Tag Archives: book

The Birth Day Giveaway

In the past it was customary to give out cigars to celebrate the birth of a child. However since times have moved on, and since I don’t smoke cigars and don’t know many people who do, I decided to do something else instead.

So for the next few days, my stories A Prairie Home Apocalypse: or What the Dog Saw and The Mulch Pile are available for free from Amazon.

What’s that? Why yes, this does somewhat lessen the incentive to enter and win the flash fiction contest I’ve got going on. I’m just peachy with that. And let me anticipate your next question and firmly deny that this is anything like a veiled attempt to use my newborn son’s cuteness to get you to check out my books.

Just look at the little fella. Look at those cute little duckies on that….cute little sleeping bag with arms? I’m not sure what’s going on with that.

Anyway, what manner of person would dare use the power of such cuteness to suggest you might read his stories and write a nice review (assuming you like them) or maybe click that little “Like” button on the top of the books’ Amazon page? Not this guy. And furthermore I would never stoop to adding that the more books I can sell the less likely it that this innocent little baby will die of malnutrition.  No my friends, I have higher principles than that.

So snap up this offer while you still can. If you need a format other than Kindle, feel free to shoot me an email.

Here’s to you Baby AJ. May you live long and live well. And just between you and me kiddo, I’ve got about as much idea of what I’m doing as you do right about now. We’ll figure it out together, okay?

From the Mailbag: On Originality

The other day when I strolled across the information highway to check my digital mailbox I found that someone had written to me asking for advice. That’s right. Advice. From me. Can you imagine?

Taking pity on this poor misguided soul, I responded back as best I knew how. And then, since I am basically lazy I thought, Hey, free blog post!

So now, for your reading amusement and amazement, feast your eyes as Albert the Great answers his mail!

Dear Purveyor of Internet Awesome, [okay so she didn’t actually start like this. I let it slide, but in the future ya’ll need to be remembering my official title, okay?]

I heard about you from your blog on writing and I would like to ask you for some advice.

I’ve had many ideas for stories and I would really love to finish them but after I’ve spent some time writing, I notice that there is another story out there just like mine.

I personally think mine is kinda original, but other people say it isnt and that I’m just trying to get in on money that authors are making by writing about popular things; be it vampires, werewolves, magic, etc.

I wanted to know… Do you think I should continue my story even though it might not be original? Should I just forget about other people’s opinions?

Please help! Thanks for your time.



Ah, yes. The originality issue. I’m pretty sure most of us who have been writing for any time at all have faced this one at least once. I believe I even wrote a blog post about my own trials with the same problem a while back.

If you happen to be facing a similar dilema here is my advice to Green, and to you.

Dear Green,

I am of two minds on this issue. Okay, three minds, but the third one is Herbert and we aren’t on speaking terms at the moment.

On the one hand, you have to be practical and realize that books with supernatural romance themes are flooding the market at the moment. If you were trying to ride that wave, it almost certainly wouldn’t work.  There are already way too many vampire/werewolf/bigfoot/whatever romance stories out there.

Even if you did somehow break through and sell such a book you’d be competing against so many other similar works, it would be an uphill struggle to stand out.

But on the other hand…there’s a golden band…

Wait, sorry. Stupid country music flashbacks.

On the other hand on some level what you write needs to come from what you love. And if what you really love is supernatural romance, then you should go for it.

It may not be salable, but hey, neither was my first book. In fact, in my experience most first books end up being “training books.” That’s not fun to hear if you’ve spent a lot of time on a book thinking its going the be the greatest thing ever, but the truth is you’re going to need to move on and keep writing whether you sell the first one or not.

The bottom line is, as always, balance. You can’t write a book thinking about whether or not there is going to be a market for it. You need the write the book that you would want to read. But eventually, someone is going to have to think about selling your work, so maybe try not to be too derivative, yes?


The Great and Mighty Purveyor of Internet Writing Awesome.

So there you have it.

If you have a question for Albert the Great, don’t hesitate to shoot it my way. Who knows? I might just answer. And then I might just parade it in front of  everybody on the internet. With minor modifications for entertainment value of course.

Also, I got Green’s permission first. So there’s that.

Bizzaro Book Review: The Kingdom Beyond the Waves by Stephen Hunt

You know that movie, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind where Jim Carry has his memory of a bad relationship erased? Only as he travels backward through his memories he realizes that there were some genuinely good times that came before the bad, and that those times were worth enduring the bad for?

Oh you haven’t seen that one yet? Um…spoilers?

