Wednesday, November 30, 2011
I don't remember now what I'd read or heard, exactly, that first convinced me I hadn't fully lived until I'd seen Venice, but it became a persistent, almost tangible desire. I strongly recall a physical, pit-of-my-stomach ache in junior high because I'd wanted to look at it with my own eyes so much, and I was just too young (and too well supervised by my parents and teachers) to escape and fly there on my own.
But the desire haunted me until, at last, I finally saved up enough to go there in the summer of 1992. My husband-to-be and I were taking our first "Grand European Tour" together, a mostly Eurail/backpacking/cheap-food-and-hotel kind of vacation that my twenty-something wanderlusting self couldn't wait to experience. That summer, I visited many of the major cities of Europe, but the one I was most anticipating was, of course, The Venice of My Imagination.
There are times -- particularly for creative types, I think -- that the reality of something fails to live up to the brilliance of the vision. As our waterbus/vaporetto cut through the Grand Canal and curved toward St. Marco's Square, I feared that would be the case for me. I'd daydreamed about my first real glimpse of Venice for so long... How could an actual city -- even one built on water with those cute red and white poles sticking up and gondolas everywhere -- possibly exceed the high expectations of a fantasy?
But it did.
It did in all the same ways that love eclipses infatuation. Venice is not a city without faults. Sometimes it floods. Sometimes there are unpleasant odors. Sometimes the buildings aren't well kept up. Sometimes the signs are so confusing that there's no way to follow them. Sometimes vendors will try to raise their prices on tourists that they think can't read Italian...or do basic math. But, hey, sometimes my husband forgets to rinse his dish in the sink. Sometimes he screws the lid on the soda bottle so tightly it's impossible for me to open. Doesn't stop me from being glad I married him almost two decades ago.
I wasn't deaf to what people who didn't like Venice said about it behind its back. I listened. I looked. I saw it all and simply didn't care that it was imperfect. It was, and still is, perfect for me. Magical in a way that's nearly impossible to explain. I found myself blinking more than usual while I was there because I couldn't believe I was really seeing it. That it looked so elegantly timeless -- and just like all the photos and the film footage I'd pored over through the years. That, above all, it really, truly existed. Do you know what I mean? It's like that feeling of incredulousness when you realize that, after all those years of searching, you've finally found "The One."
Some may have left their hearts in San Francisco, but mine? It's wandering across the Rialto Bridge, loitering alongside the pigeons in the middle of St. Marco's Square, persuing masks in artsy shops on those twisty sidestreets, riding on a gondola at twilight with the man I love.
December 1st is the official release day for my new women's fiction book from Kensington, A Summer in Europe (although it's now available at bookstores or for download). It's the story of a junior-high math teacher named Gwendolyn Reese, who gets a month-long tour through Europe as a 30th birthday gift from her eccentric Aunt Bea and her aunt’s Sudoku-and-Mahjongg Club. She’s hesitant to leave Iowa and her insurance-agent boyfriend behind for the summer at first, but she’s never had an adventure overseas before and is soon convinced to go. What she experiences there changes all she thought she knew about love and life...
In honor of the release of this novel, I'm “traveling” to different cities, via blogs around the web, on a book tour for travel lovers. I'm talking about many of the places Gwen visited in the novel, all of which are places I personally loved, places from which I brought back cherished memories. Some of my stops will include:
Friday 11/25: Rome at Magical Musings
Monday 11/28: Pompeii at SOS Aloha
Tuesday 11/29: Isle of Capri at The Stiletto Gang
Wednesday 11/30: Venice at Girlfriends Book Club (Here!)
Thursday 12/1: Budapest at Women’s Fiction Writers
Friday 12/2: Florence at Writer Unboxed
Monday 12/5: London at Austen Authors
Tuesday 12/6: Salzburg at Robin Bielman’s blog
Wednesday 12/7: Lake Como at Brant Flakes
Monday 12/12: French Riviera at Get Lost in a Story
And other cities will be added for later in December -- including Pisa, Vienna, Brussles and Paris (I'll update the itinerary on my website as plans are finalized). I hope you'll join me for a few stops on the tour and celebrate the release of A Summer in Europe with me! It's a Literary Guild and Rhapsody Book Club featured alternate selection for December, and if you'd like to read an excerpt, it was recently a "Red Hot Read" on Single Minded Women.
