Tag Archive: writers

I received a query from a gentleman in Canada who compared himself to Alan Hollinghurst and Edmund White (two authors whom I love, incidentally). Unfortunately, the query was vague about anything else to do with the book and did not attach any pages for me to read, so it was clear he hadn’t followed submission guidelines. Thus, he received my standard form rejection:

Thank you for your query. I’m afraid that your book isn’t right for me at this time and I’m going to pass. Please keep in mind, however, that the publishing business is a subjective one and this is only one agent’s opinion. There may very well be another agent out there for whom your work would be a better fit.

Due to the sheer volume of queries I receive on a daily basis, I regret that I am unable to give you a personalized reply or offer any additional feedback on your query.

All the best,


In response to my polite form rejection letter – and you have to admit, this is a polite form rejection, right? – I received the following diatribe. I haven’t redacted the author’s name, because I think that other agents might want to know just what they’d be dealing with if they chose to represent this writer:

Colleen Lindsay:

Thank you for making it clear, through your response to my query, that you are unquipped (sic) to represent fiction writers who are working at the very highest level today.

Best of luck with your list of minor writers, third-rate writers, irrelevant writers, non-writers.

You lose, silly woman.

Patrick Roscoe

No, Mr. Roscoe.

You lose.

You lose because you’ve proven that you are incapable of behaving as a professional writer. So congratulations, Mr. Roscoe. You just got the fifteen minutes of fame you’ve been so desperately seeking. I do hope that you’re happy with it. I know I am.

UPDATE! Another note from Mr. Roscoe!…

read more @ The Swivet [Colleen Lindsay]: What NOT to do when you get a rejection: Example #873.


Where did all the Christian writers go?

If only this was the beginning of a joke… 

Stacks, maybe? Heaven?  Hell? The Association of Christian Writers?

Where did all the Christian writers go? | Books | guardian.co.uk.

Write up of Irvine Welsh’s appearence at the Wheeler centre in Melbourne (that’s the Melbourne in Australia, not the ones in Canada, the united states, or england – seriously, there’s like nine of them!)


Light dances and refracts off the shiny bald dome of Irvine Welsh’s head. Some two hundred people perch on the edge of their uncomfortable seats as he shares a story. There’s laughter, there’s bits where nobody’s sure if they should laugh but then they do anyway, there’s plenty of “cunts” and “fuckers”. A four-year-old in the corner plays with the power-points, his mother not entirely fussed as she gets to hang out with Irvine Welsh. He reads as if he’s sharing an anecdote, shifting naturally from foot to foot, speeding up and slowing down perfectly; Irvine Welsh is a captivating reader, so much so that we forget that he’s reading at all.

Last night began with a reading of “A Fault In The Line,” from his latest book, Reheated Cabbage. The name for the collection comes from an old Italian saying which refers to relationships which split up, then get back together again: “it’s never a good idea”. Welsh thought this phrase an apt title for this collection, a reprinting of older work and previously published stories.

We all know the man, even if we don’t know the man. The man who wrote Trainspotting and The Acid House, author of cult novels Glue and Filth, life-lover and curiosity connoisseur.

Welsh himself attributes his immense fame to something he called “Scotchploitation” – “there was about five minutes in the 90’s,” he says, “where it was vogue to be Scottish.” Caught up in this, Trainspotting became a massive cult hit, and Welsh became an accidental expert on all matters “Scotland” and “drugs”.

There seems to be two sides to Irvine Welsh…

Continued over at Little Girl With a Big Pen.

More writerly insight gleamed from the olympics:

The bigger, more common reality, however, is not the tragic story of the near-miss, but this: just because you have published one manuscript does not guarantee that you will publish all of your manuscripts. Every time you submit your work, you enter it into conditions which you can’t completely predict or control. Just because you may have landed your work with one publisher doesn’t mean you’re going to walk into a publishing house in the future and sign the dotted line with your next manuscript without first submitting your new work to intense scrutiny. Your next manuscript, and the one after that, and so forth, will have to earn its way and survive on its own every time.

