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Photo of Kate Forest smiling in front of a brick wall

Kate Forest on Dyslexia, Tourette’s and Romance, Plus: How to Write Better

We love it when someone takes an established genre and tweaks it, twists it, then turns it on its ear. Kate Forest is making a career doing just that. So when we saw that her new book, In Tune Out of Sync, is out, we wanted to get the skinny on what brave new world she’ll be taking us to this time.

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Photo of Susan Wolfe smiling

Susan Wolfe on How to Get a Great Blurb, the Importance of Maternity Leave, and Reading to be a Writer

We first met Susan Wolfe when we taught a workshop at Stanford, where we were the least educated people in the room. Her first book was a big success, and now that Escape Velocity, her second novel, is out, we picked her brain about transitioning from the world of law to the world of books.

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Photo of Holly Kowitt smiling

Holly Kowitt on Cutting Good Jokes, P.G. Wodehouse, & the Principal’s Underwear (Which Is Missing!)

We’ve been fans of Holly Kowitt for longer than any of us care to remember. And now, our nine-year-old is a fan. And so it goes.

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Inspector Croissant: croissant with eyes, mouth, arms, legs, wearing a hat and walking with suitcase

Josh Funk on the Wonders of SCBWI, iPhone Book Trailers, [REDACTED] & Stinky Stench

We’ve said it before, and will say it again: if you are writing for kids, or reading for kids, or ever were a kid yourself, it behooves you to be a member of the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). That’s where we met Josh Funk.

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Photo of author Paula Priamos

Paula Priamos on Writing, Saying “No” to an Agent, and Being a Shyster’s Daughter

We were lucky to receive a stack of books from Rare Bird Books, a publisher we love. We fell for Inside V by Paula Priamos, who also wrote the memoir The Shyster’s Daughter. So we thought we’d pick her brain about writing, thrillers, memoirs, and how she got published.

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Cover of Oakland Noir by Eddie Muller

Eddie Muller, the Czar of Noir, on the Importance of Finding Empathy in Darkness

If you live in the Bay Area, which we did for many years, and you have a penchant for the dark side that draws you toward the underbelly of noir, you know Eddie Muller. He’s a legend. Let’s face it, you don’t get to be the Czar of Noir for nothing.

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Black and white photo of Barry Lyga

Barry Lyga on Freedom, Pizza, and Writing Dark Shit for Young Adults

We met Barry Lyga when we were waiting to sign books at the (thoroughly awesome) New England SCBWI conference. This guy is a powerful writer. His new book, Bang, is out, so we picked his brain about books and publishing and whatnot.

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Portrait photo of Anna Staniszewski smiling

Anna Staniszewski on MFAs, Writing, and Not Teaching Kids Stuff in Your Kids’ Book

Anna Staniszewski is one of our daughter’s favorite authors. Our daughter is nine, with great taste in books, so we always pay very close attention to who she’s loving as a middle grade reader. We were all lucky enough to meet Anna at least year’s New England SCBWI Conference and had the chance to pick her brain after about writing, writers, MFA programs, kids’ books, and whatever else spilled out of our collective heads.

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Jamie Mayer on Screenplay vs Book, the Garden State and the Power of Pain

Since David was a screenwriter for many years, he’s fascinated by the difference between writing for the screen and writing for between the covers. He’s also quite fascinated by pain, how we use it, how we avoid it, and what we can learn from it. So when he came across Jamie Mayer’s wonderful new novel Painless, we decided to pick her brain about books, screenplays, and pain. Which all seem oddly related somehow.

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Cover of Standing Up by Kate Forest; two hands touching

Kate Forest on Amputee Romance, Learning to Write, and the Superpower of Empathy

We’ve known Kate Forest for many years, and it’s been a joy to watch her come into her own as a writer. She has an unusual book out now, and we wanted to pick her brain about how she came up with this fascinating twist on the classic romance.

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Photo of J.K. Knauss smiling

J. K. Knauss on Bloody Cucumbers, NaNoWriMo, Bagwyn Books, and Violence

We first met J. K. Knauss when we did a Pitchapalooza at Anderson’s Bookshop in Naperville, Illinois, one of our favorite bookstores in the world. We loved her idea for her book, but we were also impressed that she actually wrote a blog post that was very entertaining and formative about the event itself. And now that her new book is out, we wanted to pick her brain about writing, publishing, and all that jazz.

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Author Charlie Jane Anders with a fake raven in her hand

Charlie Jane Anders on Writers Building Community, Smushing Genres, & Being an Outsider

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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Book cover of Lowriders to the Center of the Earth by Cathy Camper and Raul the Third; characters in a car driving underground

Cathy Camper on Lowriders, Graphic Novels and Diversity in Books

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.

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Rainbow, Baba Ram Wammalamma dingdong & the Garden of Earthly Delights

SPORTING MY NUT-HUGGING ELEPHANT BELLS, I arrived in Laurel Canyon, an enchanted eucalyptus oasis in the middle of this Hollywood smogfarm metropolis. As I entered the log cabin house set behind a wildflower jasmine jungle, a solid block of patchouli incense musk nearly knocked me over. With driftwood tie-dye batik beanbags windchimes macrame´ hanging plants […]

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Bacheloretts, Bulging G-Strings, & Dick-Filled Lap Dances: Deconstruct Male Stripping in the New Millenium

Rumors of the death of male stripping in America are greatly exaggerated.  I know, because recently on a dark dank Saturday night, I took the Queen of LA Stripper Intelligensia, 5’10” Private Dancer/Nordic goddess Nica Jensen, to the seedy sweet scrotum of Hollywood, Arena Nightclub, Santa Monica & Highland, where The Hollywood Men were reportedly […]

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What It’s Like to Get Hit By a Car on a Motorcycle

