In an interview, Monica Ali (author of Brick Lane) says she started writing short stories with encouragement from online critique groups:
“I started off writing short stories. When I’d had my first child I’d go onto the Internet, usually after he’d woken me up in the night . . . there’s these on-line writing groups. There’s loads of on-line writing groups. It’s a whole other world out there . . . You get instant feedback on your stories and they’re quite helpful to get into the disciplined habit of writing on a regular basis and to feel some connection with other people out there doing the same thing,” she says.
Now, she says, her success has given her time to work on her next novel.
The French reportedly are “flooding the market with all the books they think anyone might be interested in — the rentrÃ©e littÃ©raire (which is followed by the prize-giving season, which culminates with the Prix Goncourt). 691 titles this year (i.e. this week), all competing for attention.”
Publishers Lunch today included this article about Please Don’t Kill the Freshman, forthcoming from HarperCollins on September 30. The author is a 17-year-old girl using the pen name Zoe Trope:
Zoe has spent her summer doing normal teenage things: cruising around in her car with friends, taking vacations with her family and killing time. But instead of heading off to school this fall, she will embark on a book tour and begin to find out whether critics and readers agree with her HarperCollins editors that her book is the real deal. Best-selling author Dave Eggers thinks so and will write a blurb for the book’s jacket.
“So many people are going to use the word ‘angst’ to describe it, and it makes me want to rip my eyeballs out,” says Zoe, anticipating the book reviews. “I mean, while it would be ridiculous to take a 15-year-old seriously all the time, it was very serious to me at that time.”