Anyway, that’s exactly how reading The Kingdom Beyond the Waves was. In the end it left a bad taste in my mouth, but thinking back over the whole experience there were some genuinely wonderful things to be found.

The book’s strength is in it’s plot and structure. As a writer still grappling with good structure myself, reading this book was something of an education. Each chapter raises the stakes to a new level in such a compelling manner that you find yourself wondering how the author could possibly top it.

The writing is…there. It’s not great, but it’s not bad either. Hunt uses words like a framer uses wood. It doesn’t have to be pretty. It just has to hold the house up. And in a sense his minimalist approach to prose serves the story well. Once you let yourself become enveloped in the plot the words don’t distract from it.

Of course possibly the greatest strength of the book is the sheer force of creativity brought to bear in creating a world with a thousand miriad wonders. This book has dragon things, steam powered self-aware robots, a hive-mind forest, and…well I won’t go on for sake of time, but trust me: there’s more.

The problems arise in the latter parts of the book. After spending more than four hundred pages on one quest, the protaganists goals are completely reversed. Worse yet, one character who’s delightfully ambiguous moral position made him one of my favourites, is turned into a cartoonish villian with the speed of flipping a switch. Because of these issues I was scarely able to enjoy the climactic third act at all, which is a shame, because, as I said before, the vast majority of this book was excellent.

Let this be a lesson to all of you writers out there. Endings matter. A lot.

Craft a compelling story, but tack on an unsatisfying ending and you’re going to end up with disappointed readers.

Ultimately, The Kingdom Beyond the Waves was good. I don’t regret reading it. As a writer I found it held valuable lessons for me, both positive and negative. As a reader I really enjoyed the story and the fantastic world Mr. Hunt created from the spare parts of a hundred other mythologies. But then there’s that ending.

I won’t make any definitive recommendations here. Instead I’ll just say that if this sounds like the kind of book you might enjoy you probably will. If not, then give it a pass.

Where Have All the Good (Young) Men Gone?

I don’t know if you’ve heard it yet, but there’s been something of a buzz going around the internet about YA books lately.

(Apparently YA stands for “Young Adult”, and not “Yankee Angler” as I had previously supposed. This might explain why my previous attempts at writing YA literature failed so miserably.)

The buzz started as a low thrumming sound surrounding this article published by the Wall Street Journal which implied that maybe YA books had become too dark over the past few years. The buzz increased to a cacophony when Chuck Wendig released his tiny leather winged minions to roam the Twitterverse with his message of “Hey, adolescence is very likely going to be the darkest time of these kids lives, why shouldn’t their books reflect that?”

For what it’s worth I’m sort of in the middle on this issue. I think that writers should be able to write what they want to write and parents should be able to draw the boundary lines for their children and have the intestinal fortitude to enforce those lines. Stop trying to get the school to do your dirty work for you, parents (a mantra that applies to far more than this.)

But that’s not what I want to talk to you about today. I think in all of this hullabaloo about darkness in YA we’re missing a far more vital problem.

This problem can be summed up in this one picture:

Look at that picture. Look at it long and hard.

This is a picture I took of the book nook at the Wal-Mart where I work. This is the entirety of the YA section. This is the place where Wal-Mart consolidates all of the most popular books in the nation into one tiny little microcosm of the book selling industry.

Notice anything strange?

Not yet?

Keep looking….there! See it?

There’s no books for dudes! Not one!

Now I’m not saying this is Wal-Mart’s fault. They’re just buying the books that are big sellers. But what’s up with this? Why aren’t my slightly younger brethren sinking their teeth into daring accounts of manly exploits in fantastic places with the same ferocity as the females our the species seem to bestow on brooding tales of dark romance with forbidden creatures?

Have all the men migrated to their game consoles to control space marines with their thumbs, leaving behind the kinds of stories with “words” and “pages” to be completely overrun by the fairer sex? I don’t know. And frankly maybe this isn’t a new phenomenon. But it doesn’t seem like so long ago, that Harry Potter (Harry not being short for Harriett in this case) enchanted the world with his wizardly exploits.

I’m not trying to be sexist here, but the inequality of the situation astounds me. Because if guys aren’t reading when they’re young, then what’s the likelihood they’re going to start later?

I don’t have the answers. Maybe you do. Please to leave a comment and enlighten me with your wisdom.

Bizzaro Book Review: Scoop by Kit Frazier

We’re in dangerous waters with today’s review folks. I’ve left the safe harbour of nerdy dude fiction and ventured out over the deep and shark infested seas of…Chick Lit.

