Thursday, January 26, 2012

Bookish bits

I have many nuggets to share with you today:

In a must-read for any introverted writer who does public appearances, Jim Hines discusses the disorienting second-guessing and fatigue that can follow. Judging by the comment thread (which is also a must-read), a LOT of us do this: blurt, feel awkward, wonder how we come across. My take-home conclusion is that most people will never notice your awkward statement because they're too busy cringing over their own awkward statements.

When I recently recommended David Levithan's The Lover's Dictionary, I forgot to include this quote from the book, which I suspect will resonate with many writers:

But no matter how I try, I still can't write in my journal when you're in the room. It's not even that I'm writing about you ... I just need to know that nobody's reading over my shoulder, about to ask me what I'm writing. I want to sequester this one part of me from everyone else.

Speaking of quotes, I also liked this one from Matt Norman in an interview at Three Guys One Book:

I think the difficulty [of writing a second book] comes from being reminded ... of how horrible and agonizing first drafts are. By the time your first novel comes out, it exists in your mind as this completed, fully polished thing, and so you fool yourself into thinking that the next one should come out like that, too. Artistic amnesia somehow makes you forget that before your first novel was sitting on the NEW FICTION shelf at a bookstore, it was an aimless train wreck of a Microsoft Word document that kept you up at night wishing you’d gotten a degree in accounting.

And now for some comic relief: My books tend to be on the serious side (although not without some humor and hope). So just to change things up, I thought it would be fun to write a silly guest post for Jon Gibbs. The topic is "You may be a writer if ..." and includes such symptoms as, "You find yourself correcting the grammar and punctuation on signs, in song lyrics, and in advertisements." If you click over there, enjoy!

Now, for your chance at some free stuff:

The charming Tracy D. is giving away a finished copy of Try Not to Breathe. I don't know whether to be more flattered by the fact that she purchased a copy to give away, or by the comparison to Ordinary People, but I'm thankful for both.

In other giveaway news, Fire and Ice is giving away an advance copy of Try Not to Breathe (with the earlier cover).

I'll also be giving away a copy of my latest book on this blog this weekend.


  1. I'm an introvert--thanks for the link to that article.

    And I'm afraid I have more than a few of those writing symptoms. LOL.

  2. Love that quote from Matt Norman. Daily I remind myself that it took years and many, many, many drafts for my first novel to get where it is today.

    1. It's so scary to compare the draft of a new book with the finished product of the book before it--yet that finished book started off as a draft too.