The Writing Adventures of The Undead Duo–Julie Hutchings and Kristen Strassel

Archive for the tag “Julie Hutchings”

Some Bargains To Help You Fill Your New Kindle

Today’s Brew: I learned today that Cinnabon’s cinnamon bun K cups are exceptionally delicious.

by Kristen

Yay! Santa brought you a new ereader!  Let’s fill that bitch up!  I know a lot of people are running sales this week, so I wanted to bring your attention to some great reads. This is a great chance to catch up on your reading and try out some new to you authors.

If you find something you love, tell a friend. Hell, tell all your friends. (Do you know how many people I’ve convinced to read Poison Princess by Kresley Cole?  I’ve sold it to random shoppers in Barnes and Noble. I don’t work there. Read it. No one is sorry yet. #teamjackson, yo.)  And nothing says love like leaving a review. I know it can seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be a magazine quality piece. Just a sentence or two on what you think is fine.

Prices are accurate as of posting the evening of 12.25.14, even if they’ve gone up by the time you have a chance to read this, check these books out:

Julie’s Shinigami books are both on sale for 99 cents:

Running Home
Running Away

A little me time. The Night Songs Collection 1-3 Box Set will be 3.99 through December 31, 2014.  Not ready to take a bite (see what I did there?) out of three books? Start slow, they’ll be around forever. (I’m hysterical tonight).  Because the Night is 99 cents.

Kat Daemon’s Taming Darkness is 99 cents.

Kaira Rouda’s In the Mirror is 99 cents, and A Mother’s Day is FREE!

All of S.P. Cervantes’ books are 99 cents right now, including the just released His Jar of Hearts.

The Request by Marquita Valentine is FREE!

Karen Erickson’s Wicked Weekend is FREE! Vegas in the house!

Enjoy these books!

How Wearing a Tutu Was a Business Decision by Julie

TODAY’S BREW: Chestnut Praline Latte. (It has replaced the Peppermint Mocha for me. Also, I’m just drinking my crappy home coffee.)

By Julie 

The Undead Duo had our first book signing TOGETHER this weekend at Penny Watson’s Holiday Book Bash. It was also a Christmas party, so there were gorgeous alcoholic drinks AND NO I WAS NOT THE FIRST ONE TO BUY ONE but maybe the second.

But this was a business event. Forty authors, lots of publicity around Boston for it.

And I, Julie Hutchings, knew ahead of time I would be out of my element. Here’s why:

  • I knew two people there. Everyone else knew each other.
  • It was a romance writers’ party. I don’t typically read romance, I don’t write it, and forgive me for saying so, but I don’t come across as one either.
  • Everyone there would have a half dozen books published and know self publishing from the inside out. I have two out, the rest working their way through traditional publishing and small press.

Kristen has told me some of what to expect at a Romance Writers of America function, and I knew it wasn’t necessarily my crowd. But that has never stopped me. In a crowd that size with names more known than mine, a person could easily fade into the background.

Operation: Stand Out Like A Sore Thumb

Trying to fit in doesn’t work for me. Never has and I don’t want it to be something I ever do. Being as ME as possible is what works for me.

How to Be Julie For Business:

  • I bought a goddamn tutu for this event. Go big or go home. THIS IS IT (lovely lady pictured not me):

my tutu

It was my intention to walk in there and have all eyes on me. No shyness allowed.

  • We took the first table, right next to the food, across from the bar.
  • When Penny’s microphone died, I stepped up in front of the room full of strangers and said in my voice which is WOW, “PENNY IS DOING A GIVEAWAY NOW.” Then I announced the names for the giveaway with her.
  • I showed up with party favors. If my book wasn’t the thing sought after that day, I was going to make them remember it. So I thought of the thing that makes my book stand out to EVERYONE which is the strong scent theme. (The Shinigami vampire scent is tailored to appeal to specific people.) I made tiny stockings with a malted milkball and French Vanilla marshmallow “shooter,” a candy cane Hershey kiss, a Christmas cookie tea light with a sticker on the bottom that has a quote from Running Away on it, and a peppermint tea bag with a bookmark and all my links attached. “This tastes and smells like Running Home reads,” I said and handed them out to everybody. I didn’t wait for people to come to me, I went to them.
  • I STOOD UP. I didn’t sit behind our table full of books and stuff. I stood up and spoke to people. I did it first. I said, “Hi, I’m Julie,” and shook hands with a big smile on my face. (Sidenote: The next sentence out of everyone’s mouths was “Your tutu is amazing” or something close to. Easy conversation starter.)
  • When talking about going through a small press, I was loud and proud about having been the only woman published through Books of the Dead Press that summer, and still only in the company of a handful. It makes me different, special, and I’m proud of it. (There’s no such thing as a man’s world, baby.)