Why am I reviewing this book again? Two reasons:

1. I’m a sucker for obscure authors with a great voice.

2. I’m an even bigger sucker for ebooks with a 99 cent price point.

So, without further ado lets get on with the show.

Scoop is a book about a reporter named Cauley McKinnon who has made some…less than stellar choices in her love life which in a roundabout way has led to her working at the obituary desk of the smallest of Austin’s newspapers. And that would be Austin as in Austin, TX, a town so clearly realized in this novel that it comes to feel like a character in and of itself. In this and other things Scoop is a clear example of the old mantra, Write what you know. It was clear to me when reading the author was drawing many of the details of her fictional surroundings from real life, and that realism of setting made the story all the more believable.

The author’s writing style is both clear and compelling, which was really one of the first things that made me want to buy the book. The second reason is that from the first page the characters seem to leap off the page and into your mind.

The books characters are both its greatest strength and greatest weakness. On the one hand the main cast is strong and well developed, filled with well rounded villains and subtle flawed heroes. On the down side the supporting cast of characters, mainly represented by Cauley’s friends and family, are also fully developed. You may be wondering why I’ve put this down as a negative. The essential problem is that while this cast of miscellaneous characters are both colorful and interesting, they do almost nothing to move the plot forward. Occasionally they provide support to our heroine in her times of trouble (and Cauley McKinnon has loads of trouble on her plate) but they do very little to push the story forward which by the end of the book leaves the lot of them looking decidedly superfluous.

As to the story itself it was compelling enough as both a mystery and a romance, keeping me turning the pages till the very end. Unfortunately once I got to the end I found the resolution to both threads to be slightly underwhelming. On the one hand Cauley solves the mystery and ostensibly finds the right man for her but her happy ending feels somehow shallow and tacked on.

And of course since this book is partially a romance its time for my to insert my obligatory rant about such things here. Cauley McKinnon suffers from what I will call Bella Swan syndrome. Bella Swan syndrome is when a female character downplays her own attractiveness and then every single unattached guy she meets wants to jump her bones. And I know I’ve complained about the double standard before but I’m gonna hit it again here:

Ladies, don’t tell me you want me to love you for who you are and not what you look like and then write stories in which your heroine has guys drooling all over her because of what she looks like. Your desire to be desired is practically omnipresent in the books you write for other gals.

If you really meant what you said you would write characters that are truly unattractive, that don’t get noticed by guys, that have to prove their inner beauty over time to win the heart of the man they love. Or better yet, write a guy character who isn’t superficially handsome. If what’s the inside is so much more important than what is on the outside then why aren’t there ever any nerdy, balding, overweight male love interests in your books? (wrote the nerdy, balding, overweight male)

Okay I think that’s all the soapboxing you can handle.

In the summation Scoop is fun book with great writing and believable characters. The plot tapers off a little toward the end, but on the plus side this book has a sequel so hopefully the intrepid Cauley McKinnon will get a more satisfactory resolution in that one.

I already mentioned the 99 cent price point and Scoop is more than worth that. If you like romantic mysteries or mysterious romances this book has got you covered. You can get it for your eReader type devices here.

The Jacqueline Howett Guide to Becoming a Better Buzzard

A week or so back (I honestly can’t remember; time’s fun when you’re having flies) everyone, and I mean everyone in the writing community was talking about Jacqueline Howett and her angry tirade on the Books and Pals Blog review of her book The Greek Seaman (no I’m not doing any puns. All the good ones have been used up anyway.)

It was like the rotting corpse of some animal bringing the buzzards far and wide to feast upon its stinking goodness. And before you go off mad, I’m one of those buzzards too. It’s not an insult. They’re an important necessary part of our ecological system. Fascinating creatures. For instance, did you know that the buzzard’s head lacks feathers because-

[Tangent Alert! Tangent Alert! Tangent Alert!]

Okay, okay! Keep your britches on! Anyway. The Great Jacqueline Howett Meltdown got me to thinking: Jacqueline Howett is a person.

Which hopefully everyone knows. I mean no one thinks she’s some kind of alien robot sent to sow discord on the internet or anything like that. But sometimes even though we know we don’t really know.

There’s something about distance that keeps us from seeing other people as real people. I still remember the moment when as a child we were driving down the road and I looked out at all the other cars and realized that each and every one of those people had a life every bit as real and full and complex as mine. But I also realized it was easy for us to ignore that fact because each of us was encapsulated in our own little climate controlled pod on wheels with the radio on, drowning out the our thoughts, letting us think we were the only real people in the world.

