This is the first year I'm spending Christmas (and my birthday—Boxing Day baby!) in America, away from Mom, my family, and Yorkshire pudding. Which means the presents I send and receive this year need to be light enough to ship across the Atlantic without breaking the bank. Many of us have friends and family far away from where we live, but we still want our gifts to be thoughtful, personal, and come in lovely little packages. With that in mind, I've collected a number of gift ideas that are light on shipping but heavy on holiday cheer (as with last year's gift guide, I've tried to keep reasonable budgets in mind).
Now that wintery weather is starting to kick in (at least here in the Northeast), it's time to hibernate and start entering all those writing contests you've been putting off over the summer. If you would like a professional edit before you enter, please contact me for a 10% discount by referencing this blog post in your initial email.
I'm lucky enough today to not only have an incredible book designer here on the Anablog, but the person who designed the cover of Rachel Cohn's newest fiction book, Kill All Happies (out May 2017). The cover is revealed at the end of this interview. Marci Senders is designer extraordinaire at Disney-Hyperion and you can see some of her beautiful work below. Marci received her BFA in Graphic Design from Tyler School of Art at Temple University, previously worked at Alloy Entertainment and Random House, and now lives in Brooklyn where she loves to crochet when she isn't coming up with stunning Pinterest boards for her newest book covers.
There are many reasons Jaclyn Moriarty is one of my all-time favorite authors. Aside from the fact that she is an incredibly lovely person with excellent taste in chocolate who wrote her undergraduate thesis on Roald Dahl, her writing is so thoroughly enchanting and gripping that I constantly find myself wishing I was living in one of the many extraordinary worlds she has created. From the pie-loving Farms in the Kingdom of Cello to the home of the Zings and Listen Taylor, Jaci's imaginative plots and unique voices will keep you enthralled time and time again.
This past month, I took myself off to a cabin in the middle of the woods for four days—no wi-fi, no TV, no indoor plumbing...just me, some books, and a bear for company (black, not toy). It was the perfect environment for doing nothing but reading. Some people need tranquility and birdsong to feel inspired or meet a writing deadline. Rachel Cohn is not one of them. She recently told me she left a writing getaway halfway through because it was too quiet. Whatever your creative needs, the following conferences, workshops, and retreats are held in a range of settings across the country to help you hone your craft, hear from the experts, and, hopefully, come away ready to send that book out into the world!
Before I ever knew Paul, I read Ten Mile River and was so blown away by his writing, his intensity, his ability to look vulnerability in the eye and somehow leave the reader feeling stronger, that I knew I had to meet him. In person, Paul is one of the most warm-hearted individuals I have ever come across and I'm thrilled he agreed to be interviewed for Behind the Desk. His new book, When Friendship Followed Me Home, is out today (June 7), and is already being hailed as one of the best summer reads!
Kass Morgan has that special ability to make a splash wherever she goes, be it Brown and Oxford as an undergraduate and graduate, respectively, the New York publishing scene where she is an incredible editor at one of the top publishing houses, or the New York Times Best Seller List, which is where her first book, The 100, ended up whilst being turned into a hugely popular TV show by the same name. But Kass is more than just her accolades. She has a sharp wit, a passion for culture and coffee, and a fashion sense that makes you want to go out and buy hundreds of dresses. The fourth installment of The 100 series will be out in December, so catch up on the previous books if you haven't already!
I've done the math and it turns out that Jen is my oldest friend. We met when I moved to Saluda, North Carolina at the age of five, became pen pals when I returned to England at the age of eight (playlists on tape, yin yang necklaces, and lots of colorful ink were involved in these letters), and last year I attended her beautiful wedding back in Saluda. Jen is not only adventurous, smart, and kind-hearted, but she's also a champion of books and reading. Can there be a greater type of person on the planet?!
The previous post on writing contests can be found here, with a number of prizes still up for grabs (until April 30th). As before, these contests are primarily for unpublished writers and, if you would like a professional edit before you enter, please contact me for a 10% discount by referencing this blog post in your initial email.
Good luck to you all!