You know what? My plan worked. I sold books, gained some new followers, made friends, learned a bunch. I owned the crowd the only way I know how.

Writing a book is hard, publishing a book is harder, selling it is hardest. So sell what makes it unlike anything else out there: YOU. This works in all walks of life. Find the thing that makes you like nobody else in the world, and the thing that makes your product that way, and make the world know it. Be proud. Be you.

Come See Us At The Book Bash!

Today’s brew: There’s some sort of Christmas Cookie martini thing that’s going to be at the book bash tomorrow. If you come, you can have one too.

Tomorrow is Julie and I’s very first book signing together!  Come see us and 40 other authors in Needham, MA.  Admission is free. There’s a cash bar, so you know that’s going to make everything one hundred percent more entertaining.  I made my infamous drunken peppermint brownies.  There will be a raffle for some awesome prizes, and oh yeah, books for sale!

If you’re not sure it’s us, I’ll be the one with the ombre hair that fades to bright pink. Julie will be in the tutu. So basically, everything you ever expected.

I hope to see you there!

Penny Watson's HOLIDAY BASH new ad

Getting in Your Face About the Holidays by Julie

TODAY’S BREW: Breakfast Blend. It’s December!

By Julie

Thanksgiving was great. Busy as hell and totally not busy at the same time. Never made it to the freezing cold parade, which is a big deal here in America’s Hometown, but me and the boys went to the Lego store to celebrate Ben getting an Academic Excellence award and Sam just being awesome. Had gourmet grilled cheese, listened to Christmas songs and were generally goofy together. And having everyone together for Turkey Day was lovely. We truly were all able to forget all of our troubles just be happy together with Gramma and Grandpa. It was fantastic to hang out the entire day at home on Black Friday and even have Tim home until noon. That has NEVER happened. Then the kids and I blew off the rest of the weekend at book stores, toy stores, the park, an awesome off-season drive down to Cape Cod and watching movies. Perfect.


First off, if you’re one of those ball-busting I can’t wait until it’s all over folks, good for you. Don’t ruin it for everyone else. Take a kid’s name off the tree at the mall, buy the kid a coat and a toy and shhhhhhut up. Nobody WANTS to be miserable…. make an effort not to be. This isn’t me being preachy, this is me demanding a good time.

My demands of having a good time get me in trouble. For instance, we are poor. Still buying Christmas presents though. Still adopting a kid or two for charity. Still bring the kids out because it makes them happy. Still got a tutu for Penny Watson’s Holiday Book Bash this weekend in Needham, MA. Because screw it. This was the hardest year of my life, and that’s saying something. I don’t generally say I had a bad DAY even, let alone a bad year, but hay-zoos, I’m not in denial. Regardless, bad circumstances won’t determine my future, and they sure as hell won’t determine my present. I live like I’m on a constant sitcom that may turn into a tragedy at any second. But it’s never dull and I’ve accomplished something by living through it some days. And at the end of that day I still am surrounded by lots of love.

When you’re aggravated about shopping, snow, your bank account and all the things you don’t have, remember the things you do have and the things you could make happen. Remember what Christmas means to YOU. If it means nothing, change it. Make everything mean something. What else are you doing here?

(I don’t mean you, Greg. What are you doing here?)

In the meantime, come drink with Kristen and I and 40 other authors this Saturday if you’re in town.

What I’d Rather Hear Than I’m Beautiful: A Rant by Julie

TODAY’S BREW: Butter Rum and then Pumpkin Spice and then back to Butter Rum

By Julie

I’ve got a bone to pick. There has been a lot of discussion in social media on feminist issues recently, more so than usual I feel, and I think that’s great. THAT’S GREAT. To be clear, either you’re a feminist or you’re not. Either you demand equality or you don’t, male or female. I’m a feminist. I’d like to think you guys are too.

