It’s hard to be a writer in the Bay Area and not know Charlie Jane Anders. Besides being a prolific writer, she is an incredibly generous networker and runs an absolutely awesome reading series called Writers With Drinks. So we thought we’d check in with her and pick her brain about novels, writing, reading, and all that jazz.
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We first met Tamim Ansary many years ago through an intern who went to the same college as David and Tamim. Having been a professional writer for four decades and taught hundreds of writers in general, and memoirists in particular, David thought he would pick Tamim’s brain about writing, publishing and storytelling, in anticipation of his new memoir Road Trips.
We first met Cathy Camper when she won our Pitchapalooza at the great Portland bookstore Powell’s. The first book in the series did so well that the second one is out now, so we thought we’d pick her brain about books, lowriders, outer space, libraries and diversity in books.
When Sean M. Bailey approached us about his book regarding the perils of being hacked, and what to do about it, we were overjoyed. Now that his book, Hack-Proof Your Life Now!, is out, we thought we’d pick his brain about what the hack to do regarding the safety of our electronic life.
We met Suzanne Trauth when she participated in our Pitchapalooza (think American Idol for books except kinder and gentler) at Watchung Booksellers. She pitched a piece of women’s fiction, which eventually morphed into a cozy mystery, and then she turned that mystery into a three-book deal with Kensington Books. Now that the first book, Show […]
Jonathon Keats on Buckminster Fuller, Being a Critic, a Writer, and How to Get Unusual Books Published
We first met Jonathon Keats many years ago, and we were immediately struck by what an eclectic set of interests he had, and what amazing bowties he wore. He’s working on a couple new projects, and his book You Belong to the Universe: Buckminster Fuller and the Future came out this year, so we picked […]
When we first moved to New Jersey, we were lucky to meet a few local writers. One of them was Caroline Leavitt. We kept running into her at writers conferences and book festivals, and we became huge fans of her and her books. She is the quintessential writer’s writer. When we found out about her […]
Selling your First Novel, Maximizing Writers’ Conferences and Making a Living While Writing We are lucky to live in a town called Montclair, New Jersey. We had no idea when we moved here how many amazing writers would live within a stone’s throw of us. One of them is Christina Baker Kline. We got to […]
Cathy Salit, CEO of Performance of a Lifetime, had a life-changing book on her hands: Performance Breakthrough: A Radical Approach to Success at Work. It’s a book that everyone interested in becoming a better version of themselves should read, especially if you’re an author without writing experience, or a writer without publicity and marketing experience.
We first became aware of Lin Oliver when we presented at the annual New England Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Conference. We learned she had co-founded SCBWI, and we kept hearing what a wonderful writer, great businessperson and generous human she was. She talks publishing, writers groups and how to get successfully published.
We met JoAnneh Nagler a few years ago. She was such a charismatic, wise, energetic evangelist for artists looking to become better business people and make better financial choices. Now that her new book, How to Be an Artist Without Losing Your Mind, Your Shirt, or Your Creative Compass, is out, we picked her brain […]
We first met Virginia Pye at the James River Writers Conference (another reason to attend what is a great conference) and we were immediately struck by how curious she was. How she asked questions. How she seemed to want to know. We believe this is one of the most important characteristics an author can have, […]
Ann Ralph on the Joys of Fruit Trees, Taking Care of Mother Earth, and How to Get a Book Deal Writing About Something You Love
Ann Ralph on the Joys of Fruit Trees, Taking Care of Mother Earth, and How to Get a Book Deal Writing About Something You Love.
This is originally from a great website called Novel Pitch. Gloria Chao was the winner of the 2015 Pitchapalooza contest put on by The Book Doctors. She and I connected via twitter. The following is her experience from the event. I am honored that NovelPitch has invited me to share my experience pitching in The Book […]
We first met Melissa Cistaro when she pitched her book to us at a Pitchapalooza we did for Book Passage (one of America’s great bookstores) in Corte Madera, California. We’ve been doing this so long we can usually tell when someone has a book in them and is capable of getting it out successfully. And […]
We first met Jenny Milchman when we heard about some crazy book tour she was doing that seemed almost as ridiculous as the book tour we were doing. Essentially, The Book Doctors have been on tour for seven years, during which time we’ve done over 300 events. We wanted to connect with Jenny to see […]
We met Lance Rubin at The San Antonio Book Festival. He explained what his first book is about, and it’s great. We decided to pick his brain about writing, publishing, and how he got his first book deal.