These are some Venetian carnival masks, which I use in the novel, but I also collect them in real life. Do any of you have any masks -- from Italy or from any country? Is there something you like to collect when you travel? I'd love to hear about it!
Monday, November 28, 2011
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and as a writer, I have a LOT to be grateful for.
This is how my typical day goes:
1. I crank up my ultra fast coffee maker
2. sit down to my computer (where I catch up on emails, social networking and news of the day)
3. write till I get hungry,
4. nuke something for lunch.
But if I had been writing twenty-five years ago I would have:
1. made coffee in my Mr. Coffee Coffee Pot
2. gone to my desk and sat in front of my electric typewriter (making sure to copy everything later in case I lose my papers), keeping both my dictionary and my thesaurus at finger's length
3. checked my phone's answering machine every couple of hours (in case my editor or agent called)
4. written till I got hungry,
5. nuked something for lunch.
If I had been writing fifty years ago, I would have:
1. made coffee in my nifty percolator
2. gone to my desk and sat in front of my typewriter (making sure to make a carbon copy of all my pages), keeping my dictionary and thesaurus at fingers length
3. written till I got hungry,
4. made myself a sandwich, because heating something up would require too much time (unless it's a can of soup, and who wants that everyday?)
If I had been writing two hundred years ago today, I would have:
1. made myself a cup of tea
2. gone to my desk, hoping that it's situated next to a window so I can get some light, or lit my candle, sharpened my quill, refilled my ink well
3. written till I got hungry (or ran out of paper, or my hand got tired)
4. gone into the kitchen and prayed some food would miraculously appear from somewhere...
How did Jane Austen do it??
So on on this Thanksgiving Eve I'd like to give a big shout out to the Writing Gods for all our wonderful 21st century writing necessities:
lap top computers, track changes, spell check, email, Facebook, Twitter, microwave ovens, take out food, smart phones with unlimited texting and long distance call plans, e-publishing, dictionary.com, Skype, and I could go on.
What writing conveniences are you most grateful for? Anything you could absolutely not live without?
Maria Geraci writes fun, romantic women's fiction. Portland Book Reviews calls her latest release, The Boyfriend of the Month Club, "immensely sexy, immensely satisfying and humorous. " Her next novel, A Girl Like You, will be released August, 2012, by Berkley, Penguin USA. You can connect with her on her website, Facebook or Twitter.
Monday, November 21, 2011
Friday, November 18, 2011
By Deborah Coonts,
Author of Lucky Stiff
Deborah Coonts, author of Lucky Stiff, says her mother tells her she was born in Texas a very long time ago, though she's not totally sure -- her mother can't be trusted. But she was definitely raised in Texas on barbeque, Mexican food and beer. She currently resides in Las Vegas, where family and friends tell her she can't get into too much trouble. Silly people. Coonts has built her own business, practiced law, flown airplanes, written a humor column for a national magazine, and survived a teenager. She is the author of the Lucky O'Toole Las Vegas adventure series.
Pity the man who looks like Charles Manson. Because no matter if he’s a perfectly sane accountant from Dubuque with 2.5 children, a wife and a home in the suburbs, most everyone will snap to judgment that he’s a crazed maniac with murder on his mind.
Perhaps the thing about Manson that set him apart was that maniacal glint in his eye, the very anti-twinkle that translated into the suggestion of the evil of which he was capable.
Thus was my thinking at my very first book signing. I was already apprehensive about the event, feeling an enormous sense of pressure to perform well, to sell enough books to justify the efforts the booksellers had gone to on my behalf. To not be a complete loser.
So when I ended up at a bookstore that was located in the sketchier part of the unfamiliar city in which I was signing, I was a little dismayed. Most of those entering the doors of this bookstore had more piercings on their faces than the sum total of pierced anythings on my entire street back home. These customers didn’t strike me as the type willing to pony up a moment of attention (let alone seven bucks) to learn about a book titled Sleeping with Ward Cleaver. Nary a happy (or unhappy, for that matter) housewife meandered into the store for the first 15 minutes of my signing. That’s who I was on the lookout for: a wife, a mom, the type of person who would most definitely get the humor behind Sleeping with Ward Cleaver because let’s face it, there’s an experiential element to the novel. If you’ve been there, done that, with my protagonist Claire, you’re going to be far more receptive to randomly picking up a book you’ve never heard of and spending money on it at the behest of a newbie author, especially when you only went into the store to purchase a book for someone else in the first place.
