by Jennifer Paros
other day I was at my desk trying to get myself to start
working. I didn’t feel like doing anything, it seemed, and yet I
also wanted to work. Frustrated and unable to neither crack the
proverbial whip nor walk away, I closed my eyes for a moment in the
hope of releasing myself from this tug-of-war.
mind’s eye, I was back in eighth grade, musing over how good I felt
rehearsing our graduation play (it was a musical) and helping out on
the production. I thought about Sam (name changed for this tell-all
account) – my “co-star,” a fellow eighth grader. Sam was not
comfortable acting and had trouble singing on key. At the time, I
didn’t bother much about Sam’s challenges, though I was
rooting for him and any possible improvement. I wanted it all to
work but more importantly, I just wanted to work. I wanted the
experience of working together on the production and I already had
that experience, regardless of Sam’s performance.
eighth grade I didn’t feel great about who I thought I was. I felt
compelled to hide, striving to conceal what I had determined to be
some ill-defined deficient aspect of me.
Self-Publishing in the Age of E
by Erin Brown
Last month, I was honored to be one of three panelists on the
Publishers Weekly SXSW (South by Southwest) panel,
“Self-Publishing in the Age of E.” The other two invited panelists
were Hugh Howey, self-publishing phenomenon and author of Wool—which
was recently featured on the cover of The Wall Street Journal
and earned Howey over $1 million before it was bought by Simon &
Schuster—and New York agent Kirby Kim, of William Morris Endeavor.
Obviously, I was the most famous and esteemed person on the panel,
but I decided to humble myself and participate.
wanted to bring this topic to the hippies of my hometown of Austin
and those who had traveled to SXSW from all over the country and
world because self-publishing has changed drastically in the past
five years. One of my first articles for Author four years
ago was all about how self-publishing was a last resort option.
There had always been a stigma with self-publishing. Well, times
they are a’changin’. In 2012, the Fifty Shades of Grey
trilogy sold like gangbusters, making the author millions, becoming
the bestselling adult series of all time, and introducing everyone’s
mothers and grandmothers to the world of S&M and erotica (yeah,
thanks for that, E L James!). According to the publishing services
company Bowker, the number of self-published books produced annually
has nearly tripled since 2006, growing by 286%. So what does this
mean for you?
Let the Dead Sleep
reviewed by Jon Land
No writer working today manages a more even balance between the
normal and paranormal, the natural and the supernatural, than
Heather Graham. And her spellbindingly irresistible latest, Let
the Dead Sleep, features the absolute perfect blend of all.
Much of the action, appropriately enough, takes place in an old
antiques shop Danni Cafferty has inherited in the wake of her
father’s passing. But the shop, in true Stephen King fashion, is
not what it appears to be, chock full of secrets, spells, mysterious
writings, and one especially evil statue that may have a mind of its
“I threw it in the trash, and it was back in the study the next
day,” rants the statue’s owner, Gladys Simon, who wants desperately
to part with it. “I dropped it in a dumpster on Bourbon Street, and
it was back the next day. I buried it—and it was back!”
Kind of a hellish version of the Maltese Falcon and before you
can say “Twilight Zone,” Danni and ex-cop Michael Quinn are on the
trail of that statue after it vanishes in the wake of Simon’s very
Pebble by Pebble
by Pamela Moore Dionne
one day as you sit in front of your computer staring at a blank
screen you find that the words don’t come easy. Maybe they don’t
come at all – not even when you hog-tie them and try to drag them
onto the screen. What do you do? Are there tricks to getting
something down in print that will give you a place to start – a bare
beginning from which to take a leap of faith? Over the years, I’ve
hit many boulders in the path to a completed manuscript. I’m here to
tell you that there’s usually a way over, under, or around every
obstacle on the road to publication.
Sometimes a block is only a bump, like a nudge that gets you to dig
deeper into your subject. Other times it’s a mountainous directive
telling you that the bridge you’re trying to cross is no longer
functional – turn back. Sometimes you have to let go by getting up
and walking away from the computer. I’m not telling you to abandon
your work altogether. What I’m saying is get away from it long
enough to reframe your thought processes around whatever has you
stymied. Then come back and approach it with a fresh attitude. But
don’t do this too often or you won’t finish anything.