Thursday, June 21, 2012


I’m teaching another one of my “Strong Beginnings” classes on Saturday, July 28 from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm at Book Passage Corte Madera! This class is geared toward all levels of writers who are working on novels. Memoir and creative non-fiction writers will also find it helpful.

Making a good impression in the first five pages is crucial for the success of your novel, whether you want to keep a reader reading or are hoping to get an agent to offer representation. Common mistakes include starting the story in the wrong place, giving too much backstory or using an action scene that serves no purpose. In this class, we do what’s called a close reading of first chapters of a variety of successful published books. We analyze all the elements (pacing, characterization, style, tone, voice, structure, etc.) to understand what grabs a reader. Then we take a look at the first five pages of students' novels to see what works and what needs improvement.

Over the years, students have responded quite positively to this class, citing its practicality and usefulness as opposed to other creative writing classes that emphasize more abstract concepts that can’t always be applied to a student’s specific work. And the things you learn in this class can also help you with revising your entire novel.

Looking forward to seeing you there! You can sign up here:

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

His Wife and Daughters is FREE on Amazon!

Kirkus Reviews says about my novel, His Wife and Daughters: “A refreshing narrative with a strong sense of place: political scandal with an interesting twist that hits the mark.” And you can download it for free on Amazon as a Kindle ebook or read it on the free Kindle app on your iPad, iPhone, Mac, PC, etc. through Friday, June 15 by clicking HERE

More on His Wife and Daughters:

It’s 1988 and Trina Brath and her teenage daughters, Jill and Phoebe, lead happy and privileged lives as the wife and daughters of successful California Congressman Dan Brath. But that all changes when Dan, 52, is suspected of having an affair with Lesley Chisholm, a 19-year-old Washington DC intern who has gone missing. Soon Dan Brath is being accused in the harsh media spotlight of not only sleeping with Lesley Chisholm, but responsible for her disappearance. Despite Trina’s standing by her husband—yet keeping the secret that he has cheated on her many times before—the incessant media scrutiny puts a strain on the family, and their lives to go into a tailspin. Eight months later, when Lesley mysteriously returns home safe and sound, Dan Brath’s career is over, and his family is in tatters.

Fast forward to today and the scandal that rocked the Brath family continues to take its toll. Jill has food issues and can’t trust men, Phoebe leads a self-destructive life and Trina continues to blame Lesley Chisholm for everything. And now Lesley is breaking her silence with a tell-all memoir, which is sure to make Dan Brath’s wife and daughters relive the trauma all over again. Will Jill, Trina and Phoebe be able to cope, heal their wounds and move on with their lives? Told from the viewpoints of the three women, His Wife and Daughters is a moving story of how one family attempts to survive the ultimate betrayal.