07 March 2009

03/07/09 Last Week in Literary News

New York Times Bestseller List


  1. Promises in Death, J.D. Robb
  2. The Associate, John Grisham
  3. Every Which Way But Dead (The Hollows, Book 3), Kim Harrison
  4. One Day at a Time, Danielle Steel
  5. Run for Your Life, James Patterson


  1. The Yankee Years, Joe Torre and Tom Verducci
  2. Outliers: The Story of Success, Malcolm Gladwell
  3. Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World, Vicki Myron with Bret Witter
  4. The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon, David Grann
  5. Out of Captivity: Surviving 1,967 Days in the Colombian Jungle, Marc Gonsalves, Keith Stansell, Tom Howes and Gary Brozek

Literary News

image The Macarena Challenge
from Amber Benson's Official Blog Mar 6

Amber Benson from Buffy the Vampire Slayer has issued a challenge. If she gets 85 reviews of her book, Death's Daughter, she will post a video on You Tube of her doing the Macarena. Now, this is news!

Tobias Wolff wins Story Prize for short fiction
By Chris Michaud Wed Mar 4, 11:42 pm ET

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Author Tobias Wolff won the annual Story Prize for short fiction on Wednesday for "Our Story Begins," a compendium of some two dozen short stories including 10 never-before published in book form.

PRESS RELEASE: Random House, Inc. Unveils Suvudu’s FREE First Book Promotion!
from Fantasy Book Critic Mar 03

NEW YORK, NY— Random House, Inc. today unveiled the first five titles in its new Suvudu Free First Book Library. Designed to introduce new readers to popular and acclaimed science fiction and fantasy series, the Suvudu Free First Book Library allows readers to access free digital copies of the first book in each series. The program launches with access to the following novels:

A GAME OF THRONES to start filming in Ireland in October 2009
Reported on Pat's Fantasy Hotlist Mar 03


Stephen King's agent pleased at e-book debut
Associated Press Writer Jerry Harkavy,
Tue Mar 3, 9:51 pm ET

In this Monday, Feb. 9, 2009 file photo, author Stephen King reads from his PORTLAND, Maine – It's not the sensation of his first effort, but Stephen King's latest e-adventure is another best-seller.

King's agent, Ralph Vicinanza, said Tuesday that downloads of King's novella "UR," available only as an e-book and released to coincide with the launch of Amazon's upgraded Kindle reader, have reached "five figures" after barely three weeks on the market.

Publicist: Ousted Illinois governor to write book
AP Mon Mar 2, 4:47 pm ET

In this Jan. 29, 2009 file photo, impeached Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich talksCHICAGO – A publicist for Rod Blagojevich (blah-GOY'-uh-vich) says the former Illinois governor plans to write a book "exposing the dark side of politics."

Glenn Selig says Blagojevich signed a six-figure deal Monday.

Random House buys `Moosewood Cookbook' publisher
AP Mon Mar 2, 12:23 am ET

NEW YORK – Random House Inc., which recently underwent a major consolidation, is expanding again.

The publisher announced Monday that it acquired Ten Speed Press, which specializes in cookbooks, business and spiritual works, including such favorites as "The Moosewood Cookbook" and "What Color is Your Parachute?" the million-selling job-hunting guide series.

"This is a real opportunity for us to further grow our business ..." Random House CEO Markus Dohle said in a statement

Unfinished novel by Wallace coming next year
AP Mon Mar 2, 7:00 am ET

NEW YORK – A long, unfinished novel by David Foster Wallace is scheduled for a posthumous release next year.


03 March 2009

Writing Prompt - Pictures from the Web

image This is not a new idea, but I have streamlined it to maximize my writing time. Using pictures from the web is my favorite writing prompt exercise, and I use it daily. It helps get me in the right frame of mind and provides great story ideas.

I originally saw the suggestion at About.com's Fiction Writing site.

