For Book Clubs
If you would like to arrange a meet
I love to meet with book clubs, either by coming to a meeting, if possible, or by having a FaceTime, Skype or speaker-telephone chat.
If your club is interested in arranging a meet, just send me a note. Let me know the date, time—and time zone—what book you’ll be discussing, and then we’ll figure out how to connect. Generally, a half-hour works well. (Click here for comments I’ve had back from clubs.)
I’ll be adding book club resources for The Shadow Queen, the Josephine B. Trilogy and Mistress of the Sun very soon! In the meantime, there are extras and resources on the page for each individual book.
Discussion questions and other suggestions
See the suggestions in the Discussion tab for each title:
- The Game of Hope
- The Shadow Queen
- Mistress of the Sun
- The Last Great Dance on Earth
- Tales of Passion, Tales of Woe
- The Many Lives & Secret Sorrows of Josephine B.
- The Josephine B. Trilogy
Signed bookplates: free
I have lovely bookplates which I am happy to sign for readers and book clubs. Let me know if you’d be interested.
Book clubs travel to Paris — yes, they do!
Is your book club dreaming of traveling to France? A number of clubs have done so.
Be sure to explore the “Extras” and other tabs for each individual book title under “Books”. There is a wealth of information there.
- Articles and blogs on Historical Fiction
- Great book blogs
- Wonderful Historical Novels
- Wonderful YA Historical Novels
Articles and blogs on Historical Fiction
- “How Historical Fiction Went Highbrow”: a wonderful article in the Atlantic
- “Top Historical Novels of All Time”
- Enchanted by Josephine
- Historical Fiction.com
- Historical Novels Review: a publication of the Historical Novels Society
- Historical Tapestry
- Reading the Past
- Writing the Renaissance
Great book blogs
Wonderful Historical Novels (my personal shortlist, sadly incomplete!)
- A Walk with Love and Death by Hans Koning
- Coal Black Horse by Robert Olmstead
- Conceit by Mary Novik
- Enemy Women by Paulette Jiles
- Music & Silence by Rose Tremain
- Santa Evita by Tomas Eloy Martinez
- The Blue Flower by Penelope Fitzgerald
- The Boys in the Trees by Mary Swan
- The Color of Lightning by Paulette Jiles
- The Hummingbird’s Daughter by Luis Alberto Urrea
- Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
- Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel (and now, of course, Bring up the Bodies)
- Year of Wonders: a Novel of the Plague by Geraldine Brooks
- Everything by Hilary Mantel!
Wonderful YA Historial Novels (an incomplete list and in no particular order)
- Blood Water Paint by Joy McCullough
- Salt to the Sea and Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
- Alex and Eliza: A Love Story by Melissa de la Cruz
- Code Name Verity by Elizabeth E. Win
- Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson
- The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
- The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
- The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
- On everything to do with writing
- Great books for writers
- Articles and blogs on writing
- On plot
- On research
- On getting published (or not)
- On book promotion
- Useful links on publishing
- On book design
On everything to do with writing
- Writing Links & Links for Writers: “One of the 101 Best Websites for Writers” — Writer’s Digest 2006
Great books for writers
These are all wonderful books on writing. I have learned a great deal from them all.
- A Writer’s Time, by Ken Atchity — a practical method
- Becoming a Writer, by Dorothea Brande — this is a classic
- Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott — an excellent book at the beginning
- From Where You Dream: The Process of Writing Fiction, by Robert Olen Butler — essential truths
- How to Become a Famous Writer Before You’re Dead: Your Words in Print and Your Name in Lights, by Ariel Gore—this is a very practical and realistic guide, with wonderful humour and wisdom
- Reading like a Writer, by Francine Prose—because reading is the all-important first requirement
- The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers, by Christopher Vogler—I adore this book, and go back to it often
- Thirteen Ways of Looking at the Novel, by Jane Smiley—particularly Chapters 10 and 11, “A Novel of Your Own, (I) and (II)”
- Walking on Alligators: A Book of Meditations for Writers, by Susan Shaughnessy — a great little inspirational book for beginning, and keeping on writing (somewhat hard to find)
- Story Genius: How to Use Brain Science to Go Beyond Outlining and Write a Riveting Novel (Before You Waste Three Years Writing 327 Pages That Go Nowhere) by Lisa Cron. My newest fav.
Articles and blogs on writing
- Writer Unboxed: writers on writing; consistently worthwhile.
- “What’s holding you back?”: this is a very good article, written for academics but applicable to all writers.
- Alexandra Sokoloff; Screenwriting Tricks for Authors: Excellent posts on story structure, etc. Highly recommended.
- A writer’s routine: my blog series on the writing process
- A Guide to Grammar and Punctuation
- Save the Cat by Blake Snyder (and all the Save the Cat books, for that matter)
- 4 Formulas for Figuring out a Story (from my blog)
- On Research
- Top ten research sites
- Who is a Rogue? Who is a Vagabond? Discoveries on London Lives, a great research site
On getting published (or not)
- The Manuscript is Ready — (Or Is It?) — What’s Next? This is a text of a workshop (plus links) given by literary author C. M. Mayo. It’s a great overview of writing and publishing. She knows whereof she speaks!
- Publishing 101: A First-Time Author’s Guide to Getting Published, Marketing and Promoting Your Book, and Building a Successful Career and The Business of Being a Writer by Jane Friedman. (Everything Friedman writes about publishing is spot-on and her newsletters are well worthwhile.)
- The terrors of publication
- How to approach a writer for a review or testimonial of your book
- Writer Beware (essential!)
- A Money-Saving Guide for Authors and Writers (full of useful and practical information, suggested by Hannah Bass, a student of writing;
On book promotion
Useful links on publishing
- Write a great query by Noah Lukeman
- Buzz, Balls & Hype — M.J. Rose’s fabulous blog
- From proposal to publication by Literary Agent Rachelle Gardner
- Media Bistro
- Poets and Writers magazine
- Publishers’ Marketplace
- Publishers’ Weekly
- Publishing Trends
- Query Shark: a blog on writing a good query letter
- The Three Questions I Am Most Often Asked About the Writing Business by C.M. Mayo (on publishers, agents, and promotion)
- Writing Careers: The Business Behind Becoming an Author
On book design