How do you get started writing for pay, for both non-fiction and fiction?
A: One of the real perks of this job is that we hear from fans, and oftentimes, those fans want to start writing, or have started a story and aren't sure how to continue on toward publication. I love love LOVE getting letters, and I answer every one, (so a note hereif you wrote me and didn't hear back, please re-send-sometimes things get lost if the week was particularly insane).
One such letter came last week and it's something I've been asked many times and I really really need to create a FAQ for this, because it's such a great question. What makes it difficult to answer is that every single person asking is at a different stage/level of writing, so there's no "one size fits all" answer that will apply. Even so, I think there are a number of things a new writer can do in order to jump into this vocation. I really wish someone had broken some of this down for me, oh-so-many years ago. In honor of those questions and in light of the fact that I just realized I've been publishing for 25 years this year (in May), here are a few things (and this is not a complete, definitive list yet) that I think might benefit a new writer to do and/or think about.
Read the rest here...
Can you tell us the chronological order of the Bobbie Faye trilogy?
A: It's confusing, at first glance, since the first two books of the trilogy were released as trade paperbacks, with different titles, and then later re-released with new titles, covers and in mass market form. I really wish there had been a way to alert readers (besides just having it here on my site on the "books" pages) as to the changes, but sometimes, those needs aren't as obvious until after they're a need.
First off, the first two books were originally released as:
Bobbie Faye's Very (very very very) Bad Day
Bobbie Faye's (kinda sorta not-exactly) Family Jewels
When it came time to think about the release of book three, St. Martin's Press had begun to feel that the covers of the trade paperback versions just weren't quite working. I can understand their frustration, as we had all banged our heads against the metaphorical walls, trying to figure out how to market a trilogy which was pretty rough-edged, high octane, with a thriller structure... but funny. How do we let the readers know what it is? Not an easy thing to do. As you'll know, when you walk into a book store, there's really not a comedy section for fiction, so figuring out a cover became a nightmare.
SMP decided that they wanted to try something new to see if they can better convey the nature of the books. To that end, they re-vamped everything, including the titles (and truly, it would be very difficult to put those long titles + my name + artwork on a mass market size cover).
So book 1 became:
Charmed and Dangerous
Book 2 became:
Girls Just Wanna Have Guns
And then book 3 came out as:
When A Man Loves A Weapon
I loved both covers (old and new) for different reasons, and so far, fan mail has been running about 50/50 as to preference.
Do you have a preference?
A: My preference is for the mass market versions, not because of the covers, but because St. Martin's Press graciously allowed me to add material to the first two books, which made me a very happy writer.
Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott
Writing the Breakout Novel (and the workbook), by Donald Maas
Save the Cat, by Blake Snyder
On Writing, by Stephen King
The Writer's Journey, by Christopher Vogler
Writing from the Inside Out, by Dennis Palumbo
WEBSITES (in no particular order):
Wordplayspecifically, read the columns. Many are screenwriting specific, but many translate to novels.