Dammit! Why didn’t I become a chartered surveyor like mummy wanted?!?!?

Everything I’ve learned about writing this year I’ve relearned by watching the Olympics [series Part Two] « Booklife.

Sage advice at this link, things that should be repeated rote like ad-nauseum until the words pour out of your pores and dance crazy about nerve endings. I haven’t worked on my novel now for three weeks. When will I learn? Dammit, my feet are cold!

That last bit isn’t a metaphor, i’m fucking freezing!

There are some things writers need to give up in order to have a writing life, though: time and energy. Novels don’t finish themselves, after all. A hockey player may need to skate sprints or block pucks repeatedly for hours; so will a writer need to put her butt in the chair and write as much and as best as she can. Some days, it will come easily; other days, the work will be excruciating. The rule is, for both the athlete and the writer, to keep going. Discipline and focus are the tools that empower folks to say no in order to say yes.

Everything I’ve learned about writing this year I’ve relearned by watching the Olympics [series Part One] « Booklife.

He’d say don’t go to fucking Aspen. Also, he’d probably recommend that you don’t bother reading this article. Read it anyway, what’s the worst that can happen?

via HST books

Over at the Nation, New Weird Wünderkind China Miéville weighs in on the new publication of J. G. Ballard’s complete short stories. The new book spans 1,200 pages of one of the most important authors of our time. What’s to resist?

The publication of any book by J.G. Ballard at this moment—let alone so colossal and career-spanning a volume as The Complete Stories, running to nearly 1,200 pages—is an occurrence that can only be about more than itself. All writers are writers of their time, of course, but Ballard, who after a fight with cancer died in April 2009, feels somehow uniquely, precisely so. This book marks the fact that we are all post-Ballard now: it’s not that we’ve gotten beyond him but rather that we remain ineluctably defined by him. Completists have pointed out that, its title notwithstanding, this volume is not a truly comprehensive collection of all Ballard’s published short fiction. Those few omissions are a disappointment. Nevertheless, they are few, and despite them the book is indispensable.

The volume’s ninety-eight stories (including two written for this edition) are printed in chronological order of publication, which illuminates Ballard’s trajectory. There is something fascinating and poignant about watching various obsessions appear, reappear or come gradually or suddenly into focus: birds, flying machines, ruins, beaches, obscure geometric designs, the often-noted empty swimming pools…

Dangerous Minds – China Mieville on J. G. Ballard: In Disobedient rooms.

I just found this awesome sounding dissertation whilst trying to find a copy of an essay on burroughs and language that wasn’t behind a paywall:

Nam-shub Versus The Big Other: Revising The Language That Binds Us In Philip K. Dick, Neal Stephenson, Samuel R. Delany, And Chuck Palahniuk by Jason M. Embry.

I haven’t had a chance to read it but here’s the abstract:

Within the science fiction genre, utopian as well as dystopian experiments have foundequal representation. This balanced treatment of two diametrically opposed social constructs results from a focus on the future for which this particular genre is well known. Philip K. Dick’s VALIS, Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash, Samuel R. Delany’s Babel-17, and Chuck Palahniuk’s Lullaby, more aptly characterized as speculative fiction because of its use of magic against scientific social subjugation, each tackle dystopian qualities of contemporary society by analyzing the power that language possesses in the formation of the self and propagation of ideology. The utopian goals of these texts advocate for a return to the modernist metanarrative and a revision of postmodern cynicism because the authors look to the future for hopeful solutions to the social and ideological problems of today. Using Slavoj Žižek’s readings of Jacques Lacan and Theodor Adorno’s readings of Karl Marx for critical insight, I argue these four novels imagine language as
the key to personal empowerment and social change. While not all of the novels achieve their utopian goals, they each evince a belief that the attempt belies a return to the modernist metanarrative and a rejection of postmodern helplessness. Thus, each novel imagines the revision of Žižek’s big Other through the remainders of Adorno’s inevitably failed revolutions, injecting hope in a literary period that had long since lost it.

