Monday, September 20, 2010

On a Personal Note: Grateful, Plus

Because I just finished a heavy-duty edit round on FORGIVEN, my second novel due out next spring from Penguin, I thought I break for a personal post. I'm going to list a few of my favorite things - some new to me, some reruns.

5. I discovered a new craft book, HOOKED, by Les Edgerton. Yes, he's talking about novel openings, but he discusses so much more. Here's a sneak peak:
"An opening scene has ten core components: (1) the inciting incident; (2) the story-worthy problem; (3) the initial surface problem; (4) the setup; (5) backstory; (6) a stellar opening sentence; (7) language; (8) character; (9) setting; and (10) foreshadowing."
He goes into great detail on each and every one of these elements, and his insights are fabulous. Love this book. It made me think about my novel in a completely new way.

4. We live in an area that has no cell coverage and very poor radio coverage, but we are NPR addicts. I found a superb dealer in Bozeman (Poindexter's - don't you love the name?) and they turned us on to Sonos, a whole-house wireless system that also streams internet radio. From anywhere in the world. Anywhere. Or streams your entire music collection from your computer to the whole house. Fantastic.

3. And once we found was only a short step to discovering Pandora Radio. OMG - love this!! Setting up music libraries that stream endless new music so that I can make new discoveries...just what I want for whatever mood I'm in. How did we live without this?

2. Bookstores - all bookstores. They've been so supportive of FAITHFUL. Even the biggies - Barnes and Noble and Borders - they've been great. Truly wonderful. But at the moment I'm having a love-fest with a sweet little store in downtown Bozeman - The Country Bookshelf. They hosted me at a signing last Saturday. Welcoming, warm, generous - hearts to them!

1. Autumn. I was autumn-deprived for 15 years. I tried not to focus on it; I love the people in Texas dearly. I always will be grateful for those years. But I knew I missed autumn and had been hungering for it once I arrived here in Montana for keeps and am now experiencing day in and day out of fall - cool weather, rain, brilliant sun (without the heat), turning leaves, deer on the lawn, sweet smells and fires and hot soup. Honey, I'm home.


Les Edgerton said...

Hi Janet--just wanted to thank you for the shout-out of my little blue book, HOOKED. I really appreciate it!

May I ask who your editor at Penguin is? Reason I'm asking is one of my novels is on the desk of Danielle Perez of that august publisher (at her request).

Now that I've "discovered" you, I'm off to buy your first novel I always support writers who do the same for me (i.e., your shout-out) as I think that's the most sincere form of a thank-you.

Looking forward to the read!

Blue skies,

Janet Fox said...

Hi Les! You are so welcome, and thank you right back! I'm going to use your book every time I start something new - and while I'm revising - it's packed with fabulous advice.

I was also delighted to note our VCFA connection...

My editor is Jen Bonnell at Speak. I love her. Fingers crossed for you on yours - I know it'll have a terrific beginning!

Best - Janet

Les Edgerton said...

You're a Vermont grad?! Super!

I've put your blog on my own blog sites I visit. If you get a chance, drop by mine. It's at

Getting ready to order your book

Blue skies,

Janet Fox said...

Already added!

BTW - Faithful was written before I read Hooked - you'll see why I wish I'd found it sooner. :)

Next time - lessons well learned.

Ginger Johnson said...

Hey Janet--congratulations on getting your edits done! And thanks for highlighting HOOKED. I'll have to check it out. The snippet you gave is so timely for me!

Take care--

Janet Fox said...

Thanks, Ginger! And you, too - you'll love Hooked as I know you've got that manuscript ready to roll...:)