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 Born to Write
 A Blog by Author Amy Hill Hearth

Finding a Balance with Social Media

I took a break from social media last week. There are three occasions when this seems necessary for me: When I'm writing fiction; when I'm taking a day off for no reason at all except to clear my mind (in order to write fiction); and when I'm visiting my elderly parents. I love social  Read More 

The Mysteries of Book Publishing

Publishing is a business in which everything has to be explained to you, or so it seems. Even if you go to workshops or get an MFA, and have the best training in the world, you're going to make mistakes. Last month, for example, I went to a book signing for a debut novelist  Read More 

Florida, the Most Misunderstood State?

When most people think of Florida, what comes to mind is Disneyworld and beautiful beaches, yet that's a very narrow view of a very complex state. As a writer who lived in different parts of Florida, and whose husband grew up in the far-southwest part of the state, these misperceptions are so intriguing to  Read More 

"I Think You Are My Best Friend's Sister..."

Strange how a book can reunite friends from long ago. After the Columbia, SC newspaper, The State, ran a story about me, I received an email through the link on my website. "I think you are my best friend's sister," the subject line stated. The message was polite: "Please forgive my contacting you electronically.  Read More 

ASJA Conference Underscores the Importance of Meeting in Person

Old friends, new friends, Facebook friends, Goodreads friends...I am beginning to think I know the whole world! Last Thursday, as a panelist at the annual conference of the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA), I was surprised by the number of familiar faces in the audience at the Roosevelt Hotel in Manhattan.  Read More 

Where Do Characters Come From?

"Are the characters in your novel based on real people?" I am asked this nearly every day. My late mother-in-law is the inspiration for the character, Jackie a.k.a. Miss Dreamsville, and my husband inspired the character of her son, Jude, at age 11. Everyone else is invented. Where on earth do these characters  Read More 

Writing Tip: Crafting a Speech

My Dad is a retired marketing executive at General Electric, and he used to tell me that a good speech is constructed of three parts: "First, tell the audience what you're going to say. Second, say it. Third, tell them what you just said." When he gave me this advice for the first time,  Read More 

On Being Labeled a "Woman" Author

I've noticed that Wikipedia has decided to put my Wiki bio in four separate categories. The first is "1958 births." Well, thanks a lot Wikipedia! (Just kidding - the year of my birth is all over the Internet anyway, thanks to Contemporary Authors and other sources.) The second category is "Living people." Well, that's always  Read More 

The Non-Stop Editor

This will sound strange to the non-writers out there, but I am constantly editing the written word in my mind, everywhere I go. Menus, signs, instructions - nothing escapes me. Misspellings don't bother me too much, and I'm not a perfectionist about grammar. What bothers me is when the language is not clear. Especially  Read More 

Reading is the Answer

My sister has two daughters. One is finishing her Master's in Social Work at the University of Chicago, where she earned her undergraduate degree as well. The other, who has just finished her degree in Applied Psychology at New York University, has applied to graduate schools and will have to choose between Columbia University,  Read More