Ann Patchett and Her Dog Sparky

Ann Patchett with SparkyAnn Patchett is the author of six novels, The Patron Saint of Liars, Taft, The Magician’s Assistant, Bel Canto, Run, and State of Wonder. I’ve read each one. She’s one of my favorite authors. I met her in Danville at a reading event for her collection of essays, This is the Story of a Happy Marriage. Today I heard her interviewed on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross.

Ann talked about her dog, Sparky, who works at her bookstore, Parnassus Books, in Nashville, Tennessee. Sparky greets customers with a big tail wag and drops to the floor to show his spotted tummy.  He sits on laps, plays with the children, and helps create a positive association with reading and with dogs. Sparky isn’t the only store dog. Ann’s co-owner, Karen Hayes, brings Lexington to help at the store too. Sparky and Lexington

When asked what her work day is like, Patchett said she takes Sparky out for a walk, makes breakfast for her husband and Sparky, and starts to write at around 8:30. Non-fiction is easier for her to write than fiction. When she wrote Bel Canto, she played an aria that the character, Roxanne Coss, sang in a particular scene, otherwise, she doesn’t like to listen to music when she writes or reads.

Ann edited Best American Short Stories 2006. She says “A short story captures the very specific moment in time when things turn. In a novel, that could be many years. In a story, it pulls those years into a single instance.” In 2012, Ann was named by Time Magazine as one of the most influential people in the world.

Ann Patchett in winterAnn Patchett's Sparky sitting in bookstoreAnn Patchett's Sparky

Here is a link to Ann Patchett on the Colbert Report. Worth watching since she has him speechless. thecolbertreport.cc.com/videos/tqad40/annpatchett

Introducing Jill Steele in Norman in the Painting: Character Blog hop 2014

It’s time for a character-centric blog hop. Here you will meet Jill Steele, the protagonist of my multidimensional novel, Norman in the Painting. First, I will introduce the writer who tagged me in this blog hop, Justine Manzano. I connected with her on LinkedIn and she patiently walked me through the steps.

Justine ManzanoBio: Justine Manzano is a multi-genre writer living in Bronx, NY with her husband, son, and a cacophony of cats. Her short fiction has appeared in the anthology Things You Can Create, Sliver of Stone Magazine, and The Greenwich Village Literary Review. She maintains a semi-monthly blog at JustineManzano.com and a twitter account where she discusses her adventures in juggling aspects of her life such as motherhood, writing, and the very serious businesses of fangirling and multiple forms of geekery. She works as a fiction reader for Sucker Literary Magazine and is currently searching for a publishing home for her YA Urban Fantasy series, Keys and Guardians.

Blurb:

Jacklyn Madison has a thing for heroes. She reads about them, watches them on TV, and would very much like to become one. When a monster makes an attempt on her life she discovers she is one – the long lost member of The Order of the Key, a group that protects humanity from creatures that come through interdimensional rifts. It’s all fun and games until training for her duties reveals the Order’s out of touch views – Keys, like Jacklyn, are protected while Guardians, like the rest of her family, are expendable. As she rails against their value system, she finds herself in the centre of a power struggle between the group’s leader, Lavinia, and her idealistic son, Kyp – the boy Jacklyn likes. Worse, Kyp’s attempts to protect her only entangle her in a mire of deceit. Viewed as a target on one side and a weapon on the other, Jacklyn must find a way to protect the people she loves and decide what kind of hero she’s willing to become. Filled with action, romance, and paranoia, The Order of the Key is an edgy Young Adult Contemporary Fantasy novel that is currently searching for a home with an agent.

Thanks, Justine Manzano for this opportunity to blog hop.

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Here is an interview with my character, Jill Steele in Norman in the Painting:

What is your name? Are you fictional or historical? My name is Jill Steele. I suppose most people would say I’m fictional, but I think I’m real. I tell Julaina my story so that makes me real, doesn’t it?

When and where is your story set? My story takes place right now, present day, in a small California town near San Francisco. I’m a CPA and I work out of my home. I don’t like to travel much so I’ve only been to San Francisco a couple times. It’s about forty miles from my hometown. With all the action in my life, I don’t have time for San Francisco.

What should we know about you? I don’t like to tell my age but I’m older than thirty and younger than forty. I have an impossible older sister named Vivian who is my nemesis. Our family is the wealthiest in our town. Our parents died in an auto accident, and Viv wants to maintain our social status. She’s on my back about that all the time. I’m the so-called blight on the family. I own my own home and I have a Siamese cat named Rocky. I collect Foo dogs for protection. I really need all the protection I can get but you’ll have to read my story to find out why.

What is screwing up your life? My ex-husband who is in prison, a strange man in a Homberg hat who seems to be following me, and a man I love who lives in a painting…literally. He comes through now and then.

What is your goal? To prevent Norman from disappearing into the painting, to keep him in my 3D world so we can have a real relationship.

What is the title of your book? Norman in the Painting.

When will the book be published? Julaina says she would like to have it published by February 2015 but it might be a few months longer than that. She has other projects like an anthology and two other novels in the works. I’m looking forward to meeting my readers on the pages. Bye now.

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Here are the writers I have tagged. Watch for their posts on September 22nd.

