict the movements and political freedoms of the country’s 20,000 Tibetan refugees; HRW documented the carrots and sticks that the Chinese government was using to put pressure on Tibetans living in the tiny Himalayan kingdom. And Nepal’s government – weak and squeezed between China and India – was complying.

After a number of reporting visits to Nepal and India, I began shopping my book proposal in late 2012.

Then, in November 2015, after trying – and failing – to find an interested publisher on my own, Carrie secured me a deal with the University Press of New England. Then came the really hard part: finishing the book! I had already done much of the reporting by then, but I still lacked huge chunks of historical context. Unfortunately, after a few months of attempting to fill these holes with no guidance, it became obvious to me that for this non-fiction work to be respected, it would need to be authoritative.

So, in an effort to gain a degree of authority, I went back to school – to study Chinese politics and history. In 2016, I moved my family to London, where I earned an MSc in the comparative anthropology of China at the London School of Economics and Political Science. This amazing experience gave me access to some of the greatest thinkers on contemporary China, and also enabled me to contextualize the reporting I had already done in Tibetan refugee settlements. With my newly-acquired academic knowledge I was able to better contextualize what Tibetans were telling me and understand how Chinese policy and history supported these observations.

During graduate school in London I finished the manuscript and completed what, for me, was a deeply rewarding marriage of journalism and education. 

How did you decide to write about the Tibetan diaspora?

My connection to the Tibetan diaspora began when I was a college student in the 1990s. I attended Skidmore College, a small liberal arts school in upstate New York, which placed a high premium on international study as part of the learning experience. Convinced that I could “do Europe” when I was older – I currently live in Prague, so I suppose I’m making good on that assessment – I took the advice of a good friend and applied to the Tibetan Studies program organized by the School for International Training in Vermont. For six months in the winter and spring of 1997, I lived with and among Tibetans in northern India, Nepal, and Tibet. I was instantly struck by Tibetans’ openness, compassion, but most of all, faith in their political future. During those few months I developed a profound affection for the Tibetan people, but also a long list of questions for and about China.

I returned to the US increasingly passionate about the Tibetan issue, but also deeply moved by how China was guiding the future of a people I now counted as friends. So, for a year after I graduated in 1998, I went to China to teach English and engage directly with Chinese on this topic. I traveled throughout Western China and spoke with many students about their views on issues like Tibet, Taiwan, and Chinese nationalism. As my understanding of these complex issues became more nuanced, my interest in the Tibetan topic deepened. When I decided to pursue this book project, it was largely to satiate my own decades-old questions.

What was the funniest interview you did for the book?  The saddest?

This wasn’t a “fun” topic for me or my subjects, simply because it is so personal. Perhaps a better adjective would be “adventurous.” The award for most adventurous interview I did goes to Pemba Norbu Sherpa, a Nepali farmer and former village chief in Lamabagar, an isolated community of stone-and-timber homes a few hours walk from the Tibetan border deep in the Himalayas. In early 2010, I set out for this small village to learn the fate of 17 Tibetan men, women, and children who had been arrested there a few days earlier by Nepali police. Nepal’s media reported that the Tibetans faced deportation which, if it occurred, would have marked a turning point in Nepal’s treatment of Tibetan refugees.

At the time of my visit, the village was reachable only by foot, and it took me two days to walk there with a small team of translators and porters. A road was being built at the time, and Nepali construction crews were using dynamite to blast huge walls of rock into the valley below. But while modernity was slowing creeping up on Lamabagar, it was a distant way off when I visited.

Pemba’s house was cold and dark during our interview, heated only by a small cow-dung fire. But most memorable was what he told me as I sat in his tiny living room, inquiring about the 17 arrested Tibetans. As I write in Chapter 4, To Kill a Goose, Cut Off its Head, the Chinese at the time were suspected of paying Nepali officials and police to report on Tibetan asylum seekers as they navigated the high-mountain passes out of Tibet. And in no uncertain terms, Pemba told me that many officials – perhaps even including him – were on the receiving end of such bribes. It was a chilling interview conducted on the frontlines of China’s war on Tibetan refugees.