The #YesAllWomen hashtag became a movement that brought to light and proved that every woman you know has endured some kind of inequality, from everyday irritations to tragedies. Every woman. (One I thought was amazing was this one: because I was taught to scream “fire” instead of “rape” because it increases the chances of someone coming to help.

On a more positive note, I’m bursting with joy that Keira Knightly posed topless. (see the article here. WARNING, PEOPLE WITH BREASTS ARE TOPLESS. Keira Knightley Goes Topless For Interview Magazine (NSFW) )  And yes, read the comments. I love the message that just because she’s seen as beautiful doesn’t mean that she doesn’t feel inadequate when it comes to photoshopping. Bodies aren’t to be judged by what the ideal of perfection is, no matter your personal preference, and to me that means men and women alike. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…. I feel judged by women based on my body far more than I do by men, and bodyshaming is an issue we all have a hand in.

But Julie, I thought you were going to confess your unpopular opinion!!

On the other hand, I have to say I got pretty pissed at the appearance of this hashtag, and subsequent overuse of the hashtag the other day: #WhatIdRatherHearThanImBeautiful. Some of them were funny. Hell, most of them were funny. Like”Would you like free donuts with that?” Funny. Some were touching. One woman said a man once told her she was the most resilient person he’d ever met. But in general I was pissed. Here’s why:

A) Just because a woman has a million wonderful attributes, does not mean she can’t be beautiful TOO.

B) I don’t care who you are. You make an effort to be physically attractive by your own standard. If someone tells you that they see it, too, it feels good. Deny it.

C)A person’s physical beauty is only enhanced by their other attributes. See also: every “regular” woman that has ever been fawned over in the company of a “more beautiful” woman.

D) Most of the time if you’re told you’re beautiful it’s because you’re approachable enough to be told so. THIS IS GOOD.

E) Being told you’re beautiful is not on par with receiving 100 catcalls in a 10 hour period.

F) Suggesting that man shouldn’t feel comfortable to tell a woman she’s beautiful takes feminism and twists it into exactly the thing that feminists don’t want: to be viewed as complaining for the sake of complaining and to be seen as a certain type of feminist often referred to as “the ballbuster.”

G) If you mean to tell me you’ve ever been insulted for being told you’re beautiful, I want to hear this story.

H) Yes, you have other qualities. Let one of them be knowing how to take a compliment.

I) A man approaches you say, at a bar. If that man tells you he approached you because he can tell what a caring person you are, HE IS PROABABLY LYING. I get it, you don’t want to be approached just because you’re at a bar. I’m here to say LIGHTEN UP. If you’re not interested, say thank you and smile, and walk away. OR TAKE IT IN STRIDE AND BE UP FRONT WITH HIM NICELY. If there’s more to you than your beauty and that’s the point you’re trying to prove, then show it goddammit.

Or maybe talk to the guy. YEAH, YOU CAN ALSO JUST TALK TO THE GUY. What you look like doesn’t have to be all that he sees.

J) If you have to tell a person what to say and not to say when approaching you or speaking to you in any sort of situation, then maybe you are the one who needs to dig a little deeper. If you’re so sick of being told you’re pretty that you start to wonder if there’s any more to you than that, perhaps it’s not being told so that is your trouble.

K) How many times have you as a woman, started a conversation with something like, “I like your shirt/hair/shoes.” Did the woman say, “THERE’S MORE TO ME THAN MY SHIRT/HAIR/SHOES!” No. Probably not. Same thing.

L) In a relationship of any kind, all a person can say about you is that you’re beautiful? Yeah, that spells trouble in that relationship. But I’m willing to be that if the person didn’t know there was more to you than outer beauty, you would have had the hutzpah to leave the relationship.

M) Feminism has bigger things to deal with. Take a compliment ladies, and show where your real beauty lies.

Here endeth my rant for now. FOR NOW. Feel free to add/yell at me/hate me forever. AND REMEMBER. BEING TOLD YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL IS ROMANTIC. IT IS NOT MEANT TO DIMINISH YOU.

Julesenstein’s Monsters: Breathing Life Back Into My Monstrosities

TODAY’S BREW: All of It.

By Julie

I did a thing I haven’t done in a long, long time. I read a chapter of THE HARPY. Forget what that book was? I nearly did, too. It’s been on submission with publishers through my agent, Eric Ruben, Esq. for a long time. I’m fine with the length of the submission process for a few reasons: I know that the world of traditional publishing is going through a lot of transition and isn’t the most stable we’ve ever seen. I know that Eric is doing as much as he can to get the book into reader hands. And my writing career isn’t stagnant because I continuously write books, all the time, while I wait.

