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Writing historical fiction: sometime journal of a New York City novelist

the earliest stages of writing a novel

This is a beautiful time, a half-waking dream. I just scribble on my file, my fingers drifting over the keys, taking notes for half formed ideas, glimpsing the back of a female character as she walks in her long skirts down a path. I scribble a half idea for a scene of the first  Read More 
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the exciting two months before publication

I was just telling a friend that it is hard to believe it is less than two years ago that I started the final draft of CLAUDE & CAMILLE which sold six months later. Now almost everyday something else happens in the possibility of a reading or an online review. Everyone at CROWN is wonderful  Read More 
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what I am reading or have recently read

I am not a fast reader when I am working a lot on my own new novel but I have recently finished and loved Melanie Benjamin's ALICE I HAVE BEEN and am in the middle of Michelle Moran's CLEOPATRA's DAUGHTER and Karen Essex's STEALING ATHENA and Kathryn Stockett's THE HELP. When in the midst of writing, I skip  Read More 
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Water lilies and other Monet garden paintings from NYC MOMA exhibit

It took me a long time to get down to the much-loved exhibit of six of Monet’s late garden paintings, created in his 70s and 80s at Giverny. Fortunately, though the one large exhibit room was crowded, one could still spend some time with the paintings which I did.

Two are very large ( Read More 
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working on my new novel and preparing for C&C debut

I am juggling things these days as most authors do. My new blog tour manager Diane Saarinen will be working with many blog sites for the April debut of CLAUDE & CAMILLE. Once she sent out her initial announcement of the book to bloggers, the positive responses came in very quickly. Left me rather breathless  Read More 
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three months until the novel debut!

It is a bit like a child waiting for Christmas. Already I have had so much interest and wonderful responses to the struggling, passionate love of the young Claude Monet and his enchanting but difficult muse Camille! And somehow I am writing intensely on my new novel, also a love story. I find the  Read More 
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a new cover for CLAUDE & CAMILLE but the same story!

The gifted sales and marketing people who are behind CLAUDE & CAMILLE have decided that it needed a Monet painting on its cover instead of the passionate picture of lovers kissing. Not one passionate word has been changed! However the old cover is already in thousand and thousands of places across the web and who  Read More 
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four months until publication of CLAUDE & CAMILLE!

Four months until publication date and already many things are happening: the first appearances scheduled, wonderful blurbs from nine other novelists, an excellent Publishers' Weekly review. All very exciting. My novel which I wrote with so much passion, often huddled in pajamas in my little writing corner of my NYC apartment, is slowly beginning to make its way  Read More 
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I tried to take a vacation from writing....

...but it did not entirely work and after a week my husband got an external keyboard and mouse so I could write on the laptop. That is, I wrote when I could in the worse rain and flooding Ireland has seen in hundreds of years. Perhaps I should work a flood into  Read More 
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my old creative habit of writing two books at a time

I used to do this a lot until one book took over. Often I'll break work for the main book to do the one I call "the under book" for a while to let my mind rest. I figure out problems on the main book by working on the second. It's an interesting process.  Read More 
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