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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:

Stacey D’Erasmo and Jenny Offill on Writers on Writing

Nicole Nelson talks to Stacey D’Erasmo, author of Wonderland, about doing research touring with an indie rock band, writing sex scenes, and the importance of working past perfectionism.

In the second half of the show, Jenny Offill, author of Dept. of Speculation, talks about experimenting with structure, finding authenticity in your storytelling, and why she resists Twitter.

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(Broadcast date: May 28, 2014)

Alice LaPlante and Zachary Lazar on Writers on Writing

Marrie Stone chats with Alice LaPlante, author of Circle of Wives, about the power of the unreliable narrator, knowing when to abandon projects that don’t work, where story inspirations come from, and much more.

In the second half, novelist Zachary Lazar talks about his latest novel, I Pity the Poor Immigrant, writing about foreign places and times, and the power of juxtaposing unlikely people and things to create compelling stories, and more.

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(Broadcast date: May 21, 2014)

Another way to make progress

This morning I remembered something my friend and colleague Neal Shusterman, who writes YA novels and does quite well at it, said some years back.  It was either when we were in Fictionaires together (an Orange County-based writing group where I also got to know T. Jefferson Parker, Elizabeth George, Jo-Ann Mapson, Maureen Taylor Smith, and Don Stanwood), or during an interview when he was on Writers on Writing, or for an article I wrote for Poets & Writers, but he said rather than writing a number of words or pages during any given day, he had a number he had to reach for the week. So if one day he wrote one, and another day, two, the next day he might write eight, to make up for not writing much previous days. Lately I’ve been doing just that.

For me, the number per day, five days a week, is four pages.  So every week, I need to write 20 pages of the novel I started a little more than two months ago.  I’m up to page 200.  I’m aiming for 240.

If you’re having trouble with a certain number of words or pages a day, give this a try.  A certain number every week offers a certain flexibility and latitude that works for writers like me, and maybe

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