Happy 10th Birthday, Debut Novel

I can hardly believe it’s been 10 (!!!) years since the release of my first novel, Around the World in 80 Dates.

While my book’s actual birthday was back on September 27, it was October 18, 2007 when I first spotted it on the shelf at Borders in Roseville, Minnesota (still miss you Borders, R.I.P.). As I picked up my novel from the shelf and, you know, confirmed it was mine, I was having a total That … Continue reading

Tearing Down, Rebuilding, Repeat

Since we last spoke, I’ve been taking all the wonderful advice I was given at Pitch Slam and tearing down (and rebuilding) the house formerly known as Spaghetti in Exile.

The process is as messy and complicated as one might expect. I’ve taken a hammer to sentences and paragraphs and even chapters I once held sacred. I’ve axed entire characters and plotlines altogether (and not in a murder mystery kind of way). I’ve chiseled and smoothed away a few … Continue reading

Ready, Set, Pitch Slam!

Just shy of two weeks ago, I not only attended my first Writer’s Digest conference in NYC, but I survived (!!!) my first Pitch Slam.

For anyone not familiar with a Pitch Slam, it’s like speed dating for writers. But instead of connecting with a cute guy or gal, your mission is to pique the interest of an agent or two (or more) who represents your chosen genre.

The rules are simple enough: You get a minute and a half … Continue reading

Confessions of a Writing Conference Newbie

I’ve been writing professionally for nearly two decades, and there’s hardly anything about my career that would be described as “textbook.”

So come to think of it, it’s probably not all that crazy that I finally made my way to my first writers conference a whopping 10 years (!!!) after my first novel was published, right?

Just typing that last sentence feels a little weird, though. Having a 10-year-old debut novel sort of feels like finding out the … Continue reading

Summer Reading, Having a Blast…

Since I’ve always been more of an indoor girl when the sun is beating down in the summer (I blame my pale skin and blatant dislike of temperatures higher than 90 degrees), books are a constant companion as I retreat to the air conditioning.

And whenever I’ve needed a break from reading and re-reading and making revisions to my novel Spaghetti in Exile, I’ve been enjoying a variety of fiction and non-fiction titles in the meantime.

I’m proud to … Continue reading

Limoncello: All in a Day’s Work

One of the best things about writing a novel where Italian food plays a starring role is all the delicious research of course.

Like a method actor getting “into character,” I was more than happy to sip and savor all that Italian cuisine has to offer. And one of the first things I couldn’t wait to try when Will and I eventually made our way to the boot-shaped paradise, the Amalfi Coast in particular, was the Italian answer to lemonade, … Continue reading