Kindle, A New Way To Read

Friday, December 26, 2008

Quote of the Day for the Writer

“I just have to tell anybody out there who feels like they’re a nobody, listen, if they tell you that you have no talent that it’s never gonna happen for you that you’re just some loud, crude, pushy little nothing in a tight dress and too much make-up. Just tell them ‘Hey! Just look at Jacqueline Susann!’"

-- Jacqueline Susann during her book party for her best selling book, Valley of the Dolls

Dec 27, 2008 4:42am Sat

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Gift of Hope

Here is a story by bestselling Christian author Max Lucado that was forwarded to me by a co-worker awhile back.

The aspiring young author was in need of hope. More than one person had told him to give up. “Getting published is impossible,” one mentor said. “Unless you are national celebrity, publishers won’t talk to you.” Another warned, “Writing takes too much time. Besides, you don’t want all your thoughts on paper.”

Initially he listened. He agreed that writing was a waste of effort and turned his attention to other projects. But somehow the pen and pad were bourbon and Coke to the wordaholic. He’d rather write than read. So he wrote. How many nights did hr pass on that couch in the corner of the apartment reshuffling his deck of verbs and nouns? And how many hours did his wife sit with him? He wordsmithing. She cross-stitching. Finally a manuscript was finished. Crude and laden with mistakes but finished.

She gave him the shove. “Send it out. What’s the harm?”

So out it went. Mailed to fifteen different publishers. While the couple waited, he wrote. While he wrote, she stitched. Neither expecting much, both hoping everything. Responses began to fill the mailbox. “I’m sorry, but wee don’t accept unsolicited manuscripts.” “We must return your work. Best of luck.” “ Our catalog doesn’t have room for unpublished authors.”

I still have those letters. Somewhere in a file. Finding them would take some time. Finding Denalyn’s cross-stitch, however, would take none. To see it, all I do is lift my eyes from this monitor and look on the wall. “Of all those arts in which the wise excel, nature’s chief masterpiece is writing well.”

She gave I to me about the time the fifteenth letter arrived. A publisher had said yes. That letter is also framed. Which of the two is more meaningful? The gift from my wife or the letter from the publisher? The gift, hands down. For in giving the gift, Denalyn gave hope.

Love does that. Love extends an olive leaf to the loved one and says, “I have hope in you.”

Love is just as quick to say, “I have hope for you.”

You can say those words. You are a flood survivor. By God’s grace you have found your way to dry land. You know what it’s like to see the waters subside. And since you do, since you passed through a flood and lived to tell about it, you are qualified to give hope to someone else.

December 25, 2008 2:34 AM

Friday, November 7, 2008

Quote of the Day for the Writer

Creative people rarely need to be motivated—they have their own inner drive that refuses to be bored. They refused to be complacent. They live on the edge, which is precisely what is needed to be successful and remain successful.

--Donald Trump, How to Get Rich

11/08/2008 Sat 12:03am

Stephenie Meyer

Stephenie Meyer talks about going into the publishing industry. Her book Twilight is now a major motion picture.

Best-Selling Author Michael Crichton Dies

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 5, 2008
(CBS) Best-selling author and filmaker Michael Crichton died unexpectedly in Los Angeles Tuesday, after a courageous and private battle against cancer, his family said in a statement. He was 66.
Crichton was a brand-name author, known for his stories of disaster and systematic breakdown, such as the rampant microbe of "The Andromeda Strain" or dinosaurs running amok in "Jurassic Park," one of his many million-selling books that became major Hollywood movies.

Crichton also created the hospital drama "ER" for television. His most recent novel, "Next," about genetics and law, was published in December 2006.

"While the world knew him as a great story teller that challenged our preconceived notions about the world around us -- and entertained us all while doing so -- his wife Sherri, daughter Taylor, family and friends knew Michael Crichton as a devoted husband, loving father and generous friend who inspired each of us to strive to see the wonders of our world through new eyes," the statement said. "He did this with a wry sense of humor that those who were privileged to know him personally will never forget.

" Through his books, Crichton served as an inspiration to students of all ages, challenged scientists in many fields, and illuminated the mysteries of the world in a way all could understand.

"He will be profoundly missed by those whose lives he touched, but he leaves behind the greatest gifts of a thirst for knowledge, the desire to understand, and the wisdom to use our minds to better our world," the statement added.

Born in Chicago Oct. 23, 1942, Crichton graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College, received his MD from Harvard Medical School, and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, researching public policy with Jacob Bronowski. He taught courses in anthropology at Cambridge University and writing at MIT.

Crichton's 2004 bestseller, "State of Fear," acknowledged the world was growing warmer, but challenged extreme anthropogenic warming scenarios. His views were strongly condemned by environmentalists, who alleged that the author was hurting efforts to pass legislation to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide.

Crichton's first bestseller, "The Andromeda Strain," was published while he was still a medical student. He later worked full time on film and writing. One of the most popular writers in the world, his books have been translated into thirty-six languages, and thirteen have been made into films.

Crichton won an Emmy, a Peabody, and a Writer's Guild of America Award for "ER." In 2002, a newly discovered ankylosaur was named for him: Crichtonsaurus bohlini.

A private funeral service is expected, but no further details will be released to the public.

Writers welcome a literary president-elect

NEW YORK – Last winter, Nobel laureate Toni Morrison received a phone call from Sen. Barack Obama, then the underdog to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Obama had contacted Morrison to ask for her support. But before they got into politics, the author and the candidate had a little chat about literature.

"He began to talk to me about one of the books I had written, `Song of Solomon,' and how it had meant a lot to him," Morrison said in a postelection interview from her office at Princeton University, where for years she has taught creative writing.

"And I had read his first book (`Dreams From My Father'). I was astonished by his ability to write, to think, to reflect, to learn and turn a good phrase. I was very impressed. This was not a normal political biography."

For Morrison and others, the election of Obama matters not because he will be the first black president or because the vast majority of writers usually vote for Democrats. Writers welcome Obama as a peer, a thinker, a man of words — his own words.

"When I was watching Obama's acceptance speech (Tuesday night), I was convinced that he had written it himself, and therefore that he was saying things that he actually believed and had considered," says Jane Smiley, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning "A Thousand Acres" and other fiction.

"I find that more convincing in a politician than the usual thing of speaking the words of a raft of hack speechwriters. If he were to lie to us, he would really be betraying his deepest self."

"Until now, my identity as a writer has never overlapped with my identity as an American — in the past eight years, my writing has often felt like an antidote or correction to my Americanism," says "Everything Is Illuminated" novelist Jonathan Safran Foer.

"But finally having a writer-president — and I don't mean a published author, but someone who knows the full value of the carefully chosen word — I suddenly feel, for the first time, not only like a writer who happens to be American, but an American writer."

"Dreams From My Father" and Obama's "The Audacity of Hope" have each sold millions of copies and have been praised as the rare works by politicians that can actually be read for pleasure. Obama's student poetry was even lauded — and compared to the work of Langston Hughes — by the most discerning of critics, Harold Bloom.

Morrison, whose novel "A Mercy" comes out next week, endorsed Obama in January, even though she was a friend and admirer of Hillary Rodham Clinton and had famously labeled Bill Clinton the country's first black president. As if reviewing a new book, Morrison released a statement citing Obama's "intelligence, integrity and rare authenticity," and his "creative imagination which coupled with brilliance equals wisdom."

Morrison finds herself wondering how some of her late friends would have reacted, like James Baldwin ("How I miss him now," she says), who in the 1960s had scorned as condescending Robert Kennedy's prediction that the United States would have a black president in 40 years. Were "Invisible Man" author Ralph Ellison still alive, he would have renamed his classic novel "Visible Man," Morrison joked.

Ayelet Waldman, whose novels include "Daughter's Keeper," is an Obama fan dating back to when both attended Harvard University. Her husband, novelist Michael Chabon, came to support him through "his writing, the quality of his prose," Waldman says. They in turn persuaded author and former Hillary Clinton supporter Rick Moody.

