Tuesday, March 10, 2009

How I Write: Secrets of a Bestselling Author, by Janet Evanovich with Ina Yalof

(pb; 2006: non-fiction)

"How I Write is for anyone who is hungry to find out about how Janet Evanovich does what she does.

"• How she comes up with such remarkable characters, like Stephanie Plum, Lula, and Grandma Mazur.

"• How she finds out insider details.

"• Just how she thinks up those hair-raising plots.

"• Techniques on revising and editing.

"• What the life of a full-time writer is really like.

" •What she'd tell an aspiring author about the publishing industry.

"• And much, much more!

"Written with nonfiction author and creative writing teacher Ina Yalof and with help from daughter Alex Evanovich, How I Write is the perfect guide for anyone looking to strengthen their writing, and for those who want to find out just what makes Janet Evanovich tick!"

Review:

Entertaining, instructional read. The personable optimism, humor and pragmatism that Evanovich imbues her fictional work with highlights this book, as well.

This is not the definitive how-to-write book, nor does it claim to be. As Evanovich repeatedly warns, this is how she writes; every writer has to find out, via experience, what writing set-up works for him or her.

It is, however, fun (in a non-threatening-to-beginning-writers way) and helpful (whether you're a beginner, or a more experienced writer). The side-bar pointers from Evanovich's daughter, Alex, and Yalof enhance Evanovich's observations.

My only nit is that some of the readers' questions are essentially the same question, stated in a slightly different way. A number of these questions could have been trimmed, making for a more focussed read.

Worth reading, this, whether you're new to writing, or an older hand at it. Check it out from your local library.

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