Does that whet your appetite for insight? Well, you can check out the entire thing (in PDF format) here

nice little piece about giving your novel/short story/film/whatever a title and a few things to avoid.

In short, there seems to be very little correlation between producing something brilliant and the ability to come up with a half-decent name for it. Perhaps it’s a different skill set entirely. I sometimes think there should be professional titlers: Just as we wouldn’t ask a carpenter to tar the roof of our house, we shouldn’t expect writers to work outside their métier. But even if the perfect title is destined to elude us, I do think it’s possible to identify a bad one—even, I think, to lay out some basic ground rules for what to steer clear of.

items from the list provided include “The Faux Poetric but Authenically Meaningless” and “The Alliterative Tongue Twister”.  Each comes with examples and definately worth a click even if your not struggling to come up with a title.

as an aside, I’m still quite taken with the title my novel-in-progress has at the moment. It was the first, which broke at least one of these guidelines, and frankly trickles off the tongue.

(seriously, i will be posting extracts some time soon, i just need more time!)

The Blurb #14: The Land Of Underwater Birds – The Rumpus.net.

via mental floss

Everybody wants a piece of you when your a best-selling millionaire.  Me? I can’t even be bothered to read the Harry Potter books.

There’s a good analysis of the whole debacle at the link.

Rowling’s being sued for plagiarism again

Is it vanity to self-publish?

Good comments on this article. be sure to check them out.


The phrase “Vanity Publishing” was coined in 1959 – a derogatory term aimed at publishers whose main source of income was derived from the writers whose work they published rather than any projected sales of their books. But the commodification of the written word goes way back and has always been a contentious subject. The Venerable Bede published his own book longhand and he didn’t need an agent. Mark Twain was originally self-published and DIY operators like William Blake, Oscar Wilde and Virginia Woolf have also shifted the odd copy over the years.

My friend Martin Bedford has recently paid good money to have his book printed up. Martin’s posters for the Leadmill nightclub were a bright feature of grey 1980s Sheffield, and he self-published his book in response to lots of requests from people who wanted to see all those posters collected together and in print. He saw an opportunity and he took it – although he says he did have a horrible moment, a real self-doubting wobble, as he loaded the entire print run of 1,500 copies into the back of a mate’s estate car and wondered how on earth he was going to fit them all into his flat, and more to the point, if anybody would actually want to buy a copy.

Is paying to see your work in print always vanity? Was Martin just ego-tripping? I don’t think so. That’s self-publishing, albeit still based upon a degree of vanity or at least self-belief. But surely that’s a business model, a standard template for ambition? The conviction that what you’ve got is good enough to release into the wild and stands a reasonable chance of selling is at the heart of launching any new product. And in Martin’s case, it worked. The first print run of his book sold out and it’s into its second printing and still selling well. Martin cracked it. He found his market all by himself. He did all the work, and now he gets to keep all the money.

Is it vanity to self-publish? | Books | guardian.co.uk.

via booklifenow


As has been pointed out many times by people better with numbers than I am, the costs of publishing an ebook are not zero. That is, if you have any interest at all in a quality product. No one goes around suggesting that everyone should become their own autonomous cheesemakers and cheering the death of the cheese industry. Why? Because that would result in a lot of shitty cheese. The idea that we should all be hiring our own massive staff of personnel instead of letting the publishers do it is bizarre on the face of it.

