Why Do You Write?

Probably none of us would answer that question in quite the same way. Would you keep on writing if you had no hope of publishing your work? If you would, can you explain what motivates you? If you wouldn’t, why not? We’ve talked about this in our critique group, and we disagree. I’d love to […]

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Review of The Champion

Elizabeth Chadwick has been publishing for years. Why did it take me so long to find her? A writer of historical fiction, her specialty is the Middle Ages. She has nineteen books to her credit. See what I mean about not discovering her before now? Especially since her first book was published in 1989 (The […]

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Pam’s Manuscript Critique

My heart pounds out an irregular rhythm. I try but fail to suck in one of those deep, cleansing breaths that are supposed to be so calming. Short gulps of air are all I can manage. Sweat breaks out on my forehead. My limbs feel heavy, immobile. Job interview? Nightmare? Am I being chased by […]

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YA Fiction: Past and Present

Next Spring I’ll be teaching a class on young adult fiction. The class will examine themes which run through both classic and contemporary YA novels, and also study the way in which the genre has evolved over time. I’m looking for your input! What one book defined you during your teenage years? Had the greatest […]

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My Sinful Secret

Until recently, I was one of those people who never read romances and was proud of it. Ugh. How stupid. How inane. How way, way beneath me. No thanks. Not me. Never. Ever. Then someone in my Jane Austen group suggested I read a Georgette Heyer novel. Supposedly, the next best thing to reading Jane. […]

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Jane Austen’s Siblings

Last Sunday I pretended to be Cassandra Austen, sister of the famous writer. I was on a panel of “siblings” at the Denver/Boulder regional meeting of the Jane Austen Society of North America. We panelists fielded questions from our members regarding the sibs-four of the brothers and one sister. The most compelling question for me […]

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Review of Sovay

Celia Rees is an amazing writer. I was a great fan of her book Vanished, and I think Sovay is even better. With a large cast of characters, it must be difficult to give a distinctive voice to each one, but she manages to pull it off. And Sovay herself is a gem. Bold, adventurous, […]

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Lost in Austen

Have you seen Lost in Austen, the ITV satire of Pride and Prejudice? When shown on TV, I believe it was in episodes, but the DVD runs continuously as though it were a movie. After watching about 45 minutes of it, I was convinced I wouldn’t like it. The crux of the story is that […]

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Attributions: He said, she said

An admonition writers always hear from speakers at conferences is to stick with the venerable “said” as a dialogue tag. Other writers, editors, agents, creative writing teachers, and the authors of writing craft books–all seem to agree. Every time I hear or read this piece of advice, it seems the very next time I pick […]

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Lady Julia Grey Mysteries

I’ve enjoyed reading Deanna Raybourn’s Lady Julia Grey mysteries. Not only has Raybourn created two appealing main characters in Lady Julia and Nicholas Brisbane, but she also has provided a seemingly limitless cast of characters within Lady Julia’s family: her father, her sister Portia, and her many other siblings. The first book in the series, […]

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