What? Harper Lee Is Back on the Horse?

Well, not really. She just happened to write a sequel (back in the day) to To Kill a Mockingbird which she thought little of. She, and the world, believed the manuscript was lost and Lee decided to quit the writing life, all in the 50s. Sure enough, some sixty years later, her lawyer finds the…

The New Narrative Mode

I have been struggling with a whole category of writing advice, for the past year-and-a-half. That’s about to come to an end, and I’m going to coin a new term in order to end it. I’m also going to ask that you let me capitalize whatever I darn well want to, just so I can…

Book Review: Wide Sargasso Sea

Wide Sargasso Sea, by Jean Rhys. Available from Norton, and first published in 1966. I read Wide Sargasso Sea, not just because it is considered a great book, but because I read Jane Eyre earlier this year and am currently reading through all the Bronte sisters’ writing. If you are not familiar with Wide Sargasso…

Best Books: Hittin’ the Road

Continuing the list of “best books,” with a pretty long list of best travel writing. (Man! I love travel!) Note, once again, that I have not read all these. They are books I would like to read, and the list is compiled from a number of other best books lists. Some of these are fiction,…

Series Review: Clarice Bean

The Clarice Bean trilogy by Lauren Child, published from 1999-2006. The series includes, in order, Utterly Me Clarice Bean, Clarice Bean Spells Trouble, and Clarice Bean Don’t Look Now. There are three more books related to the series, but they are picture books and I did not read them. Best I can decipher, Child started…

Tribute to a Magical Realism Giant

Gabriel Garcia Marquez, literary giant, died almost one month ago. Known affectionately as “Gado,” Marquez was first made internationally famous by his magic realism novel, One hundred years of solitude, and it remained his most famous and revered (a classic of the twentieth century), along with Love in the Time of Cholera. He won the…

They’ve Got It Covered

Owning a teeny-tiny publishing company, I have to wear many hats. One of my most favorite hats of all is design. Now, many indie-published authors should consider hiring someone to design the cover (and possibly publicity material), just like they should hire an editor. Lucky for me, I not only have a professional editor in…

YA Vs MG

Let’s get this settled once and for all. Where is the line between YA (young adult) and MG (middle grades) literature? What ages are we talking here, let alone themes and appropriateness? (Please note that this debate has been worn out just about everywhere else on the internet, but I have not settled it for…

Mind Your Firsts

I pay close attention to first lines. One of my writer aspirations is to have such a great first line that they’ll be begging me to use it in the “First Lines” section of Poets & Writers. I read that section, every month, scrutinizing the novel lines. Then whenever I start a new book, I…

POV and Other Narrative Modes

I have been assailed lately by books in the present tense, which I am assured is not only my experience. (It might be a trend, if not just a thing that lots of blossoming authors do before they learn better.) At first, I wasn’t sure what it was about these encounters that was really disturbing…

Book Review: Hamlet

“Hamlet,” or “The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark,” William Shakespeare, app. 1600. Read, not the version shown here, but from my leather-bound William Shakespeare: The Complete Works, published by Gramercy Books in 1975. Bonus reviews of four Hamlet movies and Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. William Shakespeare (assuming that was his name…