"I heard an Obama speech on NPR, sometime before the New York primary, and was moved to tears. At that point, I suppose I did start thinking of him as a writer, in the sense that he had, and has, a very good ear for le mot juste," says Moody, whose novels include "The Ice Storm" and "The Diviners."

"But I think the larger issue is cultural. There's a trickle down from the top in the way art exists inside and outside of the culture as a whole. Here in the USA, you could feel in the Bush years how little regard there was for it. People who disliked art, literature, dance, fine arts, they had a lot of cover for this antipathy. There's reason to believe that we are in for a much better period."

Words of Steel: Best-selling author starting blog

NEW YORK – After dozens of best sellers, novelist Danielle Steel still has words to spare: She's starting a blog.

"It's like a letter to a friend, and fun to be able share something and say, `Gee I did this,'" says Steel, 61, whose run of hits includes three this year alone: "Honor Thyself," "Rogue" and "A Good Woman."

In a recent telephone interview from her home in San Francisco, Steel said she expects to launch her blog,, on Thursday, to post entries once a week, or more often "if I get excited about something."

by Hillel Italie, AP National Writer

Anne Rice goes from vampires to Jesus biographer

NEW ORLEANS – It's Halloween, and Anne Rice has a new book — a memoir in fact — that's climbing best-seller lists. Everything is normal, then.

Normal if it were 1994 — the height of Rice's megaselling fame as a queen of Southern Gothic pulp.

For those who haven't been paying attention lately to vampire lit, America's most famous chronicler of bloodsuckers doesn't live in New Orleans anymore — and hasn't since before Hurricane Katrina hit — and she's riding new waves of enthusiasm: the memoir and Christian lit.

Her memoir, "Called Out of Darkness: A Spiritual Confession," is the latest piece of evidence that Rice is reinventing herself in an attempt to build a reputation as a serious Christian writer.

In the memoir, the 67-year-old writer doesn't disavow the two decades she spent churning out books on vampires, demons and witches — with a batch of S&M erotica thrown in — following the breakout success of her first novel in 1976, "Interview With the Vampire."
But she's clearly moved on.

In a telephone interview from her mountain home in Rancho Mirage, Calif., Rice laid out her goal:

"To be able to take the tools, the apprenticeship, whatever I learned from being a vampire writer, or whatever I was — to be able to take those tools now and put them in the service of God is a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful opportunity," she said. "And I hope I can redeem myself in that way. I hope that the Lord will accept the books I am writing now."

The memoir follows the release of two books in a planned four-part, first-person chronicle of the life of Jesus.

And in this new 245-page memoir, Rice presents her former life as vampire writer as that of a soul-searching wanderer in the deserts of atheism; as someone akin to her most famous literary creations — Lestat, her "dark search engine," Louis the aristocrat-turned-vampire and Egyptian Queen Akasha, "the mother of all vampires."

"I do think that those dark books were always talking about religion in their own way. They were talking about the grief for a lost faith," she said.

In 2002, Rice broke away completely from atheism — nearly four decades after she gave up her Roman Catholic faith as the 1960s started. It happened when she went off to college and found her peers talking about existentialism — Martin Heidegger, Albert Camus, Jean-Paul Sartre. Religion, she writes, was too restrictive to the young Rice. Too out of step.

Yet, religion had to come back into her life, she writes. For her, it was something she'd have to face up to again like an absent parent or a long-lost love child or Banquo the ghost in Macbeth.
By the late 1990s, when she went back to Mass, Rice — the author whose books sold in the tens of millions and who had recharged Hollywood's appetite for vampire-inspired horror — had fallen on hard times.

Her husband, poet and artist Stan Rice, died of a brain tumor in 2002. And she had become victim to diabetes.

Always over-the-top and beyond the rational, she writes that her return of faith was preceded by a series of epiphanies — many while on travels to Europe's cathedrals, Israel and Brazil. In one episode, when she visited the giant Jesus statue above Rio de Janeiro, she writes that she felt "delirium" as the clouds broke and revealed the statue.

Her professed revelations recall the religious intoxication she describes of her childhood.

When she was 12, she had her father turn a room on the back porch of the family's Uptown home in New Orleans into an oratory modeled after St. Rose of Lima — the saint Catholics believe turned roses into floating crosses. She wanted to be a saint, she writes.

In the memoir, Rice describes a familiar Catholic upbringing imbued with opulence and mystery. The incense. The statuary. The stained glass. The darkness. She learned the world, she writes, through her senses, through a "preliterate" understanding of the world. She writes that she possessed "an internal gallery of pictorial images" that, lamentably, was replaced "by the alphabetic letters" she learned later.

"You might call it the Mozart effect, but it was the Catholic effect on me," she said.

In a sense, the memoir also is a confessional about her struggle as a writer to be a reader, a thinker and an author with a distinct literary style. Her stories often are reveries with no end in sight — and all too often ugly with pedantic unwinding, numbing in detail and overly simplistic, a pastiche of cliches.

Her turn in direction — from vampire fiction to Christian musings — still isn't winning the critics over.

In The New York Times, Christopher Buckley slammed Rice's memoir as "a crashing, mind-numbing bore. This is the literary equivalent of waterboarding."

And the bar is high when it comes to writing about Jesus.

"The best may be Nikos Kazantzakis' 'The Last Temptation of Christ,'" said Jason Berry, a novelist and journalist who has written extensively on the Catholic priest sex abuse scandal. "But also (G.K.) Chesterton, Norman Mailer. ... A lot of narrative artists in both literature and film have taken on Jesus, so to speak."

Rice isn't out to impress the critics, though.

"My objective is simple: It's to write books about our Lord living on Earth that make him real to people who don't believe in him; or people who have never really tried to believe in him," she said.

She pressed the point: "I mean, I've made vampires believable to grown women. Now, if I can do that, I can make our Lord Jesus Christ believable to people who've never believed in him. I hope and pray."

For her devotees, whatever she writes invariably goes down like a smooth bloodbath, that favorite Goth beverage sometimes made with raspberry liqueur, red wine and cranberry juice.

"There are so many people dedicated to her. They want her to write more vampire books," said Marta Acosta, author of the popular "Casa Dracula" series, a "comedy of manners" that plays on vampire themes. She also runs the Vampire Wire, a book blog for fans of gore and the undead.
As for her, Acosta couldn't care less if Rice sinks back into the vampire vein.

"People think it's sexual, but it's not. It's suppressed stuff. Southern Gothic," Acosta said. "How many centuries is Louis (played by Brad Pitt in the movie 'Interview With the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles') going to whine?"

Never again, it seems.

Rice is busy writing about Jesus as a minister. And that's a tall order, Rice said.

by Cain Burdeu, Associated Press Writer 10/30/08

Online sales of Obama's books surge after win

NEW YORK – Barack Obama's historic victory has given yet another boost to his million-selling books, "Dreams from My Father" and "The Audacity of Hope."

Both were in the Top 25 on's best-seller list early Wednesday, soon after the Illinois Democrat defeated Republican John McCain to become the country's first black president-elect.

"Dreams from My Father," a memoir released in the 1990s when few had heard of Obama, and "Audacity of Hope," a reflection on politics that came out in 2006 and helped to solidify his national following, have far outsold any of the anti-Obama books that came out last summer.

The most notable and best-selling attack against Obama, Jerome Corsi's "Obama Nation," was ranked No. 466 on early Wednesday. Corsi was co-author of the highly effective "Unfit for Command" at the center of the "Swift Boat" attack against defeated Democratic presidential contender John Kerry in 2004.

Conservatives had hoped that Corsi's current book would prove equally influential in the 2008 election. "The Obama Nation" was released by Threshold Editions, an imprint of Simon & Schuster run by Republican strategist Mary Matalin.

"The Swift Boat book appeared to have a devastating effect on the polls in 2004," said Adrian Zackheim, head of the conservative Sentinel imprint at Penguin Group (USA). "It was my impression that the books about the candidates didn't have much of an effect on a lot of voters this time. There seems to have been a lot of different forces at play."