Weaving and gunning, he whipped it down Fell, timing it just right, so he hit the synchronized lights just as they changed, right on the edge of out-of-control. Divisidaro, Fillmore, Steiner flashed by: boom, boom, boom, George cruising Lili through each light as it turned green, one after another, like magic. Out of the corner […]

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Why I Took My Daughter to Feed the Hungry on Thanksgiving

“I’m starving,” Olive announced one day last week is. She’s my daughter. She’s six. “You’re not starving,” I said, “you’re hungry.” Epiphany. Laugh-of-luxury child has no idea what it means to starve. To not eat. To be poor. Yes, she understands there are Poor People. But it’s an intellectual construct. Like knowing there are Emus […]

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Me & Sally: A True-Life Interspecies Love Story

This is how I fell in love with Sally.  But this is not a love story.  It’s a tragedy.  Even though we were instantly drawn to each other with a fiery flame, and grew to love each other deeply, we could never be together.  We were too different.  Our people would never let us.  It […]

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The Whore Wars

It took me a quarter of a century to transition from teenage rent boy to best-selling author, but soon after I did, I was invited into the office of the prominent book agent. “David,” he said as he leaned back in his air ergonomic Aeron chair, “whatever you do, don’t get stuck in the sex […]

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Shame on Joe Paterno & Penn State & a Plea to Abused Kids From a Rape Survivor

 I was raped. By a large, athletic, violent man. I was young, naïve, and defenseless. Being the victim of this unspeakable violence destroyed the kid I was. Every single day I am internally tortured by this abuse I survived over three decades ago. I became a drug addict. I tormented everyone who was stupid enough […]

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Tripping the Light Fantastic, or How I Learned to Play Hockey on Acid

At 16 I’m shipped away to Boarding School for my sins.  The school is full of bright, gifted, spindled, folded, and mutilated teenagers, almost all of whom have been kicked of at least 1, if not several, other institutions of learning.  Believe me, I fit right in at Boarding School. We have the worst hockey […]

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The Birthing of Olive Annabell Maureen Sterry, or How My Daughter Got Born

Olive Annabell Maureen Sterry was determined to make an immediate splash, which she did by making her mother’s water break at five o’clock in the morning on September 11. Olive’s due date was September 5 so technically she was a week late, although obviously the due date is an artificial construct of a society that […]

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David Henry Sterry on Salon: How Writing a Book Led to the Love of my Life

My first piece on Salon.  Thanks to Arielle Eckstut. To read on Salon click here:  http://www.salon.com/2013/02/14/i_wrote_my_way_to_true_love/ “You should stop writing these stupid movie scripts and write about your life, it’s so much more interesting.” Janine, my hypnotherapist, was not being unkind. She just had no filter. And she was right. That was the most infuriating […]

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Having Sex with Craigslist Prostitue/Escort/Ho/Industrial Sex Technician: A True Story

This is from a reading I did at Litquake, in Vesuvio’s, the historic North Beach literary watering hole.                  

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2 Bi-Coastal Pitchapaloozas, Litquake, James River Writers Conference

2 Pitchapaloozas in 24 hours. 3,000 miles apart.  They said it couldn’t be done.  They were wrong. It all started on a beautiful Virginia Saturday afternoon at the James River Writers Conference, in the shockingly excellent city of Richmond.  JRWC came into our lives as the result of brutal failure.  Two years ago I set […]

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Eulogy for Milo

  May brought the first summer day in 2010, when it’s so hot you sweat just breathing, and the streets shimmer in protest. As we were broiling in the car struggling in the parking lot that was Rt. 3E just outside the Lincoln Tunnel, I was overcome with the hubris of we humans, chanting like […]

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Truth or Fiction: Voting by Memoir

Truth or Fiction : Voting by Memoir Memoirs have been a source of raging controversy. Seems some memoirs are more true than others. But to me, a memoirist makes a deal with the reader: what I tell you is real, and you judge me by the stories I tell you. I think about this way […]

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Truth or Fiction: Voting for the President By Reading His Memoir

Truth or Fiction: Voting By Memoir Memoirs have been a source of raging controversy.  Seems some memoirs are more true than others.  A memoirist makes a deal with the reader: what I tell you is real, and you judge me by my stories. I think about this way too much because I’m a memoirist. So when it […]

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SEX TV INTERVIEWS ME ABOUT BEING A TEENAGE PROSTITUTE

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AUTO INSANITY

olive has really discovered how to smile, and apparently she enjoys doing itvery much.  She had her first Thanksgiving at her grandfather’s birthday party.  Everyone was very nice to her.  She seemed to have a very good time.  At one point on the trip back in the car, she woke up and went absolutely berserk.  […]

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The Joys of Moving Across Country When You’re Pregnant

Well, we did it.We put all of our stuff into boxes, hired burly man to put them in a giant truck, stuffed our most valuable (mismatched socks, my mother’s ashes) stuff into our Rav 4 and waved goodbye to our life in San Rafael California, where the sun shines all the time, and the deer […]

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Chicken: Self-Portrait of a Young Man for Rent

Buy the book. “I walk all the way up Hollywood Boulevard to Grauman’s Chinese Theater: past turistas snapping shots; wanna-be starlets sparkling by in mini-skirts with head shots in their hands and moondust in their eyes; rowdy cowboys drinking with drunken Indians; black businessmen bustling by briskly in crisp suits; ladies who do not lunch […]

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Why I hate SAN FRANCISCO

Yesterday I had an appointment with my Pilates instructor Jesse Singer, she runs SF Pilates on Market Street, spitting distance from Powell, where the world-famous cable cars originate, in the buzzing heart of the City, throbbing with freezing tourists, dead-eyed wage slaves, S&M slaves and their masters, masters of the universe barons of business, mumbling […]

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