Reviews of Writing Books

The Internet Writing Journal, June 2004

Page One of Two

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Writing a Novel by Tom Monteleone

Alpha Books, March, 2004
Trade paperback, 328 pages
ISBN: 1592571727
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The Complete Idiot's Guide to Writing a Novel
 by Tom Monteleone For many aspiring writers, it's hard to know where to begin. The world of publishing is a complex one. Enter Tom Monteleone, who is just the man to explain the process to beginners. The author begins by helping writers understand writing and creativity, and explains the different genres and the bestseller lists. The second part of the book covers the elements of a novel, including plot, characters, setting, dialogue, etc. Part three of the book discusses the process of writing the novel, including research, grammar, style, presentation, voice and time management. A final section in the book looks at writing mistakes, revisions, finding help, book promotion and publishing. The text of the book offers practical advice geared towards the beginner, with sidebars and boxes offering additional tips and words of wisdom. The book also includes interviews with some bestselling authors including Whitley Strieber, Peter Straub and Janet Evanovich.

Tom Monteleone is the author of over 100 short stories and thirty books, including The Blood of the Lamb, which won a Bram Stoker award. Monteleone has also edited fourteen science fiction and horror anthologies. Tom has a great sense of humor, which makes this instructive writer's aide also enjoyable to read. His reply to the commonly asked "Where do you get your ideas?" question is, "I subscribe to an Idea Service -- and for only $9.95, they send me 10 new ideas each and every month." Tom's tone is construction, helpful and kind which should be very encouraging to the novice writer learning the process of writing a novel. Writers will enjoy Tom's humor and they will also learn a great deal about the process of novel writing from this book. As Tom himself says, "You've come to right place, because I know how to write novels and when you finish this book, you will too."

The Interviewer's Handbook: A Guerilla Guide: Techniques & Tactics for Reporters and Writers by John Brady

The Writer Books, April, 2004
Trade Paperback, 224 pages
ISBN: 0871162059
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The Interviewer's Handbook
 by John Brady If there is one quintessential skill for a journalist, it is the ability to conduct good interviews. John Brady, the former Editor-in-chief of Writer's Digest and Boston Magazine, shares the inside secrets of this crucial skill in his latest book, The Interviewer's Handbook. He covers all the basics, from landing the interview, doing one's research, what kind of questions to ask, to pitfalls and how to overcome them. With a mix of practical advice and interesting anecdotes, Brady lays out a game plan that's easy to follow. He even includes scores of sample questions, as well as the best interviewing tricks from pros such as Barbara Walters and Oprah Winfrey. This is a must-have for the budding journalist or freelance writer.

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