From the Washington Post:
More than ever, successful novelists must also be savvy publicists. That market reality demands a combination of unrelated skills that many writers simply don’t possess.
But Sarah Pekkanen does. The Washington area writer launched her career as a novelist in 2010 with a paperback called “The Opposite of Me.” Since then, she’s been an instructive model of how to make it as a writer of women’s fiction. With valuable endorsements from mega-sellers Jennifer Weiner and Jodi Picoult, she’s taken to social media effectively, developed a dedicated following and sold rights to her work around the world.
With her fifth novel, “Catching Air,” ready to publish next week, Pekkanen has been developing ever-more innovative ways to attract attention and new readers.
She’s currently getting estimates from a Rockville company for putting actor Ryan Gosling’s face on a stick. “I can bring it on tour,” she says. “He can photo bomb my pictures with readers. Dignity at all costs, that’s my motto. Franzen is weeping from jealousy.”
Read the rest of this article on the Washington Post.
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Ever find yourself jumping from idea to idea, hooked on the high of idea generation but never completing any one project? 99% Conference speaker Scott Belsky breaks down road-tested methods for seeing ideas through to the finish.
Scott Belsky is author of Making Ideas Happen.
From the Amtrak blog:
As many of you may know by now, our test-run for Amtrak Residency was done by Manhattan-based writer Jessica Gross, whose piece, Writing The Lakeshore Limited was published in February by The Paris Review. What followed was overwhelming support on Twitter and in the media with #AmtrakResidency being featured in The Wire, The New Yorker, and Huffington Post among others.
Today we are happy to announce that #AmtrakResidency will allow for up to 24 writers to take long-distance trainsto work on their projects. Each writer’s round-trip journey will include accommodations on board a sleeper car equipped with a bed, a desk and outlets. We hope this experience will inspire creativity and most importantly fuel your sense of adventure!
Are you excited about #AmtrakResidency? Want to learn more and apply? Head over to our official entry form and good luck!
I read about the new Rooster App on the Washington Post, and it sounds perfect for me and my newly busy life. I grieve the fact that I don’t have blocks of time to read fiction, but this seems like the perfect solution:
You don’t need to wait at the docks for the latest installment of Charles Dickens’s “Old Curiosity Shop.” But what if your iPhone could recreate the excitement — and convenience — of reading a novel in serial form?
Check out a new app called Rooster, which has the backing of some of the biggest names in the tech industry. It launches Tuesday in the Apple app store, and was created specifically for the iPhone. Every month, Rooster will send two novels to your phone: a classic tale and a contemporary story, paired to provoke interesting reflection.
But these books aren’t just dumped on you in one I’ll-never-get-to-it download. Instead, the novels arrive in your cellphone in manageable installments, according to a schedule you set yourself. “War & Peace” looks so much less daunting as a serial tale consumed every day at lunchtime like “The Days of Our Lives.” The service costs $4.99 a month.
I was excited to get started, but as soon as I downloaded the app, I got a message “please request an invitation.” So I did. A few seconds later I got a message that basically said I’m on a waitlist and will receive an invitation when one is available.
What’s that about?
I’m happy and willing to pay the $4.99 a month to give Rooster a try. I’m not sure what the developers are thinking–perhaps there are free memberships to get people hooked, thus the wait? It’s completely unclear.
I am extremely disappointed. I really wanted to give this one a try.
For now I’m contenting myself by reading Gay Degani’s serialized novel, What Came Before. It is wonderful and highly recommended. But I’m still annoyed about Rooster.
How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing. A schedule defends from chaos and whim. It is a net for catching days. It is a scaffolding on which a worker can stand and labor with both hands at sections of time. A schedule is a mock-up of reason and order—willed, faked, and so brought into being; it is a peace and a haven set into the wreck of time; it is a lifeboat on which you find yourself, decades later, still living. Each day is the same, so you remember the series afterward as a blurred and powerful pattern.
I love taking the train, even if it would make sense to fly. Trains are like ideal mobile offices. You have a view, the ability to walk and go out to lunch, but your away from your daily routine and interruptions.
Then today I read this on The Wire, so I guess I’m not alone:
Amtrak has begun offering “writers’ residencies” to, well, writers – long roundtrip rides aboard Amtrak trains dedicated solely for the purpose of writing.
After New York City-based writer Jessica Gross took the first “test-run” residency, traveling from NYC to Chicago and back, Amtrak confirmed that it is indeed planning to turn the writers’ residencies into an established, long-term program, sending writers on trains throughout its network of routes.
First, let’s get it out of the way: The Wire is 100 percent on board with this idea. Pun intended, because we’re writers. We love writing, and we love trains, and we love them both together.