An Interview with Pamela Erens, Author of The Virgins

Pamela Erens
By Margaret Zamos-Monteith

Pamela Erens is a graduate of Philips Exeter Academy and Yale University and the recipient of a 2014 fellowship from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. Reader’s Digest called her One of 23 Contemporary Writers You Should Have Read by Now. Her short fiction, reviews, and essays have appeared in many publications, including the Boston Review, the New England Review, and Tin House. A former editor at Glamour magazine, her sharp, tender, evocative prose has earned her comparisons to such literary luminaries as Vladimir Nabakov, Edith Wharton, James Salter, Knut Hamsun, and Samuel Beckett. Read More →

Friday Feast: Shed Your Leaves, Apples, Words, Sentence Diagrams and More

Movie version Christian Grey does not want your apple.

Ah, mid-October. Time of endless apple-picking social media posts, picked over apple pies in workplace kitchens, apple pies and apple butters and assorted apples in jars that you don’t know what to do with so you give them away as gifts for the holidays.

Dead Darlings does not want your apples unless you dehydrate them. Apple Jerky. We’ll take that.


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Happy Indie Story, Part Six: What’s Next?


Flutter Volume Two: Don’t Let Me Die Nervous

By Jennie Wood

It’s the question President Jed Bartlet always asks after every crisis gets resolved on The West Wing. And it’s the question you’ll be asked in nearly every interview and conversation you’ll have while promoting your current book. Your agent will ask. So will your publisher. You’ll get asked at conventions and conferences. Film and TV producers interested in your current project will also ask, “What’s next?”

Your readers will, too. And they’re not just asking about your next book or project. They want to know where and when you’ll be appearing and reading next.

One mistake writers often make is they stop promoting their book after its launch date. This is a huge mistake. It’s been over a year since Flutter, Volume One was published, but sales continue to increase. I still get interview requests. The book continues to be reviewed.

Sometimes writers make the opposite mistake. They stop working on their next book and only promote their current one. Read More →

An Interview with Anjali Mitter Duva,
Author of Faint Promise of Rain

Anjali Duva by Michael Benabib

Credit: Michael Benabib / Kobo Writing Life

By Marc Foster

Long-time Boston resident Anjali Mitter Duva’s debut novel takes us to sixteenth-century Rajasthan to recount the birth and coming-of-age of Adhira, a girl born into a family of temple dancers. Duva has woven together strands of her father’s upbringing in India, along with a personal interest in kathak dance, to produce what Bret Anthony Johnston has called “a gorgeous book, a story that is at once spare and lush, wrenching and restoring.” Anjali took out time from her launch to speak with Dead Darlings about her novel, and the unique collaboration with She Writes Press that brought it to market. Read More →

Friday Feast: First Lines, Last Lines, Whole Novels in One Line and Grammar Rules (1)

Thanks to for the gif.

With your first sentence, you want to give your readers a good taste of what’s to come in your novel. With the last, a satisfying finish that reflects the whole. Sometimes, it works. Other times, not so much.

This week, we focus on how sentences can make or break writers. Plus, a grammar lesson for those of us who still need help.



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Some Thoughts on Time and Structure


By Kelly Robertson

I had planned to write an instructional post on the use of spreadsheets in writing a novel, but life happened this week. Right after the deadline for this post got moved up, my whippets decided that this was the perfect time to wage a war, or more specifically, my younger male whippet, Zephyr, decided it was time to beat up my older female whippet, Zoe. He attacked her repeatedly last week, leaving her cowering near the front door, begging to be let  out of the house. The next four days were incredibly stressful. I got little done. I hovered over them waiting for the next attack. I called a dog trainer friend of mine in a panic. I thought horrible thoughts of what would happen if they never got along again. Read More →

Kick-ass Characters Kick Off October Craft on Draft Event

By Rob Wilstein

If you were unfortunate enough to miss Craft on Draft’s inaugural event in April, here’s your chance to get in on the Coolest Reading Series in the World. The event in April was a sold-out (tickets are free) fun gathering of readers and writers held at Trident Booksellers on Newbury Street, a convivial space for food, drink, and friends. Read More →

Friday Feast: Gone Girls, Black Girls, Golden Girls and Quitting

mindy kaling
The film adaptation of Gone Girl is in theaters. Hermione Granger (aka Emma Watson) spoke to the U.N. about feminism. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay movie trailers have us jazzed for November. So…

It’s a theme week, folks.


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An interview with E.B. Moore, Author of An Unseemly Wife

By Pat Sollner

E.B. Moore lives in a city loft, but writes her way back to farm life in Pennsylvania where she grew up. She retired as a metal sculptor in her fifties and hung her tools on the loft beams before looking for another creative outlet. Joining workshops at Harvard Extension with the youngest of her three children (now a novelist), she studied poetry, and published a chapbook of poems, New Eden, A Legacy. These poems served as the foundation for her novel, An Unseemly Wife (forthcoming from NAL/Penguin on October 7, 2014). Read More →

Of Titles and Sound Bites

By E. B. Moore

A title says a lot about a person. If you use the wrong prefix, better watch out. Address a woman as Mrs. instead of Ms, her hackles could rise. Confuse a five star General with a General Factotum, and the stars you see won’t be on his collar. And when calling someone a queen, it had better be a woman wearing a crown.

Titles of books can be equally tricky. As Stephanie Gayle wrote in “Adventures in Titling,” changing a title can induce stomping and the need for pain-dulling drugs.

Painkillers would have helped when I had to change. In my novel, (originally, A Wager of Bones), Aaron bundles his pregnant wife Ruth and their four children into a Conestoga wagon, and against their Amish faith, joins the dreaded English heading for free land in Idaho. During the trek, they face Indian attacks, a deadly pestilence, and prejudice leading to betrayal that leaves the family alone on the trailside fighting for their lives.

In the gentlest possible way, Alice, my agent, suggested rethinking. Wager… wouldn’t give a clue to readers scanning shelves in a bookstore.   I moaned. I wheedled, “Wouldn’t it inspire curiosity?” Read More →

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