Thursday, March 31, 2011

On Sale

BENT ROAD-ON SALE. for a list of events.
And on another note...I am guest blogging today over at
Quest for Kindness.

This weekend's events

Saturday 4/2/11 Haslam's
3:00 Signing
2025 Central Avenue
St. Petersburg, Florida

Sunday 4/3/11 Barnes and Noble - Clearwater
2:00 Signing
23654 US 19 North
Clearwater, Florida

Thursday 4/7/11 Inkwood Books - Tampa
7:00 pm - Discussion and Signinng
216 S. Armenia Avenue
Tampa, Florida

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Timing is Everything

I happened to stop by Haslam's Bookstore to touch base before my signing on Saturday and this is what I found.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Blame Lori Roy - by Julianna Baggott

Here’s my take on one of the things that’s going on in contemporary publishing. A blur of genres. Literary novelists are storming the previously genre-fied outposts – some might call them ghettoized literary landscapes like noir, the gothic, mysteries, thrillers.

You want evidence? Look at Lori Roy’s reviews for BENT ROAD. “Like Michael Chabon’s work, which sometimes crosses genres, Roy’s novel could be called literary fiction or mystery.” Chabon’s another great example of the genre blur. (In fact, with Summerland, he joined a fine influx of company into the world of kid-lit – Isabel Allende, Walter Mosley, Anne Ursu… ) How else do we explain Justin Cronin’s masterful first installment of his vampire trilogy after two literary titles? How do we explain Jeff Vandermeer’s high-art sci-fi? How do we explain Roy’s debut?

I love this movement. It breaks down walls. It allows novelists from both sides of those walls more freedom. We’ve been categorized and, contrary by nature, we buck.

My new novel, THE PROVENCE CURE FOR THE BROKENHEARTED, under my pen name Bridget Asher, could surely be called chicklit, except it isn’t. It pushes too hard at the edges of that narrow container and breaks out of it – with tougher heartache, lyricism, and insight (at least that’s my great ambition for the novel). THE ANYBODIES (under my pen name N.E. Bode) could be seen as just for kids – except I wrote a lot of it with read-aloud adults in mind. THE PRINCE OF FENWAY PARK could be called whimsy, except it’s really about racism.

My upcoming trilogy PURE – is a post-apocalyptic, dystopic, thriller- romance-mystery with revisionist history and science that’s YA except it’s not because it’s being published by an adult house, and, to boot, I push the language. What the hell is it?

The answer I want to give is: Don’t ask. Just read.

Let the blur continue. Let writers like Roy break down those walls. Let’s keep the terrain of all-things-written wide, wide, wide open.


"Fans of Under the Tuscan Sun will adore this impossibly romantic read."
-- People magazine

"Readers who enjoy ... Lolly Winston's Good Grief and Jane Green's The Beach House or travel-induced transformation books like Frances Mayes's Under the Tuscan Sun and Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love will find common themes ... and become quickly invested in the lives of the deftly drawn characters."
-- Library Journal

"Unabashedly romantic ... a real charmer about a Provencal house that casts spells over the lovelorn."
-- Kirkus Reviews


Julianna Baggott is the author of seventeen books, most recently THE PROVENCE CURE FOR THE BROKENHEARTED under her pen name Bridget Asher, as well as THE PRETEND WIFE and MY HUSBAND’S SWEETHEARTS. She’s the bestselling author of GIRL TALK and, as N.E. Bode, THE ANYBODIES TRILOGY for younger readers. Her essays have appeared widely in such publications as The New York Times Modern Love column, Washington Post,, and Real Simple. You can visit her blog at and her website at

You may purchase a copy of THE PROVENCE CURE FOR THE BROKENHEARTED here

Monday, March 21, 2011

Conflict, Conflict, Conflict

I'm thinking a good bit about conflict today. This is one of those rare days when I find myself able to work uninterrupted until late in the afternoon. I've been determined to make great progress on all of the many things I must finish. I am a protagonist with a want...I want to get some work done. But, as in all great fiction, there is something getting in my way. Namely, the guys on the other side of the canal who are apparently cutting down a palm tree.

Now, it must be a very large palm tree, gigantic even, given the amount of time the chain saw has been running. I'll pause here to point out that the buzz of a chain saw apparently carries well across water because it sounds as if the saw is slicing through my kitchen pantry. All morning and well into the afternoon, two gentlemen have vacillated between running their saw and yelling at one another. I have closed every window, a terrible shame on such a lovely day, and turned on the drier. All of it, to no avail.

