Sheryl Sorrentino

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Land of the Freaked and the Home of the Dazed

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Saturday, December 10, 2016,

Trolling www.flipthe37blogspot.com for sample emails and information about imploring electoral college electors to “vote their conscience,” I stumbled upon some alarming and sobering comments from people who have already done so and been rebuked by these haughty public officials. Case in point: a woman who emailed the electoral college only to receive the following (highly abridged) response to her very innocuous email:



“Nice try though to get Electors to place their personal op...


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Not My Abusive Father

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Wednesday, November 30, 2016,

This isn’t a blog about resisting Trump. Pundits far more courageous and activist than I have been blogging abundantly about that topic—and I hope they continue to do so. Like many people, I have been experiencing unrelenting anxiety anticipating Trump’s impending inauguration. And let’s not kid ourselves: Despite wishful thinking (and a glimmer of hope) about recounts, electoral college rebels, and inevitable impeachments, we must all steel ourselves for the fact that Trump w...


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“Trolls” on Goodreads?

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Saturday, October 15, 2016,

Who are these faceless, photo-less “members” who have seemingly joined Goodreads for the sole purpose of panning books with one- and two-star ratings? I've been slogging along at this writing game for over five years now, with five titles on Goodreads and another in the works. Lately, I’ve begun seeing new rankings popping up on my Goodreads pages almost daily.

At first, I was excited. I thought, “Maybe I’ve finally broken through! Maybe people are finally starting to notice m...


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The People vs. Greed

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Sunday, July 17, 2016,
The People vs. GreedThe People vs. Greed by Joseph W. Cotchett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The People vs. Greed is a difficult read, both in the sense that it will turn your stomach, and in the sense that it is a well-researched, “lawyerly” tome that is laden with facts and hard evidence. Like a crime scene photo in a criminal trial, it is ugly to look at but impossible (and immoral) to turn away from. This book contains few, if any, “fluffy” vignettes that so typify today’s nonfiction. Rather than being ...
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The Daddy Diaries

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Sunday, January 10, 2016,
The Daddy DiariesThe Daddy Diaries by Joshua Braff
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’d give The Daddy Diaries a solid 3.75. If you’re familiar with the Australian TV series House Husbands, Joshua Braff’s "take" on the subject could easily become the U.S. adaptation.

What I liked: The tender scenes between diarist Jay and his depressed son, Alex. The fact that the economic role reversal between Jay and wife Jackie is not a source of friction—Jay is secure enough in his manhood to appreciate his wife for who she...

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The Two-Family House

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Monday, December 28, 2015,
The Two-Family HouseThe Two-Family House by Lynda Cohen Loigman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Two-Family House is an engaging, quick read I could not put down. My own mother and aunt and their two husbands lived in a similar setup in Brooklyn in the 1950s. After my parents moved to Queens, Long Island in 1958 to raise their growing family, we visited the two-family Brooklyn house each Christmas when I was a young child. There I witnessed an easy, open flow of activity and communication between my aunt’s and cous...
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Run Reader, Run

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Sunday, December 20, 2015,

Run, Brother, Run: A Memoir of a Murder in My FamilyRun, Brother, Run: A Memoir of a Murder in My Family by David Berg
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A murder in any family is “tell-worthy,” so you would think the story someone’s of brother being murdered would be especially so. Alan Berg’s disappearance and murder were indeed gut-wrenching to read about. However, while Run Brother, Run starts off tender and funny and engaging—full of quirky characters and ethnic “heart,” as it were, what promises at the outset to be an intimate “tell...
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What Makes a "Good Father"?

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Saturday, October 24, 2015,
The Good FatherThe Good Father by Diane Chamberlain
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book. I’m not sure whether it merits four or five stars, but only because it isn’t a great work of literature. The writing is fairly simple. But after abandoning Donna Tartt’s The Little Friend after 222 pages (of 658!), “great literature” wasn’t what I was looking for. The Good Father proves that not every tale must be told with brilliant prose in order to be great.

And make no mistake, The Good Fat...

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Six Stars to "The Rest of Her Life"

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Friday, September 4, 2015,
The Rest of Her LifeThe Rest of Her Life by Laura Moriarty
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

From practically the opening page, this story was intense, emotional and gripping. The Rest of Her Life shows us how, from one minute to the next, one error in judgment—a teeny, tiny moment of inattention—can profoundly alter so many lives forever. I found both the plot and characters to be intelligent, moving, and utterly convincing.

Distracted by a stray dog, eighteen-year-old Kara Churchill accidentally hits and kills a pede...

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Orange is the New Black

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Sunday, July 26, 2015,
I’ve become hooked on the Netflix series, Orange is the New Black. What a coup for Piper Kerman (author of the book by the same name)! I wish one of my books would get turned into a TV series. But seriously, unless someone you know is in prison, who even thinks about inmates or correctional institutions? The disenfranchised are tidily tucked away from view; we have no idea what goes on in such places, nor do we care. For raising our “corrections consciousness,” I give props to Ora...
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A Note of Thanks from a Pedi-phile

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Sunday, June 21, 2015,
What is it about having a pedicure that is so darned special? For a pittance ($20 or so), I can sit in a relaxing massage chair with my feet in deliciously warm water while someone else (alas, always a petite Asian lady) rubs and scrubs, pampers and paints. At the end, my tootsies look mahvelous and I feel like a new woman.

There are nail places on practically every block in most major cities, so evidently it’s a profitable business with seemingly endless demand. Apparently, I am not ...
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The Middle of Somewhere: A Gripping and Powerful Ride

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Saturday, June 13, 2015,
The Middle of SomewhereThe Middle of Somewhere by Sonja Yoerg
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Middle of Somewhere paints a dazzling, realistic picture of backpacking through Yosemite along the John Muir Trail—a three-week, 220-mile undertaking. Sonja Yoerg reminds us that out in the wilderness, there’s no room for lies or secrets. One's soul is bared. Our human need for one another—both physically and emotionally—is raw, unmasked by the distraction of technological gizmos or the false security afforded by our s...
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So Much for That: Caustic, Intense, and F-ing Brilliant

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Sunday, April 26, 2015,
So Much for ThatSo Much for That by Lionel Shriver
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Lionel Shriver is one of a small handful of authors whose workI consistently love—no matter how far one novel might stray from the next. In So Much for That, Shriver takes on midlife malaise, mesothelioma and the medical industry (and make no mistake, U.S. “health care” is all about industry). Her prose is scathing, angry, and unfailingly witty. I can see why certain reviewers hated this book; it is admittedly depressing. Shrive...
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Enjoyable Glimpse into Latin American Life

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Saturday, March 28, 2015,
A Place in the WorldA Place in the World by Cinda Crabbe MacKinnon


A Place in the World tells the story one woman’s life from the 1960s onward.

