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Louise Marley's Blog

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Mar.24.2014
Twenty Feet from Stardom
            “There’s never a level playing field,” says Sting, in the brilliant documentary Twenty Feet from Stardom.  You can skip this little essay and go straight to your television to watch that film if you like. It speaks for itself....
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Sep.06.2013
One of the best compliments I've ever received from a reader was from someone who said, "I couldn't wait to go to bed so I could get back to your book.  You know how that is?"  I do, I do! One of my greatest pleasures, since I was a very young girl, has always been a book I look forward...
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Aug.29.2013
  Recently, a terrible crime was committed in Spokane, Washington, and the remarks of the police chief afterward occasioned discussion about whether crime is worse now than ever before.  He spoke of a lost generation, and of a loss of stability and discipline. Those of us who read...
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Aug.11.2013
Buying books is easier than ever in this age of e-books.  The Kindle, the Nook, the iPad, and the other devices make it simple to order, download, and consume books without ever setting foot in a bricks-and-mortar store.  Indeed, it can be hard to find that bricks-and-mortar store when...
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Jul.29.2013
The business of publishing is, in many respects, not a business in the classical sense.  It's a business only in the way that show business is a business--in other words, trying to predict and manage its profitability is a capricious and unreliable undertaking (or business!)  Breakout...
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Jun.21.2013
Here are two reviews of the same novel: The story is unbelievable and the characters seem to make a long series of foolish decisions.  The details of the setting are somewhat interesting, but there are way too many of them.  I wish the author had spent more time on plot and less on...
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Jun.19.2013
My hardworking husband can only laugh at the reactions he gets from people who learn his wife is a published novelist.  The comments vary, but the gist is predictable:  Wow, you must be rich! In writing, as in every field of endeavor, some people do actually get rich.  Sometimes they...
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May.03.2013
There is a time-honored tradition of writers using pseudonyms, and the reasons are as varied as the names themselves.  The great science fiction writer James Tiptree, Jr. was a woman, but that was a deep secret for many years.  The romance writer Jayne Ann Krentz has used, in her career,...
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Feb.05.2013
I've just finished the fourth book by the fabulous Irish writer Tana French.  This woman is good, really good, which is why I've been devouring each of her novels as it appears.  I did reflect, however, as I reluctantly closed the cover on the most recent one, that there is a limit to how...
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Jan.27.2013
I love writers retreats.  My favorite is a semi-secret (because it's always full) retreat set in the magnificent rainforest of the Olympic Peninsula, in rustic cabins nestled on the shore of Lake Quinault.  It's a veritable orgy of writing, talk about writing, study about writing, even (...
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Jan.04.2013
An editor I admire once said that readers, in general, will always prefer strong storytelling to beautiful prose.  The "in general" qualification is, of course, a big one for those of us who deal in words for a living.  Prizewinning novels, highly acclaimed ones, often feature elegant,...
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Jan.01.2013
As a novelist, my job is to create something out of nothing.  Every writer is asked where ideas come from, and often we don't have an answer.  They pop up out of the maelstrom of curiosity, wonder, experience and innocence that make up the subconscious mind.  They seem marvelous,...
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Nov.06.2012
From Redmond Patc Everyone knows what they're going to get if they pick up the latest Grisham, Nora Roberts, or (my all-time favorite) Sue Grafton.  If you have someone on your list who's into surprises, here are some of my favorite recent reads which are a little different, but a lot...
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Oct.02.2012
This is the text of a guest blog I did on the fantasist and teacher Alyx Dellamonica's blog, "Off My Lawn".  You should check out her web site and blog!  It's terrific.   Beginning writers are told to “Write what you know.” Mark Twain said it. My first writing instructor said it...
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Sep.07.2012
The book is done.  The revisions are done--at least for now.  Input has been received and considered and in many cases, implemented.  The complicated, intense, playful, demanding creative process of creating a novel is at an end.  It's out of my hands, and off to those of my...
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