The Friday Rehash (Links, News and Other Random Stuff)

 Writers Kicking Traditional Book Contracts to the Curb

Every day it seems another author is kissing NY publishing goodbye, but when author Claire Cook did it, I was gobsmacked.

 I’ve been following Claire Cook’s career for a while, and she doesn’t seem to have a snark bone in her body. She always comes across as super nice and a tireless promoter of her work.

A while ago she lit up the internet with the news that she has dropped her super star agent and her publisher. Many of you have probably seen this essay, but I have to say this: Traditional publishing has lost a gem of an author. If it treats author like Claire so poorly, I don’t have a lot of hopes for its long-term survival. The essay is only an excerpt from her new book on re-invention.

As for Claire, she is not the kind of person who weeps into her bowl of Cheez-Nips; we’ll be hearing a lot more from her.

Another writer who has said bye-bye to the Big Five is NY Times bestselling author Eileen Goudge; here’s her story. (P.S. She plunked down a lot of money for her book cover, and I don’t think that’s necessary. Hot Damn Designs does gorgeous covers for under $200.)

Eileen and Claire are authors who have made their stories public; privately I’m hearing from mega-selling authors who have been dumped because sales have dropped below expectations. It’s crazy, people. And speaking of crazy….

 World’s Craziest Query

Novelist  Robin Black always makes me smile with her essays, and I especially enjoyed her sharing what she calls a cringe-worthy query. It is really is terrifically awful and yet, her talent managed to trump it. (Another great essay of hers is Twenty Things I Wished I’d Known Before I Started Writing) She has a novel out now called   Life Drawing which I have on my to-be-read list.

Ask Me How Much I Love Rom-Coms

I love rom-coms so much I’m writing a novel about a stodgy literary writer who tries to win back his rom-com obsessed girlfriend by borrowing some of the smooth moves of rom-com heroes, including the Grand Gesture (think of John Cusack with his boom box in “Say Anything). Naturally he’ll botch it up.

My new novel gives me an excuse to watch a lot of rom-coms in the name of “research.” But to be honest, in recent years, they haven’t been making a lot of great rom-coms.  (“500 Days of Summer” was the last one I truly loved.)

XOJane writer Phoebe Robinson has some smart suggestions about saving the genre from extinction.

And while we are on the subject of rom-coms, I came across this article by Tyler Coates about Nora Ephron and her only novel Heartburn. Heartburn is how I first discovered Nora, long before I knew her as a screen writer.  In fact it was one of several novels that inspired me to be a writer. It’s based on her marriage and eventual divorce to Carl Bernstein. (She erroneously thought he’d never leave her because she had a great vinaigrette recipe, and that makes me smile because my husband also has a great one. The thought of never tasting his vinaigrette is among one of the dozens of reasons I could never imagine live without him.)

Speaking of humor I have a monthly humor column in my hometown glossy Augusta Magazine, and this month’s offering is about how much I dislike flying.

Also I was picked by Huff Po as one of the funniest women tweeters this week. So go ahead and follow me. I’ll wait:

Getting Creative

Filmmaker David Lynch has some definite ideas about creativity and they resonate with my own. Like me, he’s a fan of mediation but he also has some other useful suggestions for boosting your creative power. (Article by Carolyn Gregoire) I love his quote: “If you want to catch the little fish you can stay in shallow water, but if you want to catch the big fish, you’ve got to go deeper.”

Related is this article by about why we get our best ideas in the shower. (Which I miss out on because I take baths)

Have a great weekend!

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