First, the positives: The author creates a beautiful setting (she could write for Condé Nast!). She makes the reader feel like we’re on an adventure vacation in the Colombian Andes getting an authentic taste of life on a remote coffee finca located adjacent to the rain forest. While I think the book perhaps could have done with a tad less emphasis on botany, the n...
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How to Get Readers to Fall in Love with Your Novel

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Sunday, January 4, 2015,

Reading a novel can—and should—be sensual, intimate, and engaging. Through the written word, readers spend time with fictional characters and take in their struggles, desires, and conflicts. A good story with convincing characters will draw readers into another dimension—a fictional getaway that resonates so viscerally, readers want to visit again and again. This phenomenon is very much like falling in love, and can be almost as compelling, which is why good writers strive to give rea...


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Life After Murder

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Thursday, December 4, 2014,
Life After Murder: Five Men in Search of RedemptionLife After Murder: Five Men in Search of Redemption by Nancy Mullane
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I began reading this book with trepidation. I hated “digesting” the stupid, senseless acts that had landed these five guys in prison for life with possibility of parole. Most were murders committed during the course of another crime (e.g., a home invasion robbery, fleeing from a convenience store robbery, etc.). One was particularly brutal (kicking a guy in the head who’d already been robbed and...
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Don’t Ditch Your Land Line

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Sunday, September 21, 2014,
Most young people no longer install land lines when they get their first apartment. They often live in short-term housing; their finances are tight; and they grew up relying on mobile devices and simply don't know any better. But many older folks, too, are getting rid of home phones they've had for years. I say, please don’t!

Don’t get me wrong: Cell phones are a fantastic invention. They have earned a prominent foothold in our day-to-day lives and changed the fabric of how we comm...
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I Wanted So Much to Like It . . .

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Sunday, August 31, 2014,
I generally don’t post negative reviews, whether I am in the minority or the majority. I know firsthand how upsetting it feels to be on the receiving end of them, and have often asked myself why readers would feel compelled to post harsh criticisms unless they’re purely peeved. (In those instances when I don’t like a book, I mark it “read” on Goodreads  with no rating and leave it at that.) I therefore hope I will not get “trashed” for voicing a minority view on this one; ...
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This Beautiful Life: Quick and Compelling Read about Indidiousness of Technology

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Monday, June 9, 2014,


This hidden gem deals with the current vexing topic of kids “sexting,” that is, posting and sending unflattering sexual pictures and videos of themselves over the internet. Fifteen-year-old Jake Bergamot receives just such a video from Daisy, a 13-year-old admirer and schoolmate he meets at a party. In an unthinking moment of bravado, disgust, confusion—we are never quite sure which (indeed Jake himself is never 100% sure), he forwards the email to one of his buddies.

The rest is...
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Sneak Peek - Stop and Frisk

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Thursday, April 24, 2014,


I haven't blogged for awhile because I've been busy working on my fifth novel, Stop and Frisk. For anyone interested in a sneak preview of my latest story, I would like to share the "pitch" with you. At the rate I am going, this one will not see the light of day until Summer 2015, but hopefully it will be worth the wait!

"Thirty-five year old Paulie Beckwith lost his only remaining family when his brother, Lloyd (a promising young pharmacist) was senselessly gunned down in his prime. Rai...
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Are Mediums for Real?

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Saturday, February 22, 2014,
I have a confession to make: I am a huge fan of Long Island Medium, that hoaky reality show featuring Long Island, N.Y. housewife and spitfire extraordinaire, Theresa Caputo. Maybe it’s that big, bleached head of hair, or that infectious, down-to-earth Italian charm (so reminiscent of characters I grew up with), or her tattooed, tough-guy sweetie of a husband. Maybe I’m jealous of her remarkably well-adjusted and supportive (if sometimes snarky) teenagers who good-naturedly indulge...
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Amazing and Inspirational Story

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Thursday, February 13, 2014,
I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the TalibanI Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I feel honored to have read Malala Yousafzai’s story, which is why it also feels somehow both inadequate and inappropriate to write this review as if I Am Malala were just another book worthy of literary critique.

I will start by saying, this book wasn’t at all what I expected; like several other reviewers, I anticipated more about Malala’s individual life experiences...
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Review of J.K. Rowling's "The Casual Vacancy"

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Tuesday, February 4, 2014,
The Casual VacancyThe Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow. The Casual Vacancy has got to be one of the best books I have ever read. I am rather pleasantly surprised to feel this way, because I didn’t much care for J.K. Rowling when I read her early Harry Potter books to my then school-aged daughter. I’d found her writing as dry and unmoving as her stories were imaginative. (And if the lawsuits brought against her are to be believed, the originality of those stories is questionable.)

B...
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My Twenty-Five Cents On “Doing What You Love”

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Saturday, February 1, 2014,

Okay, I realize the expression is “my two cents.” But since I blessedly earn about twelve times the U.S. average hourly wage for doing a day job I wouldn't say I "love," I have opted for mathematical accuracy in titling this blog.

And speaking of mathematics, three years and three novels since selling my first copy of Later with Myself in July 2011, I have earned less in total sales and royalties than I earn in a single day of practicing law. And that’s gross (meaning “before...


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The Mysterious Life and Death of a Health Fanatic

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Saturday, November 30, 2013,

My brother George left this world one year ago today at age 57. At the time, I considered it one of life’s great ironies that a man who never drank—and who was unfailingly obsessive about his diet and weight—died so young of liver cirrhosis.

My brother was a dedicated servant to his chiropractic patients and most in his element when giving advice about nutrition and health. He lived and breathed health-related issues far beyond chiropractic, and was always ready to impart his knowled...


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Lessons Learned from a Bad Review

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Tuesday, November 5, 2013,

Many people don’t realize that authors solicit reviews from readers, or that finding willing reviewers to generate “buzz” is no small feat; it takes time, research, and courage. Of course, there’s always friends and family, but they quickly tire of our requests, and it can be extremely awkward for both parties when they don’t happen to like our work. But make no mistake—when you see only five-star reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, you should rightly suspect that they came primari...


