Blog Posts from the Beginning
How many pages each day?
Peter from Portland, Oregon, wrote to ask me, “How many pages do you write a day?” Most (not all) writers I know write every day. My own personal goal is five pages a day. Sometimes I do more. Sometimes less. I have written a book (S.O.R Losers) in one twenty-four hour period. The longest time it
Waiting for the reviews
This has become an important part of the business in recent years as starred reviews drive book-buying decisions. Sophia’s War has received two starred reviews: “Few historical novels are as closely shaped by actual events as this one during the last 100 pages. Working within the bounds of credibility, Avi manages to keep the fictional
What you leave out
A writer friend recently sent me an e‑mail. “What are you doing?” I said, “Pushing the alphabet keys. You?” She replied, “Working the delete key!” I suspect that the most important aspect of writing is what’s not on the page. The white space. What you take out. Leave out. Cut. An editor once told me it’s much
Where do you get your ideas?
The most common question asked of authors is, “Where do you get your ideas?” Consider my newest book, Sophia’s War, a tale set in New York City (NYC) during the American Revolution. I was born and raised in Brooklyn (NYC), close to the site of the biggest battle fought during the American Revolution, the Battle
Will there be a sequel?
Isabelle, from Harper Woods, MI, writes, “I was wondering if you’re going to make a sequel to The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle?” In the years since the book was published I have been asked that question many times, even before sequels became popular. It seems to me that Charlotte’s story, among a number of things,
Commingling fact and fiction
The most difficult aspect of Sophia’s War is the commingling of fact and fiction. The story of Benedict Arnold’s treason, and John André’s fate, is not just well known, it has been researched and detailed to an extraordinary degree. One of the books I used to research the event provided photographs and descriptions of everywhere
Making a movie
Faria, of Valley Stream, NY, writes, “I really like your book called The Fighting Ground. I think you should make a movie of it.” I get lots of letters from my readers telling me that they think I should make one of my books (one that they have read and enjoyed) into a movie. I take
The anatomy of mediocrity
On a recent trip I took along two books. One was Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations, the second a nameless contemporary mystery by another British writer. Airplane reading. I had read Great Expectations a few times. It is one of my very favorite novels, and is, in my opinion, one of the greatest novels ever written.
When I get the first copy of a new book …
From the time I first contemplated the story that would become Sophia’s War, and the moment when the published volume came into my hands, it has been more than three years. By contract, I get some copies of the book, which usually arrive about one month prior to the official publication date. What do I do
Books by their covers
I was recently talking to a highly successful editor, and she was telling me about the recent aesthetic evolution of book cover design. The essence is this: With the increase in sales of books on the internet, it has become important to design a book cover so that it can be read. Previously, one saw