The “Roaring Twenties” You May Not Know: Post 3. The Women’s Fashion Revolution

In my previous post, I addressed women's suffrage. Now let's look at another impact on behavior. Fashion really took a turn in the 1920s, due in part to the influence of Coco Chanel... Kicking Up Their Heels: The Women’s Fashion Revolution of the 1920s Flappers were defined in part by how they looked. When in SIRENS Jo meets her cousin Melody, she sees the perfect flapper; and when Jo … [Read more...]

The “Roaring Twenties” You May Not Know, Post 2

In my previous post, I addressed the impact of World War 1 on the Roaring Twenties. Now let's see what happens.... When Women Got the Vote and Left Their Corsets Behind Both Jo and Lou in SIRENS are conflicted about their roles as women. The men in their lives don’t value them as individuals. In fact, until the 1920s women were really second-class citizens. Here’s some of the context of the … [Read more...]

A New Series: The “Roaring Twenties” You May Not Know, Post 1

As a follow-up to my research on SIRENS (Penguin, 2012) I wrote a series of ten articles that summarize different aspects of the 1920s. Over the next few weeks, I'll be posting them here so that they'll be available in my archives. Here's the first in the series... Home From World War 1: Returning From the “Great War” In SIRENS, Jo Winter’s most pressing internal problem is the whereabouts … [Read more...]

Writing the Killer Query Letter

Writing a great query letter is an art, but once you've created your synopsis, you've got the bones. Here's the rest of the story: Your synopsis forms the basis for your query letter. Almost all queries today are email cover letters; your manuscript or pages are sent as a Word attachment – but these are requirements you should establish first as some houses still prefer your pages in … [Read more...]

Darlene Beck Jacobson and Her Historical Fiction WHEELS OF CHANGE

Today on the blog I'm pleased to host an interview with Darlene Beck Jacobson, whose debut middle grade novel WHEELS OF CHANGE is an inventive look at a window of history as the car was making its debut. Here's just a bit of the great review Kirkus gave the novel: "Twelve-year-old Emily loves helping her father in his barn; she even dreams, in futility, of becoming a blacksmith like her … [Read more...]

Loglines and Elevator Moments

If you read my "Synopsis" post, you'll see that you've already got a start on crafting a logline. But we're going to take it a step further. A logline is a one-sentence summary of your story. Think about a movie poster, with its brief but compelling summary, or the cover grab of your favorite best-seller. Those are loglines. And why do you need one? In part because you may experience an … [Read more...]

Writing the Synopsis

Each time I attend a writing conference I'm reminded that one of the trickiest things to do correctly is write a synopsis. And yet the synopsis forms the basis of a query, so the more powerful you can make your synopsis, the better your query. I'll post on queries soon, but I'd like to give you a worksheet on synopses here. This worksheet will hopefully guide you through the steps you need in … [Read more...]

Lindsey Lane’s Debut THE EVIDENCE OF THINGS NOT SEEN

Okay kids, this novel is an incredible read - moving, mysterious, and deeply engaging. It is not for the faint of heart, nor for the easy-reader; it's a novel for those who love to think and be prodded out of their comfort zone. I devoured it in a single day. Lindsey Lane's debut YA THE EVIDENCE OF THINGS NOT SEEN (out now from Farrar, Straus, Giroux) is a not-put-down story of the disappearance … [Read more...]

Coming March 2016 From Viking…

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News on Middle Grade novel- Chatelaine: The Thirteenth Charm

I have some new exciting news... Kendra Levin of Viking has acquired my first middle grade, CHATELAINE: THE THIRTEENTH CHARM in a pre-empt. It's slated for a winter 2016 release. I can't wait to share Kat's story with you. Here's a synopsis: CHATELAINE is a middle-grade novel set in a rundown Scottish castle during WWII. The lady of the manor has set it up as a temporary boarding school … [Read more...]