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Astor Place Vintage: A Well-Crafted Collision of Feminism's First and Third Waves

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Tuesday, October 15, 2013,

I was recently contacted, out of the blue, by a traditionally-published author for an honest review of her latest novel (tell me, how cool is that?). Although I already had the book on my Goodreads "To Read" shelf, I was afraid I might hate it. And then what? Unlike some, I would never trash a novel after being asked to review it. But at the same time, I couldn't very well accept a free copy and then not post a review--at least not without telling the author why I didn't enjoy her book enou...


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A Dumb Question about “Revenge Porn”

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Tuesday, October 8, 2013,
 
I read in last Sunday’s paper that California passed a new law designed to combat “revenge porn.” It imposes fines and even jail time on jilted lovers who post nude photos of former flames "with the intent to cause serious emotional distress." The only problem is, the law has two huge loopholes: It doesn’t apply to “selfies” (that is, self-shot pictures), and it doesn’t affect the Federal Communications Decency Act of 1996 (which shields website operators from liability for use...

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Am I Dead?

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Wednesday, September 25, 2013,


I saw a rather intriguing movie last week—Margaret, in which Anna Paquin (playing 17-year-old Lisa Cohen) performs a powerful scene with Allison Janney as Monica, the woman hit and dismembered by a New York City bus after Lisa thoughtlessly distracted the driver over a stupid cowboy hat. Lying in the street in Lisa’s arms, her severed leg lodged beneath the bus’s rear wheel about ten feet away, Monica asks Lisa, “Am I dead?”

It is a gruesome, bloody, and emotional scene—one wh...


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"Crossing Over" in Literature as in Life

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Saturday, September 14, 2013,
Note to Readers: Full post appears as a guest blog on Compulsion Reads!

I have been asked on several occasions why I, a white writer, feature non-white protagonists in my two most recent novels (Puerto Rican Norma Reyes in The Floater and biracial Sonya Schoenberg in Stage Daughter). The question itself is rather telling. After all, real life is multi-dimensional where race is concerned, so why would a novelist “raise eyebrows” simply by creating fictional characters whose cultural ...
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Five Important Reasons to Read Stage Daughter Before the World Comes to an End

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Friday, August 23, 2013,

I received a newsletter the other day containing advice on how to write blogs everyone will click on. Among the “tips” were such suggestions as offering bullet-point information in list format; making readers anxious with scare tactics; and drawing them in with negative, gloom-and-doom predictions.

So here goes. What follows are my five compelling reasons why you must pick up a copy of Stage Daughter today:

 1.   So you don’t become a victim of “Adolescent Meltdown”! Are you fa...


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And the Mountains Echoed

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Monday, August 12, 2013,

And the Mountains EchoedAnd the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

First, a confession (in the interests of fairness and full disclosure): Khaled Hosseini has attained “untouchable” status in my view—so much so that, as my all-time favorite author, he can do no wrong. When an artist bestows upon me so much pleasure with his unbelievable gift, that shared connection engenders a sort of intimacy and expectancy. We begin to grow together.

Like Hosseini’s first two novels (The Kite Runne...
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Strip Clubs: Harmless, Well-Paying Women’s Work in an “Open Urinal”?

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Saturday, August 3, 2013,

My fourth novel, Stage Daughter, is barely hot off the presses (http://stagedaughter.com) and I am already sniffing around for a fresh idea for my next story. I want to write something edgy and different—a story that pushes the envelope with emotion and controversy. But how do I top a twelve-year-old girl reconnecting her hapless, stressed-out single mom with her devout, unwitting married Muslim dad? I am toying with the idea of writing about a lonely male protagonist who works as a secur...


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Self-Promotion for Chumps and Hos

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Wednesday, July 24, 2013,

Times may be tough, but it’s a great time to be in the self-publishing business. That is, if you happen to sell some variant of snake oil meant to transform an unknown writer into a best-selling author. Book ads. Virtual tours. Paid Tweetingthe possibilities are endless. The only catch is, these marketing devices can only deliver on one promise: To keep our fantasies alive while quickly emptying our wallets.

 

If this sounds a little like prostitution, there are definitely parallels b...


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Loss of Innocence and the Self-Defense Defense

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Thursday, July 18, 2013,

Like many people, I feel perplexed and dismayed by the not-guilty verdict in the George Zimmerman trial. I want to believe that those six women—who heard the evidence on both sides—did their jobs and made the right decision. But as a lawyer, I am not so naïve as to believe that justice prevails in all instances, especially when questions of race are involved.

This verdict has people up in arms. On one side, folks are demonstrating, decrying, and destroying. At the opposite extreme, c...


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The "New Normal"

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Sunday, July 7, 2013,
Now, there’s another term I truly hate. It’s a sorry euphemism for “we all know everything sucks, so suck it up.” It is apparently meant to justify the dulling of normal human sensibilities about what is considered impolite, unacceptable, and outrageous by labeling bad behavior “normal.”

For example, once upon a time it was considered incredibly rude to ignore a letter or phone message. Today, no one need bother answering anymore. In part, this is an understandable reaction to the...

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On Paula Deen's Use of the "N-Word"

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Thursday, June 27, 2013,
There’s been a lot of backlash surrounding the lawsuit against Paula Deen and the Southern celebrity chef's admission that she used the “N-word” when (among other instances) describing an incident that took place when she was a bank teller and got held up at gunpoint. Ms. Deen said in her sworn deposition that she used the racial slur when recounting the event to her husband.

Although I feel for Ms. Deen being a victim of such a terrifying crime, I am not sure how these extenuating circu...
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Trapped on Vacation

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Sunday, June 23, 2013,
It’s never fun when vacation plans are derailed, but it’s especially unsettling to take a long-awaited trip, only to wind up in the middle of a disaster area. I’d carefully planned our two-pronged retreat, first to a lovely, well-appointed condo in Canmore (near Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada); then—the highpoint of our trip—a secluded cabin in Jasper National Park, about a five-hour drive to the Northwest.

It rained off and on the first few days, but we were still able to en...

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Something Different, or More of the Same?

