Hello moms! I hope you're loving CafeMom as much as I am, and finding the time to enjoy your kids and pursue your dreams. Here's a little about me ...
Eight years ago I decided to stop procrastinating and pursue my dream of writing a novel. Making that happen with three small kids posed a challenge, but I decided that I could do it if I got up at 5 every day and wrote before the family awoke.
There was only one problem. I had no idea what to write about. Then, in the middle of a PTA meeting, as I looked around, feeling like no one in the room had any idea I had an inner life behind the smiling PTA face I presented, it occurred to me that everyone felt something pretty similar. That's when I decided I wanted to write about these types of women and explore their secret dreams, passions, pain and joy .
Two years later I had a completed manuscript. Nine months after that I had a literary agent. Another six months and I had a book deal with a major publisher, HarperCollins.
It's called SECRET CONFESSIONS OF THE APPLEWOOD PTA, and it's a friendship story about three women who conspire to get a George Clooney movie filmed in their hometown. If you'd like to learn more about it, you can visit ellenmeister.com. I also have a blog called Side Dish. I hope you'll stop in.
My second novel, THE SMART ONE, came out in 2008. It's a sister story that has, I hope, as much humor as heartache. It got wonderful reviews, which is so gratifying. Better yet, the letters I get from readers really touch my heart.
My third novel, THE OTHER LIFE, is in stores now, and I love the feedback I'm getting about it from my CafeMom friends. Plus, I'm thrilled that it's been optioned by HBO for a TV series!
On the mommy side of my life, I have three incredible kids who make me laugh until I'm gasping for oxygen. I can't figure out how to write about them without sounding like I'm bragging, so I'll just say that they make me proud enough to cry.
I'd love to hear from other moms about their dreams and passions!
Sometimes I hear from friends who want to how to get published. Since Jennifer Weiner has already done a better job of tackling that than I ever could, I'll just send you to her site ... click here.
I know that self-publishing is a touchy subject around here because so many people do it, but I have to be honest--I do not advocate it except the in the rarest of circumstances. These are outlined here. If you don't fall into one of those three categories, self-publishing will make you poorer, not richer.
I have a group here on CafeMom called the Authors' Den. It's dedicated to the business side of writing and publishing, so if you're an aspiring or published author I hope you'll join.
And finally, I regret that I can't read/critique anyone's writing unless I've been hired to do so. However, there are several excellent workshop groups here on CafeMom and they're easy to find by using the search tool. Outside of CafeMom, there's an excellent free online workshop group called Zoetrope.com.
Books I recommend to writers include:
Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott (inspirational with lots of good writing tips)
Stephen King's On Writing (ditto)
Make a Scene by Jordan Rosenfeld (great nuts & bolts advice for fiction writers)
Forest for the Trees by Betsy Lerner (terrific insights from an industry insider)
The First Five Pages by Noah Lukeman (marketing-oriented approach for novelists)
The Author's Guide to Planning Book Events by Carol Hoenig (self explanatory)
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