The Guts and Success of a Writer

What is it that makes a writer successful? Is it her storytelling ability? His elegance in word use? Her trust in an editor and agent in forging her inspiration into a piece of literature? All of this, of course, because turning out a book of essays, a novel, a collection of poetry, in the modern…

A New Project

I’ve always stumbled in where angels fear to tread, and so I’ve recently taken on my first major client as a publisher. I had, some years ago judged a writing contest, and a certain writer’s work stood out far above the rest. Time passed and she approached me with a project dear to her heart,…

Democracy Down, Autocracy Up

Fear, by Bob Woodward To be honest, I was a little disappointed in this book. I had read about the hours of interviews, the digging for facts by this co-exposer of the 1970s Watergate scandal, and, I admit, I was expecting political dirt of the highest order. What the British dossier held. The so-called pee…

ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE

NOTE: I wrote this little essay for the local paper, sure that they would make a big fuss over it and publish it. As high hopes sometimes go, they ignored it altogether and functionally refused to publish. So I’m sharing it here. It was 1967, I remember, and I was all but trembling with The…

If You Fall…Get Back Up!

Rise + Hustle, by Mike Whitfield I’m no longer concerned with the oddities of commercial writing. Besides all the postmodern variations on story structure and purpose, I’ve reviewed a novel to be used for (other) business purposes, so I don’t blush at all to review Rise + Hustle, Mike Whitfield’s book about the promise and…

Taming Literacy in This Age

Is the novel dead? Why do the remaining book readers today prefer nonfiction to fiction? When I had been working as an engineer for some 6-7 years, the Chief Structural Engineer called me in and said, “Bob, I need you to write a letter for me.” What he meant was a scolding letter to a…

Consultation No.2: With James Joyce

We were very excited to, through the magic of imagination, talk with James Joyce about his writing, how he climbed down from the rarefied atmosphere of a classical education to wallow in the morass of humanity, as he put it over the telephone during our first contact with him for this talk. We were able…