What makes a great writing community? Its supportive members! Alys Arden and Alex Rosa joined Book Country in 2013 to workshop their books and learn more about the business of publishing. They’ve both found success with the support of the community: Alys Arden’s THE CASQUETTE GIRLS was a #1 Amazon bestseller, and Alex Rosa’s New Adult book TRYST was picked up by Penguin InterMix and will be released on March 17, 2015.
Book Country member Kelli Mahoney won the intensive creative writing course offered by Penguin Random House Writers’ Academy in our sweepstakes last November. The Writers’ Academy is offering a new online creative writing class for beginners with Jane Lawson in March. Kelli shares what she’s learned from Michal Shavit, Editorial Director at Harvill Secker, and the best writing advice she’s received from the course. Connect with Kelli on Book Country.
Janet Umenta: What has been your favorite session so far in the course?
Kelli Mahoney: I don’t know if I can choose a favorite. Every week poses a challenge and an opportunity to push me outside my comfort zone. The writing assignments push me to create a more compelling and cleaner story, and the advice provided in the videos and readings are priceless. I do like the progression from character development to plot. Also, the writing prompts have opened up the flood gates of creativity, so sometimes we’ll have a 500 word piece to write that suddenly becomes a 6,000 word chapter of the book I’ve been working on. Continue reading
Congratulations to Book Country member D.J. Pizzarello on publishing COLLECTED STORIES: Angel of Mercy and Seven Others! D.J. workshopped several short stories on Book Country and received outstanding feedback. We recently featured D.J. on the Member Spotlight. In this Q&A, D.J. shares what surprised him most about the publishing process and advice he would give to other writers considering the self-publishing route. You can purchase COLLECTED STORIES: Angel of Mercy and Seven Others on Book Country, Amazon, and other major online book retailers.
Janet Umenta: After years of writing, what was the moment like when you decided you were ready to publish?
D.J. Pizzarello: I’d actually decided to publish some years before I finally took the plunge. I felt strongly that my stories should be told, that I had something to say others might find interesting, perhaps even thought-provoking. I’ve always loved language, loved trying to express myself in inventive ways. So I spent some years working on stories I’d already written, revising, and revising, and revising—and at times, creating new ones. At a point, fairly recently, I decided that my work was ready to be published. How did I feel at that point? Ready, eager, energized. Raring to go. Continue reading
We are pleased to reveal the cover for TRYST, the debut New Adult novel by Book Country member Alex Rosa! Alex first workshopped TRYST on Book Country, which was then picked up by InterMix, a Berkley/NAL’s e-initial imprint. TRYST will be out March 17, 2015. Read our interview with Alex and her editor, Kristine Swartz, about creating the cover below. Continue reading