Welcome to Libbie's List!
Updated: Mar 16, 2020
I created this site (and the weekly newsletter) as a means of staying in touch with all the wonderful people I've met in the book community--readers, reviewers, book bloggers and bookstagrammers, publishing professionals, and of course, my fellow authors. I've made the decision to back away from social media and will soon leave most of it altogether. I don't like the outsized political influence social media now has over the populace, nor the lack of transparency that permits the manipulation of electorates all around the world. So I'm taking everything back to a simpler time, when blogs ruled the Earth and content was fully under the control of its creator.
I hope Libbie's List will become a fun site where book fans and book-makers the world over can gather and discuss our favorite topic: BOOKS!! I will be working to grow this blog and newsletter into an entertaining and welcoming site that brings you the latest news on exciting forthcoming titles, changes in the industry, interesting facts, and just plain-ol' fun stuff.
Libbie's List will focus on literary fiction and closely related books, like upmarket and "book club" titles, memoir, narrative nonfiction, short stories, essays, and poetry--not only my own books, but (far more often) the works of many other authors ranging from indie to Big Five and all points in between. As long as it's beautifully written, there's a spot for it on Libbie's List.
It feels a little retro to be going back to blogging, doesn't it?
I have to admit, I'm kind of laughing at myself right now. I can't tell you how many times I've said, "I'm never going to do X" only to end up doing X eXactly, later on down the road. Once I said I'd never self-publish, and then I became the biggest advocate for self-publishing ever. After I started self-publishing, I said I'd never work with a publisher because I liked all the benefits of self-publishing so well... then I ended up working with publishers. I said I'd never work with an agent again, and then... you get the idea.
So after having spent a lot of time on panels at conferences telling other authors I really don't think blogging is crucial anymore, or even relevant, HERE I AM, starting a new blog. In 2020, the age of social media. You'd think I would have learned my lesson about never saying never.
But of course, I'm not making Libbie's List to promote my own work or to build my brand (I really don't think blogs are necessary or relevant for those kinds of actions). I'm making Libbie's List because I still want to participate in the discussion and celebration of literary fiction that is happening on social media, but I want to do it without giving revenue to companies that are playing dangerous political games. So a blog it is! And I hope you'll read this blog often and participate with your comments. I'd love to see this place grow into a wonderful, kind, enthusiastic community of book fans and book-makers, all sharing their love for literary fiction together.
In order to help you stay in the loop, I hope you'll join my newsletter. It's not the type of newsletter you're used to seeing from authors. I won't be using it to promote my own books (though if I do have some fun news about a sale or a new release, I'll probably mention that briefly.) Instead, the weekly newsletter will bring you 3 - 5 of the best posts of the week. These posts will include all kinds of interesting content like book reviews, interviews with authors and other book-world figures, opinions on book-related stuff, advice for new writers, poetry, the new releases I'm most excited to read... and of course, LISTS when they're relevant. (You can find all my favorite books grouped into themed lists, under the "Lists" tab at the top of this site. I'm making new lists and updating existing lists all the time!) I can also guarantee pictures of my cats, Marlinspike, Picotee, and Chupacabra, and pictures of my garden when it's in season and looking good. So join up! And participate in the comments section here on the blog! And if you think it's pretty fun here, tell all your friends to come and have a good time with us, too!
Okay, why is there an ostrich wearing a monocle on this blog?
I kinda think it's the perfect embodiment of the tone of my blog. Literary fiction can be a little high-brow sometimes, and it certainly has a reputation (undeserved!!) for being snooty and inaccessible. The literary world often takes itself very seriously, perhaps more seriously than it should. And while it is certainly my absolute favorite type of writing--both as a reader and as an author--I'm not above giggling a little over how ridiculous conventions and personalities can sometimes be within this genre. Look at that monocle-wearing ostrich again and tell me it isn't the perfect mascot.
Why "Go Purple or Go Home"?
People who decline to participate in the literary-fiction community often call lit "purple prose" without really understanding what purple prose is (and isn't) and without much understanding of whether the piece they're, uhh, "critiquing" exhibits purple prose or just prose that's more artistic and expressive than they prefer. So the blog's slogan, Go Purple or Go Home, is a fork in the eye to those who would place all literary fiction under the tattered, leaky umbrella that is the descriptor "purple prose."
If you're a Libbie's List subscriber and/or participant, you appreciate artistic writing. You want your reading experience to include nuance, immersion, lots of big emotions, and beauty. So even though the rest of the book universe likes to incorrectly label lit as "purple", we're embracing that descriptor here. We're reclaiming it and turning it around. It's a big, glorious, flashing, electric-grape neon sign screaming in the faces of the haters, "WE LIKE IT THIS WAY, OKAY? NOW GET LOST, YOU CURMUDGEONS; WE DON'T COME AROUND TO PEE ON YOUR PARADE."
Bring the beauty or GTFO! Go purple or go home!
Thanks for reading my intro, party people. I sincerely hope you'll enjoy the content I publish on Libbie's List, and I hope you'll spread the word to all your book friends. Just because social media has turned evil, that doesn't mean we can't have a joyful community of literary fiction fans. We just need to go retro to do it... back to the Dark Ages of the mid-2000s, when blogs ruled the earth.
Cheers, and don't forget to sign up for the newsletter!