As for the saddest, again, I’d suggest a slightly different adjective – “scariest.” That award is easy, and it goes to Samdup Wangmo, the secretary of a small religiously controversial monastery in South India. During a brief encounter with him in May 2012, this monk told me stone-faced that he prays for the day that the Dalai Lama dies. His reasoning is complex and rooted in a religious rift that has manifested in violent conflict and murder; to Samdup and many others, the Dalai Lama is a source of religious suffering, not peaceful transcendence.

That may be, but the way Samdup dispassionately declared his desire to see a global icon of peace and non-violence drop dead still gives me the chills. Religious scholars told me that Tibetans believe the deity Samdup worships has deadly powers; I believe I saw it emanate in Samdup’s smile that day.

​What was the process like for you after you went on submission (shopping to publishers, dealing with contracts, etc.)? 

Carrie managed most of the logistics once I was on submission and did so brilliantly. My engagement with my publisher was straightforward and painless, as was the contract experience. In other words, this might have been the smoothest part of the whole book-writing process!

After the contract was signed, were there any unexpected aspects of the publishing process that surprised you?

Yes, of course; this being my first book, numerous aspects of the publishing process were (pleasantly) surprising. Perhaps the biggest eye-opener was the editing churn. In newspaper journalism, it’s not very common to receive detailed edits before publication; the onus for fact-checking generally lies with the writer, and editors assume that writers have fact-checked every aspect of their copy. Time simply doesn’t allow for much back and forth.

Book editing is (thankfully!) a much more laborious process. Once my draft manuscript was submitted I spent a few more months going back and forth with the editorial team at UPNE, checking and rechecking the factual details of my story. In a project of this length it’s virtually impossible to catch everything. But, thanks to the keen eyes of my production editor, we were able to prevent a number of errors from finding the final proof. Though I certainly logged more all-nighters than I expected when I signed the contract, in the end, the attention to detail involved in the editing process was a welcome surprise.

What part of the publication process has been the most interesting/fun? What part has been the hardest?

All of it has been interesting, as it was a learning process throughout. But it was also hard producing a book as a career journalist. Writing for newspapers, as I did for years, is usually straightforward: editors need content, and “selling” an idea to a newspaper editor is most often quick. Book publishers, on the other hand, are drowning in ideas, and any new book must demonstrate potential to earn a return on investment. Convincing the publishing world that this book was right was interesting, fun, and maddening – all at the same time.

Anything that new authors can learn from your experiences?

I have two suggestions.

First, buy Michael Larsen’s How to Write a Book Proposal, and read it. Then read it again. This was my literary “Bible” during the early stages of securing an agent, and it helped me craft a book proposal that hooked. As a journalist, I knew instinctively that my book idea was a good one. Not only was it timely; I also had access and insight that allowed me to crack the story is ways others might not. But without Larsen’s guidance on how to sell my idea, I’m certain I’d still be an “aspiring” author, not a published one.

And second, never attempt a first book that you are not 100% passionate about. The publishing process is long, mysterious, and full of rejections (usually without a smile). To persevere, authors must be TOTALLY convinced in the value of their book (if always willing to adjust it). I’m not suggesting that doubt won’t creep in; it will. But passion helps position that doubt positively.

In my case, the passion was personal, because I had lived the story years before I started writing it. This passion carried me through the entire process and help me believe in the book, even when most publishers wouldn’t. I spent more time refining my pitch (six years) than writing the book (four years). In other words, passion fueled my persistence, and I think a similar formula is essential for any first-time author.

What's a fun fact about yourself?

In college I majored in geology, primarily so I could get credit to go camping.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Tip Time

It's Tip Time!  This month, I thought I would talk a bit about first chapter faux pas, which I originally did a webinar on for Pitch Wars earlier this month


I had a lot of fun preparing for the webinar and speaking to everyone, and because I want all of you to get to hear the thoughts I had about how to craft the best first chapter and what pitfalls to avoid as you do, I decided to share the audio and slides from the webinar, which you can download here

You can also watch the video below:



Chime in with your comments once you've had a chance to listen/watch!  I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Monday, March 19, 2018

Self-Promotion for Authors

Hi, everyone! This week, my blog is being taken over by one of my wonderful interns, the wonderful Tarie, with a special guest post...here she is!!



