The fried chicken is in the bucket. Now I can talk about it. 2009 marks my 20th year as a writer. During that time I haven’t gotten famous. During that time I haven’t made enough money to quit my day job. But then, none of the working writers I know are famous. And most of them either have a day job or are married to someone who does. What I have been lucky enough to do for those twenty years, though, is weather the changing seasons that have swept over publishing and still sell pretty much everything I’ve written: vampire stories, sword & sorcery, sword & planet, adventure, westerns, children’s tales, humor, and nonfiction of a wide variety. It wasn’t easy, and it wasn’t pretty. [Especially the splatterpunk stuff ;)]. But it got done.
Over twenty years I’ve done a lot of thinking about writing, about what works and doesn’t work, about what it takes to give a substantial portion of your life over to this rather strange habit. Almost from the beginning I’ve also written articles about writing. I think best on paper, and those articles have helped me crystallize my own thoughts on the craft. Now all those articles are gathered together in Write With Fire: Thoughts on the Craft of Writing, which has just been published. I’m extremely happy about it. And rather proud, I suppose too.
The book is 248 pages, and divided into three parts. The first part is mainly about the practical mechanics of writing. How do you shepherd ideas through the writing and editing process and into the final form needed for publication? It talks more about fiction than nonfiction but a lot of the articles are really about communicating with your writing, which applies to any genre. The second part deals more with theory and philosophy in writing. What kind of characteristics are common to writers? What makes and breaks a “page-turner?” The last and much shorter section consists of articles that are more personal to my life as a writer, such as my experiences after Hurricane Katrina.
Many of the articles have been published before, often in out of the way magazines, but all of them have been updated and expanded for the book. And there is quite a lot of stuff here that has never been seen before by most of those who know about my writing, including ideas I’ve developed in teaching classes in writing and giving presentations on the craft. I’ve posted the cover on the blog, and the Amazon link is Write With Fire.
I haven’t even gotten my copies yet but will blog about it when I do. In the meantime, I’d really appreciate it if my writer friends in the blogosphere would mention the book around so the word gets out. I’ll thank you for it.