Monthly Archives: June 2012

The best of Nora Ephron

Shaun J. McLaughlin

Kris Wampler

Shaun J. McLaughlin believes every writer must be in it for the art, and strives to make his writing stand out from the rest.  Shaun discusses his success with blogging and what he believes it takes for a writer to succeed.

1. Give me the “elevator pitch” for your book in five to ten sentences.

My self-published novel, Counter Currents, is a story of smugglers, river pirates, rebels, love, and war.  Most scenes are set against the grandeur of the Thousand Islands during the drama of North America’s forgotten war, the Patriot War of 1838.  Among the raiders was Bill Johnston, the Thousand Islands legend.  The protagonist, Ryan, a young immigrant, is drawn into Johnston’s world of piracy and secret societies.  Ryan falls for Johnston’s daughter, Kate.  Tugged by the opposing currents of romance and war, Ryan struggles to reconcile his troubled family history, his duty and his heart. Counter Currents is history illuminated by fiction.

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Writers and Literary Awards

Farafina Books

In a letter to the editor of The New York Times, novelist Richard Greener says:

…writing is not a competitive or comparative endeavor; nor is a writer best identified by a group association, be it gender, race, age or any other such human membership.

Writing is an isolated, personal activity, the creative act of an individual not to be misattributed to or mistaken for any grouping of other people regardless of what they may share with the writer. They do not share the work.

Literary prizes may have value to those who market and sell books, but I am confident that within the heart and soul of most writers such prizes are not seen as any true measure of literary worth. One author does not compete with another. Thus, an award based on such a standard adds nothing to the merit of one’s work.

As writers, we would all…

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TIME Publishes Special Issue on Health Care Decision

Non-Review Review: The Amazing Spider-Man

the m0vie blog

The Amazing Spider-Man is a jumble of clever ingredients thrown into a pot, stirred for two hours and yet never managing to produce that ideal flavour. There are moments in Marc Webb’s adaptation that are fantastic, as good as anything Raimi brought to the best of his films in the series, Spider-Man II. However, there’s also simply too much going on here for its own good. Running for two-hours-and-a-quarter, the film feels like one-part origin to two-part stand-alone adventure, unsure whether it should it is trying to rush through the motions of one of the most iconic origin stories ever told or if it’s trying to bring something a bit deeper to the table. When it gets going, it’s a solidly entertaining piece of film that does try to do something just a little new with the superhero formula, but it suffers from the same identity crisis as its…

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Why Amazon Publishing gives literary agents pause


These days, Amazon is pretty much the poster child for what happens when you insist on having your fancy cake and eating it, too. Back in January, Amazon Publishing entered into a licensing agreement with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, which is now publishing and distributing print versions of Amazon’s titles under a new, dedicated imprint, New Harvest. At the time, this PaidContent article surmised that this alliance might be designed to sneak Amazon titles into Barnes & Noble stores.

It kind of made sense, in theory. Except for the fact that Barnes & Noble wasn’t even remotely down with the program.

At the end of January, the largest remaining bookstore chain announced that it wouldn’t carry any Amazon Publishing titles, including the ones published by the New Harvest imprint. As long as Amazon maintained exclusivity over the digital versions of its books—thereby not allowing customers to purchase Amazon books through…

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Twitter and Literary Agents: What the Heck Can We Learn Before We Flush Away Our Dreams?

A Literary Ramble with Agent Laura Rennert

Cynthia Hughes Literary Consulting

I’m a fan of the blog Literary Rambles, a go-to site for all things related to children’s books and publishing from Casey McCormick and Natalie Aguirre. So what a nice surprise it was to zip through my Feeddler feed today to see the L.R. Agent Spotlight shining on Laura Rennert of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency!

Laura is simply one of the best agents around (and yes, she reps Austin’s very own P.J. Hoover!), and I was delighted that she came to the 2011 Writers’ League of Texas Agents Conference as one of the featured agents. What a treat it was to have her at the conference! And we had a nice long chat over dinner — how fun was that!

Anyway, read all about her at Literary Rambles — and if you want to know more about children’s books, agents, and publishing, be sure to follow L.R.!

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A Picture is Worth 50,000 Words, Give or Take

Tamára Out Loud

I’ve been dying to tell you…

Rachelle Gardner contacted me.

And now it’s official:

I have a literary agent.

I’m gonna write books, y’all.

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Su'eddie in Life n' Literature

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Motherhood. Mental Health. Moments & Memories we have in common.

Tolu Ogunlesi

journalist, poet, photographer, fiction writer

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