Archive for the ‘The Back Page’ Category

My Mother, My Loss, My Story

   “So what’s up with this first novel?  The Sandpiper?  Why did you write it?”  Questions I keep hearing from members of book clubs I talk to.  While I am all about the story, they want to know more about the storyteller.  I wasn’t ready for that. […]

Read more

(Seven Glamorous Years in) The Life of a Corporate Lawyer Turned Debut Fiction Author

    The life of a Mergers & Acquisitions Lawyer. Spanning the country (and beyond) in hushed first-class cabins, bantering with flight attendants and strategizing with colleagues on the ‘Deal Team’ before touching down in it-doesn’t-matter-where. Then a limo to a glass tower where The Other Team […]

Read more

The Courage to Write

In the fall of 1986, I was ten years old, and I found myself sleeping on the muddy ground of a temperate rainforest on an island in Washington State. The muddy bed was supposed to be temporary. My alcoholic Salvadoran stepfather was building a wooden pyramid for […]

Read more

Why Your Characters Are Your Best Ghost Writers

I’ve decided to train my cat to fetch.  I just think that would be amazing – to have Whiskers return sticks, or a Frisbee… it would be so cool!  I don’t have a problem with mice in my apartment, but I sure could use a park buddy. […]

Read more

Top Dogs in Literature – An Author’s Best Friend

I always put at least one dog in my manuscripts, mostly because I like dogs and find it comforting to encounter one from time to time in stories: Dogs are loyal, non-judgmental, lovable, heroic, and (generally) lack ego. What’s not to like? But dogs (and other animals) […]

Read more

The Writer as Myth

What do writers actually do all day? Images that readers may have of the writer and how he or she works often come from fictional representations of writers or how they imagine a writer’s life must be. Here are some basic types. The dilettante: This one never […]

Read more

Milk Face

The other day a fellow fifth grader called my daughter, “Milk Face.” Which got me thinking about dialogue. We are pale people. We don’t tan, and if we are even partly naked in the sun we tend to blind people with our reflection. My fifth grade daughter […]

Read more

Blushing Red – When a Sex Scene Is Read Aloud

When I was an aspiring writer, I dreamt about the glamour of book signings and events to promote my story. As my book, The Lake House (Gallery Books/ Simon & Schuster), made its way to publication, Stories on Stage in Sacramento asked to feature my title two […]

Read more

Fact to Fiction

My first two novels, The Summer of Naked Swim Parties and Drinking Closer to Home, were loosely based on my pot-infused, addiction-crazed childhood to adulthood in Southern California. So, I’m frequently asked if The Wonder Bread Summer, a story about a 20-year old girl who somewhat accidentally […]

Read more

Comparison Kills the Writing Career

It happens to the best of us, no matter where we are in our publishing journey. I remember when I first started to write, I’d spend hours on the internet stalking authors and trying to learn everything I could about their writing habits and practices. I fig-ured […]

Read more