It happens to writers sometimes, but I never thought it would happen to me. No matter how much we love them, no matter how hard they work for us, no matter how sure we are that they cannot be replaced: sometimes we have to fire our protagonists. Today at The Blood-Red Pencil I consider why I had to fire my historical novel’s first protagonist, and how I discovered whether my new protagonist was up to the job.
Fiction writers, who is the boss of what happens in your stories: you, the characters, or some other mysterious force? That’s the question I ponder today in my post at The Blood Red Pencil, Who’s Telling This Story Anyway?
Are you a sucker for romance even if you don’t read romance novels? Check out my interview of bestselling novelist Andrew Sean Greer (The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells), today at The Blood-Red Pencil. It’s part of that blog’s February look at Men and Romance. Greer has me pondering questions like: Why do writers and readers sometimes talk as if being sentimental is a bad thing? And: How can we write or read stories if we aren’t to some extent in love with love in one form or other? Check out our conversation here.
Sometimes when I wrap up a writing project – heck, sometimes when I wrap up anything in life – I run smack into that most horrifying of human terrors: completion. How do we know when we’re finished? This month’s theme at The Blood-Red Pencil is “What’s New?” but in my contrary fashion, I’ve decided to focus on what’s old…and what needs to be finished. Please check out my post here.
Today, you have an opportunity to contribute to a great educational program and win a signed copy of my memoir, They Only Eat Their Husbands. The Guest Author Program at Jefferson County Open School invites working authors from the Colorado community to teach teenagers about writing. According to Benjamin Dancer, the teacher who runs this innovative program, the opportunity to share their writing and ideas with a working author has a powerful inspirational, motivational, and educational impact on students. The kids have decided to run a crowdfunding campaign at Indiegogo to raise money for next year’s program. It’s not a very expensive program, and just a few dollars can go a long way to helping these kids. Please consider donating here: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/guest-author-program.
You don’t have to travel far to discover other worlds within our world. I met former librarian Karen Levi-Lausa when she coordinated my book party at Denver’s Bookbar, and we got to talking about her program that brings books to prisoners, Words Beyond Bars. Karen invited me to read a couple of the books the prisoners are reading with her, and last week I joined her for a drive to Colorado’s Sterling Correctional Facility for their book discussion. This week, she posted my essay on that visit at her Words Beyond Bars blog: Literature in a Razor -Wired Country. Please take a quick look and help me spread the word about this invaluable program!