One sobering fact on the list: The No. 1 book at the time of Obama's victory was "I.O.U.S.A.: One Nation. Under Stress. In Debt," by Addison Wiggin and Kate Incontrera.

by Hillel Italie, AP National Writer 11/05/08

Comfort Zone

Here is a poem I found about the problems of staying in your comfort zone. People who are successful become that way because they take risks. Individuals who don't step out and believe stay at the same job or live the same life they don't like and they become negative, angry ppl which makes them even worse to be around. They end up living a full life never fulfilling their dreams. What a waste of a life! Don't stay in your Comfort Zone! Venture out!

I use to have a Comfort Zone where I knew I couldn't fail
The same four walls of busy work were really more like jail.

I longed so much to do the things I'd never done before
But I stayed inside my Comfort Zone and paced the same old floor

I said it didn't matter; that I wasn't doing much
I said I didn't care for things like diamonds, furs and such

I claimed to be so busy with the things inside my zone
But deep inside I longed for something special of my own.

I couldn't let my life go by just watching others win.
I held my breath and stepped outside and let the change begin.

I took a step and with new strength I'd never felt before
I kissed my Comfort Zone "goodbye"and closed and locked the door.

If you are in a Comfort Zone, Afraid to venture out,
Remember that all winners were at one time filled with doubt.

A step or two and words of praise, Can make your dreams come true.
Greet your future with a smile, Success is there for you!

by Author Unknown

Quote of the Day For the Writer

"Work is love made visible. And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy."

-- Kahlil Gibran

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Don't Focus On Mistakes...Focus On Your Future

Don’t let old mistakes or misfortunes hold you
down: learn from them, forgive yourself---or
others—move on. Don’t be bothered or
discouraged by adversity. Instead, meet it as a
challenge. Be empowered by the courage it
takes you to overcome obstacles. Learn
something new every day.

Be interested in others and what they might
teach you. But do not look for yourself in the
faces of others. As far as who you are and who
you will become goes – the answer is always
within yourself. Follow your heart. You – like
everyone else – will make mistakes. But as
long as you are true to the strength within your
own heart…you can never go wrong.

-- Ashley Rice
10/16/08 8:07 pm

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Quote of the Day For the Writer

"If there's a book you really want to read but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it."

--Toni Morrison

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Quote of the Day for the Writer

Imagination grows by exercise, and contrary to common belief, is more powerful in the mature than in the young.

–W. Somerset Maugham

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Author, Erin McCarthy

Erin McCarthy talks about trying to sell her books, contacting Best Selling Author, Lori Foster, and also about her upcoming writing projects.

10/05/08 4:35am


Karen Dionne writes from Detroit. Her debut book is Freezing Point (Jove/Berkeley)

Freezing Point is a thriller about an environmentalist who thinks he can solve the world’s freshwater crisis by melting Antarctic icebergs into drinking water, but instead, he creates an even bigger problems.”

Writing Habits: “Very early mornings and again in the late, late evenings, seven days a week. Sleep?”

How Did You Get Your Break? “I owe my book deal to Al Gore. Not directly, but by turning the world’s attention to enivironmental issues, An Inconvenient Truth opened the door for eco-thrillers like my own. The novel is fiction, but the problems it touches on are very real.”

Time Frame: “Freezing Point took 1.5 years to write, 6 mos to sell, and another 22 months to hit the shelves.”

Secret to Success: “Networking with established writers and learning everything I could about the business.”

Advice: “Don’t settle for good. Your story idea and its execution need to blow everyone out of the water, from agent , to editor, to reader.”

What’s Next?: “I’m working on a second science thriller that my agent and I both love. “Let’s just say I hope my reader like spiders.”
10/05/08 4:19am

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Danielle Steel's Typewriter

Here's a pic of romance novelist, Danielle Steel, when she stopped by the NBC Studios to do an interview about her book Rogue. She is standing next to a replica of the kind of typwriter she still uses to this day to turn out those bestselling manuscripts. To be exact, the kind of typewriter she still uses is a 1946 Olympia manual typwriter. Its hard to find ribbon for this thing, but Danielle gets them specially ordered for her. She made the comment that she would love to take this typewriter home with her. lol!

09/14/08 12:27am

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Jackie Collins new book 'Married Lovers'

‘It’s nice here, isn’t it?” Jackie Collins said in her clear, measured, L.A.-by-the-way-of-London tone. Jack Black and Dr. Phil were sitting nearby on the terrace of the Polo Lounge at the Beverly Hills Hotel, but it was Collins’ arrival that created the stir. A large diamond sparkled on her left hand enlivening her appearance in a simple, tailored black suit, offset with dramatic hoop earrings. “I like to sit here where you can see everyone.”

In person Collins is like the content of her books—chatty, funny, irreverent and knowing. Mostly, she is endlessly enthusiastic—she will stop in mid-sentence to declare her various excitements over singers, TV shows, movie stars, friends or just her lunch. “This is the most delicious salad ever,” she announced.

This summer saw the publication of Collins’ 26th book, “Married Lovers”, which centers on a woman named Cameron Paradise, a personal trainer, and a trio of men: a director, a screenwriter, and a late night talk show host, all set in the Hollywood of today.

Twenty-six years ago Collins wrote “Chances”, the bestseller featuring Lucky Santangelo, a heroine who grows up in the mod and takes over the family business. It wasn’t until her next book however, that she became a household name. “I didn’t become established until ‘Hollywood Wives’, which I wrote after I had lived here for awhile and observed those women,” she said. “Oh my God! They were scary in the ‘80s!”

In “Married Lovers,” there is a funny scene in which some Hollywood wives go out to lunch. Collins describes their look: True Religion jeans, James Perse white T-shirts and Birkin bags. “It’s Hollywood Wives,’ the next generation,” she writes.

Collins raised three daughters in L.A., and it sounds as if her exposure to Hollywood wives made her a cautious parent. She stresses that she was “a very strict mother. I took them to school everyday, cooked their dinner every night-before I went out to the nightclubs—and made sure that they were in bed and fed. You can’t just give children a Porsche and a credit card.”

Collins began life in London, where she grew up with her sister, actress Joan Collins. She was thrown out of school at 16, for smoking (“That was the last cigarette I ever had”) and drifted into appearing in films. She married young, had one child, got a divorce, then married again. Her second husband, Oscar Lerman, was a night club and gallery owner, Collins credits him with the beginnings of her career. “I’d done these stupid roles in films—I was always the Italian girl—and he asked me what I was doing, and I told him that I was working on a book. He read it and said, ‘This is fabulous, you have to keep doing it.’”

Collins writes her books right up to the production schedule, so that little editing can be done before publication. “They made a couple of suggestions,” she said, smiling. “But if you’re going to fial, you have to fail on your own mistakes. I sit down and write the book and prefer they don’t ask me any questions until the book is finished.”

09/12/08 6:26am

Monday, August 25, 2008

It's me!

Sorry I haven't posted anything in a while. So much has been going on with me and around me. I will try to post some articles this week. Adios!

Cattt 08/25/08 8:31am

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sony Adopts EPUB Standard for Reader

The International Digital Publishing Forum's epub e-book standard received a big vote of support this morning when Sony announced that effective immediately its Sony Reader will now support the standard. Beginning in August, all new devices shipped will use epub, and right now owners of existing devices can go to to update their device's software for epub support.

Brennan Mullin, v-p of Sony Audio, said the company was adopting the epub standard to encourage more vendors, booksellers and publishers to get involved in the e-book market and to broaden the amount of content that can be viewed on the Reader. The move to use epub is a significant change in approach for Sony, which has used its own standards and restricted consumers to buying e-books for the Reader from its own store. The use of epub will allow consumers to buy titles from a variety of outlets and will grow the number of titles compatible with the Reader to well passed the 45,000 now available through its online store. Another avenue for new material will be Adobe: Sony also annouced today that the device will support Adobe e-books with DRM and will also have the capability to reflow standard PDF e-books and other documents.

