Friday Feast: YA Books 4 U, Good News 4 Bookstores and Why It’s Not Called “Storyshowing”

All it takes for me to return to the glory days of the 80s is a title with “4” instead of “for.”* Boom. Time machine… It’s surprisingly difficult to find a gif of Prince eating food that doesn’t look freaky. But I digress.

This week: Young adult books for adults, adult books for young adults, good news for bookstores and new thoughts on show don’t tell.


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Saving a Story’s Life

By Jack Ferris

People write for all kinds of reasons. I like to pretend I write because I love literature, because I have at least some gift for the craft and because I have important things to say about the human condition, but I think it’s time for me to finally admit that none of these are the reason I spend hours sitting alone typing.

I write novels because I am a crying babyman who never grew out of playing pretend. Also I never learned to cope with loss.

Every mundane action I perform is something else in my brain’s Imaginationland. When I get dressed in the morning, I am encasing myself in an environmental breathing suit which will allow me to breathe and move about in space, or else I am putting on enchanted clothing which will ward me against magic spells. Getting on the train is catching the space shuttle sometimes, or other times opening a door in the fabric of space to enter into the dimension of Purgatory (I do not like the Green Line). This happens all day. I cannot stop it. One day when I’m distracted I will finally call one of my work e-mails “a telepathic communique on the psi network” and my boss will be forced to issue some kind of a report to human resources, probably something which says “this person is a child.” Maybe I will be reassigned to some division in Neverland. Read More →

How to Support Your Friend When Their Book Debuts

By Stephanie Gayle

Congratulations, you’re friends with a writer! How brave of you. You’ve befriended someone who spends a LOT of time talking to/thinking about/complaining about people who exist only in her* mind.

Your second question** is how can I best support my friend in her writing career? Wow. You are amazing. Want to be friends? Best friends? Here, I made you a bracelet. Read More →

Friday Feast: Dark Books, Beautiful Sentences, Indie Bookstores and More Answers to Party Questions
Is there anything better than eating and reading in December, or really, any time of the year? Friends, I think not.

This week, we explore some of the best sentences in literature and the darkest books ever written just in time for gift giving — either for yourself or others. Don’t forget about self-care this season.


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Happy Indie Story, Part Eight: My Top Five Indie Author Lessons

By Jennie Wood

At the end of every year, I look back on the past several months at what I’ve done, what I’ve learned, and what I can do better. In honor of that and the new Chris Rock film, Top Five, which opens Friday, here are the top five things I’ve learned from having two indie books published in less than two years.


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The Joy (Yes, Joy) of Spreadsheets

By Kelly Robertson

Last Thursday, I took my annual trip to DC for my day job and spent the day at the office. I always enjoy seeing my coworkers but am equally happy to come back to my solo workstation in my home. While there, I was surrounded by people and focused on numbers — not the norm for me. The people part is exhausting. The numbers part, well, that I can deal with. My day job is in accounting.

Despite having a deep love of words as a child, I was discouraged as a kid to study something as impractical as English. So what did I do? I decided to go in the opposite direction and embarked on a degree in finance, which led to a job in accounting, a Masters in Accountancy (for something to do in the evenings), and sitting for the CPA exam. Not a well thought out plan on any level. And now, after twenty plus years in both public and private accounting, my license isn’t even current. I don’t work in the field, and I can’t imagine ever working in it again. I’m in full agreement with Kelly Ford when she speaks about going back to her former career, “I’d rather bag groceries.” Read More →

Friday Feast: Post-NaNoWriMo, Creative Sleep, Sexism, Book Riot’s Best and the Ferguson Library
It’s a grab bag of links this week, kind of like all those leftovers that end up in your fridge from holiday parties and cookie swaps.

At the last party I attended, I scored some homemade fudge brownies. ‘Tis the season for smudgy keyboards.’



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Fiction-Writing: My Dead Darling


By guest contributor, Sharon Bially

 Years ago I began fiddling around with a work-in-progress known, for lack of a better title, as My Life. It was all very preliminary: some vague thoughts about where the story might lead; some images of the main character — me — at a desk, alone, reading and writing. Foreign countries, foreign languages, a husband, children, loved ones, friends.

As I began to draft, the MC’s character emerged. Strong-willed, energetic and fast-paced, she thrived on connecting with others, being in motion and seeing results. A runner and yoga student, she also loved to swim, hike, ski, dance and sing. Not to mention that she was a sucker for a good, transatlantic romance, the kind where she could make love in French, learn to cook with an Italian flare and dream of a future straddling several continents, raising multilingual, multicultural kids. Read More →

Too Many Metaphors?


By Gerald B. Whelan

“Our mother performed in starlight.” Thus reads the succinct and succulent first sentence of Swamplandia!, Karen Russell’s 2011 literary blockbuster (Oops! Dead metaphor.) And while it doesn’t, at first blush, contain a metaphor—their mother, Hilola Bigtree, really does perform under the stars—it does contain a pun, I think, and the pun contains a metaphor. “Starlight” here, could also refer to the artificial spotlight that will soon be flicked on by her husband, Chief Bigtree, the faux Indian CEO of Swamplandia!, to illuminate Hilola, the alligator-wrestling main attraction of the tumbledown Florida alligator theme park. And with that lovely opening salvo, this surreal, by turns funny, tender and chilling, and on every page blotto-on-metaphor novel is off to the races. (Yikes! Am I mixing metaphors—dead ones, at that?) Read More →

Friday Feast: Turkey Day Hangover Edition

Turkey overload? Tofurkey overload?

We feel your pain. That’s why we’ve  loaded up on links this week that barely require you to lift your head, let alone your hands to hold up a book.



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