Now, I’d heard warnings from authors about book signings:
Prepare yourself for everyone coming up to you, looking enthusiastic and ready purchase your book at first sight, only to instead ask you directions to the nearest bathroom.
Expect people to come up to your table just to grab a handful of the free candy you’ve got on display.
And expect the nut jobs, the ones who show up at your table with no intention of leaving, prepared to regale you with endless tales of their public transportation experiences and parents who don't love them, all the while helping themselves to half your candy stash.
So when the Charles Manson look-alike ventured into the store about 30 seconds after I’d sat down at the signing table, I wasn’t surprised. It was fate, I knew it. As soon as our eyes met, I immediately averted my gaze—I couldn’t not. I mean come on. Who wants to encourage a mass murderer over your way? But the eye contact had been made, and I knew, I just knew, sooner or later Charlie boy would wend his way over to my table.
Now I should mention that yes, this guy had the grizzled, unwashed look of Charles Manson. He had the creepy glint of madness in his eyes. He also was lugging a small watermelon beneath his armpit. Don’t ask me why.
Charlie didn’t come immediately to my table. Perhaps because the bookstore employee was nearby, who knows? But within ten minutes he’d made his way back to my lone desk. He looked at me. He looked at my candy. He looked at me. He looked at my candy. He then proceeded to pick up a copy of my novel from the pyramid of them stacked in front of me, and feigned interest. In case you haven’t seen my cover, I’ll describe it. It’s a campy 1960’s-style green, pink and aqua cover that triggers the tune of “I Dream of Jeannie” whenever I look at it, what with the Judy Jetson-lookalike woman perched atop the bed, her striped pink hair pulled back in a headband a la Marlo Thomas in “That Girl.”
Trust me, this is not the cover that normally lures 40-something men (and certainly not those who look like they’ve just been sprung from court-mandated rehab. Again.). I have yet to have a man pick it up and leaf through it out of interest, unless their wife is along or unless it’s someone I know.
So I was onto Charlie. I knew he wanted something from me, and it wasn’t a humorous 300-page novel about a housewife in the throes of a mid-life crisis.
I tried to make small-talk. But Charlie didn’t talk beyond a few indecipherable mutterings. It was like being in the presence of Sherry and Lambchop, or a ventriloquist from the Ed Sullivan show. Or Charles Manson.
Instead, Charlie plunked his watermelon onto my miniscule tabletop, knocking over books in the process, picked up my signing pen (and his dirt-encrusted fingers did sort of bum me out, since I knew I’d soon have to touch that very pen myself), took one of my business cards, flipped it over, and started to draw.
Now the first thing Charlie inked for me looked suspiciously like a puerile attempt at a set of naked breasts. I forced a weak smile, unwilling to ask exactly what he was illustrating. But he finished it off with what I soon realized was a mouth and eyebrows, and it dawned on me that he’d drawn a rudimentary smiley face. Okay, I was hoping Charlie was done at this point. I thanked him for his lovely illustration. But he continued. His palsied hand trembling in classic heroin-withdrawal fashion, he then sketched out a Keith Haring-like stick figure that had a hint of Mr. Bill to it. And topped off his masterpiece with his illegible signature. What do you think of it?
For all I know I am in possession of a work of art by a famed contemporary pen-and-ink master who took a wrong turn in life. Who once knew of fame and fortune and now wanders aimlessly, unwashed and odoriferous, with a watermelon tucked in his arm like a pigskin cradled by a running back. As much as I was oddly charmed by my newfound artwork, I wasn’t particularly interested in having Charlie block my signing perch from the few mom-like individuals who ventured into the store that night. So I immediately offered him some kisses (the kind from Hershey’s, not my lips), which mercifully satisfied his need. Grateful, he wandered off, peeling the silver wrapping and discarding it in his wake.
And leaving me well aware that I’d experienced one of my first rites of passage as a published author. Armed and ready for the next one to come along.
Excuse me, can you tell me where the bathroom is?
..· ´¨¨)) -:¦:-
¸.·´ .·´¨¨)).· ´¨¨)) -:¦:- ·´
((¸¸. ·´ .. ·Jenny-:¦:-
:¦:- ((¸¸.·´* -:¦:- ´* -:¦:- ´*
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
by Saralee Rosenberg
What is the most FAQ I am asked as a novelist?
