It’s Meet the Author Monday! Once a month I meet with a new author and learn about their writing process, publishing experience, and tips for other writers. Today I’m talking to prize-winning author Barbara Quick, who has published 4 novels. Join us!

It’s Meet the Author Monday! Once a month I meet with a new author and learn about their writing process, publishing experience, and tips for other writers. Today I’m talking to Barbara Quick, who has published 4 novels. Join us!

Novelist and poet Barbara Quick is best known as author of the 2007 international favorite Vivaldi’s Virgins, still in print, translated into 13 languages, made into an audiobook, and currently in development as a mini-series by Lotus Pictures. Winner of the Discover: Great New Writers prize for her first novel, Northern Edge, Barbara was awarded the 2020 Blue Light Press Poetry Prize for her debut chapbook, TheLight on Sifnos. Barbara’s fourth novel, What Disappearsover a decade in the making—was launched by Regal House on May 17th. Five of Barbara’s poems were recorded by Garrison Keillor and featured on The Writer’s Almanac last year. She has been a frequent guest—most recently on May 2nd, on Grace Cavalieri’s archived program from the Library of Congress, “The Poet and the Poem,” which has featured both her poetry and her novels. One of her poems was published as a full-page spread in the May 2022 issue of Scientific American. Her 2010 novel from HarperTeen, A Golden Web—about the 14th century teenage anatomist Alessandra Giliani—continues to intrigue and attract historical fiction fans. A trained dancer and avid organic gardener, Barbara is based with her husband, violist and vigneron Wayne Roden, on a small farm and vineyard in Sonoma County. More at BarbaraQuick.com

Continue reading “It’s Meet the Author Monday! Once a month I meet with a new author and learn about their writing process, publishing experience, and tips for other writers. Today I’m talking to prize-winning author Barbara Quick, who has published 4 novels. Join us!”

In what ways are writers garbage pickers?

When I arrived at the gym yesterday, I parked the car next to the Big 5 Sporting Goods store’s huge garbage containers, located in my gym’s parking area. I felt embarrassed for the man I saw lurking behind the bins. He wore a baseball cap and tried to appear invisible as he rummaged through the trash. The image of him prowling there stayed with me, and I couldn’t help but think of it as a metaphor for writers. Continue reading “In what ways are writers garbage pickers?”

Imagination: A Necessity for a Successful Life

“Logic will get you from point A to point B, but imagination will take you everywhere” – Albert Einstein.

I’ve been thinking more about the importance of imagination not just as a writer and reader but also as a survival tool. And I wonder how and when this faculty first appeared. Of course, when discussing imagination, creativity is not far behind, for the two are handmaidens. The imagination needs our creative abilities to be realized, and, to be fully creative, we need imagination. Continue reading “Imagination: A Necessity for a Successful Life”

The joys of being a writer!

I’ve been reviewing the notes I’ve kept for all my four published novels, going back to the first one Fling! I was amazed to discover I’d started working on it in 1999. When I first began, I’d hoped to write a lyrical novel a la Virginia Woolf. But my husband called my attention to a review of another Canadian writer’s book, Barbara Gowdy’s Mister Sandman. When I read of her comic sense, “both inventive and tough,” I realized again how much I wanted to write in this way. But I also had resisted it because the style seemed limited to certain topics. I felt it was difficult to write beautifully and be funny, and I was letting my desire for a certain kind of elegance to inhibit the progression of what later became Fling! Continue reading “The joys of being a writer!”

Monday musing: The difference between being a writer and someone who writes? Read on!

I recently took a walk with a friend who writes but hasn’t committed herself fully to being a writer. There is a difference! Someone who writes doesn’t necessarily need to take on all the responsibilities that being a writer requires. For a writer, these tasks include publishing and marketing her work. When I told my friend about all the things I’m doing [finding Advanced Review Copy (ARC) reviewers; seeking interviews; setting up readings—and so much more], as I prepare for the release of a new book (Dreaming Myself into Old Age: One Woman’s Search for Meaning), her response was, “I couldn’t do that!” Continue reading “Monday musing: The difference between being a writer and someone who writes? Read on!”

Join me in welcoming Marlene Cheng, a successful self-published writer who shares her insights about self-publishing in this interview:

Meet Canadian self-published author Marlene Cheng:

Marlene Cheng is a Maincrest Media and a Book Excellence award-winning author of women’s fiction. Her books are about the relationships that define women’s lives—romance, friendship, family. Marlene is a keen observer of how people think and feel, and she writes lyrical, uplifting, and emotionally rich stories.

Continue reading “Join me in welcoming Marlene Cheng, a successful self-published writer who shares her insights about self-publishing in this interview:”

What is the creative process?

