Wordy South, Ep. 3: Bernice McFadden & Chuck Wendig

Wordy South, Ep. 3: Bernice McFadden & Chuck Wendig

(NOTE: This is the corrected version of the podcast. The first post was missing a few words. Sorry!) What “lunatic” thing did acclaimed novelist Bernice McFadden do until 2005? And why did she stop? Find out in this interview with the two-time Hurston/Wright Award nominee and author of New York Times editor’s choice book “Gathering of Waters.” She has a ton of great insight to share with writers trying to complete their novel. The next time you think about saying you could care less, be aware pen monkey Chuck Wendig may tap you on the shoulder, eyeball you up and down, and then shake his head, “No, you could care less. And you should.” We play his speech from the 2012 Crossroads so you know why. Shout-outs to a couple of talented writers in the Crossroads family. YA novelist Lauren Morrill, who made Crossroads 2013 awesome and then released her second book–“Being Sloan Jacobs”–on January 7. You can get your copy here. You can see what Lauren looked like in high school here: Delilah S. Dawson, writer of paranormal romance and whatnot, just unleashed “Damsel and the Daggerman,” a new Blud series novella. And, on January 28, you can get your hands on “Wicked After Midnight,” which may or may not be about lonely mogwai who eat dinner too late and have to deal with their emotions as they’re transformed into gremlins. Also, Susannah Breslin is awesome. Find these folks on Twitter: Bernice McFadden, Chuck Wendig, Lauren Morrill, Delilah S. Dawson, Susannah Breslin, Crossroads and Chris Horne Web interviews and blogs: Bernice McFadden – interview How to survive 74 rejections (BONUS: M.W. Gerard’s review of “Glorious”)...
3 exciting reasons not to feel lonely in 2014

3 exciting reasons not to feel lonely in 2014

I’ll be honest. I miss you all. Just a couple months ago, we had our fifth–and I think, best–Crossroads Writers Conference and it was chock full of awesome, but now I’m lonely again. It happens every year. I just never get used to it. This time, I decided to do something about it. That’s why I’m happy to tell you about three things we’re doing between now and the next conference that gives me a great excuse to talk/text/email/pester you.  (Yes, you!) #1) the Wordy South podcast Do you like things that are free? I do too! That’s the deal with podcasts. Download ’em for free then go workout, take a walk, stream it in your car on long rides. You may think they’re soooo 2005 but I love ’em. That’s why we’re launching our own on Thursday, December 19, 2013. Every week, there’ll be a new installment featuring some of our favorite guests from past conferences, members of the Crossroads family and writers new to the whole Wordy South thing. You’ll find each episode online, via iTunes, Stitcher, Soundcloud and whatever else we can get set up. Our first guests include Bernice McFadden, Adam Mansbach, Carrie Howland, Delilah S. Dawson and Cat Scully. We’ve got a couple of surprise guests and dozens of cool folks from the five previous conferences so this is going to be fun.   #2) Webinars, tweet-ups and Hangouts, oh my! Early in 2014, we’re re-launching this website. The idea is to keep regular blogs with tips, advice, insight, prompts and whatever else we can think of to help keep you motivated. But we’re also working...
This is why you registered for Crossroads

This is why you registered for Crossroads

You come for the classes and the comraderie. If you’re a returning Crossroader, you already expect to have a good time, learn a bunch and leave inspired to write more. Well, here’s a run-down with (almost all) our workshops coming up this weekend. We dare you not to be excited!     List of 2013 Crossroads Workshops   25 Steps to Being A Traditionally Published Author, Even Lazier Edition Delilah Dawson Instead of reading my 7,000-word guide to getting a traditional publishing deal, come listen to me talk about it–and answer the questions you’re afraid to ask. From finishing your first draft to getting an agent to what happens after your book is on the shelf, it’s possible to sell a book without having an MFA, a friend in publishing, or a reality TV show. Hint: it involves a lot of hard work.   Anatomy of a Book Emilie P. Bush Whether you plan to self publish or enter a deal with a commercial publisher, knowing your gutter from your half title page is important. Topics include publishing terms, an up-close and personal look at what a book interior SHOULD look like and the basic “rules” of layout.   Digital Storytelling Tim Regan-Porter Should you write differently for digital media? If so, how? What tools are best for telling a compelling story? This panel will address a variety of issues in writing for the web, tablets, and mobile.   Fiction Writing Tips Cate Noble Deconstructing story: the elements of compelling fiction, with tips for nurturing your writer’s soul.   Freelancing is Out; Entrepreurism is In Kristin Luna At one...
How to Survive 74 Rejections: an Interview with Bernice McFadden

How to Survive 74 Rejections: an Interview with Bernice McFadden

National Bestselling author Bernice McFadden has written ten critically-acclaimed, award-winning bestselling novels, including the contemporary classics “Sugar” and “Glorious.” Her novel, “The Warmest December,” was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in Fiction and was lauded as “searing and expertly imagined” by Nobel Laureate, Toni Morrison. A Brooklyn native and resident, Bernice’s latest novel is “Gathering of Waters,” a story that conjures the time, setting and heartbreak of the murder of Emmett Till. You can meet Bernice at this year’s Crossroads by registering here: CrossroadsWriters.splashthat.com To learn more, please visit her website: www.bernicemcfadden.com. You can also follow her on Twitter: @queenazsa   Q & A TIME – YOU’RE IN FOR A TREAT…   KATHY: If I’ve counted correctly, you’ve published 10 books as Bernice L. McFadden, plus you’ve got a piece in an anthology due out in December. You’ve also published 5 books under a pseudonym. That’s 16 books in 13 years. Sounds like you’re a disciplined writer. Can you describe your writing routine? BERNICE: I just read your question out loud and was a little surprised. Wow, yes it has been sixteen books in thirteen years. Well fifteen novels and one novella. I’m amazed. I don’t consider myself a disciplined writer. I think of myself as an emotional writer. I write when I’m feeling very sad or conflicted or extremely joyous. And I do not write everyday, at least not physically. The story is a constant in my head. I’m always thinking about the characters and their journey.   KATHY: In addition to creative writing, you’ve studied poetry and journalism. Do you write short stories and poems? Or any...
“Everything happens for a reason”: interview with Bernice McFadden

“Everything happens for a reason”: interview with Bernice McFadden

LEARN MORE FROM BERNICE MCFADDEN AT THE CROSSROADS WRITERS CONFERENCE “Everything Happens for A Reason”: an interview with author Bernice McFadden by  Sherry L. Moore-Williamson Sherry: I have to be honest, I have yet to read one of your novels however, sooo many people rave about them. Knowing this, what book should I read first? Bernice:  I believe in always starting at the beginning. I would read “Sugar” first. S: That’s funny you suggest “Sugar.”  I read and heard that it was one of Alicia Key’s favorite books and she had mentioned it in an interview now on Youtube. B: Yes, a girlfriend told me about the interview and what Alicia said. I didn’t even know. S: I also listened to Academy Award-nominated actress Alfre Woodard, who is one of my faves, read an excerpt from Glorious, another novel you wrote. She commented on why she too loved this book.  “It’s so full that I immediately wanted to pick it back up and rifle through the pages again… They are historical people…who seem alive and real to you….” B: I received a lot of literary awards for “Glorious.” S: And “Glorious” was mentioned in O Magazine, May of 2011.  What affects did that have? B: Well, it was good for publicity since it was compared to “The Help,” which was out at the same time. It took “Sugar” about nine years to finally get published by a commercial publisher.  It was a good ride until I got dropped after my sixth novel. I was told I was a “done as a writer.” S: Wow! How did that feel and how...