• Here’s the Story

    I wrote a book called The Forest for the Trees and it’s an advice book for writers. For four years, I blogged every day about the agony of writing and publishing, and the self loathing that afflicts most writers. A community of like-minded malcontents gathered and thus ensued a grand conversation. Now, the most popular posts are gathered in Greatest Hits ( a work in progress) Gluttons for punishment can scroll through the archives. If I've learned one thing about writers, it's this: we really are all alone. Love, Betsy
  • Archives

It’s All About the Base

Family. Good for writing? Material? Rage? Pain? Calories? I know it’s a cliche to hate the holiday, but I’m stuck in my ways. Every year, I have a little talk with myself to behave, be kind, if I don’t have anything nice to say write it down. But people provoke me and eventually I snap and then I feel like a piece of shit so I have to make other people feel bad, too. Then we go bowling.
Happy thanksgiving to everyone I love, hate and feel indifferent about. I hope everyone has a meal most of all. Peace & love. And misery and despair.

A Lot of Nice Things Turn Bad Out There

When I was an editor at Doubleday, there was this really cool assistant down the hall who I heard was leaving publishing to get her MFA at Cornell. Hmmm. Most people who bailed were headed to law school. Some years later she got in touch. She had just finished a novel. Would I take a look? I was touched she remembered me, but I was also wary. MFA novel: this could get ugly. INSTEAD, please check out THE BARTER by Siobhan Adcock. Is it a ghost story? Sort of. Will you stay up all night reading? Definitely. Plus, Siobhan is still really cool, and by that a mean her discipline is as finely honed as her talent. A writer to watch for. Congrats, Siobhan!
Oh, one more thing. I’m giving away three copies for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prize. What is the scariest book you’ve ever read and why? Contest ends on Halloween. I hope Siobhan will judge.
“Adcock makes excellent sport of the culture of modern middle-class parenting. We see her [Bridget] measuring her old, trivial anxieties against this huge new thing, this fear, as she begins to realize that what you’re afraid of is part of who you are. The Barter is a thoughtful and surprisingly witty novel. It weights its horrors precisely.” – Terrence Rafferty, New York Times
 “A good, old-fashioned ghost story that will make you jump when your walls creak…her thoughtful story will keep readers reflecting on its themes once the shivers have passed.”  –BookPage

“A suspenseful and thrilling ghost story about two women, separated by 100 years, who are bound by a haunting secret coined from the obscurities of motherhood and marriage. You won’t be able to put this haunting love story down and you might even be afraid of the dark after this chilling read.” –Buzzfeed“With lush language that provides contrast to the gripping plot, Adcock’s debut novel weaves two tragic love stories into one tense and provocative tale of love, fear and personal ordeal.” –Working Mother

“Haunting . . . You’ll slow down through the gorgeous language, but speed up to find out what happens in the explosive, fast-paced plot.” –Shape.com

“A thriller about two mothers . . . as the women learn, happiness can also be mysterious, and even love can sometimes be disguised as a threat.” –Shelf Awareness

“Eerie and atmospheric, this psychological thriller will twist its way into readers’ psyches.”Booklist

Somewhere Only We Know

Dear Beloved Readers of this blog:
I have to thank all of you from the bottom of my thick heart. I’ve been working on a new book and it never would have been possible if not for the four years of daily blogging and your wonderful comments and support. The feedback and encouragement fueled me. The freak flag flew and I felt you with me. This post will be my 1000th. I know. Right? Fuck me dead. I love you. Thank you. Betsy

THe Best Things In Life Are Free

Just sayin’ (this year’s Forbes list)

James Patterson $90 million
Dan Brown $28 million
Nora Roberts $23 million
Danielle Steel $22 million
Janet Evanovich $20 million
Jeff Kinney $17 million
Veronica Roth $17 million
John Grisham $17 million
Stephen King $17 million
Suzanne Collins $16 million
JK Rowling $14 million
George R.R. Martin $12 million
David Baldacci $11 million
Rick Riordan $10 million
El James $10 million
Gillian Flynn $9 million
John Green $9 million

What is the point of this post? To make you feel bad. No, no. It’s just a vicarious thrill. I love lists in general and lists about richest people or most successful things in particular or worst dressed. Every Monday morning the first thing I look at in the newspaper are the highest grossing movies and at the end of the week the bestseller lists. I know there’s more to life, only what?

What?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am a ROck

Fuck me dead. I hate my writing. I hate myself. I hate the stale roll I buttered and the apricot jam I smeared on it. What was I thinking? Is this the bottom of the well or is there a trap door. Man up. Man up. Man up. Have I not  worked with writers for thirty years. Am I not well aware of the vertigo visited upon them?  I can’t tell if like Jimmy Fallon or can’t stand him. Front closing bras or back. Whole wheat or sourdough.

Do you suffer from writing mood swings?

Hey There You WIth The Stars In Your Eyes

GIVE IT UP FOR KYLER JAMES

GUYS: Give it up for KYLER JAMES, one for the first and kindest commenters here at The Lerner Home for Wayward Children. THE SECRET OF THE RED TRUCK, published by Rebel Satori Press, July 8

 

In a nameless town and a nameless country, THE SECRET OF THE RED TRUCK tells the story of Micky, a possible schizophrenic who finds God, his sister Viagra, a sensitive beauty who finds art, and a hot truck driver, Dave, who finds himself in a dangerous predicament. Through their misadventures and ensuing love triangle, our anti-heroes search for the answers, all hidden in the back of the Big Red Truck. If you think you know your mind, think again—but don’t think too hard. You might lose it after finally discovering…THE SECRET OF THE RED TRUCK.

 

“Writer extraordinaire Kyler James”

— Dennis Cooper, author of THE MARBLED SWARM

 

“Kyler James takes on time, madness, religion, incest, art and Freud in this allegorical novel with a mystery at its center so compelling, you’ll read it straight through. Nothing is what it seems and only the Red Truck has the secret! This is not like any book you’ve ever read or will ever likely read.”

— Trebor Healey, author of A HORSE NAMED

SORROW

 

“THE SECRET OF THE RED TRUCK is a one-way trip beyond the limits of reality. In this really great novel, where everything is alive, Kyler James weaves a unique grasp of love and trauma through crystal-sharp prose, to shatter everyday illusions and caress the damage into a new way of experiencing the world.”

— Paul Curran, author of LEFT HAND

 

“THE SECRET OF THE RED TRUCK is built like a hall of mirrors, filled with constantly shifting identities, tales that change in the telling, and dreams that seem to be dreaming themselves. The novel is stripped of distractions and narrative niceties so that readers will be helpless to do anything but plunge headlong into its intoxicating mysteries.”

— Jeff Jackson, author of MIRA CORPORA

 

 

“Sanity and truth are relative terms, and in this compellingly bizarre debut novel, Kyler James lures us inside the dark caverns of one man’s twisted mind—and makes it all seem real.”

— James Gavin, author of IS THAT ALL THERE IS?: The Strange Life of Peggy Lee

 

All Your Kisses Still Taste Sweet

How many episodes of Law & Order can you watch in a row. I know. It’s a number so astronomical that it’s almost impossible to calculate. How many orange sodas? How many mechanical pencils? Advil PM caplets? Extra large. Impossibly small. In the end I don’t care for feta cheese. Have you ever watched a detective? I have thirteen blackbirds sketched out like chapters that don’t fit. Here is the church. Here is the steeple. Everything you say is a small bubble. Every night as I pass the yellow house on our street I salute a small horse made of iron on the front step. Can I make him drink?

What else is there?

 

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