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Who wants to be liked? The joy of writing outrageous, amoral women

inews.co.uk – Tuesday July 19, 2016

I’ve always been drawn to dark, unpredictable, unknowable characters. I love performing baddies as much as watching them and I had a macabre sense of play as a child. I was a committed tomboy always playing “man on the run”, or “boy being kidnapped”, rather than making daisy-chains or throwing tea parties. I have never been interested in playing Juliet, though I can appreciate the brilliance and beauty of the role from the stalls, my instinct as an actress is always to undercut and be irreverent. Something a role like that really does not require.

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Mallory Ortberg on Texts from Jane Eyre: 'Writing was the simplest part of the process'

theguardian.com – Tuesday July 19, 2016

Texts from Jane Eyre was the first book I ever wrote, or even tried to write, and when I found my agent, I rather assumed my part in the process was done. She had approached me about the project, so I assumed an editor would approach her in turn, and I would continue to attract publishing attention like a sea anemone attracts shrimp. This turned out not to be the case: it took over a year, and quite active shopping, to sell the book proposal, rather than seeing it snapped up straight away.

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8 things I wish I'd known before writing my first novel

marieclaire.co.uk – Tuesday July 12, 2016

Award-winning author Kate Mosse reveals her top tips for making a career out of writing books

'As a former editor in publishing, I had a bit of a head start,' says Kate Mosse author of best sellers from Labyrinth to The Taxidermist's Daughter

'I'd seen all the pitfalls and traps for a first-time novelist, so had a notebook full of "avoid this at all costs" and "always remember to..." tips, before I ever became a writer myself. But, for the record, here I learned a few hard truths along the way.'

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Russell Smith: Why publishers think pink for book covers

theglobeandmail.com – Thursday July 7, 2016

It has just occurred to me that my last four books, all works of fiction, have had an image of a woman on the cover. The books, however, largely represent masculine points of view. One of the books is even called Young Men. It still has a beautiful girl on the cover.

The reason for this repeated imagery is simple and economic: Most readers of fiction in North America are, by a wide margin, women. The books are being marketed to them.

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How to write rollicking rhyming stories

theguardian.com – Friday July 1, 2016

On the day started I writing my first children’s book, Squishy McFluff: The Invisible Cat! I didn’t deliberately set out to write it in rhyme. It just happened.

The first line that popped out was: “As Ava played out in the garden one day, when the air was all foggy, the sky rather grey…” I realised straight away that if I split the sentence, I had a perfect rhyming couplet. That set the scene for the rest of the book, and now I’ve written six of them, each one up to 2,000 words, all written in rhyme.

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How to Start a Freelance Writing Career for $0

sitepoint.com – Saturday June 25, 2016

You’ve heard the old saying: “You have to spend money to make money.” That’s true in almost every field of work, whether you want to open a restaurant or start a blog. The problem? Some people with entrepreneurial spirits have just enough to get by and not a penny more. Not everyone has a good amount of dispensable income to spend to start a career.

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Writing the Other: intensely practical advice for representing other cultures in fiction

boingboing.net – Thursday June 23, 2016

For more than a decade, science fiction and fantasy writers have handed around Nisi Shawl and Cynthia Ward's Writing the Other, an intensely practical and thoughtful guide to inclusive, representative writing that includes people of genders, ethnicities, races, and orientations other than the writer's.

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Will Self: ‘I write first thing, when I can suspend disbelief in the act of making things up’

theguardian.com – Saturday June 18, 2016

When I’m working on a novel I type the initial draft first thing in the morning. Really: first thing. For preference, I have a cigarette ready-rolled and a coffee percolator loaded the night before; then I simply roll out of bed, fuel up and set to it. I believe the dreaming and imagining faculties are closely related, such that wreathed in night-time visions I find it possible to suspend disbelief in the very act of making stuff up, which, in the cold light of day would seem utterly preposterous. I’ve always been a morning writer, and frankly I believe 99% of the difficulties novices experience are as a result of their unwillingness to do the same. Narrative structure, mise en scene, characterisation − you can’t get to grips with these problems unless you’ve put the words on the page.

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Want to Succeed in Self-Publishing? It's a Lifetime Learning Experience: Tips from an Indie Author

publishersweekly.com – Saturday June 18, 2016

Although Carole Nelson Douglas has traditionally published more than 60 novels, she wanted more control over her books and decided to go indie. And while she did find the transition challenging – and encountered a “status downgrade” in some of her writers groups -- Publishers Weekly gave her latest, Cat in a Zebra Zoot Suit, a positive review.

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What to Look for in a Lit Agent

backstage.com – Saturday June 18, 2016

Charles Kopelman is the vice president and co-head of the Theatrical Literary Division at Abrams Artists Agency. His division represents some of the biggest playwrights in the business.

What should a writer look for in a literary agent? 
It’s a very personal relationship. It’s someone who can help them with a writer’s material, someone who can introduce them to collaborators if they are interested in working with different people, as well as introduce them to literary managers or artistic directors. We look for people with a singular voice that is not run-of-the-mill.

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