Wednesday, November 10, 2010

In Which Sarah Displays Her New Book Cover, and Gets Confused

Writing can be such an isolating experience. There you are, tucked in a quiet corner of a coffee shop or sitting at your kitchen table in the wee hours of the morning while the kids sleep, with nothing but the critical voices that live inside your head for company. (“Don’t you think it’s highly possible that your editor might hate this?” “Um, that might be the worst line you’ve ever written….  Ooh, actually, that one is.”)

Which is why I can’t get enough of websites about writing and publishing. I scroll through them every day, sometimes lurking, sometimes engaging in discussions in the comment thread. I admit it: I’m addicted.

If you’re trying to find an agent, websites are a goldmine. If you’ve got a question – anything from how to fire an agent to the best way to begin a query letter to how much a typical author makes in royalties - you’ll find answers. You’ll stop wondering about whether other authors struggle with saggy middles (and by this I mean the mid-section of their books, not their bodies, and am in no way feeling self-conscious about all those medicinally necessary chocolate-chip scones I’ve eaten at coffee shops while trying to coax out the right words). 

Here are some of sites I can’t live without: This popular author’s blog is fresh, candid, and relevant. Allison posts three times a week and often takes questions from readers. J.A. is one of the most prolific people I’ve ever met, and he’s completely transparent when it comes to topics like how much he earns as an author. Agent Kristin Nelson describes herself as nice Midwestern girl, but she also seems to be a pretty fierce agent. Sometimes she’ll deconstruct query letters to tell you precisely where they go off the tracks. I can’t close this list without listing a site that’s close to my heart. The Deb Ball was founded several years ago by Kristy Kiernan and a group of female debut authors, who blogged for a year – then handed off the reins to a new group of female debs. I was one of last year’s Debutante authors, and I love popping back to the site to catch up with the talented new group of authors.

Book bloggers are also some of the kindest, most supportive people in the world – and they’ve turned me on to dozens of books I never would’ve read otherwise (Mockingjay, anyone?). It’s impossible for me to list all the ones I love, but here are a few:,,,,,,

Click on a few of these sites, if you haven’t already discovered them! 

(And my thanks to the organizer of this blog, Karin Gillespie, who told me that my boneheaded error in blogging about websites instead of Hollywood wasn’t really an error, since we can blog about anything we like. See, I was just being creative! Thinking outside the box!)

True confessions: I worked as a stand-in and extra on a few Hollywood movies, including Her Alibi starring Tom Selleck and the 80’s-one-name-model Paulina. You know, the one married to the so-ugly-he's-beautiful singer from the Cars. I met all of them, and can report that Tom is quite tall. Plus they feed people very well on Hollywood sets. Entire tables devoted to candy and snacks! It’s a little slice of heaven!


  1. OMG OMG OMG - you met Tom Selleck!!??? *sighs wistfully* Sorry Sarah, I know your post included some incredibly useful links to websites that I will spend some quality time perusing because, like you, I'm addicted (and proud of it). But you can't expect to drop a name like Mr Magnum without getting a few gals excited ;) Thanks again for the links and I'm with you 100% on the medicinal choc chip scones.

  2. Love the new book cover, Sarah. And in the "publishing is such a small world" category, I spent a totally fun weekend at a book festival with Paulina Poriskova (the one-name-model) who is absolutely fun and sweet (and gorgeous) - - - and I chatted up her husband Ric Ocasek at a party my agent hosted for all her clients (including Paulina). So, I've practically met you (that whole 6 degrees of separation thing).

    It's no Tom Selleck, I know, but it was pretty cool.

  3. When is the book coming out? The cover fairy surely blessed you. It's gorgeous.BTW, loved that old girl network article on PW.

  4. Thanks for the shout-out Sarah! I got the ARC the other day and squealed with delight. :)

  5. Sarah, the little editor in my head is talking way too much lately! Does chocolate shut her up? Gotta get this sucker done (deadline: next week)! Or else the cover fairy might not have a chance at getting me something that actually conveys what my book is about. Argh. Your SKIPPING A BEAT cover is faboo! I am jealous of your cover fairy. I think mine must take a lot of naps! Love all those sites, too! I can't start my morning without reading PubRants (um, after GBC, of course). :-)

  6. Love your new cover!

    I visit most of those sites you listed above. I think I'm addicted too;)

  7. You named precisely the same sites I would have. :-)

    I am mostly weaned from perusing blogs and such, not because they aren't useful to me but because I can spend entire mornings reading when I should be writing. With deadlines looming, that's a route to *losing* a publisher, agent, etc.!

    I was a movie extra once, for the Disney film IRON WILL--got to hang our for a bit with David Ogden Stiers, which was cool but, well, he's no Tom Selleck, to say the least.

  8. Thanks so much, everyone!
    Elissa, Tom was totally hot even though he was in a clown suit for the scene and had on a big red rubber nose. I've never looked at clowns the same way since.
    Judy - how funny! I saw Paulina is now writing. Good for her. And cool that they've stayed married this long when so many Hollywood marriages don't last.
    Karin - the new book is out Feb 22!
    And thanks for the kind comments on my cover. I'm really lucky. We had three to consider, and my editor and I both liked this one best...

  9. Love these sites! I'm already a huge fan of a bunch of them, and I'll have to check out the rest.

    LOVE your new cover!!! It has gotten me soooo curious about the book! Off to stalk your site and for hopes of a description of what this one's about....

  10. I love going through my blog list and book sites every morning, and a couple of your links are new to me, so thanks!

    Love your cover, Sarah, and am so looking forward to the book!

  11. I'm so excited about Sarah's new book, and I'm flattered to be included on that list with such great bloggers!!