• 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

I Had Some Friends But They’re Gone

I started an account on Facebook a few months ago. Friends, it’s a shit show. First of all, the graphics are hideous. Doesn’t Mark Z. have enough cash to give the site a clean design. I can’t tell a notification from a comment from the feed. My email is flooded with notices about stuff I can’t see because I can’t remember my password. I don’t care if it’s the Pope’s birthday. I prefer a birthday wish that comes in the form of a Hallmark card preferably with cash. I don’t get “liking” something. I’m a hater, as you know if you’ve been hanging out here. I really don’t get it. I will say that it looks as if Shana is having a high time and she looks better than Lena Dunham as a blonde. Maybe I joined a day late and dollar short, but I feel like the girl at party who hugs the wall and watches ice melt in the bottom of a plastic cup, and nobody puts baby in the corner. Okay, I’m on my fourth episode of Law and Order and that means it’s time for jammies. I think I need to stay here in Mr. ROgers neighborhood where I belong.

Are you on FB. Are you happy? Popular and by that I mean how many friends do you have and would your recognize any of them in a crowded elevator?

There’s a Kind of Hush All Over the World Tonight

THE RESULTS ARE IN
AUTHOR OF THE BARTER
Siobhan Adcock weights in

#1
Lyra’s pick:
What a beautiful and frankly terrifying evocation of how scary books work on you, in the dark hours of the night. The vampires in the pecan tree–totally unforgettable, and I know exactly the feeling she’s talking about. To paraphrase Stephen King himself, I never in my life freaked myself out reading like I did when I was 13…does anyone?

#2
Jude’s pick:
I love Jude’s point that the scariest books aren’t always tales of terror or even ghost stories. The most chilling moment for me in that book is when Merle says icily, “Please be careful with that precious object.” Yeeesh. Henry James had a way with dark corners: I read and re-read The Turn of the Screw many times when I was writing The Barter.

#3
Amy’s pick:
Please, please, please tell me that this didn’t really happen or I might never sleep again.

Please send your snail mail address to betsy@dclagency.com for your copy of THE BARTER. And thanks to everyone for participating. And thanks to Siobhan!

I Know If You’re Haunting Me I Must Be Haunting You

TWO MORE DAYS LEFT to win a copy of THE BARTER by Siobhan Adcock. What was the scariest book you’ve ever read and why? Giving away first, second and third prizes.

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

I’m So Tired of Being Alone

When writers tell me that they are writing for an audience, I always want ask: who? Like really, when you are physically writing or for that matter when you are writing in your head, are you thinking of readers? Is it general: people browsing at Barnes & Noble they way you cruise a buffet table. Or specific: For Aunt Sue, Uncle Wiggly? The people in church or on line at the Genius Bar? What about the people in the second to last car of the Amtrak train traveling from Virginia to Maine?  And what of writing for yourself? The immature man in the mirror. The ingrown toe nail. All the strands of hair you violently pulled from your brush the morning of your wedding day. Are you the small man running in brown leather shoes down a path softened by dead leaves? Or squeezing an apricot not quite ripe that you still slice open and greedily eat?

Who the hell are you writing for?

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?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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