Monday, March 29, 2010

An Evening with Ron Carlson

Tuesday, April 20 at 7 pm

An Evening with Ron Carlson

Join us on April 20 when Ron Carlson will be our featured guest. Ron Carlson is the director of UC-Irvine's M.F.A. program in fiction and professor of English, is the award-winning author of several short story collections and five novels. His collection, The Hotel Eden, was a New York Times Notable Book and Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year. His novel The Speed of Light, was his first for young readers. He also wrote Ron Carlson Writes a Story (Graywolf), an excellent book on the writing of short fiction. On this evening, he will talk with Barbara about writing fiction, long and short form, and will take your questions. Orange County's independent bookseller, Laguna Beach Books, will be on hand selling Ron's books.

Our salon will take place at:
Scape Gallery
2859 East Coast Highway
Corona del Mar, CA, 92625

$20.00 includes nibbles, sips and sometimes cake. Advance tickets are required. Walk-ins are discouraged as seating is limited.

Please register soon as we expect this to be another sold out event (and we hate turning people away).

Go to; click on Speakers Series for more info.

Upcoming on Sat., May 15, is the celebration of the new anthology, Orange County Noir (Akashic Books).

On June 8, plan to join us for an evening with Aimee Bender.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Siri Hustvedt and Raj Patel

Marrie Stone interviews Siri Hustvedt, author of The Shaking Woman or A History of My Nerves, and Raj Patel, author of The Value of Nothing: How to Reshape Market Society and Redefine Democracy.

Download audio.

Note: Marrie knew when she interviewed Raj Patel that he was a well-known economist. What she didn't know was that he is also the Messiah.

(Broadcast date: Mar 3, 2010)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Fictional novel, true memoir: Not

Those of you who already know this, please, don't throw tomatoes, potatoes, or pie. Some quite intelligent writers have trouble with this one. (With each one of us, it's always something...)

This comes up a lot with new(ish), or not so new(ish) writers: In talking about their work, they say, "My fictional novel...."

No no no.

If you query an agent and you say this, you risk said agent pitching your project into the trash, or at the very least, sending you a form rejection letter.

Why is it a big deal?

Because agents figure that if you're writing a novel, you know it's fiction. Just as if you're writing a memoir, one hopes it's true. And if you say "fictional novel" or "true memoir" to an agent, it makes it easy for them to say no to you, and what with all the material slamming agents on a daily basis, if there's the slightest reason to say no, they will.

Of course they want to say yes. They want stellar work to come in the door, mailbox, email inbox, wherever! So make it easy for them to say yes. Learn the business of writing as well as the craft, and never ever ever say "fictional novel."

Bed Bugs

Did you even know there was such a registry as this one? If you want to know more about the hotel you're planning to lodge at, you might check to see if there have been bed bug complaints....

Jess Walter

Barbara DeMarco-Barrett interviews Jess Walter, author of The Financial Lives of Poets.

Download audio.

(Broadcast date: March 17, 2010)

Coachella Review Story Prize

Here's a little something for you experimental short story writers out there:

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Short Story Authors T.C. Boyle and Lydia Millet

Marrie Stone interviews T.C. Boyle, author of Wild Child and Other Stories and Lydia Millet, author of Love in Infant Monkeys: Stories.

Download audio.
(Broadcast date: January 20, 2010)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

An Evening with Fiction Writers

Consider joining us on Tuesday evening, March 23, when Victoria Patterson and Tod Goldberg will join us for a night of conversation about writing fiction. Both have new books of short fiction, so there will be talk, nibbles and sips (wine and non-alcoholic drinks), a book signing, with books sold by indie bookseller Laguna Beach Books, and lots of great schmoozing amongst writers and agents.

Read more here.

Hope to see you there!

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Chris Bohjalian

Barbara DeMarco-Barrett interviews Chris Bohjalian, author of Secrets of Eden.

Download audio.

(Broadcast date: February 24, 2010)

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Whittier Book Fair and Literary Orange

Here are two conferences/events I'll be at in April. Maybe you will too?

April 3 - The Whittier Book Fair ... lots of panels. I'll moderate the closing keynote panel on Saturday. (On the website, scan to the bottom of the page and you'll see the link for the fair.)

April 10 - Literary Orange. I'll be on a panel talking about Orange County Noir, along with Gary Phillips, Marty Smith and Susan Straight.

There's more, but this is a start.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Orange Coast Magazine essay, just out

Here's the link to "Crows Feet and Cleavage," my essay in this month's Orange Coast Magazine. I hope you enjoy.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Pen on Fire Speaker Series: Susan Straight and Sarah Shun-Lien Bynum

The Pen on Fire Speaker Series presents an evening with Susan Straight, author of Highwire Moon and Sarah Shun-Lien Bynum, author of Ms. Hempel Chronicles.

Download audio.

(Event date: October 27, 2009)