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Retirement

I was talking to a friend recently who referred to me as being retired. I’m not. I did, however, quit the day job to run my own creative business. Between the business and single-handedly raising my kids I work 18 hours a day, 7 days a week. I am most definitely not retired.

I asked what he thought my life as an author is like. No surprise, he’s bought into the fantasy that writers roam around carefree waiting to take dictation from The Muse. Thank you, Lord Byron.

The other stereotype is that novelists are tortured souls who suffer for their art; whose divine gift is so great that it can only be managed with copious amounts of drugs and alcohol. Thank you, Hemingway.

With notions such as these floating around, is it any wonder first-time authors hit the wall? Yes, being a writer is a cool job (a super cool job!), but it’s still a job. How do we break this to new-comers without killing their dreams of writing a novel?


Join me and Rebecca Monterusso for a free (and fun!) 30-day writing challenge in October. For more details, sign up here.

Valerie Francis

The Mystery of Mrs. Christie

Well, you’re not going to believe this. Reece Witherspoon and I picked the same book for our February book clubs. Sort of.  Late last year, I came across THE MYSTERY OF MRS. CHRISTIE by Marie Benedict and was fascinated by the premise. Benedict writes historical fiction, much like Philippa Gregory,

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Valerie Francis

A Girl Named Howard

This month, rather than recommend one book to read, I’m recommending the entire body of work of one author because Anne Rice, who passed away December 11, 2021, single-handedly revolutionized the role of vampires in literature.  Yes, vampires.  And the impact she’s had is more significant than you might realize.

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Valerie Francis

The Christmas Bookshop

If you’ve had it up to your eyes with holiday preparations and are looking for a light-hearted story to escape into, The Christmas Bookshop, by Jenny Colgan, might be just the ticket. The title is a bit misleading, in my opinion. Yes, there’s a bookstore. Yes, the plot unfolds in

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