Peg Herring's Blog – January 2010 Archive (7)

An author's Advice to a Reader

I've been following a discussion on Goodreads that concerns historical novels and the "truth" they present. I also spent many, many years teaching history, using novels as a way to make the past more interesting to students than the history books seem able to do. What I see is that there are two purposes to reading historicals, and the wise reader understands what her goal is and then how much she cares about truth as opposed to an exciting story.

First and maybe foremost, we read… Continue

Added by Peg Herring on January 29, 2010 at 10:53pm — 1 Comment

Moving Blog Site

As I said on Friday, I'm moving my main blog to a site more suited to my subject: less writing stuff, more reader stuff. I will still post on CS from time to time because I enjoy the people here.

If you want to read the "new" stuff, I'll be on three sites

Amazon Central



Added by Peg Herring on January 11, 2010 at 10:49pm — No Comments

It's a Question of Focus

I spoke with a professional blogger last summer. I didn't even know there were such folks, but anyway, I got some advice that I'm finally going to put into practice. She told me that blogging about writing, while nice for me and possibly helpful or interesting for other writers, is not the way to grow a readership.

One part of me says, "But I like exchanging ideas with writers." And the other part says, "But you've done that for several years now. Shut up."

So, while I may… Continue

Added by Peg Herring on January 8, 2010 at 10:18pm — 4 Comments

Talking About Books

Met a friend for lunch yesterday for the express pleasure of talking about books, publishing, authors, reading, and writing. Some of you might have regular contact with others in the biz, but living in rural northern Michigan limits my opportunitites, and I'm lucky if I get to speak to someone who really knows the stresses of publishing once a month. I'm sure I bore my friends silly with talk of edits and pub dates, and many of them struggle to keep up with the argot.

But lunches… Continue

Added by Peg Herring on January 7, 2010 at 10:07pm — 1 Comment

Thoughts on Speaking and Listening (R)

Here's what I observed over thirty years of teaching communication. It's important for today's author to be a good speaker, because we must present well before agents, editors, and audiences of potential readers. While I would hate to think we compete with each other, we are compared to other writers as we sit on panels, in pitch sessions, and so on. Many times I've bought books based on the impression a speaker made on me at a convention. Nevada Barr springs to mind; she has such a presence on… Continue

Added by Peg Herring on January 6, 2010 at 10:23pm — No Comments

The Glamorous Life

Starting the new year with glitz: invoicing for consignment sales, typing up press releases for HER HIGHNESS' FIRST MURDER, and making a mail-merge directory of every library in the state. Yes, it's mind-numbing work, but think how cool it will be when it's done (she keeps telling herself).

I think the brain/mind/soul/whatever needs these dorky little tasks from time to time. They require no creativity but provide a feeling of accomplishment. Sure, I'd rather be writing the next… Continue

Added by Peg Herring on January 5, 2010 at 10:29pm — No Comments

Playing God

I received several comments on a recently published work because it in some ways parallels events in my life. The comments center on the idea that if a certain person of my acquaintance comes up missing, I would have to be suspected, given the plot of the story.


Life is unfair, unbalanced, and unjust. People we all know should be punished aren't. Writers have the luxury of deciding whether justice will reign and how it will happen. And we don't even have to give DNA… Continue

Added by Peg Herring on January 4, 2010 at 10:32pm — No Comments

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