“Do you know Danielle Steele?” Yes, of course. I'm a frequent guest at her chateau in Paris...
My standard spiel is that my inspiration comes from personal experience, news stories, obituaries, natal charts, character bios, long showers and laughing gas (no joke).
But the better question, the more insightful question, the question I don’t hear often enough is how do I know which ideas are worth pursuing and which ones are not?
Like every thoroughbred writer, I have drawers full of possibilities- seeds of ideas, pages of notes, scribbled outlines, hopeful chapters, and half-finished manuscripts. But which ideas get born? Ultimately I gravitate towards the stories that scare the hell out of me because that's where all the emotional truth is hiding.
No point following the yellow brick road if I can’t pull back the curtain on the wizard.
But how do I move from proposal to marriage? All too often the market dictates direction. If enough agents and/or editors take a pass, that can be a daunting obstacle. But for me, the more likely reason to break the engagement is because I have fallen out of love with my protagonist.
Either she bores me, annoys me or fails to keep me up nights. In other words, her dire circumstances have to be so compelling that I must find out know how her story ends.
And therein lays the second factor in deciding whether to hold or fold. I must also fall in love with the inciting incident. I need to know that I’ve poured the fuel that propels the story into a stratosphere my poor protagonist never saw coming. This incident has to be so life changing, so knee deep in conflicts and so wildly entertaining that I can take off in numerous directions.
But which direction? It has to be a mystery for me or it won't be to my reader!
So where do those great turning point ideas come from? Two words-- what if?
Of my four published novels, my favorite inciting incident emerged in CLAIRE VOYANT. What if an elderly stranger collapsed and died on the tray table of a beleaguered actress, only to discover that he may not have been a stranger after all?
I had the best time building a novel around this simple premise and looking back I can see the divine inspiration. I was less the writer than the designated typist.
And now I am enjoying a similar lightening strike with my work-in-progress, a middle grade novel called HOTLINE TO HEAVEN. I am riveted by my young heroine’s pursuit to find her voice and learn to trust her instincts when her life encounters more corkscrews than a ride on the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. “Walk This Way” indeed.
But inspiration alone doesn’t guarantee anything if the writing isn’t solid. So I toil every day hoping that my brainstorms find happiness with the plucky protagonist and that her story keeps me entertained and enlightened. After all, how can I expect to engage readers if I don’t even have an audience of one?
I’ve been meaning to talk to my good friend Danielle about this. I’m sure she would agree.
Saralee Rosenberg is the author of A LITTLE HELP FROM ABOVE, CLAIRE VOYANT, FATE AND MS. FORTUNE and DEAR NEIGHBOR, DROP DEAD (All from Avon/HarperCollins). Visit her website www.saraleerosenberg.com
Monday, November 14, 2011
Sleigh Ride: A Winter Anthology is definitely my homage to the season and how something as simple as a sleigh ride can have such meaning in our lives. I invited fellow Girlfriend Authors Maggie Marr, Maria Geraci and Samantha Wilde to be a part of it and they graciously accepted. You'll also be introduced to debut authors Dani Stone, Jenny Peterson and Megan Barlog, who are great writers you're going to be seeing a lot more from.
To celebrate our launch, we're doing several great contests including the 7 Sleighs/7 Days of Giveaways contest (now on day 4) as well as the Big Stuffed Sleigh Contest that ends Nov. 30th ($150 value.)
The book is available in trade paperback and ebook. For a chance to win a print galley of Sleigh Ride, leave a comment on WHO YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE A SLEIGH RIDE WITH IF YOU COULD INVITE ANYONE IN THE WORLD. What would you talk about? Or would you not be talking? :) Thanks for reading, and happy holidays!
In order of appearance:
In the romantic comedy "Noche Beuna," Maria Geraci shares what happens when a woman breaks tradition and takes the holidays into her own hands.
Jenny Peterson explores the powerful bond of sisters with a painful past in "Fairy Lights."
A phone call out of the blue from the former great love of her life causes a pharmacist to question her past and whether or not a second chance is worth the risk in Dani Stone's humorous, "No Place Like Home."
In Megan Barlog's story, "The Escape," a stable owner with a hover sleigh is drawn to a troubled young woman who needs his help to avoid the bleak future planned out for her.
