Party animals?

After spending time with a group of people, do you feel energized and ready for anything or do you want to hide in the corner with a good book?

I am such an introvert! I’ve realized this more as I’ve gotten older. I love spending time with my friends and I like being social. But I can only take so much. After a busy night out or a busy weekend, I definitely need some time alone to decompress. This is especially true after spending time with strangers, but it can also be true after spending time with people I know well or even after spending time with family. The one exception is my husband.

I think this is because, like all introverts, when I’m around people, I feel like I need to be “on” all the time. I’m thinking about what I’m saying, how I’m acting, how it’s affecting the room. I often try to make jokes when I’m with a group of people because


365 days of writing prompts: the beginning

Wow, I'm having a hard time figuring out how to follow Kourtney with her fabulous guest post! I'm in the middle of her book, The Six Train to Wisconsin, and it's really interesting so far. I definitely want to know how it ends!

I have a few pans in the fire right now, but nothing to really focus on. I've felt so in-between in my writing life: in between stages, genres, projects. But I've been in a rut, and we're fixing that now with 365 days of writing prompts. One per day of the year (the prompts technically start in January, but why not start now?). Writing 250 words minimum. Totally do-able. And you get to come along. Let's get writing!

July 20: If you had the opportunity to live a nomadic life, traveling from place to place, would you do it? Do you need a home base? What makes a place "home" to you?

I actually have friends, a married couple, living the nomadic lifestyle for about six months. They started by spending a month


Guest post: Kourtney Heintz on chasing discoverability

Big thank you to Megan for inviting me to be a guest blogger here. It was lovely hanging out with you at the Hunter College Writers' Conference!

The decision to bring a book to market wasn’t one I took lightly. I did my research on self publishing and talked to authors who’d done it and done it well. I spent months weighing the pros and cons. I hired freelancers for editing, formatting, and cover design because creating a stellar book is the first step. Then I created a marketing plan and hired a publicist because a book has to get noticed. Without a big publisher’s distribution network and marketing push, discoverability can be the hardest part of self-publishing. For my book to stand out in the overcrowded marketplace, I had to chase discoverability.

There are a couple hundred thousand books published each year. How many do we hear about? Dozens? Hundreds at most. So how do you help readers find your book? Word of mouth is the biggest driver of sales, but how do you get people talking about


Giveaway! Who doesn't love free books?

I've submitted my short story collection, "Everything Has Already Changed," as a Goodreads giveaway! The giveaway starts Tuesday, July 1 and lasts until Saturday, July 5, so don't wait! This is a great chance to grab your copy if you haven't yet.

You can enter the giveaway here.


Strong Female Character™

There's a quote by Joss Whedon that sometimes makes it's way around the Internet: When asked, "Why do you write these strong female characters?", Whedon famously replies, "Because you're still asking that question."

Tasha Robinson recently had an article in The Dissolve about the media's propensity to include a complicated, strong, intelligent female character "who never once becomes as independent, significant, and exciting as she is in her introductory scene." She illustrates this with three female characters in three recent movies (none of which, I'll admit, I've seen) and contrasts with a Strong Female Character™ who actually works within the film. Robinson boils the issue down to one question: "Looking at a so-called Strong Female Character, would you—the writer, the director, the actor, the viewer—want to be her?"

Hollywood's difficulty with including women isn't a new problem. There's a fabulous TED talk by Colin Stokes entitled "How movies teach manhood" that explores what kind of role models, both male and female, our children are given in their favorite