Read, Eat, Drink: Author Websites, Pasta Roundup, and The Minimum Sage Cocktail


Are you a writer? Do you have a website? If you answered yes to the first question and no to the second, get thee over to and sign up for a website, STAT. Mike Shatzkin, a publishing insider who writes a great marketing blog, wrote a post this week that sent shudders of horror through me.

He pointed out that many authors don’t have websites, and even worse, that now some publishers are thinking about building and owning websites for their bestselling authors. This is so fraught with complications (which I won’t get into here, since Shatzkin covers them already), and it’s also shortsighted. The impact the Internet will have on publishing is coming into crisper focus every day, and it’s no longer possible to turn away from the fact that authors must have an online presence. Every single one of them. And that presence must be owned and managed by the author, or by an employee or consultant working on behalf of the author.

I feel a bit like a crazed doomsday prophet screeching about the interwebs sometimes, but take heed, authors, for the Internets shall not pass!  The online world isn’t going to go away, and it’s becoming an increasingly important part of our offline world. You need to exist in both places. And if you don’t have a website or some form of social media, you don’t exist to the all-powerful Google, and you don’t exist to the millions of potential readers who are looking for someone like you. So, I repeat, in my most annoyingly nagging tone possible: get a website!

Read the rest of Shatkin’s article here.


Lately, I’ve been craving pasta. Just kidding. Every single day of my life since birth I’ve craved pasta. I predict that 50 years from now someone will isolate the addicted-to-pasta gene on a strand of DNA, and I will finally have answers about my condition. Until then, let’s all drool over these ridiculously good-looking bowls of pasta:

Reginetti with Savoy Cabbage

Reginetti with Savoy Cabbage and Pancetta. That reginetti is so cute I could just eat it right up.  (I guess that’s the point, huh?) Recipe here.

Spaghetti with Parmesan and Pine Nuts

 Spaghetti with Parmesan, Pine Nuts, and Brown Butter Sauce. Simple, beautiful, and triply nutty with the parm, nuts, and browned butter. Recipe here.

Rigatoni with Lemon Chile

Rigatoni with Lemon-Chile Pesto and Grated Egg. I saw this in last month’s issue of Bon Appétit and immediately knew I had to make it. Grated egg? Genius. Recipe here.



Over to you, Bartender Jarrett:

Continuing with our sage-themed cocktail kick, these bad boys are perfect fall/winter libations … even though it’s now Spring. Hey, at least you’ll have things ready for next November!

The only slightly out of the ordinary part of the recipe is the sage-infused vodka (or gin). This gives the drink a little more sage flavor than just the sage leaves on their own. As I noted before, infusing liquor is actually really easy with one of these affordable infusers that can be found on Amazon. The sage only needs to infuse into the liquor for a couple of hours.

Oh, and also you set this cocktail on fire. Like, actually on fire. So I guess that’s kind’ve out of the ordinary too. But still pretty straightforward — you just set the gin/muddled sage on fire. It’s that simple. This imparts a subtle smoked flavor to the drink that adds complexity.

We made some of these for an epic Gin (and Juice) Rummy event we hosted. Yes, this event was as awesome as it sounds. And so were the drinks!

(Inspired by this recipe):


6 fresh sage leaves
1.5 oz. gin
1/4 oz. sage-infused vodka (or gin)
2 oz. fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
Club soda
Sprig of sage and grapefruit slice for garnish

Muddle sage leaves and a splash of gin in bottom of collins glass. Take a long match or lighter and set gin on fire and let it burn for 20-30 seconds (you may have to relight it a few times). Combine the gin, sage-infused vodka, and grapefruit juice in a shaker with ice and shake for 5-10 seconds. Strain ingredients into a collins glass with ice (the one with the smoked sage and gin in the bottom). Top with some club soda and add the garnish.



2 thoughts on “Read, Eat, Drink: Author Websites, Pasta Roundup, and The Minimum Sage Cocktail

  1. I have a writerly question for you. I’ve read a few of your posts on platforms and how much they matter for an aspiring author. So my question is, would you be interested in a writer who didn’t have a blog, but had another established platform like a Youtube channel or large email list? Do you feel like a potential author’s writing needs to be proven with consistent blogging?
    As someone who has been “hobby blogging” for over 7 years, I’m finding myself a little burned out with it and craving other creative outlets. I’ve played with the idea of creating video content around the same topics I like to write about, but I’m worried that giving up consistent writing on a blog will hinder me when it comes to (eventually) publishing a book.
    I’d love to hear your thoughts!

    1. I’m so glad to hear you’ve found my posts helpful! And that’s a great question.

      I talk most often about blogging because it’s the most popular avenue for building an audience, but vlogging is also a very powerful way to reach readers. Recently vlogging has also gotten more attention in the publishing world–Simon & Schuster created the Keywords imprint just to launch vlog-to-book stars. I think video (and podcasts) can connect people to their audience just as deeply as blogging, so that might be a great option for you if you’re feeling burned out on blogging.

      Good luck! 🙂

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