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


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Brash Books Seeks Unpublished Crime Novels and Award-Winning Backlists

Bookshelf-Mystery-CindyFazziIf you have an unpublished crime novel, you might want to consider submitting your work to Brash Books, a new company established by two veteran novelists.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 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 »

Inkshares: Is the Latest Publishing Model Right for You?

The latest publishing model will publish books through crowdfunding.

The latest publishing model will publish books through crowdfunding.

What do you get when you combine legacy publishing with crowdfunding? A new model of publishing through Inkshares. It’s called crowdfunded publishing. Read the full post »

Tom Hardy’s “Locke” Shows Extraordinary Power in Simplicity

Film Review: “Locke,” written and directed by Steven Knight, 2014

It takes an actor such as Tom Hardy to pull off a film shot almost entirely inside a car, showing him alone, from beginning to end. Ivan Locke (Hardy) is a construction manager in Birmingham, with a reputation for “running a tight ship,” as a local official describes him. One evening, after work, he doesn’t go home. Instead he drives to London, a decision that changes his life within 85 minutes, which is how long the drive and the movie last. Read the full post »

Cover Reveal: “Hellish Haven” by L.K. Below

HellishHaven_500x750Earlier this year, I read a sizzling little book called “Beauty in His Bed,” a contemporary take on “Sleeping Beauty,” by L.K. Below. If you’ve read it, don’t expect more of the same from the author, who writes in different genres, from YA and MG to adult urban fantasy. Her latest book, “Hellish Haven,” shows yet another facet of her writing: dystopian romance. Read the full post »

5 Ways to Optimize Your Writing Even When You’re Not Writing

Makena Beach photo by Cindy Fazzi

Hitting the beach can be good for your writing. (Makena Beach, Maui, July 2014. Photo by Cindy Fazzi.)

Many successful authors—from Ernest Hemingway to Khaled Hosseini—have imparted the same advice: Write every day. But when summer or Christmas rolls around, even the most diligent writer has to take a break for a few days or weeks. If you feel guilty and resentful when you’re not writing, learn how to optimize your downtime. Read the full post »

New Writing Contest: Write About Love!

Maui Seashell photo by Nina Fazzi

Submit a story about something you love and cherish. (Photo by Nina Fazzi, 2014.)

It’s the peak of summer, but Good Housekeeping magazine wants you to write about the stuff that Valentine’s Day is made of. Enter your nonfiction story about your first love or a crush or the one who got away and win some cash prize, plus possible publication. Read the full post »

Debut Author Elise Cyr’s Biggest Publishing Lesson: Be Your Own Advocate

siegeoftheheart_elisecyrAs a teenager, Elise Cyr wrote a story about a girl, her horse, and their desperate escape from a powerful warlock. It wasn’t your typical adolescent musing. It became the basis of Cyr’s debut novel, “Siege of the Heart,” recently published by Lyrical Press. Read the full post »

Publishing: What Do Mergers and Acquisitions Mean for Writers?

The impact of publishing consolidation on writers and readers remains to be seen. (Maui Friends of the Library bookstore; Kahului, Maui; July 2014. Photo by Cindy Fazzi.)

The impact of publishing consolidation on writers and readers remains to be seen. (Maui Friends of the Library; Kahului, Maui; July 2014. Photo by Cindy Fazzi.)

A report by Publishers Weekly shows increased consolidation in the publishing industry, with 26 mergers and acquisitions occurring within the first six months of 2014. The report says improving economic conditions led to more deals. What does it mean for writers? Read the full post »


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