Karen Brichoux

Current and Upcoming Books

Available Now
"Draws the reader into the story and never lets go." --RT Bookclub
"Brichoux reminds the reader how powerfully the landscape of 'home' can define a person." -- High Country News
Previously Released
"An exceptional novel." --Melissa Senate, author of The Solomon Sisters Wise Up
"A coup. Warm, smart, and original." --Kirkus Reviews

Newsletter

Tracking the Wild Novel II

September 5, 2005

September 2005 Newsletter from the desk of Karen Brichoux

Contents:

*News
*Article: Tracking the Wild Novel
*What I’m Reading

*News:

September 9: I will be participating in a live e-mail exchange on the NAL Authors bulletin board from 12 noon to 1 p.m. EST. Go to http://nalauthors.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=4 , then click on the heading “Karen Brichoux will chat here....” to participate (this heading will be posted later in the week). Word on the street is that several books will be given away during the live e-mail exchange. Don’t quote me on that just yet. Check my website later in the week for more details and an updated link.


*Article: Tracking the Novel

This month’s newsletter could also be called “Keeping An Open Mind.” I’ve had a persistent and irritating whisper running through my head the last few weeks. The whisper is urging me to try something I’ve never tried before with my writing. I keep telling the whisper to go away, but it just keeps coming back. And each time it returns, it whispers a little more loudly.

This morning, in my journal, I caught myself writing the following response to the whisper: “I just can’t do that.” Writing those words brought me up short. Why? Well, it’s story time, boys and girls.

About four years ago, I attended a workshop for writers. The subject was brainstorming. The workshop leader began by telling us “Anything goes! Never say never! No idea is too crazy!” Ideas floated around the room for a while, then I proposed turning the hero of the story into a prescription drug smuggler. Everyone in the room, including the workshop leader, said “You can’t do that!” At which point, the workshop leader realized what she had said and slapped her forehead. To tell the honest truth, that was when I realized that brainstorming in a group might not be the right thing for me.

Now here I am, replicating that room and the workshop leader by telling myself “I just can’t do that.” Well, why not? Fear, mainly. Fear that this idea will be too complex, too difficult, too crazy, too beyond my abilities as a writer for me to handle. Fear that it will be too different from what I’ve done before. And under it all, plain old fear of commitment to single idea.

I didn’t actually realize I was holding back on this idea because of fear until the ugly “I just can’t do that” voice whined through my journal. Another voice whispered, “Well, why not?”

Am I scared? Yes. Is this idea too big for me to handle? Undoubtedly. But until I start writing, I’ll be exactly as exciting as the Little Engine That Could if the Little Engine had shrugged and given up at the bottom of the hill.

*What I’m Reading:
Lots of goodies this month!

THE BEST OF GOOD by Sara Lewis [my favorite this month!]

LIVING OTHER LIVES by Caroline Leavitt

SHOUT DOWN THE MOON by Lisa Tucker

THE MISS-AMERICA FAMILY by Julianna Baggott

HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE by J.K. Rowling

CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG by Ian Fleming

ERNIE’S ARK by Monica Wood

BUT INSIDE I’M SCREAMING by Elizabeth Flock

MENDOCINO by Ann Packer