I’m thinking today of timing—how important it is to success as a writer/artist. Timing and perseverance: the two go together. I’m also noticing the seasonal aspect of creativity, how cyclic it is. That, too, is hard to grasp. I want it all the time. I’m afraid if it isn’t there, it won’t return. Continue reading “What is the creative process?”

Writing: a Necessity

Writing a novel is an exercise in trust, sitting down each day at the computer and seeing where the words lead me,  believing that if I create an interesting character and circumstances, that’s enough. I constantly must let go of my expectations to impress or produce an important work. Otherwise, I’ll be giving weight to the negative old man from my recent dream who wanted the women to wear makeup, unable to see or appreciate their natural beauty. I must remember primary processes and get beneath all the shoulds to where something fresh and original lives. Continue reading “Writing: a Necessity”

What makes any art compelling?

From the window seat in our master bedroom, looking through the French doors into our study, I can see the white bookcases lining one wall. They remind me of honeycombs we kept on the farm, books now the honey that my bees/mind goes after. Then an old issue of Border Crossings captured my attention where I read an interview with Canadian artist Betty Goodwin. Continue reading “What makes any art compelling?”

Dear Fellow Readers!

Dear Fellow Readers,

An experience I had in my reading group has caused me to think about how to read and respond to literary fiction without shutting down discussion. One of our fellow readers tends to immediately jump in and express her opinions before there’s an opportunity to explore a book’s many themes and characters. In this case, she said the book made her feel claustrophobic and it was difficult for her to finish it. Continue reading “Dear Fellow Readers!”

Crossing Borders in Venice!

An article about Venice in Border Crossings has helped me to better understand why that city moves me so much. It describes St. Mark’s church: “‘You are going to be shocked when you go inside,’ the guide said solemnly. It is very oriental.’ Pause. ‘You see, the mosaics were made by Greeks. You’re going to see Greek words on the mosaics. A surprise in a Christian Church'” (Vol. 14:4, 9). Continue reading “Crossing Borders in Venice!”

Welcome to fellow Canadian and guest author Carolyn Clarke who finds chocolate an intrinsic aid to writing!

Carolyn Clarke is the founder and curator of HenLit Central, a blog focused on ‘life and lit’ for women over 40. And Then There’s Margaret is her first novel. She has been an ESL teacher for over sixteen years and has co-authored several articles and resources with Cambridge University Press, MacMillan Education and her award-winning blog ESL Made Easy. She lives in Toronto, Canada, with her partner, Tony, her two daughters and of course her bulldog, Sophie.

Continue reading “Welcome to fellow Canadian and guest author Carolyn Clarke who finds chocolate an intrinsic aid to writing!”

On my blog today, I’m talking to fellow Regal House author Gary Eldon Peter, author of Oranges, a linked short story collection, and the novel The Complicated Calculus (and Cows) of Carl Paulsen (such an incredible title!)

 

Bio: Gary Eldon Peter is the author of two works of fiction: Oranges, a linked short story collection published by New Rivers Press, and the recently released novel The Complicated Calculus (and Cows) of Carl Paulsen, published by Fitzroy Books/Regal House and winner of the Acheven Book Prize for Young Adult Fiction. Oranges received the Gold Medal for LGBT+ fiction in the Independent Publisher Book Awards, the Midwest Book Award, and was a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award and the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction. His work has appeared in numerous literary journals and has been performed on the public radio program Selected Shorts. He earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College and is a faculty member at the University of Minnesota. You can learn more about Gary and his work at garyeldonpeter.com Continue reading “On my blog today, I’m talking to fellow Regal House author Gary Eldon Peter, author of Oranges, a linked short story collection, and the novel The Complicated Calculus (and Cows) of Carl Paulsen (such an incredible title!)”

What does it take to become a successful writer?

I’ve been reviewing the journals I’ve kept over the years. At the time I wrote this one, back in 1979, I was still ambivalent about my calling as a writer. So I was eager to hear what published authors had to say.  In this case, I was fascinated with what I took away from a talk I attended by Robertson Davies, a Canadian writer. Continue reading “What does it take to become a successful writer?”

What’s the future for auto fiction?

When my reading group selected Rachel Cusk’s novel Transit as our next book, I recalled reading a review by Elaine Blair of Cusk’s novel Outline in the New Yorker. Blair claims “Cusk has written admiringly about Karl Ove Knausgaard, and her proposed cure for the trouble with fiction sounds like a gloss of his. ‘Autobiography is increasingly the only form in all the arts,’ she told the Guardian.” Blair goes on to say that some writers are hewing closer to the author’s subjective experiences, of effacing the difference between fiction and their own personal lives. Continue reading “What’s the future for auto fiction?”