But in my persistence to move forward and my constant reminder to myself that writers write, and to go to work every day like a good writer should, I’ve forgotten how much I loved that book. THE HARPY makes me happy. (If you want to read an excerpt of THE HARPY, you can go HERE ) I even searched #TheHarpy on Twitter to read some of my tweets from writing that book and I was grinning ear to ear.

Related, I’ve been totally overwhelmed with book stuff. RUNNING AWAY was released, a year in the waiting, and I barely stopped to breathe….. or promote it before jumping into writing a new book. I have another book just sitting around, too.

I need to slow down. Shit.

One of the reasons I don’t do NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is because I cannot conceive of writing an entire book in one month and making it worth anything or enjoying a second of it. Yet, I’ve kept up a different kind of breakneck pace to try and cover every base possible in the writing world over the short time I’ve been a published author. (This of course doesn’t include working as an editor in the meantime, being a full time mom and trying to hold my head up straight.)

Writing is my job, but it needs to be savored once in a while. I feel disconnected from a couple of my books because I have put too much distance between us. We are estranged. And in effort to not put all my eggs in one basket, I’ve filled about FORTY BILLION BASKETS, and cannot keep up. Constantly writing and not stopping long enough to give justice to the books I have out is giving me a feeling of self-defeat that I just plain should not have.

So what am I doing about it? Scheduling time for promotion of RUNNING AWAY. Revisiting my intentions for THE HARPY and THE ANIMAL. Making sure I didn’t write them off too quickly in my effort to keep moving forward. And writing my new book at a pace that is fair to me.

I work my ass off to make sure every one of my books is something to be proud of. I deserve to see their titles up in lights, to celebrate them and give them their day in the sun. Because as rewarding as it is to finish a novel, it should be more rewarding to see it come to life.

Time to give my Frankenstein’s monsters a little mouth to mouth.

The Undead Duo Do Smart Things Sometimes

TODAY’S BREW: Tim got this Godiva pumpkin coffee and it’s almost gone and I might eat the bag.

By Julie

Holy hell, it’s Monday. Hey you guys know what’s available now?

Running Away Final Cover


That thing came OUT. Oh, you’d like to read it, you say? HERE, PLEASE DO. Amazon:


I couldn’t be more excited at how well it’s been received, but I’m even more excited about how soooooo many people I respect and love came rushing to my aid to spread the word. (My Million Page Thank You Post will be coming soon when I can do it without crying.) This release was so much different from releasing RUNNING HOME, and I can barely type this without crying SO NOT RIGHT NOW. HERE IS A FUNNY THING SO I WON’T GET TOO EMOTIONAL.

Finally. Someone writes my biography.

Another important piece of literature, my biography.

I’ve had one of those dreamlike weeks that make me so stupidly happy I’m intolerable at best. The most recent of my HOLY JESUS, THIS HAPPENED moments was that I, Julie Hutchings, the person who sat on the edge of a bouncy house bumper last month, sunk to the floor on it and rolled onto the ground, me, I was on Chuck Wendig’s blog. If you don’t follow me on Twitter, you may not know that I command an army of raccoons in Chuck’s driveway and live in his trash cans. He’s my HERO. And he, (quote, unquote) “hands me the keys to Terrible Minds” this one day. If you want to know how surreal that is, go look. Go ahead:

I feel like I’ll be riding the high of putting out a second book for a while, but that’s not what I want to yap about right now.

I want to yap about this gal:



This broad is publishing, by herself, her first contemporary romance, vampire-free. Not that she had a problem or anyth– well, it was a manageable situation with vampires, but there were a LOT of vampire books. So this is a huge change for the other half of the Undead Duo. The book is about people, and it’s close to home in a lot of ways, and it is very close to her heart. I’m wildly proud of her for putting books out period, let alone THIS book, and at a time when she’s working so hard at her other job that she can barely see to feed her bird. Not to mention that both of our lives have been so FULL lately that we scarcely see one another, and to not have that physical, in person support from the other makes publishing a difficult thing. I’m not even doing it alone and it’s hard for me. I don’t know how she does it.

Sometimes we text each other this when asked “whatcha doin’?”

Questioning all my life choices. You?

