Hey Storytellers! I’m over-the-moon excited to share today’s episode featuring Jan Ellison, author of debut novel A SMALL INDISCRETION. Jan’s warmth and generosity is infectious and inspiring. We dive right into the influence that traveling has had on her writings, short stories evolving into novels, writing workshops and Jan’s rule of thumb in gauging the right kind of reader that will help you grow as a writer, reaching out to literary agents, and so much more. Jan’s episode is an absolute must for all writers and artists!
ABOUT ‘A SMALL INDISCRETION’
“Ellison is a tantalizing storyteller, dropping delicious hints of foreshadowing and shifting back and forth in time…moving her story forward with cinematic verve.” — USA Today
At nineteen, Annie Black abandons California for a London winter of drinking to oblivion and looking for love in the wrong places. Twenty years later, she is a happily married mother of three living in San Francisco. Then one morning, a photograph arrives in her mailbox, and an old obsession is awakened.
After a return trip to London, Annie’s marriage falters, her store floods, and her son, Robbie, takes a night-time ride that nearly costs him his life. Now Annie must fight to save her family by untangling the mysteries of that reckless winter in Europe that drew an invisible map of her future.
With the brilliant pacing and emotional precision that won Jan Ellison an O. Henry Prize for her first published story, A Small Indiscretion announces a major new voice in suspense fiction as it unfolds a story of denial, obsession, love, forgiveness—and one woman’s reckoning with her own fateful mistakes.
What You’ll Learn From This Episode:
- How Jan’s short story evolved into her debut novel
- The impact that traveling can have on your writing the way it did with Jan’s
- Working from images VS. working towards images and how it’s crucial in helping your stories
- Jan’s rule of thumb in gauging the difference between good and bad feedback to find the perfect reader for your writing
- How to reach out to literary agents
- The importance of writing workshops and how it helped Jan write her debut novel
- The profound influence that having a mentor has made on Jan’s writing career
Learn More About Jan Ellison
Jan Ellison is a novelist, essayist and short-story writer. Her first book, A Small Indiscretion, (Random House 2015) was both an Oprah Editor’s Pick and a San Francisco Chronicle Book Club Pick. Jan’s essays and stories have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Narrative Magazine and elsewhere, and she received an O. Henry Prize for her first short story to appear in print. She is a graduate of Stanford and San Francisco State’s MFA program. She grew up in L.A. and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband of twenty years and their four children.
Jan’s Recommended Books and Resources:
Writing the Natural Way by Gabriele Lusser Rico
The Making of a Story: A Norton Guide to Creative Writing by Alice LaPlante
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