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Friday, June 14, 2013,
Check out full review of And the Mountains Echoed on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/559995391

We may give lip service to "reinventing ourselves," but it is a truism that people want and expect us to do what we do best in life. Nowhere is this more evident than in the arts. If a certain genre of book, music, or movie makes someone famous, fans will want more of that. Once an author, musician or director tries “crossing over” into something new and different, he or she risks...
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Memorial Day Musings: Nothing to Envy

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Saturday, May 25, 2013,
The other day, I randomly picked up a book from the “Little Free Library” box in my neighborhood (see http://www.littlefreelibrary.org). The book is called Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea, written by Barbara Demick, a former correspondent for the Los Angeles Times. I don’t usually dedicate blog space to discussing the books that I am reading, but felt compelled to make an exception for this eye-opening nonfiction exposé concerning the lives of North Korean defectors from...

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“Make It ‘Til You Fake It”

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Friday, May 10, 2013,

You read that correctly. I hate self-promotion, and I especially loathe that stupid saying, “Fake it until you make it.” Who came up with this, anyway? “Fake” is the antithesis of everything I strive to be, namely authentic, genuine, and real. As far as I am concerned, you gotta get the goods before you can put up a “For Sale” sign.

Besides which, while you’re so busy “faking it,” how are you going to learn what you need to know to offer something of value? That comes from b...


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The Artistry of Writing

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Sunday, May 5, 2013,
Don’t tell my husband, but I am in love with a certain Latin singer. Not the man, necessarily, but his voice. As an "old timer" I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit I’ve become enamored with Marc Anthony’s “second wave” of Spanish love ballads and salsa numbers. But this is not a blog about Latin music or Marc Anthony; I only bring him up because while immersed in his playlist, I got to wondering what it takes to be the literary equivalent of a gifted singer.

In Anthony’s case, ...

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Don’t Judge a Book by its (Stock Photo) Cover

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Saturday, April 13, 2013,

Anyone who has self-published knows the agony of relying on stock photography for the “perfect cover.” There is no such thing. But we self-pubbers understand that (unless money is no object) it doesn’t make economic sense to commission an artist or photographer to custom-design a cover. Royalty-free stock photography is licensed for a small, one-time fee that allows an author commercial use of up to 500,000 copies. (To give you an idea, many so-called “best-sellers” sell only about ...


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Baby Mama Drama, Meet Islam

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Monday, April 8, 2013,
My fourth novel, Stage Daughter, is nearly complete. Yet never before have I felt such trepidation about releasing a work of fiction. Even with my first novel, Later With Myself: The Misadventures of Millie Moskowitz (which portrays—albeit somewhat fictionally—the freak show that was my childhood), I did not feel such angst as I do about my latest multicultural undertaking.

In Stage Daughter, protagonist Sonya Schoenberg haplessly conceives a child with a devout Muslim man through a night ...
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The Dream Snatchers

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Saturday, March 16, 2013,
I find myself once again facing an all-too-familiar dilemma. Having nearly finished my fourth novel, Stage Daughter, my fingers now itch to hold a proof copy in my hand. I want to see how it looks and reads as a real-life book. And yet, despite having gotten early feedback from five trusted readers, and having edited my manuscript several times over from beginning to end, I am reluctant to take the next steps to prepare it for self-publishing.

Why? Because I am convinced this is my best work ...

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Who Are You Mad At Today?

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Wednesday, February 27, 2013,

I have been doing a great deal of Internet research on Islam for my upcoming fourth novel, Stage Daughter. Aziz, one of three main characters, is a Muslim man, so I have been undergoing a crash online course to better understand how he might think, feel, and react in different circumstances. When not worried about dark-suited CIA agents appearing at my doorstep, I have learned some rather interesting things.

Naturally, all religions have their more bizarre teachings and their more extremist f...


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How Do I Come Up With This Stuff?

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Wednesday, February 6, 2013,
I was at a business lunch the other day with a straightlaced accountant and an equally stuffy insurance agent (both white males), trying to promote my law practice when instead, the subject of my writing came up. You see, I’m in that “place” again, where I’m consumed by my characters' voices demanding airtime inside my head. So engrossed have I become with my latest story that I'm having trouble focusing on anything else, including blogging, posting on Facebook or Twitter, or breaking...

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“Started But Didn’t Finish”: Sacrilegious or Sensible?

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Sunday, January 20, 2013,
Three days ago, I abandoned Michael Chabon’s The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay in favor of Elizabeth Berg’s Once Upon a Time, There Was You. Not because Amazing Adventures isn’t a great book, mind you. But after completing 146 pages (and with more than 500 remaining), my brain began to ache.

Don’t get me wrong: Chabon is an excellent writer and there were moments when I’d been intrigued. But on the whole, I found myself growing weary from the effort required to muddle throu...

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Cold, Critters, and Cramped Confinement: Here’s to Getting Away from It All

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Friday, January 11, 2013,

I just finished reading T.C. Boyle’s San Miguel, a brilliant work of historical fiction that chronicles the lives of two sheep ranching families who resided on this remote island off the coast of Santa Barbara during the late nineteenth century and the 1930’s. Mirantha Waters, the story’s first female protagonist, loathed the isolation and merciless weather on San Miguel island and was often at odds with her husband. In contrast, Elizabeth Lester, the island’s subsequent female homest...


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Gun Control after Sandy Hook: Part One

Posted by Sheryl Sorretino on Tuesday, January 1, 2013,

As we enter a new year in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook rampage, there is precious little we agree on where gun control is concerned. So I’d like to begin with these fairly incontrovertible but conflicting premises:

(1)   Criminals and insane people do not respect the law.

(2)   “Bad guys” will always have access to guns, no matter how tightly they are regulated.

(3)
  
We each have a fundamental right to protect ourselves—and others—from violence, invasion, and threats of injury. ...


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Will the World End Today?

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Friday, December 21, 2012,
Some people really believed the world would come to an end today. Despite the supposed cessation of the Mayan calendar and the numerical quirkiness of today's date (122112), I never believed the world would self-destruct in one quick blast on such a typical Friday. I believe it will happen more gradually than that. Who knows? Maybe it is happening already. This was a year of fear, loss, and devastation for so many. And while I suspect we have many more centuries—if not millenia—to look fo...

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Who Will Clean Up Your Mess When You Die?

