Jennie Shortridge

Author of Love Water Memory

Jennie Shortridge's has published five acclaimed novels, including her latest, Love, Water, Memory. Simpatico launched her novel writing career in 1997.


Ayad Akhtar on the challenge of writing theater.


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Featured Articles & Reviews

My Role
by Jennifer Paros
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Self-Publishing in the Age of E
by Erin Brown
read article
Book Reviews: Editor's Pick
Let the Dead Sleep

reviewed by Jon Land
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Pebble by Pebble
by Pamela Moore Dionne
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My Role
by Jennifer Paros

The 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. 

In my 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. 

In 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.  more...

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.

Publishers Weekly 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?  more...

Book Reviews
Editor's Pick
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 own.   

“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 suspicious death. more...

Pebble by Pebble
by Pamela Moore Dionne

So 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.  more...

 

 

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