This is not one of those times. There’s no doubt in my mind that this book is going to be the one that turns a whole different set of heads. God, that sounded weird.

SECOND HAND HEART is going to be a stunner. It’s bringing something totally different to the world of New Adult, and I expect no less from Kristen. She never gives you something you’ve seen before. And I’m overjoyed to be a part of her blazing trails again.

I love you, heterosexual life partner. We did this thing, and we’re doing it still.



By Julie

Soooooo, you may or may not be able to get a couple of killer stories from Ye Olde Undead Duo for free in the coolest anthology ever soon. AND MBY MAY OR MAY NOT I MEAN MAY. YOU MAY. Not to mention some of the most amazing short horror pieces I’ve ever read from many of our friends. I CANNOT WAIT FOR YOU TO GET IT.



October approaches. Autumn leaves are nearly falling. The Dark Carnival is calling, calling. Will you answer its call? Will you heed the beckon?

 The doors are opening.

 Will you leave with your life?

In this anthology, several authors and illustrators explore the dark and hidden dangers that lie within a carnival that has come to town. But it is no ordinary carnival. It’s The Dark Carnival.

And when The Dark Carnival comes to town, there’s no promise that anyone can leave…alive.

Edited by: Jolene Haley, Kristen Jett, and Jessi Shakarian


Contributors include: Kat Daemon, Kristen Strassel, Julie Hutchings, C. Elizabeth Vescio, Mark Matthews, Brian W. Taylor, Kim Culpepper, Eli Constant, Mari Wells, J. Elizabeth Hill, Nicole R. Taylor, Ashly Nagrant, Kristin Hanson, Calyn Morgan, Tawney Bland, Roselle Kaes, Ken Mooney, Emily McKeon, Bobby Salomons, Ezekiel Conrad, Sheila Hall, Michelle Davis, Lucas Hargis, Vanessa Henderson, Ryan Bartlett, Debra Kristi, Jessi Esparza, T.A. Brock, Ruth Shedwick, Brian LeTendre, Amy Trueblood, Gregory Carrico, Jamie Corrigan, Kate Michael, Tyle Anne Snell, Alicia Audrey, Meghan Schuler, Jamie Adams, Wulf Francu Godgluck, J.C. Michael, Suzy G., Kristin Rivers, and Claire C. Riley. *Final lineup subject to change


Add it to Goodreads here:

Getting Sappy About Sequels With Julie

TODAY’S BREW: The bottom of the barrel. Seriously, it’s the bottom of all the coffees, mixed together.

By Julie

Weeeelllll, maybe I personally haven’t done so well in the Back To School Book Beatdown. HEY, THIS WAS AN EXPERIMENT, AND I HAVE A LOT GOING ON AND BESIDES I HAVE A BOOK COMING OUT FRIDAY WHAT THE HELL DO YOU WANT FROM ME.

YES, RUNNING AWAY is finally coming out THIS VERY FRIDAY. But I already wrote that book. AND I MUST NEVER STOP.

I should be disappointed with myself that THE WIND BETWEEN WORLDS is suffering this month, but I’m not. I haven’t wasted a minute. And I deserve a little time to be excited about the sequel to my first book and prepare for that.

I’ve been doing some interviews and guest posts to get ready for the release of RUNNING AWAY this Friday, and it makes me FEEL things.

When I wrote RUNNING HOME, all five of those years, it was miraculous to see it evolve and be published. I’ve written since I was a kid. I went to college for it. It went from a hobby to a THING. And I made it that way. I wrote after working all day and taking care of my babies, and I finished it, FREEHAND. Didn’t even own a laptop. UPHILL. BOTH WAYS.

I went from sneaking around the stock room, telling my co-workers shyly about my book to shouting about it from the rooftops on this blog, at conventions, to agents, to publishers. I beat the world to death around me with it until I made it come out. I told the story of a woman who knew she was meant for something more, and how difficult finding out what that is can be.

And that character, and that book, changed my entire life.

The sequel somehow means as much if not more to me. Because I didn’t just do it, I kept doing it. I did the thing I wanted to do, and I was RIGHT goddammit. This is what I’m supposed to be doing. Taking the risk wasn’t just worth it, it was everything. This means everything.