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Friday, December 14, 2012,
Death. The word alone sends shivers up our spines. It conjures images of faceless, hooded entities wielding calling-card scythes; fire and brimstone; and lonely graveyards on dark, thundery nights. But the reality is far more mundane, at least for those scurrying survivors who must make quick decisions about travel and funeral arrangements, and long-range ones about settling a loved one’s affairs.

The death of a close friend or family member is a time of upheaval and sorrow, one where we tr...

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Can Anyone Become a Victim of Abuse?

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Monday, December 10, 2012,
I recently re-released my second novel, An Unexpected Exile, a mostly lighthearted story about a mismatched couple who indulge a mutual sexual obsession while embroiled in a politically-charged culture clash. But it also deals with a much more serious issue: Domestic abuse.

My protagonist, Risa Weinberg, is not your stereotypical abuse victim. Self-centered, attractive, and financially independent, she is under no economic or social compunction to remain in a relationship with (much less marry...

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The Legend of Doofus O'Reilly, One Badass Cat

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Saturday, November 17, 2012,
One week ago today, I had the gut-wrenching experience of having to euthanize my cat of nearly fifteen years. Sadly, he declined quickly the last month of his life, and sprouted an orange-sized tumor in less than a week. But he lived a good life of almost seventeen years’ duration, during which time that annoying, furry creature won my heart and earned my grudging respect.

His name was “Heathcliff” back in 1998 when I rescued him from my mother-in-law (who was about to return him to the...

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An Author's Confession

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Thursday, November 8, 2012,
I have had a sad revelation. My second novel, An Unexpected Exile, isn’t as good as my other two. There, I’ve admitted it. I released AUE too impulsively, out of a misguided sense that I needed to quickly follow up my first book, Later With Myself: The Misadventures of Millie Moskowitz, with something “light” and “commercially marketable” (since Later With Myself so clearly isn’t either). But I’ve learned a few things since I wrote my first book, while the painstaking effort I...

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What the Self-Publishing World Needs

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Saturday, October 27, 2012,

I came across this article in HuffPost Books yesterday while perusing Facebook (thank you, Glenda Bixler, for posting!): "Are Self-Publishing Authors Killing the Publishing Industry?" http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10.... Its author, Melissa Foster, argues that we self-published types are “devaluing the written word” by selling our books so cheaply ($.99 to free as e-books), relying on “gimmicks” to gain sales, and having “mismanaged expectations.”

Allow me to offer the self-p...


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What's With the Pseudonym?

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Friday, October 19, 2012,
I recently reached out to media trying to pitch a by-lined article (that’s an article placed in a print or Internet outlet where credit is given to the author, along with a nice “plug” about his or her book). I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised that virtually no one answered (they never do), but I was surprised by the one response I did get:

“O why the pseudonym. If YOU have something to say, say it. Otherwise shut up.”

Ouch! The original message was riddled with typos and mis...

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Let's Have a "Look Inside" . . . at the Author's Note!

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Friday, October 12, 2012,
This week, The Floater got the best birthday gift I could have imagined, an endorsement from New York Times bestselling author Ken Morris (writer of financial thrillers Man in the Middle and Deadly Trade, as well as Blind Allegiance to Sarah Palin). He called The Floater “The Rocky of legal dramas,” and remarked that “attorney and protagonist Norma Reyes . . . is often beaten down but never knocked out." It gets better: "Gritty and necessarily graphic, The Floater is a well-written and ...

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On Growing Wings and Learning to Walk

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Thursday, October 4, 2012,
The Floater is two months old today. I would have likened the release of my latest book to pushing a baby bird out of the nest. Perhaps in the best of worlds, this would be true—I’d give it a little shove, and it would fly away on ever-strengthening wings. (Unless it’s weak or ill-conceived, in which case, I’d watch in horror as it floundered, then crashed to the ground.)

But I now see why launching a book is often compared to the birth of a baby. You force this thing—this newly lib...

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On Giving Bad Reviews

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Friday, September 28, 2012,
And by “bad,” I don’t mean poorly-written (that’s a subject for another day). I mean those scathing one- and two-star reviews some people post when they didn’t enjoy a book for whatever reason. Now, I have no problem stating my case if I don't like a particular book. But when faced with the pesky dilemma of whether to imprint an already negative review with fewer than three stars, I have recently found myself unable to do it. Having been on the receiving end of a few such critiques,...

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Musings on Motherhood and Nakedness

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Friday, September 21, 2012,
I made my daughter try on some mail-order bras last night, which was a battle unto itself. My daughter is going through—shall we say—an uncooperative stage, so anything I ask her to do is typically met with resistance. I consider this fairly normal behavior for a twelve-year-old, and try not to let it upset me.

But to my dismay, this atypical peek at her unclad upper body revealed a pretty bad case of bacne (you know, those horrible, pimply bumps that can mysteriously sprout up across one...

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By Jove, I Think I've Got It!

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Thursday, September 13, 2012,
I had a bit of a medical scare this past weekend. Though in all likelihood it was nothing, there’s nothing like a real or imagined brush with mortality to bring one’s life into sharp focus. Over the course of the past few days, I seriously questioned whether I should continue writing—or, more accurately, whether to persist in self-publishing and marketing my books when they aren't selling as well as I would like. I kept coming back to the question I posed in my last blog—why? (As in, ...

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The Vulnerable Side of a Writer's Life

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Friday, September 7, 2012,
Okay, The Floater has been out for over a month, and I am into full marketing (ahem, hawking) mode. I hired a publicist to run a two-week media campaign, and I’ve gotten several “nibbles.” (And you’d be amazed just how thrilling it is to get any expression of interest from an online newspaper, blogger or review site—even if it means giving books away for free! You’d think I was actually generating sales!) I feel like a job applicant who emailed her resume to over a thousand people...
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Should You Flirt on Facebook?

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Friday, August 31, 2012,

As my circle of Facebook friends has expanded (a direct result of my book marketing efforts), I sometimes face the lure of online flirting. And as a hormonally-unstable 50-year-old fighting a losing battle with menopause, I can personally attest that its pull can be irresistible. But should I do it?

Don’t tell me Facebook flirting is “harmless.” Obviously, it means something to somebody, or there wouldn't be so much advice out there counseling how to do it well. Online flirting is far f...


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When Did Anger Become a Four-Letter Word?

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Friday, August 24, 2012,

The Floater just received another five-star review, for which I am thrilled and extremely thankful. In it, the reviewer characterizes Norma’s boyfriend, Oscar, as “a bit of a hothead.” This got me wondering, is it no longer acceptable to express anger in an honest and appropriate way?

