Gretl Claggett's Blog (13)

CHARACTER—PLUS PERSEVERANCE—IS DESTINY: A Talk with Jillian Medoff about Craft and the Writing Life

Jillian Medoff’s novel I Couldn’t Love You More was released in mid-May, had its fifth printing less than two months later and was just featured by Jennifer Weiner as a…


Added by Gretl Claggett on July 23, 2012 at 7:00am — 1 Comment

I COULDN'T LOVE YOU MORE: A Talk with Jillian Medoff about Sex Scenes, the Writing Life and Failing Better

This piece was first published on Head Butler.

I was intrigued by Jillian Medoff’s stunning new novel, I Couldn’t Love You More, from the very first scene: a princess-themed birthday party in suburbia with ten shrieking,…


Added by Gretl Claggett on July 13, 2012 at 6:00am — 6 Comments

Beatrice App: In-Depth Author Interviews to Kickstart the Writing Life and Make Dreams Real

Ron Hogan loves interviewing authors ... and he’s an expert at it.

When he launched back in 1995, he filled the site with in-depth Q&A pieces. For almost a decade, he published conversations with hundreds of fiction and nonfiction authors about the books they'd written, the craft of writing and living the writer's…


Added by Gretl Claggett on March 18, 2012 at 5:33pm — No Comments

Crossing Genres and Frontiers with Molly Peacock: Part II

Gretl Claggett: Your latest book, The Paper Garden: An Artist {Begins Her Life’s Work} at 72, is a bold, risky, tour-de-force that defies categorization—released at a time when publishing is playing it safe. Tell us about the genesis of this book, your extensive research, and how you came to intertwine your personal story with the biography of your protagonist, Mrs. Delany, who lived…


Added by Gretl Claggett on March 9, 2012 at 9:39am — 5 Comments

Crossing Genres and Frontiers with Molly Peacock: Part I

Molly Peacock is a writer’s writer: prolific, versatile and courageous with her creative choices. She’s also a consummate teacher—the perfect person with whom to talk about craft …


Gretl Claggett: Molly, your ten books range from poetry to essay collections, and from memoir to a genre-busting hybrid that combines biography, botany, history and memoir in your latest book, …


Added by Gretl Claggett on March 8, 2012 at 8:05am — No Comments

The Art of Translation … by poet and nonfiction writer, Lorna Knowles Blake

I admire how Lorna Knowles Blake, in her poetry and essays, “thinks on the page”… and how—through the act of truly thinking on the page—she discovers new organizing principles and new connections between the realms of writing and life …


My first poetry collection concluded with a poem titled “The Art of Translation.” The close third-person speaker (i.e. the speaker looking over the shoulder of the first person) of that poem begins to wonder if what “she is after” is…


Added by Gretl Claggett on March 7, 2012 at 12:39pm — 1 Comment

Transforming the Writing Life in Discouraging Times

Julie Metz is no stranger to tough times. After her husband of twelve years died abruptly—leaving her alone to care for their young daughter—she discovered that through the years he’d had a series of affairs. Her bestselling debut, Perfection: A Memoir of Betrayal and Renewal, is a testament to transformation. I admire Julie’s…


Added by Gretl Claggett on March 7, 2012 at 8:27am — 3 Comments

On Love, Sex and Common Enemies: Cara Hoffman Talks About Men

A year ago, just before the March 2011 hardcover launch of Cara Hoffman’s debut novel, So Much Pretty, my friend Jesse Kornbluth—who, in his Head Butler review, called it “the ugliest book I have read in years”—thrust a copy into my hands…


Added by Gretl Claggett on March 6, 2012 at 8:31am — 4 Comments

Is There Still Room in Our Lives for Good Books?

Yes, argues Hilary Claggett, Senior Editor at Potomac Books, and good books start with good proposals. Hilary offers great advice on how to ensure that your nonfiction book proposal gets the attention it deserves:

I acquire books for the one of the most elusive audiences on the planet—the educated general reader. We are a dying breed. Those of us who were, at one time, wont to pick up a book to inform ourselves about some aspect of public policy or foreign…


Added by Gretl Claggett on March 5, 2012 at 9:13pm — No Comments

Looking Back: The Role of Musing in Memoir ... by Janice Gary

Writers have always talked about the role of the “Muse.” I love Janice’s insights about the role of “musing” in memoir …


Memoir is based on memory, and memory, as we all know, is slippery, subjective and colored through the lens of time and experience. When we write memoir, we don’t rely on transcripts or recorded archives (although that can be part of the tools of our craft). We are re-creating, sorting through the layers of remembering to re-member…


Added by Gretl Claggett on March 5, 2012 at 9:04am — 7 Comments

LOOKING FOR THE HORIZON: Why I write, edit and publish books ... by Alexandra Saville

Alexandra Saville is a true trailblazer. That's why I thought she'd be the perfect person to kick off this week's feature pieces ...

I grew up in a small, seaside town in Massachusetts. My father always said, “Red Skies at night are a sailor’s delight.” These words become part of the soundtrack to my childhood, and later, to my career. For me, this mantra meant that the next day would bring new challenges, adventures, and opportunity. Even…


Added by Gretl Claggett on March 4, 2012 at 9:13pm — 2 Comments

Kathryn Harrison: Life After "The Kiss"

By Gretl Claggett

Originally Published on


In the early 1980s, Kathryn Harrison looked perfect on paper. Tall,…


Added by Gretl Claggett on November 2, 2011 at 7:02am — 6 Comments

On SO MUCH PRETTY: Why are we women so ... nice about violence?

Please click on the link to read: Why are we women so ... nice about violence?


I'd love to hear your feedback!

Added by Gretl Claggett on April 23, 2011 at 6:18pm — No Comments


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