My Friends!
Some of you have reached out to make sure I’m okay after my last update about ending my agreement with Inkshares. 

First of all, my health is great. I’m cancer-free for six years now and thriving. Just had my six-month PET scan. All clear.

In terms of the money, your refunds are not coming from me. The preorder funds all went to and stayed with Inkshares.

Most importantly, please know that it was my idea and decision to leave, and there was no animosity involved. I wasn’t fired. I wasn’t doing a bad job. I haven’t failed. I made the right choice for my book and feel good about next steps.

Simply put, Inkshares and I differed in terms of what I want to say with Movie Star, why I’m the person to say it, character likability, and who my target audience is. Inkshares preferred a more niche genre novel for a millennial audience, and while there is nothing at all wrong with that, it’s not my thing. Movie Star is literary fiction, a little Nora Ephron, a little Maria Semple, all Leslie Nipkow.

I’m now looking for representation and a new publisher. How to Kiss Like a Movie Star will happen. I can’t wait for you all to meet Jo Bergen, and her sidekick, Dead Dorothy Parker. Jo’s a nerdy playwright and closet fan of long-running soap opera Hope & Sadness whose world changes when, after a late-night Ambien-fueled Tweet-storm about soap stars/real bodies, she’s hired onto Hadness’ writing team, who loathe her on sight. So does the legendary Biloxi Fontaine, the Hope of Sadness, PA, who’s more swamp creature than Southern belle. Jo’s going to need every one of her personalities if she’s going to survive.

My email is Leslie.Nipkow@gmail.com. Keep in touch and I will keep you posted. I do hope you’ll save a spot on your bookshelves for me.

With love, Leslie

Dear Readers and Friends,

It’s been too long since I’ve posted an update, and there is lots of news about How to Kiss Like a Movie Star.

After several years of hard work, what began as an essay collection is now a novel inspired by one of my original pieces. I’m very proud of the manuscript, and I can’t wait to put it in your hands after a little more spit and polish. Movie and TV writing is tough, but books are beasts. I left my comfort zone somewhere around Barstow and haven’t seen it since. (That’s a Hunter Thompson reference.)

Two years ago, each of you put your faith and cash behind me and pre-ordered my collection. There is no way to convey how much that meant and still means to me. (Heart-exploding, life-affirming stuff.) Thanks to you, I won the Inkshares Manuscript Contest, which included a publishing deal. Since then, Adam, Matt, Avalon and the Inkshares gang have been insightful and supportive of my work. (It was actually Adam’s idea to turn my essays into a novel.) Matt Harry was a wizard when it came to  pointing out those things I didn’t know I didn’t know about my story, and his help and good words are forever appreciated. At this point, however, Inkshares and I have mutually agreed to part ways. It’s all good. In the words of Cell Block Tango, “Artistic differences.”

Your books will be refunded to you with my gratitude by Inkshares within 30 days.

As far as How to Kiss Like a Movie Star, stay tuned. It’s in the works, coming soon to bookstores near you. Promise.

All my love, Leslie

It’s in. I delivered the full draft of How to Kiss Like a Movie Star to Inkshares yesterday at 5 o’clock.

There is a big piece of news I haven’t shared until today.

How to Kiss Like a Movie Star is a NOVEL.

My book made its transition when, A while back, Inkshares Yoda, Adam Jack Gomolin, floated the idea in a phone meeting. It hit me in that vaguely nauseating way truth presents itself. So I’ve spent the past six months bushwacking through 350 blank pages.

The process can be summed up by the events of yesterday. I woke up at the crack of ridiculous and hit the desk. A few hours in, my feline writer’s assistant Lulu had a stroke. I hit save, dumped Jeff and his crutches in the back seat, set Lulu in his lap and drove like Batman to the vet. She’ll be fine but she’s blind, at least for the moment, so we went back home, I put her in my lap, which I’m sure she hated, and we made our deadline. A fitting end to a project that persisted thru cancer, death, a big move, the Trumpfuck, and those are just the high points. I’m smiling very big. It’s hard to see bc I’m shaggy and dirty, but I promise it’s there.

There are months of hard work ahead of me and Lulu, but the blank page phase is done. Revision is a different animal.

Pub Date is 2/19/19. Thank you for hanging in there. I know it’s taken longer than expected. I’m optimistic that it will be worth it.

Apologies to everyone whose FB birthdays I missed, whose scripts and stories I put in my to read file and never got to bc there was no room in my brain, for dates I canceled or never scheduled and texts I haven’t returned. Today (maybe tomorrow) I begin to dig out and dig back in.


