Multigenre Author Aubrie Dionne’s Advice to Writers: Keep Writing

Aubrie Dionne-Minstrel's Serenade CoverWhether in music or writing, Aubrie Dionne’s patience and persistence have paid off. She encourages aspiring authors to develop the same qualities. “Keep writing. It took me four books to get an agent. What if I’d quit after book 3?” she said. Read the full post »

The “Short and Sweet” Read: Top 8 Novellas

Canoes on Maui Beach 2014

Hit the beach with a novella. (Photo by Vincent Fazzi. Kihei, Maui, July 2014.)

It’s torrid outside. It’s time for a summer fling—make that a literary summer fling. I’m talking about reading something short and sweet: a novella. It’s longer and more satisfying than a short story, without the “commitment” required by a novel. Read the full post »

Lake Bell’s “In a World…” is an Exuberant Exposé of Cutthroat Voice-Over Industry

Film Review: “In a World…,” directed by Lake Bell, 2013

“In a World…” showcases Lake Bell’s refreshing talent and unique sensibility.


“In a World” puts a spotlight on the cutthroat voice-over industry the way “Black Swan” exposed the brutally competitive world of ballet. But the former is exuberant while the latter is grim. Read the full post »

The World’s 10 Biggest Publishers

"Stars" original art by NIna Fazzi

Educational publishing companies were the biggest money makers last year.

To paraphrase a famous Mark Twain quote, the reports of the publishing industry’s death are greatly exaggerated. Despite its ups and downs in recent years, the industry’s 10 biggest companies raked in over $40 billion last year. Read the full post »

Tana French’s “Broken Harbor”: Murder & Madness During Economic Downturn

"Book in Garden" photo by Vincent Fazzi

Photo by Vincent Fazzi, 2014.

Book Review: “Broken Harbor” by Tana French, published by Penguin Books, 2012

Mick “Scorcher” Kennedy, the Dublin detective with the best solve rate in Tana French’s books, is assigned a vicious case in her latest thriller. Patrick Spain and his two young children have been murdered in their home. His wife, Jenny, is barely alive. Read the full post »

New Report Shows How Much Time Americans Spend Reading

Books Photo by Cindy Fazzi

According to the report, older Americans read more than the young ones; women read more than men.

How much time do you spend reading for pleasure? If you’re like most Americans, it’s probably about 32 to 34 minutes a day. That’s according to a recent report by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. Read the full post »

4 Lessons for Writers from Akira Kurosawa’s “Rashomon”

"Rashomon" by Akira Kurosawa

Akira Kurosawa’s “Rashomon” is so influential that it gave birth to the term “Rashomon Effect.”

In “Rashomon,” the 1950 classic film by Akira Kurosawa, viewers can be certain of three things: A samurai is dead, his wife has been sexually assaulted, and a bandit is the main suspect. Everything else about the film is open to discussion. Every viewer is entitled to his or her own conclusion. Read the full post »

Top 15 Book-to-Movie Adaptations

"To Kill a Mockingbird'

“To Kill a Mockingbird” is the best book-to-movie adaptation of all time.

I agree with Buzzfeed when it picked “To Kill a Mockingbird” as the best book-to-movie adaptation of all time. Buzzfeed listed the top 23 adaptations based on their readers’ favorites. Those who “voted” for the movies that made the list were not necessarily comparing them with the novels. Read the full post »

4 Reasons Why I Joined the Authors Guild and Why You Should Too

Seahorse by Nina Fazzi

“Seahorse” by Nina Fazzi.

I’ve heard of the Authors Guild for years, but I didn’t join it until earlier this year. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve made as a writer. Let me tell you why. Read the full post »

Alan Furst’s “Midnight in Europe” Takes the Road Less Traveled in the Spy Genre

Midnight in Europe by Alan Furst

“Midnight in Europe” by Alan Furst

Book Review: “Midnight in Europe” by Alan Furst, published by Random House, June 2014

Alan Furst’s “Midnight in Europe” has all the essential elements of a spy novel: an intrepid hero with an active love life, a femme fatale, arms smuggling, and political intrigue that spans from Paris to Gdasnk to Odessa. At the same time, the novel deviates in a number of ways. Read the full post »

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