New Novel Alert: The Astrology House

In the fall of 2020, I took an Advanced Novel Planning course to help me write my next novel more efficiently. Instead, almost four years later, the seminar’s most lasting legacy is quite different: weekly checkins with a fellow classmate. She was working on a book about a group of Manhattanites who gather for a Long Island weekend that ends in murder—and on July 16, that much-revised novel goes out into the world as The Astrology House. 

I’ve never actually met Carinn Jade in person, but after almost four years of weekly emails to share our writing goals (both short- and long-term), I’m really excited to see all of her perseverance rewarded. Looking back, our threads provide a good reminder of the ups and downs of author life: “I reached my goal last week but it was a struggle,” compared to “this story is just pouring out of me!” 

In June 2021, I had this to say about the value of our ongoing accountability:

“It’s the first time I’ve predicted to anyone else how many hours I plan to put into fiction writing… and I’ve found it surprisingly inspiring. There’s a lot to be said for having a weekly check-in, even such a completely casual one.” (Read more in Fiction Writing Restart)

Along the way, I read two different drafts of Carinn’s WIP and fell in love/hate with her fantastically memorable characters. She took any sharpening suggestions in the spirit intended (to make the book better), and a few months later she shared joyous news: she’d signed with an agent. I cheered even louder when, only a few months after that, an email arrived entitled “my best Monday check-in ever:” her book had sold at auction. (That means more than one publisher bid on the manuscript.) 

Fast forward to this past May, when a beautiful Advance Reader Copy arrived in my mailbox… and I dove into a now-tightly-woven thriller that kept me turning pages long after I should’ve turned out the light. The characters I remembered were even more marvelously flawed, and the story had been edited into a completely closed-room murder mystery. No wonder all the copies sold out at Carinn’s first ever booksigning event!

I won’t be at the official launch party on July 16, but I will continue to cheer from afar for both book and author as they wow the world. Writing is not a competition, because no one else can tell our own unique stories. So here’s to Carinn, my wonderful judgment-free Monday accountability partner; I’m so glad you’ve been rewarded for your perseverance!

Order your copy of The Astrology House

One Reply to “New Novel Alert: The Astrology House”

  1. What a wonderful time for Carinn. So nice to see her book in person and hear about the great writing partner my wife has had for so long.

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