The internet is a lot like that too. Each of us sitting here at our own glowing screen interacting with others, but not really grasping the fullness of the truth that all those other words represent living, breathing, hoping individuals just like us.

I’m not here to defend Ms. Howett. I’m just here to remind you that she’s a person. She is more than the sum of her words.

Writing a book, even a bad one full of mistakes and errors is a lot of work. If you don’t believe me you should try it some time. And especially that first book…that sucker is like pulling teeth and giving birth at the same time.

Worst. Dentist appointment. Ever.

And when you’re finally done you print it all out and look at it in all of its grandeur and you think, “This is possibly the greatest thing I have ever done.” And you know what? For most of it, it probably is the greatest thing we’ve ever done.

And then someone comes along and shoots it full of holes.

It’s easy to make that person into the enemy. Because that criticism can hurt, especially at first. It doesn’t matter if it’s right or not. It doesn’t matter if the person giving the criticism is trying to help. It still takes a knife and shoves it right through our ego.

Like I said already, I’m not here to defend Ms. Howett. What she did was wrong on any number of levels.

But the next time something like this happens, think before you flame. Remember that the one on the other end of your criticism is a person too. It doesn’t mean you have to censor yourself. But maybe stop and think: “Would I be willing to say this to their face?”

Always remember to “speak the truth in love.”

Bizzaro Book Review: The Frankenstein Papers by Fred Saberhagen

[Spoiler Alert: this review contains spoilers. However this book was first printed in 1986. I gotta figure, if you haven’t read it yet, you’re probably not going to. Still, if you want the summary of my review without spoilers, I’ll tell you now. You should buy this book and read everything but the last chapter. Trust me. You don’t want to know.]

Before I say anything else about this book, I have to tell you that it pulled me out of a slump. I hadn’t read all the way through a book for more than a month and I was getting a little discouraged about it. Reading has always been important to me, but lately I had been having trouble really getting into it. I got bogged down somewhere in the middle of a book about the philosophy of science called Blast Power and Ballistics by Jack Lindsay and after that failure I was having trouble getting into reading anything at all. Then as I was browsing through the stacks at my local used book store I came across this little gem.

I was instantly intrigued by the unique concept. An epistolary novel set as a sequel to the original Frankenstein, with the monster telling the story in his own words? Count me in.

There are so many things that are right about this story. Firstly, and most important to me, it is well written. Fred Saberhagen does a wonderful job of recreating the voice employed by so many Victorian era epistolary tales, and that adept handling of the prose really helped to draw me in to the verisimilitude of the novel.

The story too is well handled, for the most part. Its focus on the monster’s quest to understand his true origins drew me in, making me share in his burning desire to know from whence his consciousness came.

The bulk of the novel consists of entries in a journal made by the monster himself. If you’re surprised that Frankenstein’s monster can read and write, it may be that you’ve been watching too many movies.

The monster’s journal is interspersed with a series of letters from the illegitimate son of Benjamin Franklin to his father. Franklin’s son is investigating the rumors of the monster’s existence at his father’s request. These portions of the book are pure genius, in my opinion, because they give Saberhagen the opportunity to pick at the niggling threads of the original story, plot elements which make very little sense when given closer examination.

By pointing out these inconsistencies, Saberhagen is then able to make the leap into claiming that the entirety of the original manuscript is untrustworthy, a fabrication plucked from the clutches of the truth by nefarious men with a dark purpose. The monster is not a killer, Frankenstein is not dead. All these things are made up by men who desperately hope to capture the monster and divine his secrets.

Saberhagen begins by calling tiny details into doubt, but gradually his rationalistic probing widens its scope calls into question the most important detail of all: could Frankenstein really create life? Could a Victorian era doctor truly hope to call a ghastly assemblage of corpses into renewed being?

Of course the answer is no. At first this might seem unfair. The story is about the creation of the monster. No matter how improbable it may be, that is the drive of the narrative. But on closer examination such a question of the doctor’s abilities bring about the books greatest moment of genius.

Frankenstein has not created life. But he believes that he has. He believes that he has called a soul into his rotting assemblage of corpses. And he believes he can do it again.

The pathos evoked by Frankenstein failing again and again to bestow life upon dead flesh while the apparent evidence that he is capable of doing so lurks outside his window is powerful stuff. The image of limbs rotting away on his operating table while Frankenstein endlessly attempts to shock them into life is profoundly disturbing.

