My essay in Paste Magazine

   

Since I’ve been so MIA lately, I’ve sort of racked up a few things to brag about (luckily!). The first one to report is my publication with Paste Magazine back in June. It’s called “Why I Spent My Summer Vacation Dressed Like Hermione Granger,” and it’s an essay about my experience at a Harry Potter LARP I attended last summer.

This was my first nonfiction publication with a professional magazine (though I have had work published in smaller markets in the past, this is really my first one being paid professional rates at a place that has an actual full time staff and an office). The process of getting this essay out there was pretty grueling and uncertain, but really rewarding—and definitely a learning experience.

Submitting to culture magazines is so different from submitting to literary magazines (a process which I plan to write about soon). But I think writing this essay, researching the process, sending it out there, and actually—actually—getting published (and prior to that, getting interest from WIRED and Vanity Fair) has caused me to really fall in love with essay and nonfiction writing. I knew I already liked reading it, and always felt most comfortable writing it, but now it’s even more ingrained in my writing conscious and subconscious. Plus, it’s another way to get my voice out there as a writer, even if I also identify as a fiction writer.

So if you want to take a look at my most recently published work, go ahead and check it out in Paste.

New Year, New Banner

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Credit: Brian Chin

Thanks to the talents of Madison Square Garden graphic designer and up-and-coming musician Brian Chin (who is also my good friend and former roommate), I now have a new banner for my website! He literally sent it to me yesterday, just in time for the beginning of 2017.

The new banner combines everything I love—the printed word, the handwritten word, sketches, and water color. If you look closely, you’ll see that Brian hand-drew the font and sketched not only books, but also a laptop, a spiral notebook, a coffee cup, and even a pencil. And that text in the background? Yeah it’s the first chapter of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, one of my all-time favorite books.

You’ll also see a new image on the right side of this page that lets you sign up for my newsletter. As one of my goals in 2017, I’m going to start using MailChimp to update my subscribers whenever I have a new post on my site or any news to report (which means you’ll get an email maybe once a month, tops, since I’m pretty lazy). If you’re interested, please sign up for my mailing list by clicking that shiny new image! (Or just click here.)

And as is customary for a new year’s blog post, I suppose I should comment on 2016. I have a lot of friends who had the worst year of their lives. I have a lot of friends who had the best year of their lives. And I have a lot of friends who, despite their shock at what has become of the U.S. political scene, their sorrow over the loss of so many childhood heroes, and their horror at the many calamities happening around the world, still somehow managed to have a pretty good year both personally and professionally. This gives me hope that there’s always a spectrum, that a year can’t necessarily be summed up by one feeling or one event.

I was among those who had a pretty good year both personally and professionally. The biggest things, of course, involved getting back on the horse and saying “giddy up” to my writing productivity. I’m still working on sticking with good habits, but luckily I’m at the point where if I go for more than two weeks without doing any form of writing I start getting really uncomfortable and existential, and I start to berate myself. That’s healthy, right?

In summary, here is my 2016 year in review by the numbers:

  • 60 submissions to literary and mainstream magazines and contests, which resulted in:
  • 1 story told at a Moth StorySLAM
  • 9 books read (though since three were over 600 pages long, including George R.R. Martin’s A Clash of Kings and A Storm of Swords, total pages read = 3,240)
  • 3 years with my boyfriend David
    • 1 move to a new apartment together
      • 5 rooms / 20 walls painted
  • 1 brother engaged  🙂
  • 1 political party changed (I am now officially a registered Democrat)
  • 8 vacations / new travel destinations
    • Palo Alto, California
    • Asheville, North Carolina
    • Chicago, Illinois
    • Richmond, Virginia
    • Chicago again
    • Camping in Staatsburg, New York
    • Dublin, Ireland
    • Boston, Massachusetts
  • 1 Harry Potter-themed LARP attended
  • 150 work out sessions (roughly 3 per week)
  • Countless (decaf) coffees drank
  • Countless moments of meditation and gratitude
  • Countless dreams to work toward in the new year

Happy New Year everyone!

So I’m Kinda Back in Publishing…

Kinda, sorta. Not full time. I came across an opportunity two months ago to start doing some online marketing and publicity in my spare time for Permuted Press and Post Hill Press. That’s pretty much why I’ve been MIA from the Anxiety of Authorship lately.

Permuted Press is a zombie fiction, science fiction/fantasy and horror fiction publisher. Post Hill Press focuses on nonfiction and mainstream/literary fiction. On top of making some extra money, I’ve been having a great time reaching out to blogs, websites, and podcasts to schedule author interviews and book reviews.

In order to keep track of all of the books I’ve been working on, I decided to create a website: www.grossmanmarketingpublicity.com. There, I will showcase the books and highlight some author interviews and book reviews that I’ve put in motion. Any feedback/comments are welcome, as I am still building the new site.

So what does this mean for the Anxiety of Authorship? Well, I’m still going to try to get at least one post up per month on here. I know that’s not much, and that I haven’t been doing that great of a job with posting to begin with, but it’s something. As much as I care about having a professional website to display my book marketing work, I also care about having an outlet for my raw thoughts and feelings about being a reader and a writer. So I plan to continue updating this blog as much as I can!

Any suggestions, including book marketing/publicity tips, would be greatly appreciated. I’m open to many ideas.

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