Using Fictional v. Real Places in a Novel


A long view of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, the setting for “In His Corner.”

In “The Great Gatsby,” F. Scott Fitzgerald introduced us to the fictional places East Egg and West Egg, which refer to Long Island, New York. In Anne Tyler’s “Accidental Tourist,” we are told straightaway that the setting is Baltimore, the author’s beloved hometown. Is it better to invent a location or use a real place in your novel? Read the full post »

Top 10 Underrated Novels You Should Read

ThePianoTuner-Cover-CindyFazziPicHave you ever read a great book, only to find out that none of your friends have heard of it? Oprah will probably never recommend the book and Ron Howard will certainly not turn it into a film. In other words, your great discovery is underrated. Read the full post »

For Author Christa Maurice, Romance and Rock ‘n’ Roll Go Together

ChristaMaurice-RRSoM-BK3-aGtbSimple-300x450If you once had a collection of Metallica albums or Kurt Cobain posters, then you’ll understand why romance author Christa Maurice writes about rock stars. She admits to being that rare first grader who knew about Black Sabbath and Blue Oyster Cult. Read the full post »

Paula Munier’s Advice: Don’t Say These Things When Querying a Literary Agent

BadQueryLetterLooking for a literary agent is like applying for a job, but a thousand times harder. The process of querying agents or pitching to them in conferences is full of pitfalls. So it’s great when an experienced literary agent like Paula Munier rounds up the common mistakes writers make and shares them on her blog. Read the full post »

Publishing Industry Forecast: Readers Will Continue to Prefer Print

Ovum predicts that in 2020, consumers will still prefer print, just like these readers who are browsing magazines in a public library.

In 2020, consumers will still prefer print, just like these readers who are browsing magazines in a public library.

Believe it or not, print books, newspapers, and magazines—not their digital versions— are expected to remain the choice of consumers worldwide in 2020, according to a recent industry forecast by Ovum, a global analyst firm. Read the full post »

“Under the Wide and Starry Sky”: No Sophomore Slump for Nancy Horan

NancyHoranBookCover-CindyFazzipicBook Review: “Under the Wide and Starry Sky” by Nancy Horan, published by Ballantine Books, 2014

Robert Louis Stevenson, author of “Treasure Island” and “Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” is the star of this historical novel. But it was his wife, Fanny Osbourne, and their adventurous life together that kept me reading until the last page. Read the full post »

“In His Corner” on Sale: Start September with a Hot Romance Read

sale_banner_pageThe dog days will soon be winding down, but it’s not too late to grab a hot summer read. My debut romance book, “In His Corner,” is on sale for a limited time. You can get an electronic copy today for only 99 cents. Read the full post »

How Eavesdropping Led to Audrey King’s Romance Book

LAIS_500x750_optWhether it’s in the supermarket or the airport or the dentist’s office, we all eavesdrop. But it’s likely to be a passing experience. Not so for independent writer Audrey King. A conversation she heard in a gift shop combined with the romantic atmosphere of the town where the shop was located inspired her latest romance book, “Love As It Seems.” Read the full post »

Two Small Presses Unagented Writers Should Know About

Manuscript&Flowers-CindyFazzipicIf you’re a writer who has finished a novel or a memoir, but hasn’t found a publisher or a literary agent, take note of these two small presses: Two Dollar Radio and Black Balloon Publishing. They might be the right fit for you. Read the full post »

Top 10 California Novels

Historic Folsom Mural2

This mural serves as a landmark in the historic district of Folsom, Calif. (Photo by Vincent Fazzi, Aug. 15, 2015)

Growing up in Manila, I always thought of California as John Steinbeck country.  I didn’t make a distinction between northern or southern California. I only thought of the California in “The Grapes of Wrath” and “Of Mice and Men.” Read the full post »


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