State of the Writing World & Star #4

My thumb continues to heal. Many thanks to the Constant Reader who sent me info on the local guy who makes handmade drums and gives lessons. That will be my reward for finishing the book I’m writing now (FORGE, the follow-up to CHAINS). Until then, I am downloading all kinds of drumming music. Any suggestions?

Many of the conversations at the KW retreat revolved around all the layoffs (i.e. bloodbath) that happened at various publishers in the last few months. It is horrendous for the people who lost their jobs, and it makes writers trying to sell a project or break into the market understandably confused and disheartened.

My opinion?

This too, shall pass.

It all sucks horribly – especially for the people paying NYC rents and suddenly jobless – but it is not a permanent situation. Nothing ever is.

My advice is to use the economic meltdown as an opportunity to focus less on the publication process and more on the quality of your craft. This is the year you don’t have send out one hundred queries or waste time keeping up on trends or tracking down agents. This is the year to focus on taking your writing to the next level. Do that and it will be much easier to sell your book when the economy strengthens.

Anyone else have an opinion about this?

On a more positive note, I can finally share the news of WINTERGIRLS’ 4th star!!! Thank you, Kirkus! Here’s the review:

“Neither therapy nor threats nor her ex–best friend’s death can turn Lia away from her habits of cutting and self-starvation. In broken, symbolic and gut-wrenching prose, Lia narrates her hopeless story of the destructive behaviors that control her every action and thought. She lives for both the thrill and the crash of not eating, and any progress she may have made toward normal eating is erased when her former best friend Cassie dies alone in a hotel room. The trauma of Cassie’s death coupled with Lia’s strained relationship with her parents and stepmother makes her tighten her focus on not eating as she slides into a world of starvation-induced hallucinations. Uncontrollable self-accusations (“Stupid/ugly/stupid/bitch/stupid/fat”) and compulsive calorie counts punctuate her claustrophobic account, which she edits chillingly to control her world. Anderson perfectly captures the isolation and motivations of the anorexic without ever suggesting that depression and eating disorders are simply things to “get over.” Due to the author’s and the subject’s popularity, this should be a much-discussed book, which rises far above the standard problem novel.” Kirkus, Feb. 1, 2009.

I think there may be a few reviewer ARCS available through the WINTERGIRLS MySpace page. This is done by the publisher, so for those of you who have been sending me questions about the ARCs, I’m really, really, sorry, but I don’t have a clue. On the MySpace page, there is an email address in the blog announcement about the giveaway. Mail your questions there.