Category Archives: On Writing

Interviewing Fredrik Backman

I love when the local bookstore asks me to interview a visiting author, making it a Q&A-style event instead of a reading. I like that better in my own events too, more of a  conversation than a monologue. That unscripted … Continue reading

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Not just the facts

I was getting ready for an interview recently, a follow-up phone call for a magazine piece profiling a semi-famous person. An entrepreneur who’d started off on the completely wrong foot before finding the right calling as a television personality, and … Continue reading

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Cottage courage

Last week, we moved across town to a house on the edge of the woods, up against 13 acres of an abandoned farm. I went walking and found this in the forest not 300 yards from our back door. The … Continue reading

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Loosen the Leash

(http://beyondthemargins NULL.jpg)By Nichole Bernier (http://beyondthemargins As I’ve mentioned here a few times, we have a young Bernese Mountain Dog. We got her last summer at 8 weeks old and named her Cricket because she was the least graceful … Continue reading

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First You Crawl

I went to a dance pageant recently, a holiday performance of ballet, modern and jazz with local girls age 6-16. Actually, I have no idea how old the dancers were. Some were clearly 25, which is amazing, since I know … Continue reading

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The Demise of Private Writing?

Shortly after my novel came out, I got an interesting email from a reader. She said she hadn’t been sure she would like a book half written in the form of journals, but had been grabbed by the point of … Continue reading

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Own Your Opinions, Kids

One of my children told me recently that he couldn’t ever be a reviewer — of books, art, restaurants, or a sports columnist — because he didn’t want to hurt people’s feelings. (Never mind that just a few weeks before, … Continue reading

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What does a novel’s interior design say about its characters?

Do settings reflect the mood of a novel? Or do settings set the mood? I’m not being cute, in a chicken-and-egg sort of way. Clearly in some books the environment and dwellings play just a bit part, while in others … Continue reading

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Author One-on-One: Nichole Bernier and Dani Shapiro

Dani Shapiro: This is your first novel after years of being a magazine editor and writer.  What made you decide to write this story?  Joan Didion describes material she wants to write as having “a shimmer” around its edges.  What … Continue reading

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Say What You Mean To Say

Words matter. They matter whether you say them or write them, because you never know how you might impact someone. And words don’t have an expiration date. That was the message of a blog post (http://beyondthemargins by a colleague of mine … Continue reading

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