Tag: creative process

The Public Nature of Private Journals

(A version of this post was originally published on Nov. 13, 2013 on the Late Last Night Books blog.) I write journals. Year after year, the stacks of filled notebooks on my closet shelf grow taller, leaning into each other until I’m forced to start another pile. This stash doesn’t even include my high school…


Victoria Woodhull as Muse

Hillary Clinton’s historic turn as first woman presidential nominee of a major U.S. political party has sparked renewed interest in Victoria Claflin Woodhull. Victoria who? Back in 1872, when Victoria Woodhull became the first woman to run for President of the United States, nobody would have asked that question. Considered a visionary by some, a…


#Notwriting

I’m just back from a few weeks away from writing. I needed the break. There were so many household projects glaring at me that I felt guilty every time I did anything else. Besides that, my manuscript wasn’t gelling as it should, and I couldn’t figure out why. It was time for the sort of…


Island of Misfit Manuscripts

When I was very young, I looked forward to the Christmas special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Back then, I was most interested in Rudolph and Hermey the Elf, lovable characters rejected by the Establishment because they didn’t fit an expected mold. I’ve grown up. The part of the show that sticks with me the most these…


Overload

I’ve been on something of a vacation, although not the traveling kind. Mine was more of a stay-inside trip … stay way inside, because the “vacation” I took was away from the internet. I don’t hate the internet, but neither do I believe it’s particularly good for me. If I’m on it for too long, I…


The Real Liriodendron

I’ve enjoyed meeting readers through various interviews and book events these past two weeks. Having the opportunity to discuss NEWPORT is a real perk. Often, readers point out aspects of the novel that I’d never considered, and it’s fun to realize that they’re absolutely right. I’ve been asked one particular question several times now, and…


Ooops!

Back in fourth grade, I was fascinated by the 19th century westward expansion of the United States. The stories I wrote reflected that. Research? Nah. I just wrote. This probably explains how I found myself writing a scene set in a one-room prairie schoolhouse where a bunch of students expressed their boredom by throwing paper…


My History with Historical Fiction

There are only two weeks before Newport‘s official publication date, so please excuse me if this post is a little scattered and self-indulgent. Really, it’s better to let me get it out of my system now so that I can start being more interesting as quickly as possible. I’ve been thinking about my love affair with…


Of Course Book Covers Matter

I’ve fallen in love with the covers of all three of my published novels, and you can see why: Aren’t they gorgeous? I’ve been lucky. It doesn’t take a special study to know that book covers matter. A good cover inspires a potential reader to pick up the book to learn more; a bad cover…


Why Newport, anyway?

I grew up in Annapolis, MD. Maybe that statement feels like a non sequitur following the title of this post, but bear with me. When I began thinking about the novel that would become NEWPORT, location images floated across my mind. They looked like Annapolis. There was a picturesque historic district dotted with homes and buildings…


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