Annie’s lasting legacy

She was the dog of a lifetime. A perfect fit, coming at the perfect time. Imperial and needy, ruling the household, enriching our lives. Annie Fanny was the dachshund model for Rosie Posey in Dreamers of the Day. She was not a speaking character precisely -- it's a political romance about the making of the modern Middle East -- but she was a supporting actress in the drama. True story: I was going to name the dog in the novel after Annie, because "write what you know," right? Publicist Brian McLendon advised me not to. When I asked why not, he said, ...
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Writer Tech: Connecting historical dots

While working on each of my previous six novels, I assumed it was either the only or the last story I'd ever write. Even follow-on books like Children of God and Epitaph came as a surprise to me. So I'm amazed to find that I've begun to do the research for an eighth novel. I am still immersed in writing Number Seven. Unremembered Lives is now a little over the halfway point. Ordinarily, 175 pages would be a long enough sample for my agency (Dystel, Goderich and Bourret) to offer publishers, but for any author, every new book is a separate ...
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Thanks for all your kind words

The loss of a beloved pet is something so many people have experienced and still feel years later. No other post has gotten so much response. Thank you all. I'm sorry to say that we've been turned down for Zoey and Bryant -- the rescue group that works in Ohio is looking for a young active family for that pair, and we don't fit that category any more. But the woman who fostered Annie Fannie saw our application and remembered our names because I'd sent her a copy of Dreamers of the Day to show how famous Annie had become. Kathie is ...
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Annie Fanny Sweet Feet, 2001-2016

Two weeks ago, kidney failure finally caught up with Annie. She was my constant companion for 12 of her 15 years, on my lap as we watched my mother die, at my side while I wrote A Thread of Grace, Dreamers of the Day, Doc and Epitaph.  I still can't write about her without my throat closing up and my eyes welling, so I will simply say that she was a wonderful ambassador for both rescue groups and her breed. This morning, Don and I applied for Zoey and Bryant at Dachshund Rescue of Ohio. They're a bonded pair, both ...
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Every year at this time…

http://marydoriarussell.net/2012/09/26/days-of-awe/ ...
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Writer Tech: the chapter from hell

It took me three tries to pass statistics in graduate school, but one thing I learned is that sample size is crucial to discerning patterns. After 6.5 novels, I have finally realized that there is always a chapter that stops me cold. The chapter from hell usually comes about 2/5ths of the way into the story. Lots of important decisions have already been made. Tense. Tone. Point of view. The characters have been introduced. The plot is under way. I know more or less where I'm going and how to get there. And then... Bang. I slam into the chapter from hell. I ...
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Proxima B: a real Rakhat?

By now you've probably heard that astronomers have announced the existence of  "Earth-mass world in orbit around Proxima Centauri." As in any scientific discovery, there are a lot of caveats and careful hedging of the announcement, but this appears to be legit. And just in time for the 20th anniversary of The Sparrow! I'm getting lots of tweets and email from readers about this, including messages from astronomers who are fans of the novel. Dr. Tim Hankins, former site director of the Arecibo Observatory, was especially kind, saying that the discovery "reinforces how much you got right in The Sparrow and ...
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TWO Ohioana Awards!

Many thanks to all of you who took time to vote for Epitaph as the Ohioana Readers Choice. Not only did you nail that one down for me, your enthusiasm for the novel was matched by the professional judges who also gave the novel the 2015 Best Fiction prize. The award ceremony will be at the Ohio State House on September 23 and I'll be a guest at the 2017 Ohioana Book Festival on April 8 as well. Recognition like this doesn't guarantee that my next novel will be published -- every book is a separate roll of the dice -- but ...
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