Books That Shaped America, ISWG, ROW80, and Gaiman, Vonnegut and Ephron

Happy Fourth of July!

It's also the second to last day for the Indelibles' INDIEpendence Day Blog Fest: discover some great new indie authors and win prizes! Over 70 authors are offering books and interviews. For instance, Medeia Sharif is featuring J. L. Campbell!

Not a bad way to celebrate Insecure Writer's Support Group day, either.

Actually, there's one aspect of a writer's life that's sometimes overly-secure. I mean, of course, shiny new idea syndrome.

I'm using my morning pages (bonus ROW80 goal!) to draft my new druids/beauty and the beast/1000+ year curse/legend modern archaeological romance (whew! can't wait till this one gets a title!) all about two characters named Fred and Lyne. And I'm so excited by their story that I find it hard to concentrate on editing Rome, Rhymes and Risk (real ROW80 goal). Poor Ayten:


I promise not to give up on her.

And though I'd like to talk more about Fred and Lyne, I haven't really got any images for them yet. Just discovered the artist Joseph Jacobs John Dickson:


But there are other authors who pave the way.

First, Neil Gaiman, who says: "it's not like there's a right or a wrong, or that when a book was published anyone will know how you wrote it. The important thing is to get to the end, and then go through and make it better until it's done."

Second, Nora Ephron. I feel badly that I haven't mentioned Ephron's passing. The last essays I read of hers were in the I Feel Bad About My Neck collection. I'll add some more to my wishlist.

Third, there's Vonnegut:
"I've deposited my first check in a savings account and, as and if I sell more, will continue to do so until I have the equivalent of one year's pay at GE. Four more stories will do it nicely, with cash to spare (something we never had before). I will then quit this goddamn nightmare job, and never take another one so long as I live, so help me God. I'm happier than I've been in a good many years. ... 
This letter is sententious crap, shot full of self-pity. But it's the kind of letter writers seem to write; and since I quit G-E, if I’m not a writer then I'm nothing. Yours truly, Kurt"
I thought that since I did a round up of Canadian books on Canada Day, I ought to compile a few American books on the Fourth of July. But a list of Books That Shaped America would be near-endless.

So I thought I'd pick one city - New York - and talk about some of my favourite New York books. But even that list begins, and never seems to end: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself... and those are just three YAs!

What is your favourite story setting?
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