First of all, it’s financially ridonkulous. Professional editors of the level I work with now make money. Grown-up money that I cannot pay them, because I am not a rich person and never will be. Let alone copyediting, typsetting, and cover art (which is vastly important, don’t be fooled). I have zero interest in paying out $7000-$15000 before the book gets published, and almost certainly seeing minimal profit (especially since that 70% Amazon deal everyone’s so sweet on has a whole lot of strings attached). I like it when someone else does that. Publishers are risk-assesors, and they assume the risk, which is not insignificant, while I create the book. The “hire your own editor” handwaving strikes me as the strangest of this whole memescape. Really? Hire my own? With what money, without an advance? I suspect there is a pernicious undercurrent here that editors and copyeditors and artists and typesetters might not really need to be paid either. We’re all in it for the love, after all, and most people aren’t clear on what those behind the sceners do, anyway.

Not to mention, a beginning writer on their own has no idea who the best heads in the business are, who to hire even if they had the money, to make their book better. What is far more likely is that they’ll get taken in by the many scams out there, spend the money anyway, and still have a terrible book. It takes experience and time to know who to work with–and experience and time are exactly what people seem to want to cut out of the process.

Rules for Anchorites – The End of the World As We Know It And I Feel Fine.

Philip K. Dick Orange County redux

I’m reposting this, the article on Philip K. Dick’s time in Orange county, only this time I’m including the whole article. My reasoning for this is that shortly after posting the link and extract I was contacting by Tessa Dick, PKD’s 5th wife, via the comments. Tessa was eager to put straight a few things mentioned in the article, which she felt were a mis-representation of the facts. Her brother actually sent a letter to the L.A. Times to put the record straight and it is this letter which I shall be quoting as it provides a clearer narrative than mine and Tessa’s discussion in the comments in which she basically copies and pastes the latter at one point. We’ll start with that letter, which you can also find posted on Tessa Dick’s blog here.

My wife and I got a kick out of Scott Timberg’s Sunday story about Philip K. Dick. In fact, when I read the first portion to her, we both had to laugh out loud because it was so out of synch with reality. Somebody sure got this one wrong.

If you are a fan of Phil and you want an accurate account, please read on.

First, we were not at the Fullerton apartment. We were at the house on Santa Isabel.

Second, it was not nighttime. It was bright daylight.

Third, I never entered the house on that day and I never “started grabbing” anything. My wife did go in and help carry out Chris’s clothes and toys, but she isn’t even mentioned.

Fourth, we had no truck, no van, no trailer to transport chairs or tables.

Mr. Timberg asserts “the details…come from Powers’ journals.” I doubt Tim Powers was there. My sister Tessa says it was Kevin Jeter who was in the house.

If the fallacious account really does come from Tim Powers, he owes me and Tessa and Phil’s fans a sincere apology.

And now, for context, the LA times piece:

When, one evening in 1976, Philip K. Dick invited Tim Powers to his Fullerton apartment, the Cal State student expected the kind of night he often passed with the science-fiction titan: a wide-ranging conversation, fueled by wine and beer, about religion, philosophy and Beethoven.

The night began the usual way. But it took a strange turn as Dick’s wife, Tessa, and her brother began grabbing lamps and chairs. “She and her brother were carrying things out of the house,” recalls Powers. “I said, ‘Phil, they’re taking stuff, is this OK?’ ”

” ‘Powers, let me give you some advice, in case you should ever find yourself in this position,’ Dick said. ‘Never oversee or criticize what they take. It’s not worth it. Just see what you’ve got left afterward, and go with that.’

“And then,” Powers recalls, “her brother said, ‘Could you guys lift your glasses? We want the table.’ ”

Dick was an old hand at marital dissolution. Tessa had reached her breaking point, and that evening marked the beginning of what would become his fifth divorce. The author could bounce in and out of love affairs, stints in rehab and drug overdoses — all the while never losing his cool.

This time, though, the nonchalance wouldn’t last. After Powers left, Dick took 49 tablets prescribed for a heart condition, along with other pills. He slashed his wrist and sat in his car, parked in his garage, so the carbon monoxide would finish him off.