When her dog jumps out of the car in a snowstorm in Vermont, the California girl has the wildest night of her life on her journey to find her dog and heal her heart in Maggie Marr's, "Dashing Through the Snow."
A grieving mother returns home at the holidays to face the family she walked away from after tragedy in Malena Lott's, "Snowflakes and Stones."
Called "beautiful" and "touching," this collection is a Good Read/Good Deed project with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the domestic violence prevention cause through the Alpha Chi Omega foundation.
Friday, November 11, 2011
“Brockovich and Lyons have written another action-packed suspense novel.”
“With the recent nuclear mess in Japan, Hot Water is a relevant environmental thriller that grips the audience.”
—The Mystery Gazette
“Hot Water is thrilling, amusing, and sometimes scary—in short, eminently readable. It is so good, it will have the uninitiated reader scrambling for Rock Bottom once out of Hot Water.”
Thursday, November 10, 2011
This conversation with novelist, playwright and Oprah-fave Pearl Cleage originally ran on my blog The Pajama Gardener, where I post about writing and gardening.
Pearl's latest book is Just Wanna Testify.
Carleen Brice: You started out writing plays, correct? What led you to the theater?
Pearl Cleage: i have always loved the theatre. my mother and my father used to take us when i was growing up in detroit. we saw everything, from ossie davis and ruby dee in "purlie victorious" to dame judith anderson in "agamemnon" to rudolph nureyev with the royal ballet to jose greco and his passionate flamenco dancers to an updated version of shakespeare's "taming of the shrew" where they drove real motorcycles on the stage to alvin ailey's "revelations." i loved it all! i loved the movies, too, but the immediacy of live theatre was always so exciting. anything could happen! so i started writing short plays when i was really little.
i was one of those kids who always put together a chrsitmas play or a thanksgiving play that everybody had to watch after they've eaten that huge holiday meal and they are powerless to move. i'd recruit my cousins and my big sister and we'd do the christmas story or the pilgrims landing at plymouth rock. i doubt that we were very good, but we always got an enthusiastic response from our captive audience, and i was hooked! i acted and wrote plays all through school, but when i got to college, i stopped acting and concentrated on writing. i have written thirteen plays and i'm really happy to say they have all been professionally produced.
"since i had never written a novel, i was intimidated by the form. i didn't know where to start, how to proceed, how to wrap things up. as a playwright, i had been working to develop my craft for years. now here i was, facing something totally new. i took a deep breath, and calling on the spirits of alice walker and toni morrison to help me, i plunged in. this, of course, was a mistake."
CB: How is writing a novel different than writing a play? Do you have a different process?
PC: i never intended to write novels! i had been happily writing my plays and then i had an idea for a story that would not fit on the stage. it was too long, there were too many characters, too many settings, too much internal dialogue. so after weeks of trying to change it enough to make it fit the stage, i gave up and decided i'd try to write it as a novel instead. since i had never written a novel, i was intimidated by the form. i didn't know where to start, how to proceed, how to wrap things up. as a playwright, i had been working to develop my craft for years. now here i was, facing something totally new. i took a deep breath, and calling on the spirits of alice walker and toni morrison to help me, i plunged in.
this, of course, was a mistake. anytime you try to conjure up great writers to work on your book with you, there is bound to be some confusion. for me, it was trying to write third person like they do. i was used to writing dialogue, not description. when you write a play, you say: "it is a sunday afternoon on the sidewalk outside of a harlem brownstone. the year is 1930." then the set designer does the research and creates a set that looks like that harlem sidewalk. the costumer designer creates authentic period costumes, the lighting designer makes it look like a sunny city afternoon, and the actors bring their charisma and skill to making the characters come alive. now, as a novelist, i had to do all that myself, in addition to creating characters and making them walk, talk and move through their story.
i was overwhelmed and after a few months, i was floundering around with two hundred pages that i hated. i was trying so hard to be a serious novelist that i wasn't having any fun and reading my pages, i knew the reader wouldn't have any fun either. so i took a bold step. i said a mental apology to alice and toni, threw away all those pages and started again, but this time i was writing first person. it worked like a charm. as a playwright, i'm used to letting the characters speak. once i started writing in the main character's voice, the book came alive. ava johnson had a story to tell and all i had to do was get out of the way and let her tell it. i had a ball. the book turned out to be what looks like crazy on an ordinary day, and i've been writing novels ever since.
