Meg Waite Clayton's Blog (142)

[1st BOOKS] M.J. Rose: An Amazing Self Publishing Success Story

My very dear friend M.J. Rose has a new novel, The Collector of Dying Breaths, releasing April 8. Water for Elephant author Sara Gruen calls it “Mysterious, magical, and mythical. What a joy to read!” and it’s an Indie Next April pick.The paperback of …


Added by Meg Waite Clayton on March 28, 2014 at 6:30am — No Comments

[1st BOOKS] Jenny Bowen: My Memoir – What I Forgot

Amy Tan calls the just-released memoir of today’s 1st Books guest, Jenny Bowen, “Both heartrending and victoriously uplifting,” and goes on to say “Wish You Happy Forever, begins with empty nesters Jenny and Richard Bowen’s simple pledge to provide love to one Chinese orphan…” A former screenwriter and independent filmmaker, …


Added by Meg Waite Clayton on March 21, 2014 at 9:49am — 6 Comments

1st BOOKS: Elizabeth Scarboro: Writing, The Ultimate Double Life

My guest author this week, Elizabeth Scarboro, is the author of My Foreign Cities--which was chosen as an Oprah Book of the Week, one of the San Francisco Chronicle’s Notable Books of 2013, and one of Library Journal’s Best Memoirs of 2013. The San Francisco Chronicle calls it "Oddly uplifting . . . about recognizing those precious moments in life that Virginia Woolf…


Added by Meg Waite Clayton on February 14, 2014 at 5:30am — No Comments

1st Books: Ariel Lawhon: Art is the Gift

I’m just delighted to host Ariel Lawhon, whose debut novel, The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress released yesterday. People Magazine says of it, “Inspired by a real-life unsolved mystery, this mesmerizing novel features characters that make a lasting impression.” Ariel is a co-founder of She Reads who hails from my old…


Added by Meg Waite Clayton on February 2, 2014 at 1:00pm — 3 Comments

[1st Books] Allison Winn Scotch: Moving the Other Way, from Traditional Publishing to Indie Author

I first hosted New York Times bestselling author Allison Winn Scotch’s on 1st Books when The One That I Want released in paperback from Broadway, a Random House imprint. I'm delighted to welcome her back today as she plunges headlong into the new adventure of doing the publishing herself. She has sold audio and large print rights…


Added by Meg Waite Clayton on November 22, 2013 at 3:30pm — 10 Comments

11 Bits of Wisdom from Doris Lessing, On Reading, Writing, and Life

After I read in the New York Times that The Golden Notebook author Doris Lessing, who won the 2007 Nobel Prize for Literature, passed away this morning, I turned to rereading some of her writings and interviews. I hope you'll enjoy these little wisdoms I've collected:the_golden_notebook

  1. "You should write, first of all, to please yourself. You shouldn't care a damn about anybody else at all. But writing cant be a way of life, the important part of writing is living. You…

Added by Meg Waite Clayton on November 17, 2013 at 11:41am — 2 Comments

[1st BOOKS] Harriet Scott Chessman: The Beauty of Ordinary Things

I am so delighted to host Harriet Scott Chessman on the occasion of the publication of her stunning new novel, The Beauty of Ordinary Things. Her previous novels, Ohio Angels, …


Added by Meg Waite Clayton on November 15, 2013 at 6:30am — 1 Comment

[1st BOOKS] Sara J. Henry: Learning to …

Today's guest author, Sara J. Henry, is a LONGtime friend. We were in a writing group together in Nashville two decades ago, working on our first novels! Her second novel, A Cold Lonely Place is just out in paperback. Her first, Learning to Swim, won the 2012 Anthony Award for best first novel, the 2012…


Added by Meg Waite Clayton on November 8, 2013 at 7:30am — No Comments

[1st BOOKS] Ellen Kirschman: Delusional, Perhaps with a Touch of Grandiosity

I'm delighted to be hosting my friend Ellen Kirschman, a real life police and public safety psychologist and the author several nonfiction titles, who has just published her first mystery.  Camille Minichino calls Dot Meyerhoff of Burying Ben "the most interesting heroine to come along in a long time." If the humor that Ellen brings to her post here is any indication,…


Added by Meg Waite Clayton on November 1, 2013 at 7:00am — 1 Comment

[1ST BOOKS] Tara Conklin: Keep Writing, Keep Writing, Keep Writing

The House Girl author Tara Conklin did a wonderful post here about the persistence required to get her gorgeous debut published. The House Girl became a New York Times bestseller, and Marie Claire magazine called it “the book club book of the year.” It's out in paperback in just a few days, so I'm rerunning her post…


Added by Meg Waite Clayton on October 25, 2013 at 8:37am — No Comments

[1ST BOOKS] Tatjana Soli: Silencing the Voices of No

Tatjana Soli guest posted here when her first novel, The Lotus Eaters released. That lovely debut went on to become a New York Times bestseller, was named a notable book of the year by the New York Times and the ALA, was a finalist for the LA Times Book Award, and WON the James Tait Black, England’s oldest literary award, and one of the world’s most…