But he threw up the pills and his car stalled. The blood from his wrist clotted. After a quick stay in the hospital and two weeks in a psychiatric ward, Dick went home.

(Tessa Dick recalls the details, which come from Powers’ journals, slightly differently.)

In the years after his suicide attempt, Dick went on to publish “A Scanner Darkly,” “VALIS” and other novels since collected by the Library of America. (Dick is the only science fiction writer to be so honored.) He was able to see a reel from “Blade Runner,” the now-iconic adaptation of his 1968 novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?,” although he died before the film opened in 1982.

These days, Dick is widely considered the science-fiction novelist who most accurately foresaw our contemporary world. Several new film versions of his books are in the works, including “Radio Free Albemuth,” due out this year and set in Southern California, “Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said” and “Ubik.” His early novels are being reissued, most recently the Los Angeles and Ojai-set “Puttering About in a Small Land,” which Tor put out last month.

And yet, Dick’s time in Orange County, where he lived out his last decade, has been largely overlooked. That evening in 1976 captures the paradox of the era — an incongruous one for a Berkeley bohemian. It was in Orange County that Dick was at his most stable marriage-wise and in regard to drugs. It was also there that he experienced some of the most disruptive and intense experiences of a disruptive and intense life.

Dick arrived in Orange County in 1972, after flying to LAX with a Bible and a cardboard box, doubling as a suitcase, tied closed with an extension cord. He was in some of the weirdest shape he’d ever known.

Born in Chicago in 1928, he grew up mostly in Berkeley, wrote several failed realist novels and worked in classical record stores. At times, he was reduced to eating horse meat. Dick — who has been described, alternately, as paranoid, hilarious, childish and deeply empathetic — wrote science fiction, he noted in 1969, because its “audience is not hamstrung by middle-class prejudices and will listen to genuinely new ideas.”

During the 1960s, he began to garner acclaim in the genre, winning a Hugo Award for his 1962 alternate history novel “The Man in the High Castle,” which imagines a world in which the Axis powers won the World War II. Still, the mainstream had no idea of who he was. “I used to look at his apartment,” recalls his daughter Isa, now 42, “see all the books he had there, and wonder if every copy of his books was right there in his apartment. ‘Is he really a real author?'”

Dick was a Bay Area fixture until November 1971, when he returned to his house in San Rafael to discover his doors and windows blown out, water and asbestos shards on the floor and his stereo and papers gone.

He would blame the Black Panthers, the KGB, neo-Nazis. But regardless of the perpetrators, he wanted out. When an offer came to appear at a sci-fi convention in Vancouver, Canada, Dick set out for British Columbia, and a month later had not returned. Eventually, he wrote to Willis McNelly, a professor at Cal State Fullerton, to ask whether that community might suit him.

“You must realize of course,” McNelly wrote back, “that Fullerton is in the heart of darkest Orange County. . . . O.C. is also the place where Nixon’s representative in Congress is a card-carrying member of the Birch Society.”

Dick’s next letter came from a rehab facility. “Dear Will,” he wrote. “Well it happened, I flipped out.”

Dick had been running with heroin addicts in Vancouver; he’d also tried to kill himself. John Birch Society or not, Orange County didn’t sound so bad.

Still, even after moving to Southern California, Dick often fell back on Bay Area reflexes. “He kept comparing Southern California to Disneyland,” remembers Tessa, “and said it was plastic, wasn’t real.”

Dick was aware of the cliché. In the novel “Radio Free Albemuth,” a narrator named Phil Dick speaks of Orange County, “far to the south of us, an area so reactionary to us that in Berkeley it seemed like a phantom land, made of the mists of dire nightmare. . . . Orange County, which no one in Berkeley had ever actually seen, was the fantasy at the other end of the world, Berkeley’s opposite.”

Novelist Jonathan Lethem, editor of the three Library of America Dick collections, calls this “a period where he seems less grounded in place.” The author’s work, Lethem says, reveals a “very strong alienation from any real environment — it’s about Disneyland, about condos where you park your car under the building, where you barely get to know your neighbors. It’s about Nixon. It’s almost as if Dick was a spy in Orange County.”

