How to pick the right title for a book?

If I knew the answer to that, I'd save myself a lot of angst.  Picking a title is easy.  Picking the right one, not necessarily so. Who picks the title?  Sometimes it's me.  From my initial conception, Flirting with Pete was Flirting with Pete.  Same with Lake News, Heart of the Night, Not My Daughter, and The Vineyard.  My publisher picked other titles, like Coast Road and Family Tree.  My agent came [...]

By |2016-07-28T05:00:36+00:002016|Blog|8 Comments

What's coming for Barbara in 2014

Young chick, old boots.  That's my theme here.  As 2013 fades to 2014, it’s only natural to think about ending the old and beginning the new.  But is that what really happens? Not in my book.  And I mean that both literally and figuratively.  I don’t see that we end and begin.  Life is a continuum.  What we do today is colored by what we did yesterday. We appreciate what’s [...]

By |2013-12-25T19:00:30+00:002013|Blog|22 Comments

Naming the characters in my next book

You’ve heard of Dennis Lehane, right?  Since he’s a home town boy, my local press is all over him.  So I wasn’t surprised to hear tv reports that his dog, Tessa (yup, that's her pictured above), had disappeared on Christmas Eve and that he was offering to name a character in his next book after whoever gave him information leading to its return. This isn’t a new concept.  I’ve often [...]

By |2013-01-23T16:00:58+00:002013|Blog|0 Comments

Dealing with the loss of my characters

Readers feel this.  You've been engrossed in a book for however long it takes to read it and then, suddenly, the characters are gone.  You write me asking what they’ll do now and whether they’ll ever be back. But if you miss them, think of what I’m feeling when I finish writing a book. Take Sweet Salt Air.  I've been living with Charlotte and Nicole and Leo and his dog Bear for [...]

By |2012-11-29T05:00:47+00:002012|Blog|14 Comments

My book is a GO!

Good news.  My editor called this morning to say that everyone at SMP loves my proposal.  There are a few questions, basically things for me to keep in mind as I write, but now that I have a green light, I can start. I’m psyched! And suddenly nervous.  Drafting a proposal is one thing.  As real as my characters are, they’re still hypothetical.  Suddenly now, they’re etched in blood. Well, [...]

By |2011-09-13T00:00:28+00:002011|Blog|0 Comments

How to write a book proposal that sells

Early this morning, I emailed the formal proposal for my new book to New York. It was sixteen pages of single-spaced description, starting with a single painstakingly-written sentence. That first sentence has to hook my editor or she’ll never read the rest. I mean, you guys read the first page or two of a book before buying. If you don’t like what’s right there at the beginning, you pass on [...]

By |2011-09-07T17:58:37+00:002011|Blog|0 Comments