Romance Author Gemma Brocato Finds Peer Support, Wants to Pay it Forward

Gemma Brocato-ETP CoverAs a writer, Gemma Brocato has paid her dues, spending many years as a copywriter in the insurance sector. Today she’s living every writer’s dream: working as an author full time. Despite the fierce competition in the publishing industry, she has found support from other romance authors. “That’s something I want to pay forward,” she said. Read the full post »

Where History and Fiction Meet: Top 12 Historical Novels

“Cold Mountain” by Charles Frazier, a Civil War-era odyssey, is a best-selling and award-winning historical novel.

“Cold Mountain” by Charles Frazier, a Civil War-era odyssey, is a best-selling and award-winning historical novel.

Historical fiction, the vast territory where history meets fiction, can be a story about prehistoric times or the Elizabethan era or the American Civil War. It can be a sweeping epic or a thriller or a bodice ripper. What is historical fiction? What makes for a good historical novel? Read the full post »

James Salter’s “A Sport and a Pastime”: Languid, Rich, and Memorable

A Sport and a Pastime Cover-Photo by Cindy FazziBook Review: “A Sport and a Pastime” by James Salter, first published by Doubleday in 1967

James Salter’s “A Sport and a Pastime” reminds me of a five-star resort. It’s luxurious, oftentimes impractical, but always pleasurable. Don’t go looking for the basics. Everything is extra. Read the full post »

New York Pitch Conference: The Art of Selling Your First Book

The calm before the creative storm: This is what the Ripley-Grier Studios hallway looked like before writers arrived to pitch their manuscripts.

The calm before the creative storm: This is what the Ripley-Grier Studios hallway looked like before writers arrived to pitch their manuscripts.

Do you have a manuscript you want to pitch? Perhaps you want to test the waters for a book idea? If you’re nodding as you read this, you should check out the New York Pitch Conference. I belong to the first camp, and I’m glad I attended.  Read the full post »

Pew Research: Majority of Millennials Read Books

Read Poster Photo-Cindy FazziThe word “millennial” usually conjures up the image of a teenager who’s voluntarily trapped indoors to play video games, watch Netflix, and monitor social media all day long. That impression may be true (I know because I have a teen at home), but results of a recent study by the Pew Research Internet Project show that millennials also  read.  Read the full post »

“Dead Poets Society”: Robin Williams Will Stay “O Captain, My Captain” in Our Hearts

Film Review: “Dead Poets Society,” directed by Peter Weir, 1989

Dead Poets SocietyAlthough “Dead Poets Society” is set in a boys’ prep school in Vermont in 1959, moviegoers relate to it because it puts them squarely on a familiar ground. Most people remember a teacher like John Keating (Robin Williams) who changes his students’ lives. In every school, there’s a passionate soul like Neil Perry (Robert Sean Leonard), a painfully shy kid like Todd Anderson (Ethan Hawke), and a rebel like Nuwanda (Gale Hansen). Read the full post »

Writing Contest: Harlequin Seeks Unpublished Romance Novels

Strands by Nina Fazzi

“Strands” by Nina Fazzi. Copyright © 2014 by Nina Fazzi. All Rights Reserved.

So You Think You Can Write? It’s not just a question. It’s the name of a contest for unpublished romance writers sponsored by Harlequin/Mills & Boon. The winner will receive a two-book series contract from the publisher. Read the full post »

In Praise of the Here and Now: Top 10 Present-Tense Novels

ASportandAPastime-CindyFazziPhoto

James Salter’s “A Sport and a Pastime” is a fine example of a present-tense novel.

“September. It seems these luminous days will never end.” This is how James Salter’s 1967 novel, “A Sport and a Pastime,” begins. The unnamed narrator is describing Paris—in the present tense. It made me pause because countless writing workshops, articles, and panel discussions tell us the same thing: Don’t write a novel in the present tense. Read the full post »

Brash Books Seeks Unpublished Crime Novels and Award-Winning Backlists

Bookshelf-Mystery-CindyFazziIf you have an unpublished crime novel, you might want to consider submitting your work to Brash Books, a new company established by two veteran novelists. Lee Goldberg and Joel Goldman formed a partnership with online retailer Amazon.com to publish their works, as well as other novels. Read the full post »

Christina Baker Kline’s “Orphan Train”: An Emotional Journey Worth Sharing

Orphan Train Cover-Cindy Fazzi PhotoBook Review: “Orphan Train” by Christina Baker Kline, published by William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins, 2013

At first glance, 90-year-old Vivian has nothing in common with Molly, a troubled teen-ager. Vivian is well-off and white, originally from Ireland, while Molly is poor and half-Penobscot Indian. When Molly is caught stealing a copy of “Jayne Eyre” at the public library, she must either perform community service by helping Vivian clean her attic, or go to a juvenile center. She chooses the former, bringing the two together. Read the full post »

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