19 posts

Get to Know Boobookitteh

Hey, fuckos! Here’s the first in a series of articles where you get to know your fellow commenters. Can you feel the glamour? Because you should. Get ready for a shower of glitter-farting unicorns as we “lift the veil” a little bit, and start to learn a little more more about each other.

Questions will vary from time to time, and of course anyone can interview anyone else. As I like to say, the pioneers get into trouble and the people who follow them reap the benefits.

So! Boobookitteh and I are the first two in the barrel for this experiment in terror. Myself, as interviewer, and Boobookitteh as interviewee. Aren’t we brave? Yes, we are. Read along and ask your follow-ups to our dear Boobookitteh as you feel is appropriate! Or inappropriate, depending… Continue reading

Recommended Writers: Lisa See

Earlier this week I had the pleasure of going with a friend to see Chinese-American author Lisa See give a lecture at a nearby library. (Woot-woot for library public lectures! Check out to see who your own public library is bringing in. I’ve seen people from Nobel physicists to Ray Bradbury.)

See is the author of several novels (most recently Shanghai Girls and Dreams of Joy) and a sort of biography of her family’s immigration-to-America experience, On Gold Mountain. She’s also the author of some fairly successful mystery novels (Dragon Bones, and others. You know where powells.com is, go look.) Continue reading

The Anniversaries

I got an instant message from one of the young writers in the newsroom yesterday (Saturday).

This one will tear your heart out, she wrote, sending me a cut of a boy, born less than a month after 9/11, speaking in Saint Patrick’s Cathedral on Saturday — a message to his firefighter father who died on that terrible day. Patrick Mate Lyon told that packed church, and all the cameras and microphones and pens taking notes he wished he could have known his dad. Continue reading

Authors I Have Loved

Little does the poor kid know. . .

OMG, I just read this book and it’s AMAZING!!! You have to totes check it out! For realz, yo! Only . . . after you read it, don’t read anything else that author wrote. Well, maybe there’s one or two, but seriously, you should quit while you’re ahead. Maybe read the recaps on Wikipedia if you have to know what happens. . .

I’m sure we’ve all come across this, an author with a lot of promise, who ends up rapidly disappointing after taking a wrong turn, often for no discernible reason, at least to the readers. It can be very hard to write well, and continuously, especially when you have an editor breathing down your neck (Hi, GI and Bots!!), and a rabid fan base clamoring for more of the character that you hated. For example, L. Frank Baum and C.S. Lewis had no intentions to continue the stories they started in The Wizard of Oz and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, yet their fans demanded it, and now we have seven Narnia books and over 40 Oz books, with thirteen being written by Baum. Agatha Christie is on record as loathing Hercule Poirot (her exact words are “detestable, bombastic, tiresome, ego-centric little creep”), yet kept him going for a long time, simply to please her fan base. Continue reading

Story Ideas Board

This post is a way for people to exchange story ideas. Feel free to post ideas you have, and if you are a writer, feel free to use any of these ideas for your own articles. If you have used an idea please strike through the text, but don’t erase it. Example. Try to keep the list orderly so The Grand Inquisitor doesn’t have to keep cleaning it up. Don’t forget to hit update if you add or take away a post idea. This post is solely for listing article suggestions. Please don’t use it for other issues. Don’t forget to book mark this page, and I will drop the link into the writer’s guide as well. Happy posting!

The Crasstalk Terrible Fiction Contest

The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest crowned its grand prize winner on Monday. Named for novelist Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, the contest began at San Jose State University in 1982 and each year invites entrants to compose terrible first sentences for imaginary novels. The contest has grown over the years and now includes a slew of genre categories. This year’s grand prize winner was Sue Fondrie, and here is her godawful winning sentence: Continue reading

QOTD: Ask a Former Harlequin Writer

Once upon a time, long ago and far away, I wrote several Harlequin romance novels. How did I get into it? Like a lot of people, I had graduated from university and couldn’t find work in my field, librarianship. During school I’d heard about librarians being needed so I studied that, but had the misfortune to graduate the year after they (mostly, government and public libraries) had hired all the librarians they could afford. I worked in a bookstore for a couple of years, but it didn’t pay well and I had ambitions beyond that. So I thought I’d try writing Harlequins. They had an established structure, and you had to keep within certain parameters as regards the plot, which struck me as good training for a new and indecisive writer. We got to the point where my husband was making enough money that I could quit work and we wouldn’t have to eat cat food. I gave myself 5 years to produce a publishable novel. It took 3. Continue reading