woman hiding all but her eyes

I Think I Thought I’d Remember

Karin Kallmaker Book News, Painted Moon 25th Anniversary Edition 0 Comments

Twenty-five years ago there was a lot of life I didn’t know was going to happen. I didn’t know I’d have two fully grown kids, that the Rolling Stones would still be touring, or that dot-com was going to be an economy. I didn’t know same sex couples would be able to get married everywhere, though I sure hoped so.

I also didn’t know the meaning … of … restraint … when it came to ellipses. And I sure didn’t know that I’d deeply regret not starting and maintaining a spreadsheet to keep track of names of characters, their careers, where they lived, what time of year the story took place, and physical characteristics of my leads.

I don’t even remember if I simply thought I’d remember, and there’s irony for you.

And Then I HAD to Remember

When releasing a 25th Anniversary edition of Painted Moon became a thing, I was thrilled because Jackie Frakes and Leah Beck are two of my favorite people. We were great friends all those years ago, though we’ve only spoken briefly in the twenty-five years since, when I wrote “Smudges” for Frosting on the Cake Volume 1 (This short story is now added Read More

audience salutes performer

Arting Your Heart Out – Introvert Writer Self-Care

Karin Kallmaker Craft of Writing, LIFE + STYLE, Resources 0 Comments

We saw two plays this week. One was the tippity-top of Broadway shows, complete with a stellar cast and top notch production values in a 2200-seat theater with state-of-the-art sound, lighting, and set design. The other was a local production with local actors of a classic comedy in a 90-seat theater without state-of-the-art anything.

One is the culmination of the best work that hundreds of people can bring to a blockbuster theater project. The other is an underfunded labor of love. I value both equally.

As a writer, experiencing Read More

meme can't marry a man you just met

Instalove, Because I Said So, and Frozen

Karin Kallmaker Because I Said So, Book News 0 Comments

Instalove is a romantic story telling trope of long standing. It shows up so often in Shakespeare, for example, a person could think it’s how all relationships happened. The Romans invented Cupid’s Arrow to explain the irrationality of it (and to excuse a lot of rape, but I digress).

In The Little Mermaid, Mermaid falls for Land Guy cause he’s pretty or something. Land Guy is into someone else and it doesn’t go well. At least that’s how it goes in the original version, which is a cautionary tale about Love At First Sight, and, of course, there is no such caution in the Disney version. (See P.S. below.)

Why can you marry a man you just met according to a thousand years of stories? True love. Love explains all. Read More

woman triumphant in field of sunflowers

Surviving that First Reading – Updated

Karin Kallmaker Resources 2 Comments

Oof the biggest challenges I faced, after writing my first book, was reading from it to a live audience. I had never done anything like that before. My very first reading at a bookstore in Vacaville, sadly now closed, is still a vivid memory. I had flop sweats from minute one. I plowed onward. And at the exact right time in the scene the audience laughed.

Once I got that laugh I was hooked on the feedback loop in public readings. I enjoy readings immensely. But it took practice and learning from a lot of mistakes to get there.

So it’s no surprise to me that one of the most common requests for advice from new authors is how to survive that first reading. I’ve attempted here to create a useful checklist of advance work that will take a lot of anxiety out of the process. Plus tips for managing the event itself gleaned over many years in a changing landscape of opportunities for live readings. Read More

GCLS logo 2019 Pittsburgh

So I Had This Idea 2019 – From Idea to Published Work

Karin Kallmaker Events and Appearances, Sisters of the Pen 2 Comments

Every writer I know has doubts – they come with the job. On top of that, once the Googlerithmz realize we’re writers, every third online ad has a new way, a rediscovered old way, a better way, the best way, the only way to be a writer.

Know what I say to that? Hooey. (It’s a technical term.) The only wrong way to write is not to write. After that, whatever works is what works.

Every year I have the good fortune to be reminded of this fact when I moderate a panel of recently published writers Read More

because I said so good romance with great characters review

Because I Said So – Meet Shannon Dealan

Karin Kallmaker Because I Said So, Book News 1 Comment

Cover, Because I Said So by Karin Kallmaker, Bella Books 2019

Because I Said So – if you’ve read Chapter 1 you know how much Kesa Sapiro wants to say those words to her sister Josie. In this teaser from Chapter 2 you’ll find out why Shannon Dealan is in the same situation with Paz.


Because I Said So – Preview
by Karin Kallmaker



Because I Said So will be available July 2019. Did you listen to the reading from Chapter 7 yet?

Copyrighted material, uncorrected proof, 2019

Potatoes, Green Beans, and Ham Hot Dish in the Instant Pot

Karin Kallmaker Chocolate and Inspirations, LIFE + STYLE 3 Comments

I don’t really focus on recipe blogs (here’s one for delectable oatmeal chocolate cherry cookies, though, you’re welcome) but every time I make this dish I take a picture as if that somehow will preserve the sheer deliciousness of it. Then I can’t help but post that picture and then someone asks for the recipe. So here it is. Read More