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I'm a San Francisco author and writing teacher here to provide resources for writers of any level of experience. I am the author of the novels Extraordinary Means (William Morrow) and California Street (Simon & Schuster), as well as two books on writing: Get that Novel Started and Get that Novel Written, both published by Writer's Digest Books. Visit often for updates about newly released books and trends in publishing. Send me a message--and be sure to read and add your comments on my new blog, below.

Why You Should Pay an Editor (but not Me)

Posted by Donna Levin on November 05, 2015 | Read More & Add Comments >>

            A former student once asked me to read her novel.  She didn’t just want me to read it, of course:  She wanted me to critique it. 

            This is tantamount to asking your dentist to clean your teeth after work for free, but often writers don’t see it that way.

The Movie Can Be Better than the Book--Really!

Posted by Donna Levin on September 01, 2015 | Read More & Add Comments >>

        I had a conversation with a sort-of friend ( malheursement,  I have a number of “sort of friends”—people who I like well enough, but…) a few years ago.

        That it was a few years ago, and that the conversation still gnaws at me will tell you something.

        I was looking forward to seeing a forthcoming movie adaptation of a recent popular novel that I’d read.  She was interested as well, but she asserted, “The book is always better than the movie.”

Romancing the Novel

Posted by Donna Levin on August 02, 2015 | Read More & Add Comments >>

            When you think of California novelists, you probably think first of Jack London or Wallace Stegner—but some of California’s most prolific authors are romance novelists.

I joined them last week, along with hundreds more romance writers from around the country, at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square for the 2015 Romance Writers of America Conference.

Libraries: Still for Everyone

Posted by Donna Levin on July 29, 2015 | Read More & Add Comments >>

Is the printed word becoming as old-fashioned a way to tell stories as carving figures into totem poles?

If you attended the American Library Association Convention at Moscone Center last week you would know that books are not only alive and well, but beloved my many, including the over 22,000 librarians, library workers and library supporters who attended.

Take the ME out of "Me"moir

Posted by Donna Levin on June 09, 2015 | Read More & Add Comments >>

            According to Wikipedia, the lazy researcher’s friend, the first known memoir is Julius Caesar’s Commentarii de Bellico Gallico,( Commentaries on the Gallic Wars,in case your Latin is rusty), his account of “the nine years that he spent fighting local armies in the Gallic Wars.”

            Fast forward about two thousand years.  An Irishman writes a little book called Angela’s Ashes. It’s a triumph both of writing and storytelling and fortunately—because too often this is not the case—it gets the attention it deserves. 

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