But, you’re asking, if Frankenstein did not create the monster where did it come from? This, this is the book’s failing. The question unanswered throughout the narrative, the burning drive in the monster’s own heart: “Who am I? What is my name?”

The answer? He’s an alien.

No. I’m not making that up. It makes sense (sort of) in context. But it totally shatters the mood of the book. For three hundred pages Saberhagen weaves a classic Victorian tale of grotesque monsters, revenge, and betrayal. Then he slashes it to ribbons by having the last chapter of his novel being written on board a flying saucer. I understand what he was trying to do, but…

It just



I feel bad about ending on a negative. In spite of the failings of the ending, this book is really a great read. Saberhagen clearly studied the original source material thoroughly and he spends a lot of time layering in details of the era that make the book seem remarkably vivid and believable. This isn’t a bad book. It just has a bad ending.

I would happily recommend that you read it in spite of its few failings. The book is out of print now, which makes me more than a little sad, but you can pick up the used copies cheap from Amazon.

Of Scents and Sorcery

I was going to talk about agents today. I was going to whine and complain about how condescending they sometimes seem and how that sometimes it feels like they view us authors as tiny little word machines whose only purpose in life is to churn out predictable and easily classified stories for them to put next to other predictable and easily classified stories for the easy sale.

But you know what? Forget about that. Just because I got all riled up last week because of some agent’s  condescending blog post doesn’t mean I need to transfer all that frustration to you. So instead I’m gonna talk about smells.

Huh. That sounded kinda wrong. How about scents? “I’m gonna talk about scents” sounds better right?

Specifically I’m talking about the smells of books. Have you ever smelled a book? Ever stuck your nose in its pages and breathed in its essence?

Oh. Well, maybe I’m the only one then. That would certainly explain all the strange looks I get at the bookstore.

But I’ve noticed that each one is unique. Each book carries it’s own special perfume. Sometimes its a subtle smell, a whiff of ink and glue and the crisp perfume of clean paper. But other times it’s a stronger, more pronounced, almost acrid smell especially with old books where the paper is starting to brown and the edges of their covers are starting to fray. No two of them are ever quite the same.

Sometimes I like to imagine that each book’s individual smell is like a secret code, and if I knew the code I could absorb the story simply by breathing it in.

That’s one thing eBooks will never have. I’ll never be able to take my eReader and breath in the smell of history on a particularly old book or the scent of barely-dry ink on a new one. Don’t get me wrong. I love eBooks. But I don’t think I’ll ever get over holding a real book with real pages in my hands either.

Somewhere along the way, ink and paper combine together. The ink has no understanding of the words it has been entrusted to convey. The paper has no consciousness of its precious cargo. But somehow these two unwitting accomplices work together to create something of meaning. A memory, a story, a shard of the author’s soul.

It’s a kind of magic in its way. And I’ll never stop believing in it.

Lost Love and the Art of Editing

The first time I fell in love I was sixteen years old. It was the kind of love you read about in story books, a fierce flame burning bright in my heart to the darkening of all others.

And it didn’t last. Because hey, I was sixteen. Well, eighteen by the time it ended, but still.

Of course I did not have quite such a pragmatic view of the situation at the time. I was heartbroken, utterly devastated. I thought that my life had somehow lost meaning. I told myself that if true love meant risking this kind of pain it wasn’t worth it to love at all.

Yeah, I was a total emo kid back then.

But in a way you can’t really blame me. I was eighteen. I had lost what I believed to be the love of my life. I didn’t have any perspective. Looking back though I can see the problems, the fault lines in both of our psyches that might have led to even worse heartbreak if the relationship had continued.

But back then I was too close to the situation to be able to see the potential problems it might have been forming. Then, two years later, when I was finally starting to get over that relationship when it happened again.

I fell in love. And I was too close to see the problems that were right under my nose. Only this time it wasn’t a girl. This time it was my manuscript.

My first manuscript. I can still see it in my head. I can see myself sitting in that college library between classes pounding out a fantasy epic that was sure to be the next big thing in young adult fiction. And when I finally finished that first draft I went to the story, bought a three ring binder and put all those printed pages inside. This was it, the moment I had been waiting for. I was finally holding all those hours of hard work in my hands.

I knew it needed editing. I had read all the books I could get my hands on. I even knew I was supposed to wait, to let my work sit for a while before I came back at it with the red pencil. Only I knew better. Maybe other authors needed to wait three or four months before they could look at their books objectively, but not me. I was special.