"the women in my books work with young people, support refugees, help new mothers, employ the homeless, grow peace gardens and participate in anti-war demonstrations. they also find time to fall in love, have babies, raise families, go to the beach, fly kites and laugh with their friends. i never thought you had to give up romance to be a revolutionary!"
CB: Are you still writing plays? What about screenplays for any of your books?
PC: i still write plays. i just wrote one last year called "a song for coretta." it takes place in atlanta as five women wait in line to go and pay their respects to mrs. coretta king who lay in state at ebeneezer baptist church. when i saw the television coverage, i was very moved by the picture of all those folks, standing in the rain at midnight, waiting to say good by to someone they admired and respected so much. the play was done at spelman college, where i was teaching at the time, and then at seven stages theatre. we had a great cast and a wonderful director in crystal dickinson. we sold out every show! the play is currently going into production in several other cities. "a song for coretta" was the first play i had written in ten years and it felt good to be working in theatre again. i am thinking about another play already!
as far as screenplays are concerned, my husband, zaron burnett, who is also a writer, is working with me on screenplays of several of my books. i am curious to see how they will translate. people are always casting the movies for me, especially blue hamilton! of course, denzel washington in blue contacts is always the first one they mention!
CB: Your books always include messages about social justice and just being good to one another. Is that a conscious plan on your part when you start writing?
PC: i am a true child of the sixties so i'm always trying to make the world a better place! i am convinced that if every person would just do their part, we could solve any problems we have, worldwide! i grew up in a very politically conscious and politically active family and i'm sure that's part of why the people in my books are always so deeply rooted in their community. the southwest atlanta neighborhood i'm writing about has been my home for thirty years so i am acutely aware of our problems, but i am also aware of what a vibrant place it is. i hope the books encourage people to look around at their own communities and get involved in something to make it better. the women in my books work with young people, support refugees, help new mothers, employ the homeless, grow peace gardens and participate in anti-war demonstrations. they also find time to fall in love, have babies, raise families, go to the beach, fly kites and laugh with their friends. i never thought you had to give up romance to be a revolutionary!
CB: It’s been a while since I’ve been to Atlanta. Is the West End you describe in your latest books really the way you describe it: well-kept with all-night businesses and men who tips their hats to ladies and women who feel safe walking at night? Or is this an urban African American neighborhood as you’d like to see it?
PC: i wish i could say that west end is exactly as i describe it, but we're not there yet. one of the things i'm always trying to do in my books is to create the kind of neighborhood i want to live in. i want to be able to walk at midnight, fearlessly. i want to be able to sit on my front porch and not hear gun fire and i sure want to have some men around who tip their hats and know how to say "good morning!" i want to eat fresh vegetables from the bounty of community gardens, so, i try to paint those pictures. i try to make readers remember how it feels to be safe and happy and loved and free. if we can see it, we can be it! (i told you i was a sixties child!)
"nobody's going to give you permission to write. they're always going to have other things for you to do. if you want to write, you better start writing."
PC: my father gave me some wonderful advice when i was working full time and raising my daughter and keeping up an active social life. i was spending my time doing everything but writing and, of course, i was whining about it. my father listened to me for about fifteen minutes and then he said, "nobody's going to give you permission to write. they're always going to have other things for you to do. if you want to write, you better start writing." my feelings were hurt because i was looking for some sympathy, but he was right. nobody is going to give anybody permission to write. if you want to do it, it is up to you to make a way to do it. the best book about the writing process that i've come across is anne lamott's bird by bird. it's widely available in paperback and it's got lots of good advice and laugh out loud stories about the craziness that all writers think is theirs alone, but which is really just part of the process.
CB: What changes have you noticed in publishing since your first novel, What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day, which was an Oprah Book Club pick?
PC: i think the biggest difference i've noticed in publishing is that there is a lot more emphasis on business and a lot less emphasis on the artistic development of the authors. publishers are struggling to find a way to make books commercially viable in an age when people are getting so much of their information from electronic sources. i think writers feel this pressure, too, and sometimes it gets in the way. the craft of writing doesn't have anything to do with the business of best sellers. when the two get confused, nothing good can come of it.
Thanks Pearl for your time!