Being far from any urban center or major attraction suited Dick just fine. “People came to us,” Tessa recalls. “Nearly every day we had visitors. One night for dinner we had two men from France, one from Germany and one woman from Sweden.”

During his last few years, his daughters — Laura, and Isolde, or Isa — visited the Santa Ana apartment, stuffed with encyclopedias, Bibles and recordings of Wagner operas, where he’d moved after his marriage imploded.

Isa recalls him trying to be a good father and struggling to overcome his limitations, with and without success.

During one visit, he got her excited about a trip to Disneyland, then open past midnight. “He said, ‘We’re gonna go and stay till it closes!’ But in my mind, we were there for only 20 or 30 minutes before he said, ‘Honey, my back’s really hurting.’ I think he was just overwhelmed by all the crowds.”

Isa learned quickly to read her father. “He could go from that really engaging personality to being withdrawn and closed off,” she remembers. “He’d say something like he had the flu. ‘The flu’ was usually his code.”

Tessa recalls more acute eccentricities, including Dick’s obsession with “The Manchurian Candidate,” the 1962 film in which a conspiracy is triggered by a queen of hearts. “I didn’t figure out until later,” she says, “why Phil wouldn’t let me get out a deck of cards to play solitaire.”

Of course, for all the activity of Dick’s Orange County years — his marriage to Tessa, their divorce, the birth of his son, Christopher, the suicide attempt, the development of “Blade Runner” — most signifi- cant is what the author came to call 2-3-74.

That was the period in 1974 when Dick either lost his mind completely or was visited, ravishingly, by God.

He had just had an impacted wisdom tooth pulled and was awaiting delivery of a painkiller from the pharmacy. When the doorbell rang, he was greeted by a beautiful dark-haired girl with a fish pendant on her necklace. “This is the sign used by the early Christians,” she said and took off.

Soon after, Dick began having nightmares and visions. He began to sketch out a theory that these were divine interventions. In his new cosmology, what looked like Orange County was actually 1st century Rome. “The Empire never ended,” Dick wrote, realizing he was a fugitive Christian in 70 A.D.

As with the break-in, ideas abound as to what really happened. For some, it’s proof that Dick was crazy or loaded up on more drugs than he would admit. Others see the visions as a sign of his relationship to the divine.

Dick himself went back and forth on the issue, arguing every possibility with equal earnestness. “In the grandest Dickian sense, it’s a mystery that will never be solved,” says David Gill, who runs the Total Dick-Head website. “Whether it was real or imagined, it was important to his life because it really mellowed him out.”

Tessa, for her part, isn’t sure. “He became more obsessive after that,” she recalls. “He had been obsessed with the hit on his house, and he shifted the focus of his obsessions. I tried to go along with it for a while.”

Dick’s health was another problem, as were his money woes. After a 1976 heart attack, he was saved from having his utilities shut off only by a royalty check from France.

In early 1982, as “Blade Runner” was nearing release, Dick’s health began to slip again. He had a stroke while alone in his condo. In the hospital, he regained consciousness, but more strokes and a heart attack killed him on March 2 of that year. He was 53.

Few of Dick’s early acquaintances would have imagined he’d live — and die — in Orange County. His decade in Southern California was as varied, contradictory and extreme as the rest of his life. And the contradictions would continue after his death.

“Blade Runner” opened in June 1982, yet despite enormous expectations, the movie bombed. The Times’ Sheila Benson called it “Blade crawler.” It seemed the kind of movie destined to be big in Japan.

But like Dick himself, “Blade Runner” rose again and is now seen as visionary for its view of Los Angeles as a post-ethnic, hyper-commercialized, Hong Kong-like urban hell; its melding of science fiction with film noir; and a visual aesthetic that has influenced everything from cyberpunk to “Battlestar Galactica.”

