Meg Waite Clayton's Blog (149)

[1st BOOKS] Writing … Now or Never

I am SO delighted to host my pal, Cassandra Dunn, and celebrate the publication of her debut novel, The Art of Adapting. Publisher’s Weekly calls the novel “a lively, engaging, and heartfelt tale of learning how to cope with change… thoughtful and touching.” Cassie received her MFA in creative writing from Mills College. She was a semifinalist for…


Added by Meg Waite Clayton on August 8, 2014 at 7:00am — 2 Comments

[1st BOOKS] Robin Black: There Was Only Moving Forward

Robin Black’s debut novel, Life Drawing, is an Indie Next pick for August, and on the long list for the Flaherty-Dunnun First Novel Prize. Claire Messud calls it “at once quiet and memorable.” Robin’s story collection, If I loved you, I would tell you this,…


Added by Meg Waite Clayton on July 25, 2014 at 7:00am — No Comments

[1st BOOKS] Ellen Sussman: My Summer of Love

Ellen Sussman – my longtime writer-pal (since before either of our first novels released) and regular poker foe (see, e.g., my empty pocketbook) – has a wonderful new novel coming out next week! Christina Baker Kline calls Wedding in Provence “utterly charming and wildly romantic.” And…


Added by Meg Waite Clayton on July 18, 2014 at 7:00am — No Comments

[1st BOOKS] Meg Waite Clayton: In Praise of Writing Friends … and Publishing and Bookselling Ones, Too

No guest today. Just me, since it’s my paperback publication week for The Wednesday Daughters - a sequel of sorts to my New York Times and U.S.A. Today bestselling The Wednesday Sisters, a writing group novel. The Chicago Tribune, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and the San Jose Mercury News recommend it for summer reading. I hope you’ll have a look at it. - …


Added by Meg Waite Clayton on July 11, 2014 at 9:10am — 4 Comments

[1st BOOKS] Tracy Guzeman: Writing to please myself, no slippers involved

Tracy Guzeman guest posted on 1st Books when her debut novel, The Gravity of Birds, released last summer. It releases in paperback this week (along with The Wednesday Daughters paperback!) – so I’m rerunning her post to celebrate. When you visit your favorite bookstore, please look for us both! - …


Added by Meg Waite Clayton on July 4, 2014 at 5:00am — No Comments

[1st BOOKS] Julia Fierro: Success in publishing means being able to publish a next book

Julia Fierro is the author of Cutting Teeth, which was included in Library Journal’s “Spring Best Debuts” and on “Most Anticipated Books of 2014″ lists by HuffPost Books, The Millions, Flavorwire, Brooklyn Magazine and Marie Claire. She also founded the Sackett Street Writers’ Workshop; what started as eight writers meeting in her Brooklyn kitchen has grown…


Added by Meg Waite Clayton on June 27, 2014 at 7:00am — No Comments

[1st BOOKS] Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke: An out of body experience that will keep us grounded

This week’s 1st Books guest authors, Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke, have been best friends for 25 years even though Liz now lives in San Diego and Lisa in Chicago. They host a blog together, and now they’ve co-written a novel – Your Perfect Life – which is just out from Atria Books! Jen Lancaster calls it “a…


Added by Meg Waite Clayton on June 20, 2014 at 6:48am — No Comments

[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

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