Art vs. Commerce

There are two sides to this writing thing: the creative side, and the business side. This is not news to anybody, right? It's just that, based entirely on my own experience, I'm pretty sure not everybody knows what it means. I sure as hell didn't understand. Even now I'm only just beginning to see it. And it's … Continue reading Art vs. Commerce


First Reading

Last night I did my very first for-real public reading of a bit of my book, as a for-real published author. This is how I felt: The reading was at Bear Pond Books in Montpelier, VT. I hadn't been to Montpelier since I was a kid, and I'm pretty sure we mostly drove through it … Continue reading First Reading

Who Are These People?

When I was pregnant, I had a picture in my head of what my daughter would be like. She would be a reader, of course. (Not right away. Everyone thinks their child will be a genius, sure; but even I knew womb-to-library was probably a bit too much to expect.) She would be quiet and … Continue reading Who Are These People?


Reflections on a Path

A few weeks ago, at Readercon, I mentioned offhandedly to my agent that I had originally planned to self-publish. It wasn't an entirely out-of-the-blue remark; we had just attended a panel on trade publishing, and had been discussing it over lunch. The conversation turned to other things, and it wasn't until later that I realized I'd only … Continue reading Reflections on a Path



The first scene of my book involves a woman at a bar. She doesn't know most of the other people there, and for various reasons she has to stick around for a while. Although the others there don't all know each other, it seems to her that they are all comfortable in this place, all … Continue reading Identity


About Failure

I have an agent. I am not sure I can adequately describe the feeling that comes with those four words. A year ago, I was struggling to put together a query letter for a book that doesn't even really exist anymore. I was agonizing over single words, and tone, and worrying that I wasn't adequately … Continue reading About Failure


What Not To Say To An Author Who Is Querying A Novel

My agent search is just beginning, but for those of you who know a writer who is going through the same thing, here's a handy list of things not to say to them. "Well, the important thing is that you're trying." This is like saying the important thing about me doing my day job is getting … Continue reading What Not To Say To An Author Who Is Querying A Novel