You’ve worked really hard and written an amazing book. Your publisher has promotional plans and of course, you’d like to help spread the good news about your book. You’d like to reach as many readers as possible! How can you promote yourself as an author and your book? There are tons of ways you can promote yourself and your book but I’d like to focus on the three ways I feel most strongly about as a book blogger, educator, and reading advocate.

Have an online presence.

This seems like a no-brainer but I’m surprised by the number of times I’ve learned about a new book through Publishers Weekly, Publishers Marketplace, or publishing professionals, googled the author’s name and found . . . nothing. No social media accounts, no author website, no author bio on the publisher’s website or on other websites (Goodreads, Amazon, etc.). This is very disappointing for readers who are excited about a new book. We want to stalk support you!

I know that not everyone is interested in social media and not everyone has the time for social media, but even just a minimal online presence will help you self-promote. It can be just a simple blog or website with a book blurb, brief author bio, and contact details for you and/or your agent. Please make sure that this is ready when your book deal is announced. Request that your publisher keeps their web page for your book updated. We book lovers really appreciate a reliable source of information about you and your book. It helps us get our wallets ready for that release date, spread the buzz, and invite you to festivals and other bookish events!

Engage with readers.

One of the best ways to self-promote is to be part of a reading community, whether online or IRL. There are SO MANY passionate readers and reading communities. Be inspired by their super impressive posts/updates on bookstagram, booktube, and other online platforms (blogs, Twitter, Snapchat, the list goes on and on). Comment on their posts. Show appreciation for all the hard work they put into their posts. Get book recs from them and share book recs with them. Fangirl/fanboy over your mutual faves. Attend reading conventions. Volunteer at your local library or bookstore and actively participate in their events. Join book clubs and participate in book discussions.

When engaging with readers, don’t make things all about YOU and YOUR book. Don’t try to somehow relate all topics or posts to you and your book. That’s not engaging with readers, that’s spamming readers. That’s the fastest way to turn readers off. (I’m also surprised and disappointed by the number of times I’ve seen authors do this.) Chances are if you’re an author you’re also a book lover. Connect with other readers because you want to discuss books. Be part of a reading community to express love for books and to help spread that love. Yes, it’s also a way for more readers to become aware of you and your work. My friends and I have discovered many authors by interacting with them as fellow book lovers! We’re all naturally curious about the people we have great bookish discussions with online or IRL.

For authors of children’s books: Share lesson plans and classroom activities for your book.

Sharing lesson plans, classroom activities, and book club activities for your book is an excellent way to reach out to the school and library markets. Teachers and librarians are super busy and they really appreciate it when a recommended book comes with fun, helpful lesson plans or activities. You’ll also catch the attention of parents who love to buy books that are entertaining AND educational for their children. Share how your book can be used in English, science, or history classes. What are some questions that can help facilitate a discussion of your book? Can your book be used to introduce new vocabulary or demonstrate a grammar point? Is your book a possible springboard for a discussion on current issues/events? How about recommending snacks, games, a playlist, or a movie for a book club party inspired by your book or by the theme/s in your book? The possibilities are endless!

You can design lesson plans and activities yourself or enlist the help of your teacher and librarian friends. Share through your website and social media accounts or through your publisher. You can also directly contact local schools and libraries. When promoting your book, don’t be shy, but also don’t be pushy. 

For more thoughts and tips on self-promotion for authors, read these posts by Carrie!

