Tasha Cotter, from BookFish Books. A real page turning romance novel, the reader can't help but fall for Sophie and her quick wit. I especially commend her for leaving a lackadaisical relationship (too many of us go-getters get stuck in those) to focus on her career, though she does get sucked into a new romance soon after. But what girl can avoid a movie stars hunky looks and charms. Ahhh western world problems. It's a great read that I'd recommend to anyone looking for a quick escape. I almost got so caught up in the romance I thought it might be Valentine's, but alas I was just engorging in left over Easter chocolates (sigh).
I asked Tasha to share with us some of her tips on writing and she gave us a great article for those interested in mastering the art of words:
Subscribe to the Journals and Magazines You Admire
Perhaps one of the best things you can do for your writing life (and writing career) is read what’s currently being published. Even after graduating with an MFA I couldn’t help but feel like I’d only scratched the surface in the amount of reading I really wanted (and needed) to do. But browsing the New York Times bestsellers at your local bookstore will only take you so far. That’s where literary journals come in.
If you’re interested in publishing literary fiction, nonfiction, or poetry, what better way to learn about publishing rather than visiting your nearest bookstore and taking a look at their row of literary magazines? Do some reading and see what appeals to you. Journals tend to have different aesthetics, so what appeals to an editor for one journal may not be a good fit with another. Get in the habit of immersing yourself in the literary culture. That being said, subscribing to literary journals and magazines you admire can teach you what kinds of stories and poems are being written. Oftentimes, it’s reading some new, interesting short story or essay that unlocks a door in my own creative work and energizes a plot.
Though this advice may seem especially geared to writers of fiction and nonfiction, I think it’s useful to poets as well. As writers we have to be open to influence. We have to always be taking note of ideas and new ways of seeing the world around us, so it’s important to not be too narrow in our interests. As writers we are always on the lookout for writing that causes us to have that moment of recognition, or epiphany. You know that feeling—it’s intimately tied to what drove you toward becoming a writer all along, I bet. In my own experience, it’s been those odd hours spent in the library stacks, browsing books that I stumbled upon that have stayed with me the most. I sought out what I was interested in (Marguerite Duras, Sylvia Plath, Ezra Pound, F. Scott Fitzgerald), but I always ended up side-tracked by some entirely different subject that managed to completely captivate me (Astrophotography, Charlotte Salomon’s art, Dadaism, Marcel Duchamp, Robert Doisneau’s photography). All I’m saying is, be open to new work and how it can inform and transform what you were after all along.
I read literary journals and magazines to be inspired and to learn more about the literary landscape in general. I like to see what’s being done. More than anything else, I read for the same reasons I was always drawn to writing and reading: I love being surprised and that old feeling of recognizing some part of me in something else. That’s what truly great art is, I think, a way of making something universal shiny and new again. Literary journals tend to publish emerging artists, but they also sometimes publish writers who have become household names. Reading these journals and subscribing to them is a way to support the literary community and find your own literary tribe. Trust me – it’s out there.
Tasha Cotter was gracious enough to give us a sneak peek excerpt to share with you lovely readers:
Red Carpet Day Job
BookFish Books LLC.
We sat in comfortable silence, lost in our own thoughts. The splash of the water in the fountain echoed off of the buildings around us. The steady hum of traffic and the occasional toot of a horn in the distance added its own music to the night. It was beautiful. Tiny fairy lights that had been strung on the trees sparkled against the skyscraper backdrop.
Nick looked so sexy, so at ease, sitting beside me. I fished out my phone and snapped a picture of him. He arched a brow.
“I just wanted something to remember this moment by,” I shrugged.
“How about a better picture then?”
I thumbed open the photo gallery, and clicked on the picture I’d just taken. “Nope. This one’s perfect.” And it was. He looked relaxed, comfortable. Not posed or stiff as he often looked in movie posters.
“Well, I think I should have one of you too, then. Smile, Sophie.”
I faced him, a genuine smile curving my lips. It had been so long since I’d felt this happy—too long. And it had also been too long since I’d visited this place. It used to be my favorite place in the city. When had I stopped coming?
“Penny for your thoughts.”
“I was just thinking how much I love it here.”
He tucked a strand of hair behind my ear, his fingers lingering on my pulse point. “I usually don’t, but tonight I do. Must be the company I’m keeping.” He picked up my hand and squeezed gently. “Tell me something more.”
“I used to dream of living here in the Big Apple, doing my dream job―a talent agent to the stars.” I leaned my head on his shoulder. “I pictured what it would be like.”
“And what did you see?” He pressed a kiss to my temple.
“It looked a lot like this, right now. Sitting under the stars, happy at the end of the day.” I peeked up at him. “I’ll never think of Union Square the same again. It’ll always be special, because of you.”
He pointed at the fountain. “You know, a very famous couple once jumped in there?”
Nick got up and walked toward the fountain. “Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald. They were the stars of their day, you know. The King and Queen of New York. They did it just for the hell of it. Isn’t that incredible?”
“It is. But I don’t believe you.” I lingered on the bench for a moment, enjoying the night, and then followed him to the edge of the fountain.
Nick crossed his heart. “It’s the truth. I swear.”
“I don’t know. It sounds like you’re making it up.”
“Maybe I should push you in. Create our own moment so some future couple can argue about it. It could be like that scene from The Princess Diaries 2.”
“Maybe you should. But, if I were reenacting that scene, I’d do it a bit differently.”
“Oh, yeah? What would you do?”
I grinned and set my hands on his shoulders. “This.”
I shoved him backward, and he bumped into the low edge of the fountain. He reached for me, but I danced away. He lost his balance and fell into the fountain with a loud splash.
He stood, water streaming over him. His almost-transparent shirt revealed a six-pack that most guys would kill for. Heat rushed over my skin, burning away the chill of the night air.
“You do realize you’re going to pay for that, right?”
“Yeah. I certainly hope I do.”
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www.tashacotter.com or on twitter @TashCotter.
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