Just a few snaps from the “First Line, First Para, First Page” writers’ workshop Linda J. Parisi and I gave at Ye Olde Warwick Book Shoppe in Greenwood Lake, NY, this past Sunday, January 21. Great turnout and great press, with a radio spot on WTBQ, Orange County Radio on Thursday, January 18, and in their local Times Herald-Record, a great local newspaper, a paper that’s the way local newspapers used to and should be still. Anyway, it was fun, the attendees packed the shop, and they want us to come back in the spring. They’re just asking for it, I suppose. Many thanks to store manager Maria Stasolla for hosting us!
WHO: Gwen Jones and Linda Parisi
WHAT: “First Line, First Para, First Page” Writers’ Workshop.
WHEN: Sunday, 21 January, 2018, from 1:00 – 3:00 PM.
WHERE: Ye Olde Warwick Book Shoppe, Greenwood Lake, NY
WHY: Learn how to create a catchy opening page to capture attention of editors and agents. Bring first page of work-in-progress. Please RSVP, space is limited.
HOW: By showing up. What are you, some kinda smart guy?
Book signing and author mingle to follow. Accolades shamelessly accepted. Click here for more information.
Liberty States Fiction Writers, a multi-genre fiction writing group meeting in New Jersey (and for whom yours truly is the Vice-President) has sent out a call for proposals for our annual Writers Conference. Have a workshop about the craft or business of writing? Maybe you have a fun filled idea for a readers track panel? Perhaps you have both? Then we want to hear from you!
The Liberty States Fiction Writers welcomes pre-published writers at all levels as well as e-published, indie press and traditionally published authors.
Yearly dues for new members are $50 and include attendance at monthly workshops, reduced conference rate, access to Members Only section with videos/podcasts of past workshops, monthly newsletters, promotional opportunities and more.
Our annual conference will take place at the The Renaissance Woodbridge Hotel in South Iselin, NJ March 24 – 25, 2018. Conference includes workshops, panels, editor and agent appointments, select meals, networking, book fair and more. Conference registration opens in September, though for more information about LSFW and on submitting your proposal now, go here. Looking forward to hearing from you!
There’s no disputing the fact that anyone who finds logic in what happened in Orlando over the weekend needs to have their brain examined. The Pulse massacre was a tragedy beyond comprehension, but that’s not what I’m referring to. What I’m talking about is the members of Congress who patently refuse any kind of gun control, even to the point where it makes about as much sense as comparing apples to recliners. They even refuse to bring up a bill that would ban persons on the No-Fly List from purchasing weapons, a bill that had a slim chance of passing after the shooting in San Bernadino. That’s why I’m so proud of my Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) who joined with Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) in a filibuster. The Daily Beast quotes Murphy as saying, “I am prepared to stand on the Senate floor and talk about the need to prevent gun violence for as long as I can,” tweeting Wednesday morning before taking the podium. “I’ve had #enough.”
So have I. If you have too, then for fuck’s sake do something about it. Contact your representative in Congress and email, call, visit–do whatever it takes to make your voice heard. And don’t forget to remind them they’re one election away from becoming as voiceless as the rest of the American people now feel.
Going to this on Friday. I’m so excited I can’t stand myself. You see there’s publishers then there’s publishers. And then there’s (cue chorus of sopranos) Random House!
Open House is a unique semi-annual event that brings together the biggest names in publishing (Anna Quindlen, Debbie Macomber, and more!) for a full day of interactive author panels and book signings at Random House’s New York offices. Readers get a behind-the-books look at what’s new at this all-inclusive day, which includes breakfast, snacks, lunch, a cocktail reception, and a canvas tote bag full of books and goodies!
Author, Something To Food About
Author, THE SWANS OF FIFTH AVENUE
Author, MORNING STAR
Author, THE CITY OF MIRRORS
Author, A GIRL’S GUIDE TO MOVING ON
Author, MILLER’S VALLEY
Author, THE SUMMER BEFORE THE WAR
Author, PERFECTLY IMPERFECT
It’s December, and not only are the Holidays coming, they’re closer than you think if Hanukkah starts yours next week. If you’re not into either, then you get to bask in the idiocy. As for me, I simply let them rumble past like a runaway train, and if something happens to fall out of the caboose for me, so be it. But if you believe the concept driving the season is peace and not what piece is for you, then here’s a few hints to let you know just how far behind you are:
1. The Great Work Stoppage – As soon as the Thanksgiving turkey comes out of the oven, it’s as if everyone forgets they have a job. Suddenly all meetings become holiday parties, and if you’re expecting that report to get finished, you might as well call back next year. In my particular milieu, I nearly have to hit my students over the head with their final exam to get them to even remember my name.
2. Vanishing Editors – If you were hoping to get your manuscript sold before the end of the year–ha ha, good one! From now until the end of the year, editors, as well as a fair amount of agents, take a breather and make the rounds of Gotham’s holiday celebrations, where I imagine a fair amount of deal making takes place over the babaganoush. If you’re the writer, think of it as a temporary reprieve from submission angst.
3. Everything’s on Sale – Back in the day, you used to have to wait until after Christmas to get a price cut, but thanks to retail giants like Wal-Mart and Macy’s, the discounts only get deeper the closer you get to the big day. Which is fine, because if you’re like me, the shopping starts the day before, and I’m all about half-off.
4. The Dread Christmas Sweater – Think about it: if it wasn’t the holidays, would you ever wear that sweater in public? Do you actually like rick-rack, glitter, Rudolph’s battery-operated flashing nose, or cable-knitted Thomas Kinkade reproductions on your chest? So much better to wear the DCS’s less offensive cousins, The Christmas Socks. At least we only have to endure them when you cross your legs.
5. “Oh go ahead – it’s the Holidays.” – Which means, go ahead and eat that brandy cheesecake as big as your head. What the hell – you’re on Lipitor anyway, and your blood test isn’t until January. Which also means you can eat half that Hickory Farm’s beef stick, which is my personal holiday no-denial favorite. No fooling, I’m stocking up!
Only twenty-three days left. Get crackin’!
Cyber Monday means Bargain Romance at .99! But don’t think you aren’t getting your money’s worth. Take a look at what’s in store for Andy and Julie with a free Sneak Peek above, just under a buck at Amazon and Barnes & Noble and everywhere tomes of this genius are sold.
Get crackin’ kids! You don’t want to be the last on you block to be one of the in crowd!
As a writer and an academic, I’ve had to somewhat compartmentalize both of my professions, giving my all to each at different times of the year. During the few weeks right before a new semester and right after, I’m all about the courses I’m teaching, such as with the prep, setting the curriculum, the first days on campus when I get to know my new students, and settling into a routine. And then there’s the end of the semester when it’s all about final papers and portfolios, and for my grad students, the final projects or theses. During all of this, I’m usually working on one writing project or another, but the real meaty work gets done in the summer–and I think this is true of all writer/academics (as there are many more out there like me). This is when I can write from dawn to late into the night, the project becoming a living, breathing monst–baby you bring to fruition. For me, that birth happened this week in the form of Down Dorothy, a contemporary piece of fiction that runs the gamut between romance, woman’s fiction and just a plain commercial read. The short description is: A writer on vacation stumbles onto a curse surrounding the enigmatic descendant of the Rochesters of Jane Eyre. But you be the judge. A sneak peek is available right here.