G. Karl KumfertG. Karl Kumfert seeks representation for his debut novel, The Tavern Priestess. It’s a epic fantasy for young adults he frames as “Joan-of-Arc defends Merlin from Nikita”. When he isn’t pitching his manuscript to agents, Karl is either developing mobile apps, or trying to be a decent father and husband. He blogs about teen ethics, multi-racial families, and social media at http://www.gkarlkumfert.com.

He’s surprisingly personable for a former government scientist with a Ph.D. in computer science. He and his wife lead the high school youth program at their church where he also plays 5-string bass. You can visit him on https://Twitter.com/KarlKumfert

 

d-jordan-bernalJordan Bernal is the author of The Keepers of Éire, a dragon fantasy that encourages adult readers to let their imaginations take flight. Jordan’s enduring love of dragons and her pursuit of her Celtic heritage inspired her to write and publish her debut novel in her “Keeper” series through her independent press, Dragon Wing Publishing. She currently serves as president of California Writers Club Tri-Valley Branch. Jordan lives in the Tri-Valley region of Northern California. She enjoys reading, traveling, photography, and spending time with Roarke, her Pomeranian. For more information on Jordan’s current projects, visit http://www.jordanbernal.com or http://www.1dragonwriter.wordpress.com.

VioletCarrMoore-DSCViolet Carr Moore achieved her dream of becoming a published author with her first book, In the Right Place: A Gallery of Treasured Moments. She followed that memoir of mystic vignettes, with Moments of Meditation, a collection of devotionals. Violet’s short stories have been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Devotional Stories for Mothers, Christmas Miracles and other anthologies. Her winning themed haiku appeared in San Francisco Bay Area newspapers. She is a freelance copy editor and mentors aspiring writers in independent publishing workshops. Violet blogs humorous writing tips at http://violetsvibes.wordpress.com. Visit her website http://www.carrtwins.com. Follow her on Twitter @violetsvibes. Contact her at info@carrtwins.com.

sharonsvitak2-19-11Sharon Svitak writes under the pen name Sharon Burgess. The author of Simply Irresistible: A Spruce Creek Romance, she is working on the second book in the series. She is a member of the San Francisco Area Chapter of the Romance Writers of America. In addition she is an officer on the corporate board of the California Writers Club. She credits her membership in both organizations for pushing her to finish her first book and get it published. Like all writers should be, she is an avid reader, especially romance novels which is the genre she writes. Visit her at http://www.sharonsvitak.com  http://www.sharonburgess.com

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref%3Dnb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=simply+irresistible+a+spruce+creek+romance&rh=n%3A283155%2Ck%

 

Elaine SchmitzElaine Schmitz’s life has had many chapters, set in many locales. She graduated from USC with a B.A. in English, and planned to become an editor. However, life intervened; ten years later, she became a business manager at AT & T for twenty years. Now she has reinvented herself as a freelance and fiction writer and editor. She writes about what is important to her. She successfully published her first book “Recipes & Recollections of my Greek American Family,” soon in its second printing, and seven fiction and memoir pieces in anthologies. She is currently working on her third novel. She finds writing a fulfilling career, full of learning, adventures, and many wonderful people. Visit her on http://www.elaineschmitz-writer.com.

Writers Quote by Henry James

200px-HenryJamesPhotograph

160px-Henry_James_signature_(1907)Henry James said, “What is character but the determination of incident? What is incident but the illustration of character?”

James was born in New York City on April 15, 1834. He wrote short stories, plays, and novels. He focused on the consciousness of his characters and his stories were seen as psychological thought-experiments. He often created alternate futures and possibilities for his characters.The Portrait of a Lady is the most popular of his novels.

Do you have a favorite story or novel by Henry James?

Photos and facts from Wikipedia.

Critique Partners Chat

Tri-Valley Writers Club members, Jordan Bernal, author of THE KEEPERS OF EIRE and Lani Longshore, author of DEATH BY CHENILLE, chat after the April meeting. The critique partners worked with each other’s characters that involved dragons, criminals, and the new genre, Quilting Sci-Fi. Image

San Francisco Writers Conference

10th Anniversary in 2013

Join us February 14th – 17th, 2013 and help us celebrate at the Intercontinental Mark Hopkins Hotel, Mason & California, San Francisco!
      • Launch your writing career…or take it to a more professional level…with direction from bestselling authors and publishing experts.
      • Choose from a schedule of workshops, panels and sessions that fit your writing needs. This year, on Thursday  afternoon you can go to an orientation that will help you get the most of the conference at no extra charge, too.
      • Ask a Pro session lets you ask questions and pitch books to New York and California editors…and it is included in your registration fee.
      • Go to Speed Dating for Agents – Pitch your book ideas one-on-one to New York and California agents ($50 option for registered attendees)
      • Receive free feedback on your work from freelance book editors.
      • Kick back in Cafe Ferlinghetti with writers from all over the country…and foreign countries, too.
      • Talk with exhibitors and find out what’s new for writers.
      • Browse our onsite bookstore (produced by BookShop West Portal) and you can get the books you purchase autographed by the presenters.
      • Jump into pitch contests, “Open Mic” readings, and socialize at Gala Welcome party. This is just a sampling of SFWC’s over-the-top networking opportunities during the event.
      • Stay awhile longer with our in-depth Post Conference classes on Monday, February 18th. to increase the value of the conference even more.

Registration fee includes three days of sessions, meals, a gala party and more! Click here for more information.

 
See you there. I’ll be at the registration desk every morning.