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|Sidney Sheldon calls Maralys Wills|
a "genre-hopper extraordinaire"
The Bumpy Road to
By Maralys Wills
If you are a writer, then my recommendation is given right up front! Add Maralys Wills to your permanent library. As several off her earlier readers said, I read the book as if it were a novel. It was delicious--ok, I admit that part of the reason I said that is that we are very much in tune related to publishing books. In fact, I've already referred to it as I was writing to an individual who had sent me a manuscript.
Now I admit, I'm not sure I would have the patience that Maralys demonstrates when she works on a book for many years. Then again, I'm not a writer and I don't have a driving passion to publish books. I'd much rather read wonderful books like this one and tell others about them!
Quickly, this is not a technical self-help. It does not include sample query letters, or specifics about book layout or manuscript submission. Instead, Maralys writes this book, I am sure, like she teaches writing--and I imagine her lectures are both very informative and fun to listen to and participate in discussions.
Wills is called a genre-hopper; in fact, Sidney Sheldon, a famous author of our time, said that he didn't feel he had time to read her book; however, delving into a few pages resulted in his continuing through the whole book and calling her "a genre-hopper extraordinaire" who "will make you laugh and cry and laugh again in the gripping how-to handbooks for writers everywhere. She is clearly a force to be reckoned with." I wouldn't normally quote another's review, but he said in so few words exactly what needed to be said about this book!
Personally I don't think it is bad to hop around because it is apparent that Wills picks issues or stories about which she is passionate. Although I could be wrong, I think she also hops so that she gains writing experience in various genres, that she then is able to teach from experience as well as gained knowledge. So, in Damn the Rejections, writers will hear about first-hand experience in writing romance, memoir, humor, love scenes, nonfiction and even about writing mystery and suspense "for the male market."
Having read her book, Higher Than Eagles, a memoir (See My Review), I found her personal story about writing it very compelling since she was sharing her own thoughts "I can still see them vividly, their translucent plastic sails cracking to the wind, and the boys, young and laughing, hanging by their armpits..." (p. 76) And, in turn, Wills' readers can picture her, standing proudly, her face aglow, as she shares both her joys and sadness.
In many ways, Damn the Rejections is also a memoir, but who better to learn from, than an individual who is willing to share and discuss both the good and bad times in her writing life!
Now, I believe credentials are important for this type of book--Maralys Wills has published twelve books and teaches novel writing on the college level. In 2000 she was named Teacher of the Year. Educated at Stanford and UCLA, Maralys Wills effectively and efficiently throws in lots of specific writing material on research, plot, dramatic scenes, rewriting, developing characters, and on through to selling your writing, without the reader's awareness that she is being taught...
But I think her most important and hopefully influential words to writers and aspiring writers are right up front on the first page:
The highway to "published" is littered with stones
And potholes and dust and authorial bones.
When editors snub me with reasoning spurious
Instead of dismay or descent into furious
A soul-saving litany rings in my head--
Damn the Rejections, Full Speed Ahead.
You just gotta love her! Are you a writer? Then this is a Must-Read! In fact, anybody in the publishing field will thoroughly enjoy Damn the Rejections!
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