December 2004 Issue

The Internet Writing Journal
ISSN No. 1095-3973
Volume 8, Issue 6.

In This Issue:

A Conversation With Mary Jo Putney
New York Times bestselling romance novelist Mary Jo Putney has won just about every award there is in the romance writing world. A graduate of Syracuse University with degrees in eighteenth-century literature and industrial design, she left the successful design business she founded to write full-time, after her first book was snapped up by a publisher just a few weeks after it was submitted. She is the recipient of two Romance Writers of America RITA Awards, four consecutive Golden Leaf awards for Best Historical Romance, and the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for Historical Romance. Her latest book is A Kiss of Fate (Ballantine), the first in her exciting new Guardian series, which immediately hit all the bestseller lists. In this exclusive interview, Mary Jo spoke to us about the Guardian series, which combines historical romance with paranormal elements. She also discusses her evolution as a writer, and why she thinks literary snobbism towards the romance genre is merely a disguised form of sexism.

A Conversation With Bill DeSmedt
Bill DeSmedt already had a successful career as a consultant for Fortune 500 companies. But this Soviet expert and computer programmer always had a hankering to write a novel. So when he heard Carl Sagan talk about the mysterious Tugunska Explosion in Siberia in 1908, he knew he had the seed for a book. His new novel, Singularity (Per Aspera Press) is a fast-paced scientific thriller which is receiving rave reviews. In this exclusive interview, Bill talks to us about Singularity and his decision to launch a new career as a novelist. He also discusses the science behind the book, recent advances in artificial intelligence, and why not teaching evolution and science in schools could spell the beginning of the end of our civilization.

Mothers Who Write: Antonya Nelson
In her continuing series, "Mothers Who Write," Cheryl Dellasega, Ph.D. talks with award-winning novelist Antonya Nelson, author of Female Trouble (Scribner), Family Terrorists (Scribner), and Talking in Bed (Scribner). She is the recipient of the Chicago Tribune's Heartland Award, the PEN Nelson Algren Award, the Rea Award, the O. Henry Prize, and a Pushcart Prize. In this exclusive interview, Antonya talks about how she got her start, how motherhood has influenced her work and how an MFA in Creative Writing can help a novelist.

Contract Bridge and Writing: How to Become a Grand Master
To be a truly great bridge player requires a combination of skill and effort. To be a great writer, skill and effort are also required. But how much is effort and how much is skill? In his latest article, "Contract Bridge and Writing: How to Become a Grand Master," British novelist Alex Keegan compares contract bridge and writing and what it takes to be a master of both.

Are You Dead Certain?
Everyone accepts the notion that a nonfiction author better get his facts straight. But novelists need to get their details right, too -- a story set in the Arctic will fall flat if all the details are dead wrong. Participant Observation or Part-Obs is one way to do in-depth research for a new book, and it can be fun too. Bestselling Australian children's author Hazel Edwards explains how she uses Participant Observation to research her novels in her new article "Are You Dead Certain?"

Stories Behind the Carols
Christmas Carols are a cherished part of the Christmas tradition. But who wrote those songs and what exactly do they have to do with Christmas, anyway? For example, many of the familiar melodies were originally written to accompany an ancient dance form called the circle dance which was associated with fertility rites and pagan festivities in the medieval Celtic countries of Europe. So how did they end up being sung in Christian churches? Nationally syndicated radio talk show host, songwriter and CEO of CQK Music & Records Mary Dawson explains all in her new article "Stories Behind the Carols."

Book Reviews

Children's/Young Adult

The Blue Ribbon Day by Katie Couric, Illustrated by Marjorie Priceman (Doubleday)
Clovermead by David Randall (McElderry Books)
Girl, 15, Charming But Insane by Sue Limb (Delacorte Press)
The Grim Grotto (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 11) by Lemony Snicket (HarperCollins)
Hawkes Harbor by S.E. Hinton (Tor)
Once Upon a Time: Creative Writing For Kids by Annie Buckley and Cathy Law (Chronicle Books)
The Singer of All Songs by Kate Constable (Scholastic)


F1 Get the most out of Excel by Joseph Rubin (Limelight Media)


Age of Bronze: Sacrifice by Eric Shanower (Hungry Tiger Press)
Horizon Storms: Saga of the Seven Suns, Book 3 by Kevin J. Anderson (Warner Books)
The Will Eisner Companion by N.C. Christopher Couch and Stephen Weiner (D.C. Comics)


Double Shot by Diane Mott Davidson (William Morrow)
A Gentleman's Game by Greg Rucka (Bantam)
London Bridges by James Patterson (Warner Books)
Singularity by Bill DeSmedt (Per Aspera)


Built to Last by James C. Collins and Jerry I. Porras (HarperBusiness)
Emily Post's Etiquette by Peggy Post (HarperCollins)
The Rarest of the Rare : Stories Behind the Treasures at the Harvard Museum of Natural History by Nancy Pick, Mark Sloan (HarperResource)
Simple Pleasures by Alfred Portale and Andrew Friedman (William Morrow)
Wine for Every Day and Every Occasion: Red, White, and Bubbly to Celebrate the Joy of Living by Dorothy J. Gaiter, John Brecher (William Morrow)

Romance and Women's Fiction

A Lady of His Own by Stephanie Laurens (Avon)
Enchanted by Magic by Gloria Harchar (Love Spell)
The Power of Two by Patti O'Shea (Love Spell)


American Directory of Writer's Guidelines by Brigitte M. Phillips, Susan D. Klassen, Doris Hall (Quill Driver Books)
Writer's & Artist's Hideouts by Andrea Brown (Quill Driver Books)
The Writer's Workshop in a Box edited by Sandra Bark

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