What to Read While It Snows (Again)

I have been lucky as  a writer.  I’m a secret introvert, which means I hide my shyness well.  I’m not a joiner, yet over the years I’ve found myself part of three distinct writing communities.  I mentioned the first last week —  the writing forum where I workshopped my debut novel.  (Coming out in …TWELVE DAYS.  HOLY #$#$# where did the time go?)

The second community is Grub Street. If you have any aspirations toward writing and you live in New England, stop reading now and go check out their website.  It’s totally worth it and I’ll wait.

Back?  Okay, Grub Street is pure awesome.  It’s where I met my fabulous agent.  And it’s where anyone who is serious about the craft of writing can go to learn.  The first time I attended the Grub Street Conference, the Muse and the Marketplace, I was terrified.  The second time, I met my agent.  By the third time, I was actually able to converse with other writers in complete sentences.  Who knows what this year’s conference will bring?

I recently took a class at Grub Street with author Randy Susan Myers, who also claims to be shy, but I think she lies.  She was kind and encouraging and almost — almost! — has convinced me that I should have a book launch party.  (I am still dithering about that.  If I can do the readings without hives, we’ll talk.)

The Murderer's Daughters

Anyhow, Randy wrote a heart-breaker of a book titled The Murderer’s Daughters. After their parents separate, Lulu and Merry hear a knocking at their door one afternoon.  It’s their father.  Ten-year-old Lulu, the oldest and most responsible child, lets him in — with deadly consequences.  While her parents fight, Lulu runs for help, only to find on her return that her father has murdered her mother, stabbed her sister, and tried to kill himself. How does a ten-year-old make sense of an act that changes her life forever, and how does she live with the ramifications of that act?  For 30 years, Lulu and Merry try to do just that.  They struggle with forgiveness, with the boundaries of sibling loyalty, and finally with redemption.

Randy’s characters stayed with me long after I finished her book, and I think they’ll stay with you, too.  To celebrate the fact that the paperback version of The Murderer’s Daughters will be hitting shelves at the same time as Evenfall, I’m giving away one copy of Susan’s book.  Leave a comment by Tuesday, and you are eligible.  IF I can reach my mailbox through the snow, that is.

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Liz Michalski


  1. Danielle DeVor on January 21, 2011 at 9:35 am

    I really enjoy reading your blog. I wish mine was as interesting as yours is.

    • liz on January 23, 2011 at 8:05 pm

      I’ll loan you the slobbering beast and small children anytime! Just ask. 🙂

  2. Deborah Gray on January 21, 2011 at 10:23 am

    Love the review on the book. It had me at the title. Such an evocative cover and proof, if we needed any, of why they are so important.

    I’m so excited for you with your impending release, because yours sounds really intriguing. I can’t wait to read it!

    • liz on January 23, 2011 at 8:07 pm

      Thanks — and congrats on your own debut!!!

  3. Tracey on January 21, 2011 at 11:39 am

    Aren’t most writers secret introverts? We must be to spend so much time with imaginary people.

    I’m with Deborah – the title of that book just grab’s your attention.

    • liz on January 23, 2011 at 8:07 pm

      Good point, Tracey — I’d never thought of it that way.

  4. Jan O'Hara of Tartitude on January 21, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    I’ve read this book and it was fantastic. Absolutely rang psychologically true. I’d still love a copy, though, so pick me!

    Also, there’s a nexus of wonderful work at Grub Street. I’m jealous of those of you who have the ability to connect at it.

    Also, you should listen to Randy Susan Myers, if only because it’ll get you out of the shovelling for a while. 😉

    • liz on January 23, 2011 at 8:08 pm

      Too late, Jan. And there’s another snowstorm heading our way Tuesday….

  5. Other Lisa on January 21, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    Hah! Another “secret introvert” here. People used to stare at me in disbelief when I told them I was not an extrovert.

    Sounds like a wonderful book, and good luck counting down to your release date!

    • liz on January 23, 2011 at 8:08 pm

      I’ve never met you in person, Lisa, but online you definitely come across as outgoing!

  6. Elizabeth Loupas on January 21, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    Completely open and aboveboard introvert here, trying to scratch her way up to the “secret introvert” level. Heh.

    Great review and fantastic-sounding book. A new author to me. I’ll buy the two of you together, and toast you both with champagne as I begin to read.

    • liz on January 23, 2011 at 8:09 pm

      Thanks, Elizabeth — and I CAN’T WAIT to read your book — that first chapter on your website is killer!

  7. sam on January 24, 2011 at 2:56 am

    Aha! Another fellow introvert is out of the closet! *does the “secret secret introvert” handshake* Great review and so excited to get my hands on your book!!! 🙂

  8. Jenna on January 24, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    I’m so proud of you I could BURST 🙂 Introvert my A** 🙂

  9. Linda on January 24, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    Everyone thinks they are introverts. Everyone. Just because you’re socially anxious every now and then does not make you an introvert. (I really wish people would stop throwing around these psychological terms as if they knew what they meant!)

    Liz, the way I get up in front of a class and speak every day, or at faculty meetings or whatever is this. I say to myself, what is the worst thing that could happen to me? I think it would be to pass out. And logically, if I pass out, someone will call the paramedics, right?

    • liz on January 24, 2011 at 9:40 pm

      Okay, I think I’ve been taken to task here, but I have to defer to your (very) educated judgment. 🙂 (Bill agrees with you, BTW.) If I DO pass out, can you at least make sure they are cute paramedics?

    • Other Lisa on January 26, 2011 at 4:17 pm

      Linda, if the Meyers/Briggs is any indication, I am in fact an introvert. But how do you define/measure the term?

      (I didn’t test out totally “introvert” on Meyers/Briggs; I was fairly balanced on that score. But still, aren’t most writers somewhat introverted, compared to the population at large?)

      • Linda on January 26, 2011 at 7:45 pm

        Let me answer Liz first. One of my sisters passed out while 6 mos pregnant and doing Christmas shopping at outlet malls in the mountains of New England (you know the ones; I forget the name). She awoke to two paramedics dressed as Santa Claus and elf and said, “Am I dead”? While I cannot guarantee they’ll be cute, they will likely be male at least.

        Other Lisa, to be valid the Meyers-Briggs should be administered by a trained professional. But yes, I agree that most writers are introverted; sitting down writing by yourself for hours at a time would not be appealing to someone who likes/needs to socialize.

      • Other Lisa on January 27, 2011 at 1:35 pm

        Yup, valid professional Meyers/Briggs type test. I’ve also done the short versions and the Kiersey (or however you spell that). Pretty much the same results every time.

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