USA Noir

USA Noir:Barbara’s story, “Crazy for You,” that was published in 2010 in Orange County Noir is included in USA Noir: Best of Akashic’s Noir Series, released November, 2013. The new anthology includes short stories by some of the greats in the suspense field: T. Jefferson Parker, Michael Connelly, Lee Child, Joyce Carol Oates, and more. Details and purchase information ».

Watch a video trailer for USA Noir:

Latest entries from the Pen on Fire blog:

Jennifer duBois and Kate Zambreno on Writers on Writing

Jennifer duBois, author of Cartwheel talks about the challenges of writing (and discussing) a novel that drew its initial inspiration from a real event, in this case, the Amanda Knox trial and the strong and diverse opinions that people held about the verdict. She also talks about learning to relax into a scene, and writing plays to sharpen her dialogue skills. Kate Zambreno, author of Green Girl and Heroines, talks about her experience re-releasing Green Girl — from how the re-release came to pass, and what it was like to have the option to revise a work that was published years earlier. She talks about developing the shopgirl protagonist Ruth, who tries to sell the scent “Desire” to people, and achieving urgency in her prose by writing toward confrontation.

[The show begins abruptly due to the loss of the very beginning (but the interviews are complete).]

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(Broadcast date: July 30, 2014)

Lisa See and Jojo Moyes on Writers on Writing

New York Times bestselling author Lisa See talks with Marrie about her latest novel, China Dolls, finding inspiration, research, and the complicated world of female friendships.  In the second half, Jojo Moyes discusses her novel, One Plus One, compelling characters, difficult points of view, and the drawbacks and advanges of social media for authors. 

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(Broadcast date: July 2, 2014)

Joanna Rakoff and Kseniya Melnik on Writers on Writing

Joanna Rakoff shares her memoir, My Salinger Year, with Marrie.  She talks about the similarities between memoir and fiction, the right time to write a memoir, and what she learned about publishing and writing from her year of working with a literary agent.  Kseniya Melnik joins in the second half to discuss her debut short story collection, Snow in May.  She discusses the importance of place, dialogue, and writing in a language that’s not her own. 

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(Broadcast date: July 16, 2014)

David James Poissant and Emma Straub on Writers on Writing

Marrie Stone talks with short story writer David James Poissant (Jamie), author of the debut collection The Heaven of Animals about collections based around a theme, finding the point of entry into a story, experimental fiction, and much more.  In the second half, novelist Emma Straub, author of The Vacationers, talks about coming from a legacy of writing, the importance of place, and how her novel came together in four short months.

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(Broadcast date: June 25, 2014)

J.K. Rowling’s keeping track/plot chart

I don’t much believe in traditional outlines, but I do believe in devising methods to keep track of the goings on in your novel. Here’s the link to what Rowling did. You’re going to have to copy and past since I can’t get it to link up within this post. And if that doesn’t work, google “JK Rowling plot” or visit openculture.com and it’s there, somewhere.


Sandra Tsing Loh and Courtney Maum on Writers on Writing

Nicole Nelson talks to writer and performer Sandra Tsing Loh about her latest memoir The Madwoman in the Volvo: My Year of Raging Hormones, discovering that her voice was better suited to personal stories rather than fiction, and the differences between writing for radio compared to print. Then debut fiction author Courtney Maum discusses her novel I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You and its circuitous journey to publication, how work experience as a corporate namer drove her to change the book’s title from its original, The Blue Bear, and how writers are sometimes better off stepping away from the computer and social media.  

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(Broadcast date: July 9, 2014)

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