  1. Visit a web site that features photographs. I use Webshots because it has a new feature picture everyday on its Home page. The feature photograph various in style and subject matter, so I have great variety. It also keeps me from wasting time searching sites or magazines for pictures and becoming distracted from the task at hand.
  2. Study the picture for no more than one minute. Do not think about what you should write. Instead, study the picture; look at the subject matter; notice the details. What do you feel when you look at it?
  3. Set your timer for ten to fifteen minutes. I downloaded a free timer called Cool Timer. It stays on my desktop. It is easy to access and it remains hidden behind my word processing program. I found that I look at a traditional clock and egg-timer too often. It stopped the flow of my writing and distracted me.
  4. Start free-writing about the picture. (See Ginny Wiehardt's instructions for freewriting.) Do not pause to think of a story, just write. Let the story happen and if it doesn't happen, do not get discouraged. One day I wrote for nine minutes about how yummy a picture of cinnamon buns looked (I was writing before breakfast). It was not until the last minute that I started writing about the person who got up early to make the cinnamon buns for people to buy. That last minute turned into one of my better story ideas.
  5. After the timer goes off, look over what you did. Save the writing even it it does not give you a story idea immediately. I
  6. return to my freewriting each month to see if they spark any new ideas. I also include the link to the feature photo that I used, incase I want to look back at it for further inspiration.

Good luck, and remember to enjoy it. If this does not work for you, try something else. Everyone finds their muse in their own way!

01 March 2009

02/28/09 Last Week in Literary News

New York Times Best Seller List

All of the following books are available from Amazon,and I have listed them in the above carousel for your convenience.


  1. THE ASSOCIATE, by John Grisham
  2. RUN FOR YOUR LIFE, by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge
  3. HEART AND SOUL, by Maeve Binchy
  4. THE HOST, by Stephenie Meyer
  5. FOOL, by Christopher Moore


  1. THE YANKEE YEARS, by Joe Torre and Tom Verducci
  2. OUTLIERS, by Malcolm Gladwell
  3. OBAMA, with an introduction by Bill Keller and biographical text by Jill Abramson
  4. DEWEY, by Vicki Myron with Bret Witter
  5. THE GAMBLE, by Thomas E. Ricks

Literary News

Post 9-11 novel wins PEN/Faulkner prize
Thu Feb 26, 12:09 am ET

NEW YORK – Joseph O'Neill's "Netherland" has received the PEN?Faulkner Award for fiction. The story is a post-Sept. 11 novel.

Philip José Farmer — In Memoriam by Fábio Fernandes
Thursday, February 26, 2009, reported on Fantasy Book Critic blog

Philip José Farmer passed away in his sleep at 91 years old. His first published science fiction story, “The Lovers”, won him the Hugo Award for “most promising new writer” in 1953, and is widely recognized as the story that broke the taboo on sex in SF, featuring sexual relations between a human and an alien.

Mystery ends: Agatha Christie's country home opens
By JILL LAWLESS, Associated Press Writer Jill Lawless, Associated Press Writer Tue Feb 24, 2:16 pm ET


LONDON – Agatha Christie's vacation house is open to the public. Visitors can see the bedroom where Christie slept, the dining room where she entertained, and the drawing room where she thrilled friends with readings from her latest whodunit.

Condoleezza Rice signs book deal with Crown
Mon Feb 23, 3:17 pm ET

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Condoleezza Rice has agreed to a book deal with Crown Publishers starting with a memoir of her eight years under former U.S. President George W. Bush, first as national security adviser and then as secretary of state.

The first book is tentatively scheduled to appear in the autumn of 2011, Crown said in a statement on Sunday.

It would be followed a year later by a second book about her upbringing in Birmingham, Alabama, where she was born in 1954. Rice grew up amid segregation and during the civil rights movement in the United States.

Random House Children's Books will also publish a young-adult edition of the family memoir at the same time.

Christopher Nolan, Irish novelist, dies at 43
AP - Sat Feb 21, 5:04 PM ET

LONDON - Christopher Nolan, an Irish poet and novelist died at age 43.