End Racism.
End Trump.
Take A Knee

Dear Neglected Readers:

Please forgive my long silence. I am typing this from the spooky cavern of rewrite-land, where I have been holed up for months, slicing and dicing and fluffing and puffing my manuscript in order to put it in your hands. Between production/editing delays on Inkshares end and dueling projects on my own desk, things have taken longer than I expected, and I have been too chagrinned to update you. But your books are coming, and I am excited for the day they ship. It looks to be a summer publishing date, and I will have that info for you soon. In the meantime, if you’re dropping by my office, I need 72 hours notice to take the index cards off the walls and find the floor beneath the discarded pages.

Again, I apologize for being non-communicative. I’m an intro-vertebrate at heart, and I’ve been spending most of my waking hours with the blank (or red-lined) page. Or rage-tweeting at Trump. And screaming at/with MSNBC. With gestures. Both hands. Makes it hard to write sometimes. (Anti-inflammatories help when your fury muscles start to throb.)

Thanks for your patience with me. I promise to make it worth the wait.

With love, gratitude, and a lingering dash of chagrin,


Readers and Friends!

It’s been a whirlwind of writing since the end of the Launchpad contest, and a little bit of couch time contemplating the new and terrifying world order. I am polishing up How to Kiss Like a Movie Star, adding a few new pieces (more for your money!), and turning it all in to Inkshares on April 1.

My days look like: write, box, and fight for justice/our collective rights, and occasionally get funky with our unparalleled New Orleans musicians, dance it off, sleep it off, and start all over again. All in service of the words.

Some of you have asked me when the book will be in your hands. I’m doing my part to make it the best of me, then Inkshares does theirs, dates still TBA. But the machinery is turning quickly.

In love, solidarity, and relentless pursuit of truth,


098de134cf14fc66a9c66b4f51abf753 Ferd Crôtte · Author · added about 2 years ago

Congratulations! How so very wonderful!! Please know that I am thrilled for you!!! Hooray!!!!!!!

Userphoto3 original Nathan S Winowich · Reader · added about 2 years ago
This is so exciting!!! Congratulations to Leslie!!!

Dear Readers and Friends!!!!

WE WON!!!!!!!!! 

How To Kiss Like a Movie Star is real, and I am so profoundly grateful to you all for purchasing the book and egging me on. EVERY SINGLE book made a difference. Much more to follow, because I have to get a coffee and a breath, but you have all my love.

DREAM. COME. TRUE. (and now the hard work begins.)


The finish line for the Launchpad Contest is in sight, and I need to sprint through the end in order to hang on to third place and win the publishing deal.

Just before I decided to go for it and try to win the contest, I was told the cancer I had only just put behind me was back and in my breastbone. For me, the news was far worse than my initial diagnosis. I felt my own expiration date, and it was close. I started treatment immediately, thanks to my miraculous, proactive oncologist. I was scanned in every possible way and had a bone biopsy. During all this, I managed to box and track my Weight Watchers points, but between impending death and the election, I was having a rough go. Then my dear friend, Ilo, called, and I told him about this contest, and that I wasn’t sure I was up to it. His response: "What have you got to lose?" He had a point. I didn’t think I could succeed with everything going on, but I had nothing to lose. So I began.

Two miracles happened. First, you readers showed up. Friends, family, and people I don’t yet know. And second: THEY FOUND NO CANCER. My doctors did everything they could to find it, but it is not there, or not there anymore. Cancer-Free. This is my third chance. So many friends and loved ones never even got a second one. I can’t waste mine.

Which brings me here, now. It’s my birthday, and life is pointing a big neon arrow spelling out "NOW" in my direction. To do this, to get my book onto bookstore shelves in 2017, I need your help. The competition is way too close, and I need to add as many new readers as possible in the next 36 hours. If you haven’t yet bought a copy, I would be deeply grateful if you took a chance on me. If you know someone else who might like my work, please share. I can’t make this happen on my own.

Many thanks in advance, and love always, Leslie

Readers, Friends!

FIVE days left to preorder How to Kiss Like a Movie Star and be a part of putting it on bookstore shelves everywhere.

THREE days until my birthday, which means leaving 2016 behind (early) and making 2017 the year my book is in your hands.

Maybe I’ll have a kissing booth at the book party! Thanks for spreading the word, and to those of you who are still thinking about it, or haven’t yet gotten around to securing your copy: Just Do It!

Love and gratitude (and a growing sense of urgency), L

Notable Readers

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