Reviews of Writing Books

The Internet Writing Journal, August 2001

Telling Lies For Fun & Profit by Lawrence Block, Introduction by Sue Grafton

William Morrow, February, 1994.
Paperback, 256 pages.
ISBN: 0688132286
Ordering information: |
Audio Tapes:
Lawrence Block's Bookstore (Item W3)

Telling Lies For Fun & Profit
by Lawrence Block For the aspiring writer, nothing is more intimidating than figuring out how to begin one's career. You may know that you want to be a writer, but how do you figure out what to write? How do you start? And once you start, how do you keep going, when the going gets tough? Luckily for writers, Lawrence Block, bestselling author of more than fifty novels, is willing to share his secrets. Block, a Mystery Writers of America Grand Master and a multiple winner of the Edgar, Shamus, and Maltese Falcon awards, is the author of the Matthew Scudder novels, and the New York Times bestseller Hit Man. This book is an edited collection of Block's popular writing columns from Writer's Digest magazine. Block covers everything from choosing what to write, how to write, how to overcome writer's block, how to write a great opening and just about every other aspect of the life of a published writer.

This classic writing book is just as timely and useful today as it was when it was last published in 1994. The print version is a must-have for any beginning writer. Now Block has released the title as an audio book, which has nine hours of playing time. The tapes are read by Block himself, who has a pleasant reading voice, and a deadpan delivery of his enormously witty and entertaining prose. Listening to the tapes is just like having Lawrence Block sitting down next to you, giving you encouragement and regaling you with writing war stories which are bound to inspire you to crank out that mystery novel you just know you've got waiting inside you. Highly recommended.

2002-2003 Writer's Guide to Hollywood Producers, Directors and Screenwriter's Agents by Skip Press

Prima, June, 2001.
Trade Paperback, 432 pages.
ISBN: 0761531874
Ordering information: |

2002-2003 Writer's Guide to Hollywood Producers, Directors and Screenwriter's Agents
by Skip Press Skip Press returns with an updated edition of his must-have guide for screenwriters. Each year, Skip puts together a complete resource for screenwriting, with articles, advice, analysis and contact information for agents, directors and producers. The first section of the book, the articles, provides advice about finding agents, breaking into the business, gurus, digital filmmaking and screenwriting software. The book is peppered with great web links and resources. Skip also provides articles about online resources, including "The Hollywood Library: How to Research Tinseltown" and "Working the Hollywood Web." Budding screenwriters who purchase this book will collect a virtual treasure trove of resources from which to expand their knowledge and research. Skip's listings of agents, directors and producers are more than just simple contact listings; for each listing Skip writes a personal anecdote, which includes some of his coveted Hollywood knowledge. Skip Press, who is an author, writer, professional screenwriter and instructor, is also the author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Screenwriting. Skip's advice in the 2002-2003 Writer's Guide is practical and sincere. It will soon become obvious to the reader that Skip is familiar with every screenwriting market, tool and resource on the planet. Skip's annual Writer's Guide is required reading for all screenwriters.

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Publishing Children's Books by Harold D. Underdown and Lynne Rominger

Alpha Books, February, 2001.
Trade Paperback, 341 pages.
ISBN: 0028639758
Ordering information: |

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Publishing Children's Books
by Harold D. Underdown and Lynne Rominger For writers new to the children's writing scene this book provides organized advice and suggestions on the process of publishing a children's book. Writers learn the basics of writing and submitting children's books, as they progress through each chapter. Basics like how to submit, what kinds of children's books exist, what to write and how to submit a manuscript are all explained. The book covers the complete process, from starting to write a children's book to what one does after it has been accepted for publicaiton. The book contains a great deal of information about the business of children's publishing and provides answers to questions as: how much do publishers pay to print picture books? How long does it take to receive a response from your submissions? and What if you don't like the pictures the publisher selects for your book? The book also includes informational sidebars providing cautions and warnings, tips, vocabulary words, tidbits about additional resources and inspirational quotes from published authors. In addition to the advice, the book also includes writing exercises, sample cover letters and a glossary of terms. If you are interesting in being published as a children's book author and don't have any idea how to begin, this is a great book to get you started.

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