Anne Rice: political correctness is new form of censorship in the book biz

Anne Rice, of The Vampire Chronicles fame, posted on Facebook her concern that novelists "are facing a new era of censorship, in the name of political correctness." Read the rest

Amazon will pay authors based on number of e-book pages read


Authors who self-publish through Amazon’s KDP Select Program will start getting paid based on the number of book pages that are read, as opposed to how many books are borrowed through two different Kindle services. Read the rest

Dan Kennedy, host of The Moth

In the latest episode of the RiYL podcast, Brian Heater interviews the host of the long-running true-story live performance and podcast, The Moth.

Elmore Leonard, RIP

Crime novelist Elmore Leonard, a master of modern noir, died today. He was 87. From his 2001 essay, "Easy on the Adverbs, Exclamation Points and Especially Hooptedoodle,"that appeared in the New York Times:

5. Keep your exclamation points under control. You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose. If you have the knack of playing with exclaimers the way Tom Wolfe does, you can throw them in by the handful.

6. Never use the words ''suddenly'' or ''all hell broke loose.'' This rule doesn't require an explanation. I have noticed that writers who use ''suddenly'' tend to exercise less control in the application of exclamation points.

Elmore Leonard's author page on Amazon

The Elmore Leonard Website Read the rest

Hugh Howey's 'Dust,' final volume in the Silo saga

Dust, the final installment of author and indie publishing star Hugh Howey's AMAZING "Silo" series, is out today! Hugh is an American author best known for this popular series which began with "Wool," independently published through's Kindle Direct Publishing system. That book became a sudden success in the Fall of 2011, and Hugh explains what happened next: Read the rest

Iain Banks terminally ill

One of my favorite authors, Iain Banks, announced that he has less than a year to live "It looks like my latest novel, The Quarry, will be my last." Read More. Read the rest

"What Cancer Has Taught Me About Writing And Living"

Two weeks after historical fiction writer Anne Clinard Barnhill's debut novel was released, she was diagnosed with stage 3 endometrial cancer. She writes about how the diagnosis changed her, and about what the experience has taught her about writing and living:

Since then, I've done a six-week book tour across North Carolina, had a radical hysterectomy, gone on a blog tour and started chemo. Not exactly what I'd expected in what was supposed to be 'my' year.

At first, I didn't want to tell anyone about the disease, but that quickly became unfeasible; people were contacting me to do readings and I had to explain why I couldn't; my editor had been patiently awaiting my revisions to the second novel and I didn't want him to think I was dawdling; and, I figured it was something my agent should know. So, I went public. As I deal with the gritty life of coping with cancer, I've noticed some similarities between the writing life and living with cancer.

Read the rest here: BOOK PREGNANT: What Cancer Has Taught Me About Writing And Living.

(thanks, Lydia Netzer)

 The diagnosis An inspirational needlepoint for those with cancer On Cost and Cancer in America When life hands you cancer, make cancer-ade: via lemonade stand ... My Dinner with Marijuana: chemo, cannabis, and haute cuisine ... Read the rest

Books by dictators

From Saddam's novels to Gadaffi's rambling political treatise, authoritarian tyrants can't resist the cachet of authorhood. Among the few to attain a degree of competence were Stalin and Khomeini--poets both. [Foreign Policy] Read the rest

Rebecca Skloot answering questions about "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks"

Last month, I reviewed The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, science journalist Rebecca Skloot's new book about the development of the first immortal cell culture line—and the family caught between pride in the role their mother played in this breakthrough, and anger over the way the medical community had treated her and them.

A lot of you commented on the review and had some really interesting thoughts about the book. If you've still got questions about HeLa, the Lacks family or the medical ethics/legal status of tissue samples, now would be a good time to pull them out. Skloot is taking reader questions—you can email them to her, or leave them in the comments on her blog—and the answers will become the FAQ page of her book's Web site.

I love the interactive approach to this and am looking forward to reading the FAQ that comes out of it! Read the rest