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Christopher Meeks's Blog

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  I saw Bruce Springsteen and his larger-than-ever E Street Band on Friday, and to say it was a religious experience is not much of an exaggeration. His concerts over the years have evolved into something akin to a secular humanist revival meeting. How “secular” they are can be argued as some...
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The Edge of U2
The U.S. government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics show that in 2010, there were 145,900 writers and authors in America, and that the median income was $55,420 per year, or almost $27 per hour. The bureau predicted that in the next decade 9,500 new writers and authors will be added to the list. Just...
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To authors: why is "free" a great marketing strategy? Last year, I wrote about why setting your eBook at a 99-cent price may not be a great move unless it's the first in a series. However, with Amazon's new KDP Select program, where your book is exclusive to Kindle for 90 days and you get...
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AWP Panel on Do-It-Yourself Publicity
I recently attended the AWP Conference in Chicago where 10,000 writers, educators, and graduate and undergraduate creative writing students met. With all the panels, the chance meetings in the hallways and lobby bars, the massive Bookfair, the readings, the awards, and the parties, the air crackled...
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The Evildoers panel at the Palmer House Hilton
Last week in Chicago, I attended the AWP Conference, which is a gathering of writers, creative writing professors, and students. While the event included some great speakers and readers such as Margaret Atwood, Jennifer Egan, and Darin Strauss, I also found a number of panels involving. In fact on...
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     To be an author in the 21st Century is much like being Itchie or Scratchy, those cat-and-mouse characters on The Simpsons who are forever being thrown around and otherwise smashed and tortured. In short, it's hard being an indie author. There are no clear...
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The notion of “love at first sight” has a lot of basis in fact. That's what I learned in research for my novel. The big premise of Love At Absolute Zero is that a 32-year-old physicist, in tune with his inner salmon, can find his soul mate in three days using the Scientific Method. What folly, you...
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J.K. Rowling.jpg
My romance-and-science novel, Love At Absolute Zero, just started a blog tour, and one site asked if I'd write a guest blog. My new college class in children's literature also just started, and I decided to write how the first Harry Potter book helps my students understand how to write....
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I have to preface this story about the awards I’ve just won. I once worked in the public affairs department of the California Institute of the Arts. It’d been a dream job. I was immersed in the arts and interviewed such fascinating people as directors Tim Burton and Werner Herzog, theatre...
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How a Book is Born cover.jpg
  An eye-opening eBook I just finished is How a Book Is Born by Keith Gessen with an introduction by Graydon Carter. It first appeared in shorter form in Vanity Fair magazine and shows how the novel The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach came to be written, agented, sold, published, and turned...
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In As You Like It, Shakespeare said man has seven ages. The first four are each expressed in a single word: infant, schoolboy, lover, soldier. The last three needed explanation. There's a stage where everything comes together, and the man becomes a judge. It's the stage with "Fair round belly, with...
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Many authors and people in the publishing business are using the words “monopolistic” when it comes to Amazon for a few reasons. One is that traditional publishers were slow to understand digital publishing the way the music industry was slow. The music industry shot off its feet with two barrels....
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I recently saw a documentary, To Write and Keep Kind, a PBS documentary on the life and writing of Raymond Carver. It's part of the two-disc Criterion Collection version of Robert Altman's movie Short Cuts, based on Raymond Carver's short stories. I couldn't help but think at the end of the...
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Tree 2.jpg
My family happens to live close to Pasadena, where, as shown in the news, we recently experienced great winds. Our neighbor lost a tree -- right onto his car and house. Another tree partially blocks our street. The drive alone to the nearby Art Center College of Design, where I teach just above the...
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George Clooney in The Decendants.jpg
My wife and I saw Martha Marcy May Marlene two weeks ago, and I’m still trying to process this debut film from Sean Durkin. It mirrors what I heard someone say when we came out of the film 21 Grams a few years ago: “I’m glad I saw it—and I hope to never see it again.” Yet as I’ve thought about the...
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