Publishers, who generally favor the one-format approach made possible by epub, welcomed Sony’s decision. “Sony’s support of epub is an important step forward in the cooperation of publishers and portable digital book manufacturers to create better experiences for readers,” said Brent Lewis, v-p digital & internet for Harlequin. “We’re thrilled with the upgrade." IDPF, of which Sony is a member, approved epub as an industrywide standard in an attempt to foster interoperability among e-book reading devices.

Mullin said sales of the Reader have been steady and that sales of titles have increased. Interest in e-books has grown and although reluctant to credit a competitor, Mullin acknowledged that the buzz around Amazon’s Kindle “has been good for everybody in the e-book market.” Amazon, however, has not adopted the epub standard.

In addition to adopting the epub standard, Sony has announced it has started offering the Reader in the U.K.

Jim Milliot PW

07/28/08 Mon 7:36am

Foxy Brown & Lil Kim Don't Deliver on Books

Being incarcerated may be a pretty good excuse, but Simon & Schuster apparently doesn't care what led to Lil Kim and Foxy Brown's writers block.

The New York-based publisher sued the rappers Thursday, intending to get its money back after paying out generous advances for books that the ladies never completed.

According to the dual lawsuits filed in New York State Supreme Court, Simon & Schuster gave Kim, whose real name is Kimberly Jones, $40,000 in 2003 for a novel that was supposed to be finished the following year. Brown was then paid $75,000 in 2005 to pen her autobiography, which was tentatively titled Broken Silence.

"Both accepted the money, and both books never were delivered," S&S spokesman Adam Rothberg told

Since then, however, both hip-hop stars have spent time behind bars for various offenses—Brown for violating her probation multiple times after finally being sentenced for a 2004 fight in a Manhattan nail shop, and Kim for perjury and conspiracy after lying to a grand jury about her friend's involvement in a 2001 shooting.

Brown, whose real name is Inga Marchand, was released in April after serving eight months of a yearlong sentence. Kim's been a free bird since July 2006, when she flew the coop after spending 10 months behind bars.

But even with all that life experience under their belts, neither MC has done enough prosaic musing to satisfy Simon & Schuster, which also published 50 Cent's autobiography and books penned by members of his G-Unit crew.

-- Natalie Finn from E! Online

07/28/08 Mon 7:31 am

Amazon Doing Well Despite Economy

I read this piece and was surprised that Amazon is doing so well.

The economic slump has not slowed down Amazon’s growth as the e-tailer reported the total revenue jumped 41% in the second quarter ended June 30, to $4.06 billion. Total media group sales rose 31%, to $2.41 billion, while North America media revenue had comparatively modest gains of 24%, to $1.15 billion. Net income, which includes a $53 million gain from the sale of Amazon’s European DVD rental business, rose 102%, to $158 million.

Jeff Bezos, Amazon chairman, said the increase in fuel price is an advantage for the company since more consumers seem to prefer to shop at home rather than use gas to travel to a store. CFO Tom Szkutak said he didn't expect rising transportation costs to significantly impact the e-tailer's margins, and Bezos added that the company has no intention of changing its free shipping offers because of higher gas prices.

For the first six months of 2008, North American media sales were up 23%, to $2.35 billion. Total sales rose 39%, to $8.2 billion and earnings rose to $301 million from $189 million. The company still expects total sales for the full year to rise between 30% and 35%, reaching about $20 billion.

The number of titles available for the Kindle are now up to 140,000 compared to 90,000 at launch, and the company did not break out any other Kindle figures except to say sales of e-books represent a low double digit percentage of the 140,000 titles available in both e-books and print formats.
Jim Milliot PW

07/28/08 Mon 7:25am

Friday, July 25, 2008

Sony opens up e-book Reader to other booksellers

With the market for electronic books still relatively sleepy, Sony Corp. is trying a new tack: untethering the latest model of its e-book reading device from its own online bookstore.

On Thursday, Sony will provide a software update to the Reader, a thin slab with a 6-inch screen, so the device can display books encoded in a format being adopted by several large publishers. That means Reader owners will be able to buy electronic books from stores other than Sony's.

"This upgrade opens the door to a whole host of paid and free content from third-party e-book stores, Web sites and even public libraries," said Steve Haber, senior vice president of consumer product marketing for Sony Electronics.

With the move, Sony is partly letting go of its e-book business model, under which it sold the $300 device and the books that could be read on it. It's also a challenge to Inc., which last year put out its own e-book reader, the Kindle, and tied it to its own online store. Amazon, however, makes it relatively easy for publishers and individuals to submit books to sell through the store, with Amazon taking 65 percent of the proceeds.

Opening up the Reader could also help Sony catch up to the $359 Kindle in terms of book selection — Sony's store, which it will keep running, has about 45,000 books available, while Amazon's Kindle store sports more than 140,000.

Sony's move could also help energize the e-book industry, which has yet to take off, despite the investment of big-name companies like Sony and Amazon. Neither has released sales figures for their reading devices.

International Digital Publishing Forum, the main e-book publishing trade group, said e-book sales by a dozen major U.S. publishers amounted to $31.8 million last year, as measured on the wholesale level.

The publishing forum backs the format, called Epub, that the latest Reader model will be able to handle after the upgrade. Publishers supporting Epub include Simon & Schuster, Penguin Group, HarperMedia, Hachette Book Group, HarperMedia and Harlequin Enterprises Ltd.

Users of the Sony Reader have already been able to load books as text files or in the Portable Document Format, or PDF. But Epub is the first outside format for which the supplier can copy-protect a book, to prevent piracy.

By Peter Svensson, AP Tech Writer

07/26/08 3:30am Sat

Author Danielle Steel writes to 'give people hope'

It's only 9:33 a.m., but already Danielle Steel is having a lousy morning.

She's in a Rockefeller Plaza dressing room, having her hair tugged and her makeup tweaked. She's endured questioning from Matt Lauer on the "Today" show and soon faces a second round with Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb.

Crowding around are fashionably dressed publicists, agents with noisy cell phones, burly camera operators and various preening hangers-on. The plaza outside vibrates with throngs of screaming fans, aching to rub shoulders with the famous — anyone famous.

Steel hates it.

From her pained expression, it's clear she'd rather be anywhere but here, her zone of privacy now no bigger than Al Roker himself.

"This is so not me," she says. "I hate having the spotlight on me. I hate being the focus of attention. I like being the invisible observer. So this is very painful."

Steel, who turns 61 in August, doesn't need fame: Her name is virtually synonymous with the romance novel. She doesn't need cash: Some 570 million of her books are in print. What she wants is a Garbo moment: to be left alone, to write more.

So why would she agree to an interview sandwiched between TV appearances? "Occasionally, I have to stick my nose out the door," she says, warily. "Otherwise, people are going to think I'm 100 years old and dead."

Any visit to a bookstore would disprove that — an ever-lengthening list of such Steel titles as "The Wedding," "Sisters" and "Second Chance" that crowd multiple shelves. She knocks out about three books a year.

What brings her to New York and the media glare is her 75th book, "Rogue," the tale of a sober-minded psychologist and her playboy ex-husband "whose kisses were as intoxicating as everything else about him." When one of the two considers remarriage, their lives take a turn.

The novel, which Publishers Weekly called "a familiar formula with fresh results," debuted at No. 4 on The New York Times list of best-sellers, No. 8 on USA Today's list and No. 6 on The Wall Street Journal's.

Atop such lists is a familiar Steel perch. Between 1996 and 2003, Publishers Weekly reports that 16 of her novels were best-sellers, and the Guinness World Records once cited her for having at least one book on the Times list for 390 consecutive weeks.

All that strangely doesn't calm her. She may have been writing novels since she was 19, but there's an insecurity that remains untouched, no matter the plaudits.

"I still never finish a book without being terrified I can't write another one. I never start one without being terrified I can't finish it," she says. "It's sort of a torturous process."

While it's hard to generalize, Steel's books are usually populated by smart, attractive heroines juggling work, love and family. About one in five are historical, set in, say, pre-World War II Europe or the Russian Revolution. Some tackle larger issues, such as homelessness in "Safe Harbour," domestic violence in "Journey," infertility in "Mixed Blessings" and even cloning in "The Klone and I."

