I’m about to send out a newsletter: sign up if you’re not already on it. All subscribers will have a chance to win an autographed book!

book gift

I’m about to send out a newsletter about the fun things that have happened and are about to happen—plus, starting with this newsletter: one of the subscribers will win one of my signed books.

Using Random.org, I will send a signed copy of one of my books to a winner drawn from the list of all newsletter subscribers. Even if you live in Russia, even if you live in Japan! So get on the list!

Arrow Sign on here.

As many of you already know, I don’t send out many newsletters, so your in-box will not be overwhelmed. Also: no spam, I promise, and you may easily unsubscribe at any time.

On author questionnaires, first pages, daily word count for my YA about Hortense, and a wonderful granddaughter, all at once

On author questionnaires, first pages, daily word count for my YA about Hortense, and a wonderful granddaughter, all at once

I’m working on the Author Questionnaire for Doubleday’s publication of The Shadow Queen, and that requires quite a bit of time mucking about in my promotional and publication history.

Any day now, I will see the first pass on the book cover: I’m excited. I’m already madly in love with the interior design.

Meanwhile, I’m cranking up the word count on the Young Adult novel about Hortense, going slowly at first. We will have the pleasure of our now 1-year-old granddaughter Kiki, our daughter Carrie and her mate Bruce this long weekend, so I’m only aiming for 50 words a day. Dipping a toe in—that’s all—but it’s important to do it every day. This morning I aimed for 50 and chalked up over 200. I’m very much enjoying exploring this youthful story.SaveSave


A therapist for writers: only in Hollywood (alas)

I must be quick. I’ve been wrestling with my email all morning and I’ve a manuscript to revise.

There has been a lot of excitement this week. The Next Novel has found a wonderful home with U.S. publisher Doubleday. I couldn’t be happier!

In the meantime, two drive-by bits. One re. a great article: “Hollywood Shadows; A cure for blocked screenwriters” by Dana Goodyear in The New Yorker. It has something to say for any kind of writer, and with humour (which is how we survive The Writing Life).

And, speaking of humour, do watch this absolutely wonderful book trailer for Laurie Frankel’s novel Goodby for NowIt’s an example of what a good book trailer can do. I hope it goes viral!

I adore Eleanor Roosevelt, the lady with a squirrel around her neck. And Einstein: “I’m younger now than when I started it. That’s how good this book is.”

What’s your favourite part?

On giving a workshop, becoming a publisher, revising …

On giving a workshop, becoming a publisher, revising …

A few weeks ago, as I’ve likely mentioned on this blog, I gave a workshop at the San Miguel Writers’ Conference: Net Book Promo for Luddites. I had given this workshop two years before at the Kingston WritersFest, but quite a bit had changed since then.

My intention is to someday offer the content of this course as a free e-book on this site.

The workshop went very well, but the experience, for me, was a bit fraught because:

1) of course the Wi-Fi didn’t connect,

2) we needed to track down a cord that would connect my newish Mac to the projector,

3) only to realize that I didn’t have the files I needed on my computer (because I was expecting a different type of projector).

And then Naomi Wolf slipped into the class: she of the kazillion Social Media followers! (If you haven’t read her book — or seen the resultant movie — The End of America: do. Extremely important.)

During the conference and after, writers Merilyn Simonds, Wayne Grady, Margaret Atwood and Graeme Gibson stayed with us. Do you think we talked about writing and publishing? You bet. It was a wonderful week.

With the help of novelist, designer and tech wiz Kris Waldherr, I’m getting closer to launching Sandra Gulland Ink, my e-book publishing venture.

The covers have been finished, accounts set up with Kobo and Amazon — iTunes yet to come. (Apple is so slow!)

I read a lot of e-books, and I want these to be special. Kris has done a beautiful job of designing the books inside and out. I’m imprint proud!

Also, of course, I’ve had to re-read all my books, to proof them. Also, of course, I’ve made changes.

I’ve been putting off re-reading Mistress of the Sun, however — but the time has come. It’s timely, because right now I’m working on the final draft of This Bright Darkness (working title of what will become The Shadow Queen), and the two novels are linked.

As I’m rewriting, I think often of Ariel Gore‘s summary of the revision process: lather and rinse, lather and rinse. Right now, I’m lathering, working up detail, adding scenes. Then I’ll edit (rinse) before I send the manuscript to my editor.

And then it will be time to dive into the next novel, my YA about Josephine’s daughter Hortense.

Busy: yes!

Book trailers: a new art form

This blog post, “7 brilliant trailers,” is worth checking out. This one was my favourite:

(What about you?)

It’s an interesting—if challenging—addition to the writer’s skill-set: the necessity of creating a trailer. I find myself thinking ahead, even as The Next Novel is struggling to emerge: what would the trailer be? It’s rather like trying to nail down the premise, and just as elusive.