Oscar gets pissed when (among other things) (1) Norma slams the bathroom door on his hand; (2) the firm where he’s worked as a supervisor for 14 years demotes him to mail runner; and (3) Norma’s sister,...


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What Constitutes a Fair Shot at Success?

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Friday, August 17, 2012,
I’m all for the American ideals of self-determination and hard work, but I also believe in that seemingly-forgotten principle that every American deserves a fair shot at the so-called American Dream. But becoming successful in this country is—and has always been—as much about having resources as being resourceful.

I just can’t help wondering: What if we had the ability to guaranty every child in the U.S. would, upon successfully graduating from high school, receive up to $250,000 to a...

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Let the Games Begin

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Saturday, August 4, 2012,
No, I’m not talking about the Olympics. I’m sure you’ve heard enough about that all week. I’m referring to the game of life. When the whistle blows and it’s time to choose which lineup to join for this marathon event we call adulthood, which team will you choose? Because—make no mistake about it—life’s a game, and there are sides to be drawn.

Your best bet is probably Team Business, where the movers and shakers compete in a brutal race to promote America’s commercial interest...

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Is There Still Such a Thing as Duty?

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Saturday, July 28, 2012,
My father was part of a generation of men who, out of duty, married the women they impregnated. (Or, if they were already married, they concurrently acted married to their unintended baby mamas.) They took care of ailing and failing spouses ‘til death did they part—whether they loved ‘em or not—and made both spouses miserable in the process. In my father’s case, he drove fifty miles each way to nurse a dying brother with whom he hadn’t spoken in years.

My father's generation, cons...

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Are All White People Racist?

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Friday, July 20, 2012,
I got into a heated debate with my friend’s husband last night about government handouts and people taking personal responsibility for their lot in life. Never once was race specifically mentioned, but somehow, having grown up in the real-life version of the fictional "Moskowitz" household where such discussions were rampant, I instinctively knew that each time he used the word “they,” he really meant Black and Hispanic people, immigrants, and “foreigners”—that handy catch-all for...

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Time to Count My Blessings

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Friday, July 13, 2012,
I had several snappy topics to blog about today, but on this worrisome morning—Friday the 13th—I’d simply like to take a moment to count my blessings. It’s hard not to fret as I tempt fate by embarking with my daughter on a flight to New York, that fertile land mine where my toxic family history resides. I am equally stressed anticipating the long and uncomfortable redeye, as I am worried about what awaits us at the other end.

I may complain about not being a successful enough writer,...
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The High Price of Passion

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Saturday, July 7, 2012,
Not too long ago, I fantasized about eliminating the workaday pressures of practicing law, and instead living off my fiction writing. Boy, was I in for a rude awakening! I don’t care how good a writer you are, how committed, or how relatively successful. Chances are, you’re not going to single-handedly support a family on the vagaries of the literary marketplace.

Sure, you might get lucky and sell a few hundred copies of your title, or even get picked up by a publisher. If you’re really...

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Why I Write What I Do

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Saturday, June 30, 2012,
Oh, I can feel those labor pains. The Floater is in head-down position, and I’m at six centimeters. Just one reader left, whose feedback I await with bated breath. But the comments I've received from test readers thus far have proven invaluable. I am excited—and scared! My baby is about to be born, and somehow, I sense that her emergence will, like the birth of a new family member, change my life in unimaginable ways big and small.

At this juncture, I cannot help but take stock of my fir...

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What is it About Family?

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Saturday, June 23, 2012,
In exactly three weeks, I will disrupt my life, spend a bunch of money I can ill afford (and nine days I don't have to spare), and drag my nearly twelve-year-old daughter on a redeye to visit my two brothers, whom I haven’t seen since 2009. Whereas the first few years after our father died, I spoke to them fairly regularly (mostly getting sucked into the dramatic vortex constantly spinning out of control in their respective lives), these last few years I seem to have moved to a different pl...

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Back to the Drawing Board . . .

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Saturday, June 16, 2012,
Because I believe so strongly in my third novel, The Floater, and want to see it take off once it’s finally launched, I did something different this time around—I invited four people whose opinions I trust to read a proof copy and give me feedback on the story itself. By now—nearly a year after the launch of my first novel, Later With Myself: The Misadventures of Millie Moskowitz, I trust that my writing is respectable (if not brilliant). But I’ve come a long way since releasing LWM; ...

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When Does Sex Cross the Literary Line?

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Saturday, June 9, 2012,
It is no secret all three of my novels contain explicit sex. In Later With Myself: The Misadventures of Millie Moskowitz, I recount in graphic and disturbing detail twelve-year-old Millie’s exploits with five grown men. In An Unexpected Exile, I portray sizzling, obsessive sex that progressively pushes the envelope from passion to abuse (and by the end of the novel, unmistakably crosses that thin line). And in The Floater (coming later this summer), I explore and expose intimacy issues betw...

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The Battle of the Typos

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Saturday, June 2, 2012,
Those pesky typos. You've tried proofing your work, and spell-checking it. And yet, typographical errors pepper your book's pages like a stubborn heat rash that won’t go away.

Why does this happen? First, the eyes have a propensity to see what they want to see. Just as we overlook a few blemishes (be they skin-deep or deeply rooted) when we first become smitten by a new love interest, so do our eyes play tricks on us when we proofread our beloved manuscript. We simply don’t see flaws read...

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How Rotten Have We Become?

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Sunday, May 27, 2012,
I am planning a trip to New York this summer to visit my two brothers. (For those of you who have read Later With Myself: The Misadventures of Millie Moskowitz, think: Stanley and Jake, only ten times more jaded, negative, and income-challenged). I don’t typically use my blogs to rant, but today, I will make an exception because I am once again dumbfounded by just how low the human race will stoop.

Before I even subject myself and my eleven-year-old daughter to the intrusion, humiliation, a...