"I think the one recurring theme that I didn't used to be aware of is that I try to give people hope," she says. "I think that's so important. Love is wonderful, but hope is more important. Without hope you can't live."

Critics haven't always appreciated the effort, often recoiling from her shallower characters, brand-name dropping and the sugary aftertaste her books leave behind.

No matter — the woman is critic-proof, a Teflon one-woman publishing phenomenon. Steel is a leader of a genre that generated $1.37 billion in book sales in 2006, outselling every market category except religion/inspirational, according to the Romance Writers of America.

How does Steel handle critics? "It's very simple. I haven't read them in years," she says. "My feelings get very hurt when people say mean things about me. The trouble I find is that they don't just criticize the book — they then get nasty personally. And so I stopped reading them."
Her mini-empire also includes 15 children's books, multiple adaptations for TV or DVDs, a volume of poetry and even a perfume from Elizabeth Arden. She was decorated by the French government in 2002 for her lifetime contribution to world culture.

The latest book came out of her head the way most of the others did, with a mixture of happenstance, a keen eye for potential drama and a dose of mystery.

"They just happen. I can't tell you how they come. I hear about an issue that I like or something comes to mind — they always kind of drop out of the sky," she says. "I mean, I was in a closet some years ago putting stuff away and I heard a noise and I suddenly thought, 'A book about a ghost!' So I wrote a book about a ghost and I had to construct this whole elaborate thing to get there."

That book, naturally, became "The Ghost." Another time, inspiration came during a dinner party: Steel was seated next to a friend who confessed that his wife had left him with three young children. It led to the book, "Daddy."

She pounds out all her novels in a tiny office in her San Francisco home, where she lives half the year. (The other half is spent in Paris, where she refuses to work.)

All the books are written on a 1946 Olympia manual typewriter and first drafts are usually done in a punishing 20-hour shift while "dressed in my nighty with my hair sticking up straight."

"There are people who show up nicely dressed, they work from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. I can't do that," she says. "Sometimes I don't leave my house for two or three weeks."

In person, Steel is far more approachable than the woman whose regal photograph appears on her book jackets. Her chestnut hair flows freely and her jewelry sparkles in an understated way. She's a mix of elegant and down-to-earth, a fun rich aunt who might whisk you away for expensive adventures.

Nita Taublib, senior vice president and deputy publisher at Bantam Dell, confesses she didn't know what to expect before she started working with Steel nine years ago.

"From the second I met her, I just felt the warmth from her," says Taublib. "She really is charming and normal and probably the opposite of everything people would expect her to be. She's just a real human being."

The one thing Steel isn't warm about is questions — ironically — about her love life. She has been married and divorced five times, but visibly stiffens at queries about them.

Born in New York, she lived through her own parents' divorce and was working in public relations when she was urged by the then-editor of Ladies' Home Journal to write a book, which became "Going Home."

"I tried it. I thought it was a fun idea. And it sold very quickly. And then I wrote five more that nobody ever bought. They're in my basement in a box," she says with a laugh.

Steel, who has seven children and is the stepmother to two more, lifted her cocoon of privacy in 1999 to write "His Bright Light," the chronicle of her son Nick Traina's battle with manic depression and suicide in 1997 at age 19.

The loss of her son and collapse of her fourth marriage soon led to a cause she champions: ending homelessness. She says that when the bottom fell out of her world, she went to church.

"I was praying, 'Who can I help that's more miserable than I am?' And I got this thing in my head, 'Help the homeless.' I was like, 'You didn't understand. Let's try that again. A different message, please?' And it kept coming. So I thought, 'OK, OK.'"

So she traveled the streets of San Francisco and was haunted by what she saw. Steel set up an outreach team called Yo! Angel! and goes out about once every month, incognito, handing out sleeping bags, food and toiletries.

"I can't stop," she says.

Even so, she won't leave her typewriter for too long.

"I'm driven from inside. A story will come to mind and it has to come out, like a frog with a bubble," she says. "I want to work forever. And try to get better forever."

From AP

07/26/08 1:45am Sat

Heather Thomas Writes a Book

Remember Heather Thomas? The pin up from the 80's and from the Fall Guy? Well she is now a novelist. Who would have thunk it? I saw her on the today show doing promotion and the name of her book is Trophies.

07/26/08 1:31am Sat

Gillian Anderson (X-Files) and her love of books

More, more, just give her more books! The X-Files star finsd beauty, influence, wisdom, and inspiration in three hard-to-shake contemporary novels, a high-climbing history, and the ever-compassionate Pema Chodron.

I remember when a friend gave me a novel—I had huge respect for this person's taste—and he said to me, "I am so jealous that you have this in front of you." I knew exactly what he meant. I'd had that feeling myself when I recommended a book to friends. On the first read, your skin is tingling and you're completely overwhelmed by the beauty of the story or its poetry. It's very difficult to return to that place when you go back to a book for a second read because you're obviously influenced by an inner knowledge of where it's going to end.

If I hear about a good book, I will buy it automatically, so now I've got many, many books in piles. It's strange—I sometimes have the desire not to finish an amazing book, and at the same time, I know that there are so many more to read. What a beautiful conundrum to have in life, you know?


07/26/08 1:18am Sat

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Authors Guild Warns on S&S e-Book Royalty Proposal

Simon & Schuster out to take money out of the pockets of their writers again.

The Authors Guild has sent out an advisory to its members suggesting that they carefully review a letter from Simon & Schuster that looks to add an amendment to their contracts that will set the standard royalty for e-books at 15% of the catalog retail price for e-books. The Authors Guild alert makes three points about the proposal: members should discuss the amendment with their attorney or agent; warns that, depending on a member’s particular contract with S&S, the amendment may grant S&S rights that otherwise would be retained by the author; and notes that members should be aware that the amendment may affect their ability to obtain a reversion of rights.

The alert further advises that members should “keep your powder dry,” when negotiating e-book royalty rates, suggesting that members try to retain the right to renegotiate e-book royalties. “The Authors Guild expects that the 15% of the retail list price will be the low-water mark for e-book royalties,” the Guild speculated. “As the e-book market develops, authors with clout will doubtlessly insist on a more reasonable share of e-book revenues, and the industry will have to adapt.”

S&S spokesperson Adam Rothberg said the amendment was sent to a "long list" of authors whose books have not yet been adapted to e-books, with most of the letters going directly to agents. He said the overall goal is to sell more e-books in a rapidly growing market, "and we want to work with our agents and author friends to do that." But that in order to move forward, S&S believes it is important to determine what the royalty rate should be, Rothberg added. Noting that it is still "early days" in the e-book industry, Rothberg said S&S remains willing to talk to authors and agents about any questions they have about the e-book market.

This is the second time the Guild has challenged a proposed change in contract language by S&S. Last year, the organization protested the publisher’s plan to alter the conditions for when authors could get back their rights. The two sides eventually worked out a compromise.

by Jim Milliot w/ PW 07/18/08

12:40 am

Friday, July 18, 2008

Sandra Brown at Thrillerfest '08

Here is a short piece I got in my email from Writer’s Digest about Sandra Brown.

Sandra Brown was the "ThrillerMaster" at ThrillerFest '08 and she was also one of the spotlight authors. What a remarkable career this woman has had—one that any writer would envy. She's had an astonishing 56 novels on The New York Times bestseller list. Curious about how she has managed to be so prolific? I was too. Apparently, early in her career she wrote romance novels and was able to crank out five books a year. Now that she's writing primarily thrillers, she sticks to one novel per year. She revealed in her interview that she goes on writing marathons: one in July to crank out a rough draft when the manuscript is on deadline, and another in January when she's doing final rewrites before the book is due to the publisher.

Here is a piece from WD about an article Sandra Brown wrote for them. She talks about her mentor Mary Lynn Baxter.