But no great fiction is great with only one conflict. Toss in a white heron who insists on landing on a piling just off the seawall. It perches there, lovely to look at for you or me, but an affront to my Jack Russell. Every time the bird lands on the piling, BEN (Jack Russell) races down the stairs and begins to bark. He can't hear me yell at him to stop because the chain saw is running. My only course of action--throw a piece of ice at the bird. I will pause again to tell you I have poor aim and not much of a throwing arm anymore. But this has happened so many times today, I believe the bird can hear me (even over the chain saw) push the ice dispenser. Before the ice leaves my hand, the bird takes flight. Then, I entice BEN with a cookie (dog treat) which he hears despite the chain saw, and he comes inside.

This episode has repeated itself about a half dozen times today, and at 2:26 in the afternoon, I have yet to cross anything off my to-do list. But I still have a few hours and I am a protagonist intent on success. Now BEN must bark at the heron from inside and I believe I have become numb to the buzzing saw. Not a very active protagonist, but perhaps it will be enough.

On a brighter note - some very nice reviews for BENT ROAD have come in.

"A cruel calculus drives Lori Roy’s impressive debut novel, “Bent Road.”...Like Michael Chabon’s work, which sometimes crosses genres, Roy’s novel could be called literary fiction or mystery. Whatever the label, “Bent Road” is written with the care and craft of stand-out storytelling."
Read entire review here

"Bent Road, Lori Roy's debut novel is a winner. A suspenseful example of American Gothic, its shocking twists and turns will keep you turning page after page to conclusions both surprising and inevitable."
Read entire review here

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Writer's Voice and Grandma's Tarantula

Where does a writer get her voice?
I'm guest blogging today on this subject at . Click on over and take a look.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Final Books Are In...

"Like" my fanpage for a chance to win a signed copy of BENT ROAD. (If you have already "liked" my page, you're already entered in the drawing.) Send me a message or comment that you have shared news of this drawing on your facebook page, and I'll enter you a second time. Drawing to take place Saturday, March 12th.

Thanks to all

Monday, March 7, 2011

Maggot Art

The title of the lecture is "Maggot Art - Make pretty pictures with your friend, the maggot."

We walk into the room, the Swede and I, and choose seats a few rows from the front. One other gentleman is also seated in the room. The lack of participants makes me wonder if Maggot Art is a literal title for our lecture. Seated behind a conference table at the front of the room is another gentleman. He wears a UF polo shirt. Our instructor. A cardboard box rests on the table in front of him alongside a small plastic tub, tightly sealed with a lid. Next to that, a smaller colorful box. Because I have children, I recognize the label on the box. Crayola.

The maggot has various cycles to its life. It begins as an egg, which has been deposited by a fly. Once it hatches, our maggot feasts on the material in which it was deposited. Given that this lecture was part of Sleuthfest, a writers’ conference for mystery writers, the maggot was most likely deposited on a dead body. After feasting for a good long time, the maggot enters a "wandering" stage, during which it wanders away from our dead body to find a nice quiet spot to begin its transition into a fly. The maggots that are sealed in the small plastic tub next to the box of Crayola paints are all in this "wandering" stage.

The instructor tells us these facts as we three participants rise from our seats and join him at the table. Any omissions or errors are my own as I was too distracted by the plastic tub filled with maggots to take notes. After explaining that each and every maggot that swarms the bottom of the tub is in the "wandering" stage, the instructor plucks the quarter inch long, creamy colored critters from the tub with plastic tweezers and drops them one at a time on an appetizer-sized paper plate. We each receive five. Pick your color, he says. After demonstrating how to pick them up without squishing them, he tells us to dip them in the color of our choice, drop them on the sheet of white construction paper we were each given, and watch the art appear.

I dab my first maggot in a dollop of magenta paint. He won't come off my tweezers, so I tap him gently on the paper. Once free, the maggot is still for a moment, and I worry I have killed him. But after a deep breath or two, which is what I imagine he is doing, my wandering maggot begins to wander, leaving behind a colorful trail—a strand of hot pink silken thread draped across the paper. Next, I choose turquoise. Lastly, purple.

I manage about ten minutes before sliding my rainbow-colored maggots back to the instructor. They'll be fine, he tells us. Non-toxic, water based paint. He'll rinse them off and they'll go onto become houseflies. The Swede holds out a bit longer than I do. When we are both done, we pack up and go for lunch. No calamari to be sure. While I probably won't participate in maggot art again, I am happy to know that should I ever have a dead body in one of my books, and should maggots be present on that body, they will appear first in a mouth and nose and any open gaping wound because that is what maggots like best.

See for an updated list of events. BENT ROAD on sale 3/31/11.