      

                

Monday, March 12, 2018

Query Critique Winner

Josee is lucky #8 this month.  Congrats, Josee!  Here is her original query:

Dear Carrie,

Thank you so much for this incredible opportunity. A HOPE TO BUILD ON is the first in my ETERNAL HOPE series, set in southern Quebec and northern New England, where love and loss are inescapable, making the hard-earned happy endings that much sweeter. A character-driven contemporary romance, my novel is complete at 70,000 words. Fans of RaeAnneThayne would enjoy my series.
 Single mom Julianne Thomas is ready to move forward with a life she’s put on hold since the death of her husband two years ago. At the top of her list: finally making use of that interior design degree. Not on her list: fighting her intense attraction to the gorgeous young contractor whose house she designs. Ryan Coulter doesn’t have a list, and he doesn’t have time for distractions–especially since he’s recently moved back to Dunham, Vermont to rebuild his life. But the beautiful designer’s grace and heart tear down the walls Ryan put up after his heartbreak. Love takes Ryan and Julianne by surprise… until they discover they are bound together in a way neither expected. Will the revelation cause irreparable damage, or will Ryan and Julianne grab onto their second chance at love?

I am a full-time writer and an active PRO member of RWA. As a ghostwriter, I have written articles for bridal magazines, mom blogs, and a quarterly. Currently, I work with multi-published authors and other critique partners to strengthen my writing. My manuscripts have won several RWA Chapter contests and I regularly attend workshops and conferences to improve my skill-set. My monthly newsletter continues to attract new subscribers through various social media platforms.
 I am looking for someone with whom I can partner for long-term career planning. If you would consider an addition to your literary family, I hope to hear from you. Thank you for your time. 
Kind regards,
Josee Telfer

And here is my critique:

Dear Carrie,

Thank you so much for this incredible opportunity. A HOPE TO BUILD ON is the first in my ETERNAL HOPE series, set in southern Quebec and northern New England, where love and loss are inescapable, making the hard-earned happy endings that much sweeter. A character-driven contemporary romance, my novel is complete at 70,000 words. Fans of RaeAnneThayne would enjoy my series.
 Single mom Julianne Thomas is ready to move forward with a life she’s put on hold since the death of her husband two years ago. At the top of her list: finally making use of that interior design degree. Not on her list: fighting her intense attraction to the gorgeous young contractor whose house she designs. Ryan Coulter doesn’t have a list, and he doesn’t have time for distractions–especially since he’s recently moved back to Dunham, Vermont to rebuild his life. But the beautiful designer’s grace and heart tear down the walls Ryan put up after his heartbreak. [This reads a bit too vague.  Instead, I would show specific examples of when he starts to fall in love, e.g. "But he can't ignore his attraction to Julianne and the way that XX happens as they work on XX."] Love As their relationship grows, love takes Ryan and Julianne by surprise… until they discover they are bound together in a way neither expected. Will the revelation cause irreparable damage, or will Ryan and Julianne grab onto their second chance at love?

A HOPE TO BUILD ON is the first in my ETERNAL HOPE series, set in southern Quebec and northern New England, where love and loss are inescapable, making the hard-earned happy endings that much sweeter. A character-driven contemporary romance, my novel is complete at 70,000 words. Fans of Rae Anne Thayne would enjoy my series.

I am a full-time writer and an active PRO member of RWA. As a ghostwriter, I have written articles for bridal magazines, mom blogs, and a quarterly. Currently, I work with multi-published authors and other critique partners to strengthen my writing. My manuscripts have won several RWA Chapter contests and I regularly attend workshops and conferences to improve my skill-set. My monthly newsletter continues to attract new subscribers through various social media platforms.
 I am looking for someone with whom I can partner for long-term career planning. If you would consider an addition to your literary family, I hope to hear from you. [This is a personal preference, but when receiving queries, I prefer to just have an author ask me to request more if interested, rather than talking about potential representation at this point.  I think this is better to have in an email after an agent has requested pages.] Given your background, I thought that A HOPE TO BUILD ON might be a great fit for you.  If you are interested in reading more, please let me know! Thank you for your time. 
Kind regards,
Josee Telfer

As you see, I don't have many changes for this query--just moving some things around.  This does a fantastic job of drawing us into the story and romance and giving us a great idea of what this story is about, as well as its voice and characters.  Great job, Josiee!  This is a really solid romance query!  Please let me know if you have any questions about my edits/thoughts.  And everyone else, chime in with comments below!

Monday, March 5, 2018

Happy Pub Day!