Added by Meg Waite Clayton on October 18, 2013 at 6:00am — No Comments

[1st BOOKS] Dan Chaon: The Continually Humbling Process of Writing

To celebrate the paperback publication of Dan Chaon's story collection Stay Awake (named a best book of the year by the San Francisco Chronicle and the Washington Post), I'm rerunning a 1st Books post he did in 2009, when his Await Your Reply was released. His words are a great - and very funny - reminder…


Added by Meg Waite Clayton on October 11, 2013 at 5:00am — 1 Comment

11 Twitter Tips for Authors + Others

Following up on our conversation in the novelist group this month, I thought I'd share a post I did on First Books: Reading and Writing with Friends some time ago. It got a lot of retweets from publishers and agents, so I figure that means I'm on the right track:

What makes people follow, favorite, click, and retweet? And does that have anything to do with who buys what books? Today, I came…


Added by Meg Waite Clayton on October 8, 2013 at 11:30am — 6 Comments

[1st BOOKS] Kathleen McCleary: Self-promotion makes me queasy

My guest this week, Kathleen McCleary, is a journalist and author who also has worked as a bookseller. Booklist praises her third novel, Leaving Haven, which released yesterday, as “a deeply engaging story of two families navigating tricky emotional waters and making surprising discoveries along the way, a gentle reminder of the strength and…


Added by Meg Waite Clayton on October 4, 2013 at 1:32pm — No Comments

[1st BOOKS] Ann Mah: Mastering the Art of French Writing

I had the great fortune to get to read Ann Mah's gorgeous new memoir, Mastering the Art of French Eating, in galley. It is such a lovely mix of travel, food, and personal exploration that I know it will be a big hit. Kirkus calls it, "Consistently passionate and emotionally resonant, Mah’s prose brims with true love ... A bighearted, multisensory tour of France." Ann was awarded a James…


Added by Meg Waite Clayton on September 28, 2013 at 7:30am — 1 Comment

[1st Books] Three Things I Learned from Alice McDermott

Someone Early in my writing career, I had the incredible good fortune to study with National Book Award winner Alice McDermott. The story of how she got started writing and publishing is nicely delivered on The National Book Foundation site. To celebrate the release of her new novel,…


Added by Meg Waite Clayton on September 20, 2013 at 7:00am — 13 Comments

[1st Books] Call in Sick More Often: A Jamie Ford Biography in Reverse

Just in case you haven't heard, Jamie Ford has a new novel, The Songs of Willow Frost, out this week. To celebrate, I'm rerunning his "Call in Sick More Often" - a Jamie Ford biography in reverse - which ran on 1st Books the week The Hotel on the…


Added by Meg Waite Clayton on September 13, 2013 at 8:30am — No Comments

[1st Books] Nick Taylor: How to Put Women Where There Were None

I'm delighted to welcome Nick Taylor back to 1st Books. Nick did the 4th post ever here back when his first novel, The Disagreement, was published  in May of 2008. It went on to win the Michael Shaara Prize for Civil War Fiction. Now he's back with a new novel, …


Added by Meg Waite Clayton on September 6, 2013 at 9:00am — 1 Comment

[1st Books] Harriet Scott Chessman on Writing: Walking Through the Hedge, Take 2

One of my own favorite authors, Harriet Scott Chessman, did one of the early guest posts when I started this blog in 2008—a post that remains one of my favorites. I recently finished reading her new novel, The Beauty of Ordinary Things, and it left me wanting to rerun it. Her wonderful previous novels,…


Added by Meg Waite Clayton on August 30, 2013 at 7:30am — No Comments

[1st Books] Constance Hale: Sin, Syntax, and Persistence

My guest this week, Constance Hale, wrote "probably the hippest grammar guide ever written," Sin and Syntax - which has just been released in a new edition. Charles Harrington Elster, in the San Diego Union-Tribune, calls it "a plugged-in, cutting-edge alternative to the must prescriptions of Strunk and White ... an open-minded, exuberant approach to style that is intelligent and…


Added by Meg Waite Clayton on August 23, 2013 at 7:30am — No Comments

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Mary Adler left a comment for Kathleen Kaska
"I am intrigued by your series and will look at it. What a clever premise. I love Billie Holiday but my favorite version of Gloomy Sunday is by Mel Torme, but his recording wasn't out during the time my book was set."
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A support and informational group for people who are currently, who have in the past, or who plan to self-publish.  The aims of the group will be to swap information on all aspects of self-publishing from good editors and cover artists you've used…See More
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"HI Mary, I used a Billy Holiday song, too, in my latest mystery, Murder at the Driskill. The title: "Blue Moon." Your books sounds fascinating. I'll check it out."
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