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Natural Energy Enhancers

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Saturday, May 19, 2012,
No, I’m not talking about the vitamin supplement kind; I’m talking about those activities and people that boost our energy level in spite of too much stress and too little sleep. I’m talking about passion—the absence of which leaves us feeling dead inside. As anyone who's viewed a loved-one's corpse and experienced that palpable, chilling absence of animus knows, we are all just empty shells filled with a strange, animating force that makes us who we really are. When we die (physicall...
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The Debate Rages On . . . In My Living Room

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Saturday, May 5, 2012,
Until now, I’ve avoided blogging on the touchy topic of abortion, even though it plays a major role in my first novel, Later With Myself: The Misadventures of Millie Moskowitz. So many troublesome issues come into play in that book, not the least of which is whether it is okay for a too-young mother-to-be to give birth to a child she cannot possibly care for (and which she wants for all the wrong reasons).

My friends know that I am staunchly pro-choice—with one significant reservation. I a...

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To Query or Not to Query: That is the Question

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Saturday, April 28, 2012,
As The Floater transforms itself from flat to fabulous, I’ve been pondering my next move. Do I repeat my less-than-fulfilling experience with self-publishing? Or should I query a few (or a few hundred) agents in the hope that one might take me on?

Let’s look at the pros and cons:

On the one hand, as soon as I hit the “send” button and fire off my first query to a faceless agent in New York, I’ve handed over the keys to my fate and signed on for a wild, emotional roller-coaster ride....

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More on the Editing Process: The Thin Line Between Taking it On the Chin vs. Up the You-Know-What

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Saturday, April 21, 2012,
A dear friend and fellow writer challenged me to put my manuscript where my mouth is: After she’d asked me to review her manuscript for typos and grammatical errors (and I did my signature Sorrentino slash-and-burn), she dared me to let her stick her nose into to my own, upcoming third novel, The Floater. Well, have I ever been told a thing or two (excuse me, “shown,” not “told”).

Our battle of the pens has gone something like this (I paraphrased a bit for the sake of propriety, yet...

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Not-So-Great Expectations

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Saturday, April 14, 2012,

It’s one thing to hope for the best, and quite another to cling to false hope. It’s good to have faith, but not to leave one's fate in the hands of wishful thinking or fantastical fantasy. There’s a fine line between being enthusiastically positive and utterly unrealistic. Sure, Don Quixote taught us a thing or two about living with passion and hope. But he is a fictional character (not to mention, crazy).

 

So where’s the balance? Never is this question more important than when ven...


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Fictionalized Autobiographies and Fictional Memoirs? I Don’t Think So . . .

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Saturday, April 7, 2012,

A few readers seem to have a problem with my choosing to write Later With Myself: The Misadventures of Millie Moskowitz as autobiographical fiction instead of a memoir. I will admit, at first this decision was driven mainly by a desire not to advertise Millie’s troubled personal history as my own. But equally compelling was my belief that I could not present this story as entirely factual. I was prompted to write this book once I found out about events that had occurred before I was born, w...


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Writer’s Block and other Fallacies

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Wednesday, April 4, 2012,

I’ve never had writer’s block. Maybe it’s because I have so little time to write, I try to make every second count. True, with all three of my manuscripts (and now a fourth in its embryonic stage), after completing the first chapter or two, there was a period when I thought my story was stupid and I lost all interest. But after a few months’ gestation, I got back into it and words began to flow.

I think some people get "writer's block" at this stage because they are trying to do more ...


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A Note on Character Development (Fictional and Personal)

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Thursday, March 29, 2012,

Someone once told me that fiction writers construct their stories from a personal mosaic of life experience, casual observation, and imagination. I have found this to be true of own my writing (though for me, the hodgepodge can feel more like the makings of a bad dream), especially when it comes to crafting characters. 

 

I start by conjuring a mental sketch of someone I knew once upon a time. Okay, I am going to stop right there, because that confession makes me seem devious and unimagina...


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Sex, Race and Class (Oh My!)

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Sunday, March 25, 2012,

As I prepare to launch my third novel, The Floater, later this year, I need to say a few words about the charged topics of sex, race and class. You may have noticed that my female protagonists aren’t the sharpest knives in the drawer when it comes to men or sex. (And “floater” Norma Reyes will be no exception.) I realize that many best-sellers feature a nonthreatening female protagonist who could be a poster child for Ladies Home Journal, but my women are a bit sloppier than that.

 

...


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Reader Reviews: The Art of Literary Warfare

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Wednesday, March 21, 2012,

I’ll let you in on a little secret: Authors (at least up-and-coming ones like myself) chase reviews like servicemen’s wives and girlfriends yearned for letters from their loved ones during World War II. We crave your feedback; it tells us our precious darlings are still alive somewhere, and haven’t been gunned down in a hailstorm of public indifference. Yes, an author’s biggest challenge is launching her book across enemy lines—that is, sending it off to do battle on the bloody soil...


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Am I Insane to Keep Trying?

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Saturday, March 17, 2012,

I haven’t blogged for about a week. In part this is because I have been busy focusing on my day job. But the real reason is that I’ve been feeling discouraged. So far, I have had one Kindle sale this month. Yes, I know it’s taboo for me to disclose such a shameful fact. But if you’ve read Later With Myself, you know that I am not one to shy away from forbidden topics.

 

At my 50th birthday party last weekend, friends all told me what an incredible achievement it is to have publi...


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Should I Stop Reading?

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Saturday, March 10, 2012,

I am depressed—and frightened. I am on Page 102 of Lisa Genova’s Still Alice, and I’m not sure I want to go on. Alice is about to tell her grown children about her Alzheimer’s diagnosis. For the first 101 pages I’ve been asking myself, “Could I have early onset Alzheimer’s?” I forget common words (or the wrong one slips out of my mouth) all the time. I can’t count how many times I have been unable to place a familiar face (usually a neighbor’s) in an unfamiliar setting (li...


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On Launching a Writing Career at Age 50

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Friday, March 2, 2012,

Okay, technically I was 47 when I began writing Later With Myself: The Misadventures of Millie Moskowitz, one year after the story idea smacked me in the face, unwittingly, in the form of learning about my deceased half-brother and the Secret Life of Daddy. But I will be turning 50 in less than two weeks, so I think this warrants a pause, a breath, and a few sage words.

To be quite honest, as recently as several months ago, the prospect of turning 50 was dispiriting to me. It felt as if my l...


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To Critique or Not to Critique? That’s a Good Question.

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Tuesday, February 28, 2012,

A few years ago, before I’d completed my first novel, Later With Myself, I was fortunate enough to have coffee with a traditionally-published novelist. A real, honest-to-goodness author who’d managed to land an agent through a Connection (see “The Elusive Elements of Success,” below) via her writers’ group. These were the first words out of her mouth—even before “Double decaf latte, please”: “You should know, I have a personal policy never to review aspiring writers’ manus...


