I’m working on the second draft of my fourth novel and I think a good comparison is making a cake and adding another layer. The first draft is the first layer, the foundation of the story. The plot and characters and settings are all there, but it’s not complete. Each time I make a new draft, I’m adding another layer, creating more depth and, I hope, a more detailed and interesting story. I’m also editing for language, flow,
The Art of Writing
Sisterly Sibling Rivalry on Reading with Robin
I had such a great time talking to Robin Kall, of Reading with Robin, who has probably interviewed a thousand authors. And now me! Tune in here to see us discuss The Wedding Thief, what makes the characters tick, and the whole idea of sisterly sibling rivalry – especially when a man is concerned. We talked about Sara, the older sister who is still in love with her former beau, Carter; Mariel, who is about to marry him; and Camille, their mother, who just wants her estranged daughters to reconcile before the big day. Which explains why she summons them home by telling them she’s very ill (but can’t discuss it over the phone) when she’s not. Well, she is … Read more
Taking Over Little, Brown’s Instagram Page
I had so much fun taking over my publisher’s (Little, Brown’s) Instagram page last Thursday, two days after my book, The Wedding Thief, came out. It was great connecting with readers and with other authors about the book and about writing in general. The post that got the most views was a photo of a manuscript page from an early draft. There were notes in the margin (through the comments function in Word), notes in pen, and notes on yellow stickies. As I explained in the post, that page didn’t even make it into the finished book. Between that version and the final, the manuscript went on a diet and lost 90 pages! A lot of weight to lose, but definitely … Read more
An Inviting Driveway
When Sara Harrington of The Wedding Thief arrives at her childhood home in Connecticut one July day, she’s greeted by this picturesque driveway, complete with a horse barn and day lilies bowing over the stone wall. I would love to have grown up in a home that had this driveway and barn – which is probably why I was attracted to this photo and used it as inspiration for where the Harrington sisters grew up and where their mother still lives. This property is located in Litchfield County, Connecticut.
Using Photos as Inspiration
This beautiful home is where Sara, the main character in my novel, The Wedding Thief, grew up. Well, not really. This house, located in an idyllic area of northwestern Connecticut, was owned for many years by the actor Denis Leary and his wife, Ann. I used this photo of the house as inspiration for the Harrington family home. I re-imagined the inside to suit my needs for the story, but stuck pretty closely to the look of the house’s facade and surrounding grounds when describing the place where Sara grew up. It’s to this home where Sara returns in the opening chapter of the novel.
The Wedding Thief – Coming July 2020
I’m very excited about the cover of my new novel, The Wedding Thief, and the lovely blurb written by James Patterson. The book is being published by Little, Brown and will be out in July of 2020. The story is about two sisters in love with the same man. One is about to marry him; the other is about to sabotage the wedding. Imagine the possibilities …. It’s not the book I originally planned to write, though. In fact, I was several months into working on a completely different novel when I decided it wasn’t coming together the way I wanted it to. So I shelved it and began something new, which turned out to be The Wedding Thief.
Letting Go of What I’m Writing
A friend once asked if I had trouble letting go of a book when I knew I was getting to the end of writing it. I’ve only written three books (I’m now tying up some loose ends on my third), but I didn’t hesitate for a second before saying, “No!” When I’m getting to the end I can’t wait to be done and move on to the next project. Getting to the end means I’ve already gone through several rewrites, so by that time I’m tired of the manuscript. More than tired of it. And that’s before my editor even sees it. She’ll have comments and suggestions which will strengthen the story, but it means more revisions. It’s all worth … Read more
Interview with a Writer’s Assistant
Interview with a Writer’s Assistant
We recently sat down for a candid interview with Cinnamon, a Tonkinese cat who is the assistant to author Mary Simses.
Why don’t you tell us about your job?
I’m underpaid, unglorified, and underappreciated. What else do you want to know?
How I Became A Writer
I grew up in Darien, a suburban town on the Connecticut coast. When I was young I was always writing short stories and poems, and my teachers encouraged me to write – especially my ninth grade English teacher, who was one of two people to whom I dedicated my second novel. By the time I started college, I decided I’d better take up a practical career, as I didn’t think I could ever make a living writing fiction or poetry. I decided to major in journalism because at least that way I’d still be writing, although doing a very different kind of writing.
10 Dos and Don’ts for the Aspiring Novelist
TIP NO. 1 I thought I’d share a few thoughts about writing, from my own experience. So many people tell me they have a story they want to write. It can be done – I promise you. I started by writing short stories. For me, it was a less intimidating way to get back into fiction writing after a long hiatus than to try to attack a novel. Working on a short story trains you to come up with a beginning, middle, and end, develop characters, create dialog, and do it all within twenty or thirty pages. The chapters in a typical novel are like short stories, held together under the umbrella of a larger tale. So starting small is a … Read more