This week! Books!
As you may have noticed there’s a pandemic going on, and it’s upended many of our notions of “real life.” So… what do you do with that as a writer?
Writer David James Poissant talked about the struggle (“delusion” in his words) of writing a timely novel in a constantly changing world. And literary agent Jessica Faust talks about the inevitability of change and how necessary it is for writers to evolve.
Agent Rachelle Gardner talks about authors who get tripped up by variations of a very simple question: Who are your favorite authors in your genre? You can’t be a strong writer without being a reader.
Love this post from Austin Kleon on forgetting how to write, something that happens to all of us.
The Center for Fiction released its 2020 Fiction First Novel Prize Longlist.
And Crimereads has an awesome roundup of opinions about a curious connection between crime and science. Why do so many physicists write crime novels?
This week in bestsellers
Here are the top five NY Times bestsellers in a few key categories. (All links are affiliate links):
Adult print and e-book fiction:
- The Order by Daniel Silva
- Peace Talks by Jim Butcher
- The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
- 28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand
- Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
Adult print and e-book nonfiction:
- Too Much and Never Enough by Mary L. Trump
- White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo
- How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
- The Room Where It Happened by John Bolton
- Untamed by Glennon Doyle
Young adult hardcover:
- Stamped by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
- The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
- One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus
- Hawk by James Patterson
- Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare
Middle grade hardcover:
- Little Leaders by Vashti Harrison
- The One and Only Bob by Katherine Applegate
- Wonder by R.J Palacio
- The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs by America’s Test Kitchen Kids
- Refugee by Alan Gratz
This week on the blog
Don’t forget that you can nominate your first page and query for a free critique on the blog:
In case you missed them, here are this week’s posts:
And keep up with the discussion in all the places!
Comment! of! the! week! goes to John Shea, who reminds us that you can only really call these times unprecedented from a certain point of view:
“Largely awful” is a matter of debate, and depends on when we’re comparing to, but this present time and its epidemic are far from unprecedented. The official Covid-19 death toll stands at 143,000 out of about 320 million Americans. The 1918 Spanish Flu killed about 675,000 out of 100 million Americans, a death rate 15 times higher. The 1957 Asian Flu killed about 100,000 out of 150 million Americans.
All the bad things you list COULD happen, along with many more, and that has always been the case. Lots of good things could happen too.
And finally, I have long had an immense amount of appreciation for legendary composer John Williams (Star Wars, E.T., Jaws, Superman, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jurassic Park, Schindler’s List, honestly you can go on forever) and this recent interview is every bit as awesome as I’d hoped it would be.
Have a great weekend!
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For my best advice, check out my guide to writing a novel (now available in audio) and my guide to publishing a book.
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Art: Prospect Park in Brooklyn at dusk. Follow me on Instagram!