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The Elusive Elements of Success

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Friday, February 24, 2012,

My very talented (if not world renowned) musician sister-in-law, Shelley Doty, said something interesting to me the other day. According to her, anyone who achieves success in the arts, whether it be music, writing, acting or anything else, possesses four characteristics in some (not necessarily equal) measure: Talent, discipline, luck, and connections.

 

I’ve given this a lot of thought in relation to my own fledgling-yet-burgeoning writing career. Have I got talent? Naturally I’d like...


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Dr. Esquire and Ms. Scribe: Confessions of a Split Personality

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Tuesday, February 21, 2012,

When I discovered my passion for writing three years ago, I foolishly thought I could stop practicing law and reinvent myself as an author. Perhaps that might be possible someday, when I retire, but for now, my life is a non-stop, exhausting merry-go-round that typically begins at 3:00 a.m. and doesn’t end until I collapse from fatigue at 8:30 each night while spending quality time in front of the television with my daughter. (And yes, quality time can be had in front of the T.V. Where else...


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It Can Always be Better . . .

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Friday, February 17, 2012,

If you think your manuscript’s finished, it probably isn’t. How do we know when we’ve hit that literary “sweet spot” when we deem our work “perfect”? We can’t. We only think we can. Perfection isn’t ours to judge—that call gets made by friends, agents, and ultimately (hopefully!) readers.
 

If we hit our mark, we may have a hit. This is perhaps (but not always) the sign of a great writer. But if we don’t, then we’re simply not as wonderful as we’d like to think we ar...


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Out of Death's Ashes Springs New Life

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Tuesday, February 14, 2012,

It took my dad dying for me to finally wake up, get dressed, and drag my authentic self to life’s big party. I know that might sound like a terrible thing to say, but it’s true. In dealing with my shock and anger over my father’s lifelong secrets, I discovered my own passion for writing. I had spent my entire adulthood feeling ashamed and guilty about my admittedly foolish childhood missteps when the most momentous relationship in my life had been based on hypocrisy and lies. This irony...


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LWM vs. AUE

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Sunday, February 12, 2012,

If you’ve read both my novels, you already know that An Unexpected Exile is a very different type of read than Later With Myself. LWM is raw and intense; it will make you squirm. LWM has its funny moments for sure, but its emotional impact comes from my having written such a highly personal story in the first person voice. In fact, a few readers have told me it is so personal, they couldn’t make it past the Prologue.

 
An Unexpected Exile was my attempt to lighten things up a bit. It offe...


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LESSON LEARNED FROM A THANKSGIVING PIE

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Friday, November 25, 2011,

It’s never gonna be all good, all at once.


Yesterday, after trying and failing for years to make my own, home-made pie crust, I decided to give it another shot. My husband had come home from the store empty-handed, the last of the frozen pie crusts having been snapped up by other, better-organized Thanksgiving shoppers. But he still wanted pie. So miracle of miracles, I found an easy recipe in a magazine and, with the help of my food processor, produced a decent crust. But, sadly, the fill...


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Confessions of a Food Addict

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Sunday, October 30, 2011,

            I admit it: I am a food addict. Which is no different than being a drug addict, alcoholic, or any other type of addict—other than the fact that people don’t understand it. They think I am being silly when I refuse to go to such-and-such party or restaurant because I’ve painstakingly worked out my food plan for that day, and the holiday potluck or all-you-can-eat buffet does not fit within my goal.

            While some people don’t put much thought or effort into stayin...


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What Am I Doing, Anyway?

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Saturday, August 27, 2011,

The other day, my brother asked me what I was doing, writing and publishing “Later With Myself.” Although he hasn’t actually read the book, he saw this website and my amazon product page, and commented that, from what he had seen, the book appeared to be largely autobiographical. He asked me whether this was some sort of catharsis for me.

 

I thought a lot about his question, because I have been asking myself the same thing for months. Pretty much anyone who has bought a copy of my b...


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Update: Forty copies sold and counting . . .

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Sunday, August 14, 2011,
If you are interested enough in this fledgling writer to read my blog posts, you are to be rewarded with my candid-yet-taboo disclosure of my pitiful-but-promising sales numbers to date. After a bit of arm-twisting (ahem, encouragement), my initial readers have posted their glowing reviews on amazon.com. Despite the fact that I solicited these reviews, I nonetheless believe them to be heartfelt and honest. After all, I might be able to coax a few reviews from friends (and even a client!) with...
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Chick Lit?

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Wednesday, February 23, 2011,
The other day, one of my dear friends (and long-suffering reader of my manuscripts) characterized An Unexpected Exile as "Chick Lit." I immediately felt insulted. After all, isn't "Chick Lit" nothing more than inane, fluffy entertainment for airhead women with little or no intelligence?

So I did a little more research on the genre, and it seems that "Chick Lit," as a sub-genre of women's fiction, can deal with some very serious subjects. The characteristic features of "Chick Lit" are (1) a hu...
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Update: An Unexpected Exile

Posted by Sheryl Sorrentino on Sunday, January 23, 2011,
An Unexpected Exile is now a complete manuscript. I suspect that, if it ever gets published, virtually every woman who reads it will identify with my protagonist, Risa Weinberg, to some extent. What woman has not lost herself in the name of romance? Who among us has not confused the fleeting passions of the flesh with an enduring connection (and that's if we're lucky!)? Who hasn't gotten so caught up in planning her perfect wedding, that she ignored the long-view and could not see beyond the ...
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Sheryl Sorrentino: Real Fiction for Real Women™


Sheryl Sorrentino is a practicing attorney by day who unexpectedly discovered her passion for writing after learning of a long-deceased half-brother in 2007. She is the author of five novels (Later With Myself: The Misadventures of Millie Moskowitz; An Unexpected Exile; The Floater; Stage Daughter and Stop & Frisk) with a sixth (Smarter Than That) slated for release Spring of 2017. She lives with her husband and teenage daughter in the San Francisco Bay Area. You can learn more about Sheryl Sorrentino by visiting her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/sheryl.sorrentino#!/pages/Sheryl-Sorrentino/249323025094995. Follow Sheryl on Twitter at @SherylSorrentin.

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