The Book Doctors were lucky enough to get to keynote the New England chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. If you are in any way, shape, or form interested in writing a book for kids, you’re crazy not to hook up with this organization. There’s so many smart, encouraging, inspiring, learned […]
The Book Doctors first met Andy Ross at Cody’s Books, which was one of the most influential bookstores on the West Coast, smack dab in the middle of Telegraph Avenue in book-crazy Berkeley, California. In fact David did his first professional book reading at Cody when his first memoir Chicken came out. Andy’s now an […]
The Book Doctors met Bruce Holsinger at the Tucson Book Festival (by the way, if you read or write, do yourself a favor and put the Tucson Book Fest on your Bucket List) and when he told us about his book, The Invention of Fire, we just had to pick his brain about fiction, non-fiction, […]
Today’s pitch tip: I need to know how the characters change in the course of the story. What happens in your story and how do your characters develop? That’s not to say we want to know everything. Time and again, we see amateur authors pitch by trying to tell the plot of their entire novel […]
Today’s pitch tip: Build your world through word pictures specific and sharp, not general and vague. Your world building needs to be as vivid as your heroes and villains. We need you to show us this exotic world you’re taking us to with word pictures. That’s part of the joy of a book. Your pitch is your […]
Telling us that someone’s charming and sexy doesn’t convince me they’re charming and sexy. You have to paint vivid word pictures, just like you do for your villains. Need examples on how to do that? Read flap copy and, particularly, the backs of paperbacks, where the whole kit and caboodle is limited to a paragraph […]
Give us a villain we love to hate. Show us someone unique and dastardly whom we can’t wait to hiss at. It would be great to give tiny little physical descriptors to your main characters. Show us that you’re capable of painting beautiful and realistic tableaux as you make your story world come to life. Remember, once […]
Show us stakes and danger on an immediate level and on a mega quest level. Don’t underestimate the power of the pitch. Your pitch will be both the backbone and lifeblood of your book, from idea through (and past) publication. When you approach an agent, you will have to explain what your book is about. […]
Irvine Welsh Talks to The Book Doctors on Huffington Post About Writing, America, Rejection and the ‘Sex Lives of Siamese Twins’
To read on Hoff Po click here. Well, he’s at it again. Yes, Irvine Welsh has produced another wild tale full of maniacal madness. The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins. Naturally it’s got Siamese twins sexing it up and being surgically sawn in half. Murder, envy, fat chicks, lunatic kidnappers, media feeding frenzy, dildos pumping […]
The Book Doctors Ask Pitchapalooza Winner Paula Fertig: How Did You Get a 2-Book Deal for Your Debut Novel?
The Book Doctors first met Judith Fertig when she won our Kansas City Pitchapalooza (think American Idol for Books). She was commanding without being overbearing, powerful but warm, a total pro. And her pitch was really good. When we consulted with her, one of the things we did was help her figure out what genre […]
The Book Doctors first met Cathy Camper at a Pitchapalooza (think American Idol for Books) at one of our favorite book stores, Powell’s in Portland, Oregon. As soon as she pitched us her graphic novel, Low Riders in Outer Space”, we knew this was a great book waiting to happen. And now it has. So […]
The Book Doctors met Lee Wilson at a Pitchapalooza (think American Idol for books) at a fantastic bookstore called pages: a book store, in Manhattan Beach, California. She was so warm, funny, passionate and professional. And she had excellent posture! Turns out that was no accident. She had been a professional dancer at the highest […]
I first met Jackson Michael in Austin, Texas. He pitched us a book about interviewing old-time NFL players. Men who played the game before there was money. Men who made the NFL a multibillion-dollar franchise. And then in many cases were simply tossed away, physically broken and emotionally shattered. Michael had never written a book […]
I mean really shit
The Book Doctors are so excited to be going back to Richmond Virginia – btw you probably have no idea how rockin Richmond is – doing Pitchapalooza at James River Writers Conference, Oct 18-19. Hanging out with lots of cool cats and kitties, agents and publishers editors illustrators and lots and lots of writers.. There […]