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Tomie dePaola

The author of
Brava Strega Nona!



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Corey Doctorow on writing anywhere and anytime.

  Dispatches From The Publishing Front

All I Want for Christmas is a Great First Novel
by Erin Brown

    Editor's Blog
by Bill Kenower

Now, is that really too much to ask? A fantastic, unputdownable, stays-with-me-long-after-the-final-page, full of memorable characters, sparkling dialogue, a unique premise, end all/be all novel. Either that or those diamond studs that I’ve been leaving pictures of all over my husband’s desk. Either one will do.

Truth be told, I did receive this “novel” present just last month in my freelance editorial world and that author now has a top notch, New York agent and is well on his way to making a splash on the bookshelves (whoo hoo!). But before I drink too much of Aunt Edna’s spiked eggnog, I want to tell you the heartwarming holiday tale of buying one of my favorite acquisitions of all time—two years ago, I received the ultimate Christmanukkah present: an incredible novel by a first-time author. As I sat in my drafty Flatiron building office, a beautiful, thick sheaf of papers came across my old, wooden desk and by page 10, I was in love. more...

    The joke between my wife and I has long been that I like to talk big, and she likes to keep things small. “Don’t start with the Big Talk,” she implores. The phrase Big Talk was invented to describe my certainty that she and I would one day be married. At that time she hadn’t even admitted that she loved me, so it seemed premature to her. Since I turned out to be right on that score, I remained convinced for years that my Big Talk was visionary, and her Small Talk was nearsighted. I have since changed my mind. 

My conversion began when my wife was getting her first book published. My publishing experience to that point had been fraught with disappointment and angst. Her publishing experience, from my vantage at least, seemed effortless. She received two rejections, both warmly worded, before not one but two major publishers expressed an interest in her children’s book. Finally, as the excitement and anticipation around the book’s release began to swell, my wife sat across from me at our kitchen table and said, “I just want to keep it small.” She meant that she didn’t want to get too excited and see being published as too big a feat. She wanted to keep it manageable in her mind. And then, a light, as they say, went on. more...

  Book Reviews       Articles  
  Editor's Pick: Titanic's Last Secrets
reviewed by
Scott Pearson
    Working Easy:
One woman’s desire to create problems

by Jennifer Paros


A fascinating and, at times, haunting re-exploration of the Titanic disaster, whether you are a weathered “Titaniac” or a newcomer without sea legs. In the opening chapters Chatterton and Kohler get drawn into the mystery of why the ship sank so quickly, and then they dive to Titanic’s final resting place more than two miles beneath the surface of the Atlantic. The middle section details the ship’s construction, the still heart-wrenching nighttime sinking, and the immediate aftermath.  more...




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I was twenty-five years old and had gone back to college to study art, after receiving my first bachelors’ degree in fiction writing.  I was insecure about my technical facility for drawing and was in a semi-constant state of trying to prove myself – if not to others, then to myself.  Even though I had come to art school to LEARN, I remained anxious about the potential of producing something unimpressive or worse, just plain bad.

With each drawing I made, I would enter into a slave mentality – something that felt akin to having to build a pyramid overnight.  I would sit myself down at my drawing table and begin the torturous experience of striving to work freely while keeping an “eye” on myself.  more...


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