Your Next Best Book

One of the great delights about book signings is talking to fellow readers. Sounds simple enough, but with the right crowd and in the right atmosphere, it can take unexpected turns. So it was that I found myself one early April evening in rural Alabama, half an hour from home in the oasis of a public library. This was a return engagement, having spoken there two years before. Now with the...
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Out of the Closet

In her 1965 award winning performance of The Sound of Music, Julie Andrews crooned to the Von Trapp children, “Let’s start at the very beginning.” Indeed, that’s a very good place to start if you’re singing a Rodgers and Hammerstein song. Or writing a novel. But what if you’re a first-time narrator, steering through the auditory straits of a sound booth? For me, Chapter 13 seemed a very good...
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An Author’s Voice

What does it mean when teachers of writing talk about an author’s voice? Is it style? Word choice? Pacing or prose? And is that something that an author can easily define, or is it best defined by more objective readers? In the summer of 2005, with a stack of pages that comprised the first draft of Control Group, I flew across the country to the Santa Barbara Writer’s conference to find out. One...
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