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content warnings

The following lists are intended to highlight content in my books that may be difficult or triggering for some readers. GHOST WOOD SONG domestic violence, child abuse, child death, suicide (mentioned), sexual assault (mentioned), body horror, choking, death/dying, grief, gun use, car accident THE RIVER HAS TEETH domestic violence, sexual assault (mentioned), drugging/roofies, abduction/imprisonment, gun…

how to talk to writers about their shitty books

So you bought your niece’s/accountant’s/childhood best friend’s book. Now what? You’re not a writer, so you don’t often buy books written by people you know in real life. But now it’s happened. Some relative or acquaintance wrote a book and you felt duty-bound to purchase it. You’re a great human! But now what? Should you…

Why Preorder?

GHOST WOOD SONG IS ON SALE!!! Preorder links for GHOST WOOD SONG are going up on lots of bookish retail sites, from Amazon to Barnes & Noble to my local indie, Parnassus Books. “Erica,” you might be thinking, “calm down. Your book doesn’t come out for, like, eight more months. I’ll order it later!” And…

The Dreaded Author Photo Shoot

When my editor emailed me asking for an author photo, I sighed a little. Like many people, I don’t feel photogenic and cringe at most pictures I’m tagged in on social media. Added to the usual photo insecurity was the pressure of getting a picture that not only looked good but also communicated who I…

Pitch Wars YA Mentor Wish List

If you’ve found yourself here, it’s probably because you’re considering applying to Pitch Wars. Welcome! I am so thrilled to be a YA mentor in Pitch Wars this year. I was a mentee in 2017, and PitchWars brought so much goodness to my life: a new writing community, an amazing mentor, stronger writing skills, and…

Query for GHOST WOOD SONG

Over the three years I spent querying agents, I pored over a lot of sample queries, especially those of published books, looking for that magic pitch formula that would get me requests. I wrote and rewrote my queries, got lots of feedback, fine-tuned and despaired. Eventually, I wrote one that did the trick. In case…

How I Got My Agent

From the moment I sent my first query letter to a literary agent in February 2016, I starting looking forward to writing one of those “How I Got My Agent” posts—the ones that show aspiring authors there is light at the end of the querying tunnel. This one is about six months overdue, which is…

Two Kinds of Fiction

  I’m thinking today about how our pasts find their way into our fictions—both the ones we write and the ones we hold inside ourselves. My book Ghost Wood Song was inspired by the places I grew up—a drafty, haunted house in a declining neighborhood and then a single-wide trailer on five acres of planted…

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