Archives: novel


I’m excited to get acquainted with the Hannah Vogel series, not merely because of its captivating book jacket and intriguing plot – I don’t usually read mystery – but because the author appears to be one of those genuine, real however successful, people one comes across only so often  in the virtual world. I’ve also recently noticed good female mystery authors – save the Sue Graftons and Janet Evanoviches of the world are particularly hard to find. (See this interesting article by Meg Wolitzer in The Times: “On the Rules of Literary Fiction for Men and Women.”)
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Here is the last segment of this week’s social media series before we say sadly say goodbye to Man of la Book. If you missed prior posts in the series you can find them here and here. And we’ll be back with more interviews with authors, bloggers, and publishing experts on in our next series on Authors and Social Media, coming soon.

First question: are there any favorite author Twitter feeds you follow? Why?

My favorite authors to follow are Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself), Chuck Palahniuk (@chuckpalahniuk) and Jason Pinter (@jasonpinter). They talk about writing, life, research, and you can always find them engaging with their followers.

It seems that the most popular tweeters constantly a) tweet constantly and b) link to breaking news, blogs, etc. According to your profile, you are a book blogger, engineer, “wood worker,” father and husband. How is that you can also tweet with such enthusiasm?

My secret is that I’m pretty good with technology. Combine that with obscene laziness and you find good solutions for such issues. I use the cotweet online utility to send out tweets at intervals (30 min. to 1 hour), but check Twitter several times a day to answer questions, interact with others or see what I might be missing (sometimes not much, but that doesn’t stop all of us on Twitter from checking anyway).

But don’t be fooled: it takes great patience, persistence and hard work. Though often a great substitute for real work.

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At the top of the list for all authors, their publishers, their agents and their publicists, there’s always been one wish that stands head and shoulders above all in book reviews: The Sunday Book Review supplement of the New York Times. But in the hundreds of books that editors see every week, all vying for this coveted review space, only few can garner the interest for review. Writing, like all art, is subjective: its beauty lies in the eyes of its beholder. Further, the books one reads about in the Review Section are usually those up-and-coming, already acclaimed, “big books,” the kind published by Crown/Random House or HarperCollins, or perhaps that literary novel that’s being talked about as the next major American novel.

So many authors aspire for Times’ recognition; so few see it happen, even over the course of a lifetime career. So, you can imagine my surprise when one of my authors, a debut novelist, who spent twenty-five years honing her book, In the King’s Arms, realized this nearly impossible impossible dream. And furthermore, was given such a glowing review that the hair-tearing process became worthwhile–all those years, all those countless rejections, such indifference to a story so embedded in the author’s own history and the world history of the Holocaust. I thought readers, including myself, were tired of this theme: how many times can we re-live the pain, violence, and guilt of such human atrocity?

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