Writing at home with my kids by my side, this is all I’ve ever wanted. I couldn’t ask for more than this. And yet, it keeps getting better. I have a fantastic agent, and that feeling of HE PICKED ME! never goes away. I have more books in the works than I can fit in my head. I have incredible friends in this business that give me the most selfless support I’ve ever had in my life. So yeah, I live the dream a little bit. I made the dream.

I know my kids will see that I worked for my dream. I started with nothing, I created it over and over and over, and I built on it and tore it down, and pushed it out the door then pulled it back in and never let myself stop. Some things are worth working tirelessly on. I will forever write the books that I need to write, and trust that the need will come across on the page. I want them to live lives with that much need. Hunger. Passion and energy.

So, yeah, maybe I didn’t get a lot written on the newest book this month as I wanted. I was being mommy A LOT, and that’s where my material comes from. And a couple of weeks over the course of my lifetime isn’t going to break the streak. The streak goes on.


ADD RUNNING AWAY on Goodreads!

Book Beatdown: Being Brave in the Battle of the Book

TODAY’S BREW: PUMPKIN SPICE. Oh, it’s happening.

By Julie

The Back to School Book Beatdown has really heated up. We have more writers committed to this than I EVER thought we would!

Side note: Prepare, beta readers ad crit partners. October will be busy for you.

I’m so proud of all of you. I know how hard it is to get the kids to school, sit your butt down and make yourself THINK and FEEL and WORK when you might be able to watch a movie and fall asleep 6 or 7 times through it. Putting the pedal to the metal on your book is goddamn hard. Even when you’re in a flow and totally into it, you’re always questioning yourself, always feeling like you have no business writing. Plugging forward through that feeling is one of the bravest things I think a person can do. I absolutely mean that. To push yourself forward when you have no idea if you’ll finish, if anyone will care, if it will make sense or if you’ll fail your own standards can be soul crushing. And yet writers not only do it every day, they FIGHT to do it every day.

Bravery come in many forms but this one can grab your heart and make you think things of yourself you wished you never did. And then you push to find out just a little more. It’s knowing there will be pain involved, and that you absolutely will not be well received by many, but saying, “I’m doing this thing no matter what.” Goddamn, that is the kind of bravery I want my kids to have.

My buddy Matt White, who will hate me for putting him on the spot this way, I know feels inadequate about his writing. And this week he tweeted out that he read some of his own work and thought to himself that yeah, he’s on to something here, that he can write some damn good stuff. I already knew this because I know Matt, but what I think doesn’t matter when he sits down, feeling crappy and plow through his words to come out on the other side. I’m wildly proud of Matt for this.

Felicia Anderson is a writer who I begged to let me edit for her because her work is that frigging amazing. (she’s @Fifi_the_Ninja on twitter.) This girl browbeat the crap out of her work in progress this week, giving me writing days of over 3000 words sometimes. I MEAN, HOLY CRAP.

Peter Damien, Book Riot contributor and ginger, made some killer progress on the most intriguing haunted house idea I’ve heard since House on Haunted Hill, AND he found an actual haunted mansion he can visit all the time that will fuel his words and keep him focused. So exciting.

There were a lot of writers that reached out to me to tell me how well their work was going. There were some that didn’t quite make it, too. Who ducked when I showed up on Twitter looking for them. You know who you are. Looking at you, Adam Dean. I say your name not to shame you, but because even though you didn’t get done what you wished to do, you still reported in to me. That shows commitment. This isn’t a race–it’s creation. It cannot be timed.

I’m holding myself accountable, too. And I’m not where I want to be on THE WIND BETWEEN WORLDS. I had something else to attend to: approving the final edits on RUNNING AWAY, which has been done completely inches from publication. And I have a cover. A COVER. But I’ve been reading THE WIND BETWEEN WORLDS, and I’m so happy to have taken the time from it that I did. I’m eager to dive back in. I love it and I’m not afraid to say so. Having the encouragement from my early readers on it, particularly Jolene Haley of Pen and Muse, has kept me rigid in what I demand from this book. I want something utterly different, but familiar feeling, and I wont settle for les than glee when I finish it. It’s also wonderful to have my ever-supportive agent and personal Esquire, Eric Ruben telling me that there’s no pressure and to take care of myself first. He remind me that taking care of myself means finishing this book.

So while some are pushing limits every day word-wise, others are pushing by not letting themselves off the hook and not doing what’s easy. What’s easy is to just not do it. Don’t do things the easy way. Sneak up on your book when it thinks it can get away. Never let it get away.

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