I met Mary Lynn’s husband at a writing conference at the University of Houston in 1980. It was the first one I ever attended. I told her husband I was trying to get my bearings, that I felt like I didn’t belong there because I wasn’t a published author. He suggested I talk to his wife because she, who at the time owned an independent bookstore, knew the business. It was a very fortuitous meeting. When we met, she asked about my writing and said, “When you get a manuscript you’re happy with, send it to me, and I’ll tell you whether it’s any good.” About six months later, I did. She, in turn, called an editor who was acquiring manuscripts for a new line Dell was doing called Candlelight Ecstasy. Because of Mary Lynn’s recommendation, I sent the editor my manuscript, and she bought it. So Mary Lynn was responsible for my first sale. Love’s Encore was published a year later.Mary Lynn is still my best friend, and we talk several times a week. She lives in Texas, about 250 miles away from me. We see each other two or three times a year. And when I get in a snarl plot-wise, it sometimes helps to talk it over with her. She’s very insightful in terms of what works and what doesn’t. And now she’s a published writer, as well.We write two different genres now—I write thrillers, and she writes romance. She writes with a lot of emotion, as I do. We’re both very into personal relationships between people—how those people affect everything we do.

Mary Lynn Baxter on Sandra Brown

I think Sandra’s the very best at plotting. She has an exceptional ability to surprise the reader with all the twists and turns in her books. What she’s taught me is how to be a professional: No matter how difficult the situation, she handles it with the utmost professionalism in her charming Southern fashion. She’s always been able to keep a positive attitude, even under adverse circumstances. Writing is one of the most difficult professions, but Sandra has never changed. She’s still the same sweet, helpful, down-to-earth person she was when she first started in the business. Although it’s changed, Sandra hasn’t.

Best Advice from Mary Lynn Baxter (in her own words)

Hone your craft, then write the kind of book you like to read. While that may sound easy, it isn’t. Writing takes time, self-discipline and the ability to handle criticism.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Thrills Come to the Big Apple

The third annual International Thriller Writers (ITW) Thriller Fest comes to Manhattan this week, with panels, presentations and workshops featuring some of the genre’s biggest names. Held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel July 9-12, Thriller Fest will pay tribute to 2008 ThrillerMaster Sandra Brown, who will be presented her award by 2007 ThrillerMaster and bestselling author James Patterson. Events include a demonstration by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) entitled “Lethal Weapons, Bombs and Terrorism,” an interview with Clive Cussler by Douglas Preston, and appearances by authors Lee Child, R.L. Stine, and Steve Berry. A meeting place for authors, readers, budding writers, and publishing industry professionals, the first Thriller Fest was held in 2006. More information on ITW can be found on their Web site

By Jordan Foster -- Publishers Weekly
07/09/08 10:47 pm

Sandra Brown

Sandra Brown discusses her amazing job of being a bestselling writer.

07/09/08 10:38 pm

Interview w/ Bestselling Suspense & Romance Writer Sandra Brown

I had the pleasure of talking to an agent who represents this bestselling author. Enjoy the vid!

Friday, July 4, 2008


I found another one of my old magazine's, Writer's Digest, and found a piece with Erica Kennedy. I actually remember when her book came out because I saw it everywhere. From what it said, it's supposed to be made into a movie, but I haven't seen it or maybe it's been out and I haven't noticed.

31 year old Erica Kennedy’s debut book is Bling!

Debut book: Bling (Miramax, June 2004) a novel described as “a hip hop version of Pygmalion”

Time Frame: “I started my book in April 2002—the day after going to a media panel called ‘How to Start Your Novel.’ Halfway through the process, I got writer’s block; 3 months later, it miraculously lifted. My book sold in August 2003.”

Secret To Success: “Reviewers have called my book ‘genre-defying.’ Honestly, that’s because I didn’t know what I was doing. “I’d never written fiction. I read the Elements of Fiction book series and a ton of commercial fiction, and I just wrote in a way that felt good to me.”

Pet Peeve: “I have a moral objection to almost all chick lit, because it’s usually about neurotic, self-deprecating women how to turn themselves inside out to get a man. That offends me.”

Writer’s Digest 7/2004
07/04/08 9:20pm

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Quote of the Day for the Writer

“Creative people rarely need to be motivated—they have their own inner drive that refuses to be bored. They refuse to be complacent. They live on the edge, which is precisely what is needed to be successful and remain successful.”

-Donald Trump from his book How To Get Rich

7/04/08 12:47am

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Another Interview w/ Danielle Steel

This interview is with Matt Lauer from the Today Show.

07/02/08 7:13am

Interview w/ Danielle Steel and her new book Rogue

Hoda Kotpe and Kathie Lee Gifford interview the famous and very private Danielle Steel about her new book, Rogue.

07/01/08 10:11pm

Music Legend Clive Davis

Earlier this month music industry legend Clive Davis (r.) stopped by the New York City publication party for Parking Lot Rules & 75 Other Ideas for Raising Amazing Children (Ballantine). Davis is pictured here with author Tom Sturges
07/01/08 9:47pm

Literary Agent Sues Sites for Ruining Her Reputation

Literary agent Barbara Bauer is suing 19 bloggers and websites, including Wikipedia, YouTube and, claiming they are ruining her reputation, the New Jersey Star-Ledger reported yesterday. Online critics call Bauer one of publishing’s “20 Worst Literary Agents,” claiming she charges clients high fees for little work, and is a “scam agent.” Bauer did not return PW’s calls for comment.

Bauer’s web site says the New Jersey literary agent established her firm in 1984, and that she has helped get numerous books by award-winning authors published in multiple languages around the world.

Bauer also sued the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America web site. The case has caught the attention of free-speech groups and online activists.

The two sides are scheduled to argue the motion before a Monmouth County, NJ, judge today.

by Lynn Andriani
07/01/08 9:43 pm

Eldredge Leaving Thomas Nelson; Signs Two-Book Deal with Doubleday Religion

Bestselling Christian author John Eldredge is leaving his longtime publisher, Thomas Nelson, and has inked a two-book deal for a pair of currently untitled nonfiction works with Doubleday Religious Publishing. Eldredge, according to his agent, Curtis Yates of Yates & Yates, “will not be publishing any new major releases with Thomas Nelson in the foreseeable future.”

Eldredge is the founder of the Colorado Springs-based Ransomed Heart Ministries and a mainstay on bestseller lists; according to Doubleday there are more than nine million copies of his books in print. The one looming project the author has with Thomas Nelson is a forthcoming DVD companion to his March title from the house, Walking with God. Yates said that, right now, the deal with Doubleday is only for two titles.

In a statement Brian Hampton, Nelson's senior v-p and publisher of corporate brands, said the house still has "future projects under development" with the author and "will also continue to partner with John to keep ten years worth of life-changing material active in the marketplace.”
In his own statement Eldredge said: "I've been at Thomas Nelson exclusively since I started publishing. I have a lot of friends there and a very strong backlist. But it felt like it was time to explore new opportunities in the general market."

by Rachel Deahl w/ Publisher's Weekly
07/01/08 9:38pm

Monday, June 30, 2008

Today Show interviews Janet Evanovich

TODAY Show's Natalie Morales talks to author Janet Evanovich about her new novel "Fearless Fourteen."
07/01/08 2:57pm

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Interview w/ Bestselling writer Clive Cussler

I found this interview with Clive Cussler06/29/08 1:24am

From "Just A Job" To Your Dream Career

Here is an article I found from Deborah Brown Volkman who is a contributing columnist for Columbus Wired. We can all relate to what she’s talking about.

Are you in a career you love, or in a job you are tolerating?
What's the difference? If you're working strictly to earn a paycheck to pay the bills, you have a job. Ifyour days are filled with passion and delight for the work you do, you have a dream career.

So how is your career going? Is it filled with dreams or nightmares?

We all have responsibilities. Bills to pay and futures to save for. Going to work is reality. So why notshoot for the stars? Why not have a goal to make a great salary while doing work you love?

Impossible? Guess what? It won't happen until you decide that it will happen. When you tackle new challenges in your career, the beginning is the hardest. Once you jump in, your goals take shape, and they begin to seem realer and easier to achieve.