Seeing her father go from obscure to ubiquitous makes Isa wonder what he’d make of it. “He would either be laughing hysterically or saying, ‘This isn’t real,’ ” she says. ” ‘This is just a figment of my imagination.’ And he’d be totally paranoid about it — ‘Something is wrong here.’ I just shake my head and say, ‘Dad, This is so amazing, I wish you could have had a glimpse of this.’ He would love to hear that other minds were sparked by what he wrote.”

I hope this gives you a clearer picture of PKD’s life during this period, and also clues you into the sheer amount of mythology generated by the life and times of this trail-blazing author. An author who operated on the fringes of pulp fiction whilst also displaying a startling insight into the way things would become.

this post and been republished in updated form, with comments from Phil’s widow Tessa Dick, here. Go there now!

all pointed by dem fine Dangerous Minds crew a piece filled anecdotal on the mighty PKD, of suicide attempts and vancouver, disneyland and orange country.

In the years after his suicide attempt, Dick went on to publish “A Scanner Darkly,” “VALIS” and other novels since collected by the Library of America. (Dick is the only science fiction writer to be so honored.) He was able to see a reel from “Blade Runner,” the now-iconic adaptation of his 1968 novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?,” although he died before the film opened in 1982.

These days, Dick is widely considered the science-fiction novelist who most accurately foresaw our contemporary world. Several new film versions of his books are in the works, including “Radio Free Albemuth,” due out this year and set in Southern California, “Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said” and “Ubik.” His early novels are being reissued, most recently the Los Angeles and Ojai-set “Puttering About in a Small Land,” which Tor put out last month.

And yet, Dick’s time in Orange County, where he lived out his last decade, has been largely overlooked. That evening in 1976 captures the paradox of the era — an incongruous one for a Berkeley bohemian. It was in Orange County that Dick was at his most stable marriage-wise and in regard to drugs. It was also there that he experienced some of the most disruptive and intense experiences of a disruptive and intense life.

Philip K. Dick: A ‘plastic’ paradox.

apologises to DM for the total headline tealeafery. Still waiting for the espresso machine to heat up and I can barely string a sentence together right now.

Famous Literary Drunks & Addicts

A photogallery of famous literary drunks & addicts. Below, Ernest Hemmingway, who I have never actually read (the shame!) but I just had to stick him here for you to see because of the awesomely distrubing description under the photo.

Ernest Hemingway (1899 - 1961): Booze

Ernest Hemingway (1899 – 1961): Booze

Notorious for making fun of his fellow writers who sought relief from their own alcoholism (when Fitzgerald admitted that alcohol had bested him, Hemingway urged him to toss his “balls into the sea — if you have any balls left”), Papa himself was an increasingly messy drunk. George Plimpton once famously observed that by the end, Hemingway’s ruined liver protruded from his belly “like a long fat leech.”

Famous Literary Drunks & Addicts – Photo Gallery, 27 Pictures – LIFE.

James Patterson Inc.

A look into the publishing powerhouse that is best-seller James Patterson.  I’ve never read any James Patterson and maybe I never will but this article presents an interesting look at his ‘production’ and promotion methods from which many an aspiring and established author could crib useful tips.


A number of former Little, Brown employees who attended these sorts of meetings with Patterson in the 1990s and early 2000s described him to me as low-key but intimidating, more cutthroat adman than retiring writer — a kind of real-life Don Draper. Unsatisfied with publishing’s informal approach to marketing meetings, Patterson had expected corporate-style presentations, complete with comprehensive market-share data and sales trends. “A lot of authors are just grateful to be published,” Holly Parmelee, Patterson’s publicist from 1992 to 2002, told me several weeks earlier. “Not Jim. His attitude was that we were in business together, and he wanted us both to succeed, but it was not going to be fun and games.”

James Patterson Inc. – NYTimes.com.


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