A Writer’s Life

Death to Laptop

9 Reasons to Quit Writing

The publication journey isn’t easy, no matter how you approach it. I’m always encouraging people to be patient, persevere through the obstacles, and doggedly pursue their dream. For some people, this means persistence through years or decades. But… is there a time when you should give up? Maybe so. I could be wrong but I…
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The Art and the Industry

I watched a YouTube video from 2016 that featured Pharrell Williams giving a Masterclass with music students at NYU. The thing that’s really neat about this clip is that it captures the moment recording artist Maggie Rogers was “discovered” by Pharrell. It’s fun and heartwarming watching his reaction to her song. (Start watching around the 23-minute mark.) Things went nuts…
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balance beam

Big Dreams and Realistic Expectations

When was the last time you had a terrific conversation about writing and your publishing journey with your fellow author friends? Talked about your dreams for the future and tried to identify any roadblocks that might be holding you back from pursuing them? It’s often difficult for writers to “dream big” or set lofty goals…
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About Those New Year’s Goals…

With 2019 fast approaching, I imagine I’m not the only one reviewing the last year and setting some new goals. I’ve been thinking a lot about goal-setting and reading different sources on the psychology of it. I want to share some insights that have changed the way I do things. These thoughts have helped me…
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The Writer’s Voice

Many people have asked about “voice” lately. It’s a big topic and I’m sure we’ll discuss it more than once. But let’s get started! What do we mean when we say we’re looking for “new voices”? What do editors mean when they say it’s the writer’s voice that captures them—or doesn’t? Let’s start by identifying…
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Ask the Agent: Walking the Line

Dear Rachelle, I have written a crime mystery that involves abuse, revenge, a murder, inappropriate conduct by a pastor, and a cover-up. There is no sex in the story, but there is some rough language. There is a message of redemption and truth. I’m not sure if this is CBA or ABA. What I think…
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More on Writers’ Conferences

I know a lot of you will be attending writers’ conferences, so I wanted to mention a few more things here. First, I can’t overstress the importance of having a verbal pitch ready. There are numerous opportunities at conferences to give a brief pitch of your book, sixty seconds. This can be at a meal…
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Dreams

Whenever I (or other bloggers) write about marketplace realities in publishing, there are always a wide variety of responses, ranging from pragmatic acceptance to mournful disappointment to angry lament. My observation – and I could be wrong – is that the sad and mad responses are from writers whose passion for being published burns hot…
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Let’s Talk About Writing, Publishing, and Coaching

  I was interviewed on the Lead Stories Podcast with Jo Saxton and Steph O’Brien. Listen in, if you’re interested! (It’s about 45 minutes.) We talked about: What I look for in someone I might represent as an agent What coaching looks like and why it is worth it How I redirect people who aren’t…
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Hot Tips for Conferences

We’re in prime writers’ conference season and lots of people are giving their advice (some of it different from mine). So I thought I’d drop a few hints your way just to increase your chance of conference-success. • First up, everyone says “don’t be nervous.” Agents and editors are just people, right? Sure we are.…
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Trust Me, You Need a Good Editor

I just finished reading a self-published book on a topic I’m passionate about, by an author whose blog I occasionally read. As I’ve mentioned before, I regularly read indie-pubbed books, and the fact that I work in traditional publishing doesn’t mean I’m biased against them. It does, however, mean I’m aware of the ways a…
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The First Draft is Just the Beginning

I spend a lot of time working with my clients to edit and revise their proposals and manuscripts. I give notes and suggestions for improvements. Sometimes I take them through draft after draft, until everything seems just right. I know it’s tiring for them, and sometimes frustrating to be pushed to go over it again…
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When Will My Agent Contact Me About My Book Deal?

It’s always exciting to hear from your agent that a publisher is interested in your story and is considering offering you a contract. Right? Of course it is! Once you hear those cherished words, it’s hard to wait for the next step. An unpublished author recently wrote me: I have an agent who has always…
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Have it Your Way

Hold the pickles, hold the lettuce, special orders don’t upset us, all we ask is that you let us… serve it your way. If you were born much later than, say, 1970, then you may have missed that tasty morsel of a Burger King commercial. But for the rest of us, it lives on in…
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I love words.

I love books and publishing and talking incessantly about them.

I love authors and all the intricacies of managing a writing life.

I sell. I negotiate. I coach. I brainstorm.

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