Here is how some of my clients described their dream careers when they were at the beginning of their shift from job to career:

"My dream career would be focusing on the areas where I can find fulfillment and can make a difference in the lives of others. It has to be creative." -- Linda May

"My dream career would be working at something I'd do if no one paid me to do it."-- Dale Alvaraz

"It has to get me excited. So excited that I would rather work than watch TV or do something else.Another indicator is when I can wake up early without an alarm clock and I am looking forward to the day." --Alex So

So How To Do Make The Shift From "Just A Job" To Your Dream Career? Follow These Four Steps Below:

1. Recognize That You Want More

Do you know in your heart that you want a career that gives you meaning, purpose, and satisfaction? Listen to your inner voice, because what it is saying to you will not go away until you act. When you get to a point in your career when you know it is not working anymore, it's important that you do something about it.

2. Get Ready Mentally To Have More

Write down what your dream career is. If you do not know, write down what it's not. When you know what you don't want, the flip side is what you do want. Look at this piece of paper everyday. Review it in the morning. Look at it during lunch. Go over your words before you go to sleep. This process will help your thoughts sink in and become a part of your subconscious.

What keeps many of my clients from saying "I can achieve my dream career" is fear. Fear is normal. There's always fear when we take on new goals. But ask yourself which fear is harder to be with: the fear of knowing that you did not give your career its best shot, or a fear of failing?

3. Get Into Action To Have More

Nothing happens until someone does something. And, if you want a dream career, you have to get moving. Act. One action leads to another, which leads to another. This is how goals are reached. Bit by bit. Piece by piece.

I like this paragraph because I feel it’s true. Ppl easily become sidetracked by stuff going on in their daily lives or they give themselves excuses why they can’t do something. I hear this all the time. If a person wants it bad enuff they will make time. When you work on your dream career, a little bit each day, your wish will be granted. Consistency is key. Most of us do not believe that we have hours each day to work on our career, but the truth is we do. How about working on your career ½ hour in the morning, 15 minutes at lunch, ½ hour before you leave the office at night, or an hour after dinner? Breaking your dream career into small achievable pieces will make a tremendous difference. You will be surprised and amazed at how much progress you will make.

4. Recognize That Anything Worthwhile Takes Time

All goals take time. And, the time they take to become real usually takes longer than we'd like. Know that this is part of the process.

Keep moving no matter what, even if you do not feel like. Trust that you are on the right path. Your dream career will happen, because you want it to happen. The effort you put in will be worth it, because the end result will be a career you can proud of.

So, what do you say? You only have one life to live, so it might as well be a life you love!

06/29/08 12:58am

This life is yours

This life is yours
Take the power
to choose what you want to do
and do it well
Take the power
to love what you want in life
and love it honestly
Take the power
to walk in the forest
and be a part of nature
Take the power
to control your own life
No one else can do it for you
Take the power
to make your life
and very happy!

--- Susan Polis Schutz
06/29/08 12:33am

Kathryn Heigl vs. the Writers

Katherine Heigl has infuriated the writers for Grey's Anatomy. Last year she won an Emmy, but this year she took her name out of the running because the scripts she was given weren't Emmy material.

When we asked Katherine Heigl why her name is not on the TV academy's list of Emmy contenders, she issued this statement to Gold Derby: "I am truly grateful for the honor that the Academy bestowed upon me last year. I did not feel that I was given the material this season to warrant an Emmy nomination and in an effort to maintain the integrity of the Academy organization, I withdrew my name from contention. In addition, I did not want to potentially take away an opportunity from an actress who was given such materials."

Needless to say, the writers aren't pleased. An insider from the show told Entertainment Weekly: "The show bent over backwards to accommodate her film schedule, and then she criticizes the show for lack of material? It's an ungrateful slap in the face to the very writers responsible for her Emmy win in the first place."

We're thinking that Kathryn's character Izzie may have to face some really annoying plot points next season. Note to actors: never diss the screenwriters in public. They can make you look great, or...well, you get the idea.

From Writer's Write Blog
06/28/08 10:18p

Margaret Atwood wins Spanish literary award

The jury praised the 68-year-old writer for work that covers several genres "with sharpness and irony."

It says in a statement Wednesday that Atwood "defends the dignity of women and denounces situations of social injustice."

Atwood has published more than 25 volumes of poetry, fiction and nonfiction and won prestigious awards including Britain's Booker Prize in 2000 for "The Blind Assassin."

She is also known for "The Edible Woman" published in 1970, and "The Handmaid's Tale" in 1983.

Eight Prince of Asturias prizes are awarded each year in categories such as arts, scientific research, sports, letters and humanities. The prizes are named for Crown Prince Felipe.

Associated Press
June 28, 08 10:04pm

Steven Spielberg looks to direct `The 39 Clues'

NEW YORK - A multimedia-multi-author narrative being planned by the U.S. publisher of the Harry Potter books has picked up a famous patron: Steven Spielberg.

DreamWorks Studios has acquired the film rights to "The 39 Clues," a mystery series-online game that Scholastic will debut in September. Spielberg, director of "Jaws," "Schindler's List" and the "Indiana Jones" films, says he's hoping to direct.
"`The 39 Clues' takes creative leaps to expand the story experience from the pages of the books to multiple stages of discovery and imagination," Spielberg said Wednesday in a joint statement issued by DreamWorks and Scholastic Media. "Together with Scholastic, we have the opportunity to develop this property that says `film,' `family,' `fun' and `franchise.'"
"The 39 Clues," which also features a set of 355 collectible cards, is a planned 10-book series about a powerful, mysterious family that lives in upstate New York. The first installment, "The Maze of Bones," was written by Rick Riordan, author of the best-selling "The Lightning Thief." Jude Watson and Gordon Korman are among those who will write future volumes.
06/28/08 10:00pm

Harper Collins sues Victoria Gotti over book advance

NEW YORK (AP) - A book publisher has sued Victoria Gotti for the return of an advance she was paid to write a memoir she never delivered.
HarperCollins Publishers LLC says in court papers filed Thursday in New York that the book was due in 2005. Gotti notified HarperCollins last September she was terminating the contract.
The lawsuit says the daughter of the late "Dapper Don" John Gotti and star of the reality show "Growing Up Gotti" did not return the $70,000 advance.

Literary agent Frank Weiman says his client will return the money when he gets her another deal.

Weiman says Gotti made her book deal with former publishing heavyweight Judith Regan and that Gotti canceled because Regan and other editors his client dealt with left HarperCollins.
06/28/08 9:57pm

"Yummy Mummy" author says chick lit isn't bad

Author Polly Williams found herself quickly branded as a "chick lit" writer after her debut novel "The Yummy Mummy" became an overnight sensation, but she says it's not a bad label.

Since her debut novel in 2006, Williams, 32, has written two more books, both dealing with modern-day complications faced by women: "A Bad Bride's Tale" about marrying the wrong man at the right time and "A Good Girl Comes Undone" about a career woman.

Williams, who moved to writing after a career in journalism, lives in London with her husband and two young sons. She spoke to Reuters about juggling families and writing:

Q: Since your book, the term "Yummy Mummy" seems to be everywhere. Did you come up with it?

A: "No. I plucked it out of the cultural soup and wrote a novel about it. I came along at just the right moment. It was one of those phrases bandied about in reference to celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow and it went from celebrity culture to a much wider phenomenon -- women in their early 30s with children who had had a career and took that attitude from the workplace into motherhood."

Q: You went backwards in life from motherhood in "Yummy Mummy" to marriage in "A Bad Bride's Tale" then to the workplace in "A Good Girl Comes Undone." Was that deliberate?

A: "I decided to go back as I didn't want to write another mum book so I went back to the anxieties that some women have when it comes to getting married, and then to the politics of the workplace and difficulties faced when a women earns more than her man and how that affects her sex life and desire."

Q: Are the heroines in your three books similar?

A: "They are all the same age, 34, but at different stages of life. I wanted to make the books relevant to those issues that women really face today, otherwise they would be romances."
Q: Are they autobiographical?

A: "Not really but I couldn't have written "Yummy Mummy" if I hadn't had a baby. It came from that intense period of my life when I felt like I had been flattened by a truck. I'd only been with my boyfriend for about five months when I got pregnant -- now we're married -- and it had a huge impact. "A Good Girl Comes Undone" is the world of magazines where I used to work but the characters are not based on the people I worked with."