Except I wasn’t. No one is. If you ever learn anything in life, learn this: you are not special. That’s a whole blog post of its own, but I’m just dropping it in here for good measure. Trust me when I say it’ll save you some heartache in the long run.

And speaking of heartache guess what I got? Yup. I edited and edited until I couldn’t edit any more, and when I sent those first five pages off to an agent, and…nuthin’. Just a cold form letter advising me that my work was “not right” for whichever agency I had chosen.

So I got discouraged. I stopped writing for a while, and put my manuscript in a drawer somewhere.

Only I couldn’t turn my back on it. Because writing is like a drug. You tell yourself you can walk away any time you want, but you really can’t. It’s up there in your mind tweaking at you with story ideas and sentence structure.

So eventually I went back and looked again. And wouldn’t you know it, there were still all kinds of things that still needed fixing. So I worked and I worked and…well I’d love to tell you that this story end with my book being published, but you all know that’s not how it goes.

But I did learn a valuable lesson. When you write a book you invest so much time and emotional capital into it that there’s no way you can be truly objective about it. You need to step back, put the story in a drawer for a few months and let the embers of passion cool a little. Then you can go back to that draft and see it for all of its flaws.

And who knows? You may go back and find that that passage that you hated writing actually reads rather nicely. The pendulum swings both ways.

Four Books Every Writer Should Read

There are no rules to writing. There is no instruction manual that will magically make us better writers. We all know this. But that doesn’t mean there’s no benefit in reading books about the craft of writing.

A few weeks back someone asked me what books I would recommend that other writers read, and today I’m going to answer that question. These are all books that have helped me tremendously as a writer, and I believe they might help you as well.

1. The Elements of Style

Okay, so yeah, you probably saw this one coming a mile away. It’s the granddaddy of all style books, and it still retains a place of well deserved honor at the top of the heap.

I remember the first time I found The Elements of Style in the college library. I took it to a table and just started to read. It pulled me in like very few books ever have.

And I can’t explain it exactly. The book is essentially a litany of grammar rules and advice about writing well, but somehow it weaves a web of magic all it’s own that is sure to entrap anyone with a love of words.

In recent years I’ve read some criticism of The Elements of Style based on the idea that the rules and guidelines presented there are too strict, too authoritarian. While some of that criticism may have merit, it misses the larger point. The theme of the book can be boiled down into two simple words: be clear.

And that is one writing rule we would all do well to follow.

2. Self Editing for Fiction Writers

This book ruined my life. It was the very first book I picked up after I started writing in earnest and it was crammed full of useful writing advice. The problem came when I started reading fiction books after I read Self Editing for Fiction Writers.

I found myself saying, “Woah, hey buddy, easy on the adverbs,” and “Just say, ‘said’ already! It’s not a dirty word!” Reading this book was my first experience with the idea that writing could change the way I read.

And while Self Editing for Fiction Writers may not quite have had the same magic for me as The Elements of Style would, its simple no-nonsense advice helped set me on the right direction when it came to writing readable prose.

3. On Writing

This little memoir/writing guide isn’t quite like other writing books. It’s true that there’s some writing advice in there, but it’s a very personal kind of advice.

This isn’t a book I would recommend following to the letter. For instance Stephen King eschews the concept of outlining pretty vehemently, but that doesn’t mean you should throw out the idea of outlining; you should do what works best for you.

But what this book does provide is a view of the world though King’s own eyes, a compelling story about his own journey as a writer. In a sense On Writing is a love letter to writing itself. And for that fact alone it is well worth your time.

4. Noble’s Book of Writing Blunders (And How to Avoid Them)

This is a book I picked up sometime last year, and I absolutely loved it. There’s nothing really sensational I can say about the content of the book. Much of the advice was stuff I’d already read in other places before.

But it was so much fun to read. If you’re a beginning writer looking for a good foundation of writing principles, I highly recommend checking this book out. The author does a great job of reminding the reader that he is giving guidelines, not rules, and in some cases he even points out when doing the opposite of what he had recommended might make for a better choice.

Also, if you do not enjoy reading this book you can feed it to your dog. My dog ate this book, and he gave it five stars on the taste scale.


So those are my top four recommendations of books writers should read. It is by no means exhaustive; there were several books I wanted to include, but didn’t for the sake of space and time.

Do you all have any suggestions for me? I’d love to hear them. Leave a comment and let me know what your favourite writing book is, and why.