Tomorrow is the pub day for the next book in Erin Peabody's Behind the Legend series: DRAGONS!  This fun series looks at creatures and monsters throughout history and analyzes them through a scientific, myth-busting lens, debating whether or not the sightings and evidence provided are adequate proof of their existence.  There are five others books in the series and the first book received a starred Booklist review!  I'm excited to have Erin here to talk about DRAGONS today!




Tell us a bit about this book and how it has been writing this series, now that you have time to reflect on it as a whole.

In DRAGONS, young readers are whisked away to ancient, faraway lands to learn more about the fire-breathing beasts that have long enthralled people from around the world. Most of us are familiar with two of the most popular dragon legends. One is the dark and brooding medieval monster that was famously challenged with lance and shield; the other, his polar opposite, is the vibrant, wise and lucky creature that’s been revered for thousands of years in places like China and Japan. But there are numerous other thrilling dragon types and tales.

Have you heard of the brightly feathered dragon that supposedly blazed across the skies of ancient Mexico? What about other menacing dragonlike creatures, like wicked worms (or “orms”) and leeches, which allegedly terrorized the European countryside? And forget about those shining knights. Did you know that many of the bravest dragon slayers across history were women—including one who tamed her scaled attacker using a rather surprising wardrobe accessory?!


Digging up such lesser-known and silly details has been my favorite part of working on the BEHIND THE LEGEND series. And all the books, including BIGFOOT, THE LOCH NESS MONSTER, WEREWOLVES, ZOMBIES, UNICORNS and now DRAGONS, have revealed to me just how important our myths and monsters are to us. Fantastic creatures, especially dragons, unicorns and zombies, are incredibly powerful constructs of the human heart. They’re basically caricatures of our best—but also worst—selves. 

How did you research this book?

By obsessively reading as many books about dragons as I could! Over the last several months, I’ve checked out dozens upon dozens of books about Bigfoot, werewolves, zombies and dragons—probably much to the alarm of my local librarians! But perusing as much literature on a subject as possible enables a writer to find, hopefully, at least a few dazzling nuggets to include in her book.

Did you feel like you were involved in the various stages your book went through?  Tell us a bit about the editorial process for this series.

Absolutely. My primary editor, Charlie Ilgunas (Little Bee Books) was great to work with. He provided overarching support and guidance but was also clever enough, when reading through drafts, to point out any perceived historical discrepancies. I also worked with some incredible copyeditors who helped me pinpoint and/or confirm numerous hard-to-find historical details. Since this series encourages kids to honor facts and the scientific method, we owed it to them to get the details, even the most obscure, as accurate as possible.

What kind of marketing have you done to promote this book and this series?

Researching, writing and revising takes up the bulk of a writer’s time, but promotion is crucial and can also be lots of fun. I try to make it to as many local bookstores and schools as I can and participate in book fairs each year. Getting to know your local booksellers and their staff is one of the best bits of advice I’ve received, and can pass along!

What part of the publication process has been the most interesting/fun? What part has been the hardest? 

Researching and reading is my favorite part, as well as crafting a narrative arc in which to organize all the fascinating stories and bits of information. The absolute best part, though, is getting to meet fans and kids who enjoy the books and subject matter.

The most challenging part is the tedious work of hunting down details, many of which were first written about in ancient times. Take, for instance, St. George, the valiant soldier who, according to thirteenth century European legend, heroically slayed a dragon. While it would be optimal to include George’s last name and some other personal details about him, I simply couldn’t. Such information appears to be lost to history. (Of course, that could change as new historical documents are unearthed or old ones freshly interpreted.)

Do you have any quirks when it comes to your writing process (e.g. do you have to write at night or while wearing lucky socks)? 


Oh, many!! But I’m not sure how many directly affect my writing! I think most writers would agree that it’s great when you can be comfortable when you write…say, on a cozy sofa with a favorite beverage nearby. But I’d have to attribute some of my best creative inspiration to my 10-year-old daughter—a light-hearted unicorn aficionado and incessant doodler whose silly sketches fill the margins of my writing notebooks. Her wacky enthusiasm helps free my mind and recharge my curiosity. And curiosity is probably a writer’s most critical tool.