Mona Lisa’s Secret

I was invited to write a guest column for Romancing the Blog. Was asked to submit a photo to be used as my icon.

And I thought this one might be … well …. me_age_6 It’s my kindergarten picture, and it has the Mona Lisa smile I gave the bouncy, bossy photographer who wanted me to give him a BIG smile. That was not going to happen. Because right at that moment, you see, I had no front teeth. I love this picture because of what you can’t see.

Wonder if that was Mona Lisa’s secret, too.

Anyway, as regards things you can’t see, or haven’t seen — anyone have a question I haven’t answered that you’d like to see as my guest column? Can’t promise I’ll use your suggestions — if there’s more than one, I’ll have to guarantee that I won’t be using at least half of them. But I figure it never hurts to ask.

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By Holly

Novelist, writing teacher, on a mission to reprint my out-of-print books and indie-publish my new ones.

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17 years ago

another qu, i thought about, (don’t know if it’s too late to ask) but do you write to live or live to write?

17 years ago

This is the only place to put this comment: given the continuing bidding war on Anna Genovese, it would be wonderful for Larissa’s Fund if more editors offered a complete ms line-edit. I imagine the money raised would be astonishing.


17 years ago

P.S. I like your picture.

17 years ago

I’ve been wondering lately about writing vs. publishing. Everyone has deep, complex reasons why they write, which is good and right and just as it should be. But why do people seek publication? I’ve read your One Good Enemy essay, so I know at least part of your motivation, but were there any other reasons you pursued it? And if paying the bills wasn’t an issue, would you still seek publication today?

I’m also interested in how writing (the joy) and publishing (the business) play off each other…I imagine some of the books that have turned out to be fulfilling for you to write have come from Onyx-proposal-like situations — you might not have developed those ideas without the goal of the publishing contract to steer you in those different directions. How writing in pursuit of publication can actually become writing for the joy of the story itself. And vice versa. I’d be interested in your perspective on this whole big tangled issue. Thanks, Holly.

17 years ago

the only one that I can think of asking is how many rejections (if any) did you recieve before your first book was published? and what did it feel like when it was published?

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x