Q: Is it possible to get rid of the "chick lit" tab?

A: "Maybe if you write in such a way that is really difficult to read or you're a woman author not writing about those kinds of issues. But this is not just the way we are perceived by readers, but the way you are marketed. It is not always a bad thing. At first I thought "yuk, chick lit" but as time goes past, if it sells a book and attracts certain readers, it's not a bad thing."

Q: How do you juggle your writing and family?

A: "I work four days a week and my husband works at home too, and we have a nanny, so we swap the kids around a lot. There is a lot of chopping and changing to make it work."
Q: What is your biggest challenge when writing?

A: "I think the hardest thing about writing for me is that I don't plot the book from A to B. I know how it starts and how it ends but I just plod along in the middle which is a messy, painful way of writing. I'd like to have a more peaceful path."

Q: Any advice for aspiring writers?

A: "There are people who are writing a book and people who are thinking of writing a book and for many years I was one of those people who was thinking of writing a novel. The easiest thing in the world is not to write a novel. The best advice is to actually sit down and write. You do have to sacrifice to do it."

Q: Have you started the next book yet?

A: "I've started on the fourth but I can't go into it because I fear I will jinx it. It is all about wives."

by Belinda Goldsmith for Reuters
06/28/08 9:52pm

Madonna's brother to publish book on life with her

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Pop star Madonna's brother Christopher Ciccone has written a memoir called "Life With My Sister Madonna," to be published next month by Simon and Schuster.

"Ciccone's extraordinary memoir is based on his life and 47 years of growing up with and working with his sister -- the most famous woman in the world," Simon and Schuster imprint Simon Spotlight Entertainment said.

Ciccone, one of Madonna's five siblings, wrote the book with Wendy Leigh. She has also written biographies of John F. Kennedy Jr, Britain's Prince Edward, Liza Minelli and ghost-written Zsa Zsa Gabor's autobiography.

Madonna's spokeswoman Liz Rosenberg had no comment.

Madonna, whose original name was Madonna Louise Ciccone, made her debut in 1982. Her first album, "Madonna," which included hits such as "Holiday," "Borderline" and "Lucky Star," helped her become one of the best-selling pop artists, with more than 200 million albums sold worldwide.

The book will be published on July 15, a month before Madonna celebrates her 50th birthday.

No author listed
06/28/08 9:44pm

Jackie Collins marks 40 years of "guilty pleasures"

British author Jackie Collins is still inadvertently teaching teenage girls about sex through her steamy novels that have seen her regularly grace bestseller lists since her first book was published 40 years ago.

Collins -- who refuses to reveal how old she is, except to say that she is still several years shy of 70 -- released her 26th novel, "Married Lovers," in the United States on Tuesday.

"I get the 15-year-olds all the time going 'I read my mum's book under the covers and you taught me everything I know about sex,"' Collins said of e-mails she receives, adding married couples also thank her for spicing up their love lives.

While disliked by critics, the younger sister of Hollywood actress Joan Collins has sold more than 400 million books in more than 40 countries and all of her previous 25 novels remain in print, according to her publisher St. Martin's Press.

"I'm a storyteller. I'm not a literary writer and I never pretended to be," Collins said. Many of her novels have been made into hit television movies and mini-series.

During an interview in a luxury New York City hotel suite, she told Reuters she is "horrified" by the fact it has been four decades since her first novel, "The World is Full of Married Men," was published in the United States and Britain.

"It's ridiculous, time goes by so fast when you're having fun. I think I am the only writer still on the bestseller list all these years later," said Collins, who still handwrites her novels on yellow legal notepads.

Her debut novel, reportedly deemed "filthy and disgusting" by author Barbara Cartland and banned in Australia, she says, "was way before its time" with its tale of a woman who cheats on her husband and another who likes sex with married men.

The latest offering from the Beverly Hills-based author follows a story involving three high-powered Hollywood couples, two affairs, one underage Russian ex-prostitute and a murder.

A self-confessed pop-culture junkie, Collins said she pulls all her stories from "real life and it's toned down."

"All the characters I write about are really characters that I know, I've seen, I've observed," she said.

She began writing when she was just 8, picking up her talent for love scenes after secretly reading her father's copy of "Lady Chatterley's Lover," which Collins says was kept in a brown paper bag beside his bed.

"It's my passion, it's my hobby, it's my everything. I just love to write," Collins said. "I'll write 'til I'm like 100 and whatever and I will drop with a pen in my hand going 'And he looked into her eyes and it was..."'

Michelle Nichols for Reuters
06/28/08 9:33pm

Monday, June 2, 2008


Danielle Younge-Ullman writes from Tononto. Her debut book is Falling Under (Plume)

Falling Under is an edgy urban drama about a troubled artist who has painted herself into a corner.”

Writing Habits: “My toddler wakes me up at 7:30am in the morning, so self-preservation dictates that I write in the morning and early afternoon.”

How Did You Get Your Break? “I entered Falling Under in some chick-lit writing contests. I was a finalist in two of them but the judges said it wasn’t chick lit—it was too dark, edgy and literary. This gave me the confidence to finish the book without worrying about genre.”

Time Frame: “Four and half years.”

Secret To Success: “I didn’t censor myself. I allowed myself to follow any tangent, go to dark place, funny, places, and play with language and style. That made the story and writing unique.”

Advice: “Find something you’re burning to write about, get it written and then edit, edit, edit. You’ll need faith, diligence, patience, more faith, perseverance, more patience and a sense of humor.”

Influences: “I love John Irving, Alice Walker, Barbara Kingsolver, Guy Gavriel Kay, Ann-Marie MacDonald, Jane Austen, Marion Zummer Bradley, W. Somerset Maugham and Robertson Davies.”

Weird Hobbies: “I like to move furniture. It doesn’t matter if everything is perfectly arranged; I still need to move it all around every few months.”

What’s Next?: “I’m working on my next book, which is top secret and making me crazy.”

06/03/08 4:09 Writer’s Digest June ‘08

Have You Ever Been Fired? Well These People Have

"From We Got Fired?....And It’s The Best Thing That Ever Happened To Us" by Harvey Mackay.

1. In April 1978 Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank was fired from Handy Dan Home Improvement Center, a chain of 66 stores. The two went on to create Home Depot.

2. Katie Couric was fired from doing on-air work by CNN after the network’s president said he never wanted to see her face on a TV screen again.

3. Walt Disney was fired from his newspaper job for a lack of ideas. From Mickey Mouse to Daffy Duck, his ideas laid the groundwork for one of America’s most creative corporations, the Walt Disney Company (the parent company of ABC News).

4. Burt Reynolds was fired from an acting job and told he couldn’t act. Afterward he became the No. 1 box office draw for five consecutive years.

5. Lee Iacocca was fired from Ford on his 54th birthday after 32 years at the company. He led a struggling Chrysler back from the brink with the help of a loan from the U.S. government, a loan that was paid back in full.

6. Mark Cuban was fired from a computer store because all he wanted to do was sell and work on computers, instead of sweeping the floor like the owner wanted. Today, he is an Internet billionaire and owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team.

7. David Hasselhoff, the star of “Baywatch,” was fired along with the rest of the cast when the show was canceled after the first season. He believed in the show and bought the show’s rights. It ran for 11 years in 140 countries in 32 different languages.

8. And New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was fired from Salomon Brothers, an investment firm--albeit with a $10 million goodbye-gift.Bloomberg was thirty-nine at the time. He could have stayed history and pounded the beach of Costa del Sol for the rest of his life. Instead, he made history. He founded Bloomberg L.P. and became a billionaire.

9. Joanne Kathleen Rowling, aka J.K. Rowling, was fired from some secretarial jobs because she was found writing creative stories on her computer. She used her severance to write Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone while her daughter took naps. When she ran out of money, she received a grant to finish the book. She’s also a billionaire.

Talk about your silver linings. Lol!

06/03/08 3:11am