• 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
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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?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Check the bassline out, uh-huh

One good paragraph today. Where is my Nobel? My Oscar? My Captain, O Captain. Is that the soundtrack to Chariots of Fire I hear in the background? Oh, the sweet feet of young, gorgeous Englishmen. I need a shower. I need a brace for my back. I need a teeth cleaning, someone to pull the burrs from my back. This writing is whack. The world is burning and tap tap tap. More valleys than peaks, more praying mantises and saddle shoes. When the balls goes crack. Keep your head down. Don’t try to kill it. Don’t get cocky. Follow through. 

More bad sports metaphors welcome! 

 

 

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?

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