Frequently Asked Questions
Will you sign a book for my girlfriend/wife/pal/boyfriend if I send it to you?
I’m afraid for the moment I have discontinued signing books sent to me due to some bad luck with shipping; books were arriving damaged and occasionally getting lost. Please do not send books, just catch me the next time I happen to be in your neighborhood book shop.
Will you visit our book group?
Although I am a big fan of book groups, I don’t visit them anymore. Every time I’ve tried it we all ended up feeling a bit awkward; it’s difficult to have a knock-down-drag-out discussion of a novel when the author is sitting there drinking iced tea in your living room.
Will you read/blurb my manuscript?
I am sorry. I know how difficult it is to get blurbs, especially for first novels. I have written blurbs in the past; I am sure I will write more blurbs in the future. But right now I am hunkering down, trying to write my own book. So I don’t have time to read books for blurbing purposes.
Our charity group is having a benefit; will you donate a signed book?
Possibly. I am out of town a lot, but if I am home I will try to help you out. If you don’t hear from me it’s not that I didn’t think your charity was worthy, I was just traveling/overwhelmed/disorganized.
How come you never answer your e-mail?
Well, I sometimes manage to write back, but I don’t have a very good batting average, I’m sorry about that. I do read all my e-mail. Then I resolve to answer it after I have some more coffee. Then I end up weeks and weeks behind, and it all starts to seem overwhelming.
You are not very helpful.
Um, I know. I am hiding, these days. I’m trying to get some writing done. It’s difficult to sign and ship books, answer email, visit book groups, donate books to charity, blurb books and do events and also get any writing done. So I am opting to write the next book instead of doing all those things. Eventually I’ll come out and play again.
Other authors manage to do all that and write, too. Neil Gaiman manages it.
Those other authors are better human beings than I am. Neil is incredibly hard working and probably has secret superpowers. I’m just a lady with two cats who complain that I am ignoring them and a very delightful but somewhat distracting husband (who somehow does manage to get his work done).
Do you have any advice on how to get published?
My own method was to write a complete manuscript and then send queries to complete strangers until a literary agent kindly took notice of me. This is perhaps not the most efficient way to go about the thing, but it worked for me.
My advice for other writers is to get out in the writing world, take some classes, form a writing group, submit things to litmags. . . and then, once you have finished your manuscript, follow the leads your writer friends will give you to help you find an agent.
Why can’t I find e-book versions of your books?
Are you going to write a sequel to The Time Traveler’s Wife?
Yes. The working title is The Other Husband. It should be published in 2018 or 2019 if I can avoid distractions and carry on writing it.
What have you been doing lately?
I recently edited an anthology of ghost stories. It is called Ghostly, and it was published in 2015 in the UK by Vintage, in the US by Scribner and in Canada by Knopf.
Ghostly includes stories by Edgar Allan Poe, Edith Wharton, P.G. Wodehouse, Neil Gaiman, A.S. Byatt, Kelly Link, Ray Bradbury, Amy Giacalone, Oliver Onions, M.R. James, Rudyard Kipling, A.M. Burrage, Saki, Rebecca Curtis, and me. I also illustrated the stories, and collaborated on the design with Suzanne Dean, it was truly a labour of love. I hope readers will delight in these stories as much as I do.