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Showing posts from March, 2017

GIRL: The word, the idea, the phenomenon

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I was reading a recent Goodreads Young Adult Newsletter when this cover caught my eye. More specifically, a word caught my eye: GIRL. Katie Bayerl's book, A PSALM FOR LOST GIRLS , looks great. It's already on my to-read list. But that word...that word... It seems to be everywhere. I am not sure whether I am more intrigued or bothered when I see the word "girl" in a title. As a child, being called "girl" or "little girl" felt demeaning. Now, it's part of the formula for high-concept, best-selling novels, many written by women, such as Gillian Flynn's GONE GIRL, Paula Hawkins' GIRL ON THE TRAIN, and Jessica Knoll's LUCKIEST GIRL ALIVE.  From Lena Dunham's HBO series to Steig Larsson's trend-starting GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, the word is everywhere. And it's plentiful in YA. Look...! GIRL IN PIECES , JUST ANOTHER GIRL , GIRL CODE ,    THE GIRL FROM EVERYWHERE ,  STORY OF A GIRL ,   GIRLS ON FIRE I am n

Dear NPR...

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I am writing to thank you. Not just broadly for Snap Judgement and The Moth and the late, great Vinyl Cafe. No, I want to thank you specifically for your contribution to my work as a novelist. My strategy for writing fiction involves a fascination with characters, and a great deal of wondering. A great deal of time with sentences that begin, "What if...?" And then, er, a kind of creative plot-building supercollider. An example: My 2014 novel, THE SOUND OF LETTING GO, began with a love of jazz and a dream of writing a novel about a tough, cool girl trumpet player. An interesting notion but not quite a story. Then, driving to pick up my kids from school one day, I heard an interview with an author discussing his autistic son. Lightbulb! What if my trumpeter diva lived in a house where silence, constancy, lack of "jazz improvisation" was the only way to maintain peace for an autistic younger brother? What if the point-counterpoint of the story was sound versus s

FREE CLASS THIS SATURDAY at KCLS WOODINVILLE: WRITING SYNOPSES: AN INTERACTIVE WORKSHOP with JEANNE RYAN

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S ATURDAY, MARCH 11, 2017 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM   Second Saturdays Writing Program at Woodinville Library  17105 Avondale Road NE, Woodinville   What does it mean when an agent of editor requests a synopsis? What do you include--and what do you leave out? At what point should you create your synopsis? Jeanne Ryan, the author of the novels  Charisma  and  Nerve  (a recent movie, starring Emma Roberts and Dave Franco) will share her insights into this challenging but critical component of the professional writing process. A helpful workshop for writers at all stages of the process! This workshop is open to writers in grades 7 to adult. Registration is not required. For more details,  click here .   
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