Friday, July 23, 2010

Friday Favorites: Ariel Gore's Excellent Tips For Becoming A Famous Writer (Before You're Dead) – by Louise Tripp

How To Become A Famous Writer Before You're Dead
by Ariel Gore

I've gushed about this book to numerous people – other bloggers, writing group members, friends and family. Basically, anyone who would listen got an earful of how wonderful Ariel Gore's How To Become A Famous Writer Before You're Dead: Your Words In Print And Your Name In Lights was. As I read it, I felt excited. I felt inspired. I putting it down and writing, which I think is the one essential impulse that a book on the subject should invoke.

The book opens with a fantastic quote from Jack London: “I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark burn out in a brilliant blaze than it be stifled by dry rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.” That is actually a great summary of the tone of the book – because nonfiction can have a tone, too, and this one arouses enthusiasm. Each section begins with quotes such as this and the book includes unorthodox advice like: “develop a superhero alter ego,” “discover your lineage,” and “make a fool of yourself.” Of course, Gore goes into further detail about what she means when she suggests such things.

Also included are interviews with all kinds of writers, from published and world reknowned to self-published and cult-followed. She talks all about being a self-promoter (because to be published, she says, you kind of need to be one) and how to get an agent. There's so much here that I suggest buying it (from your favorite indie bookstore) to re-read sections over and over.  

Louise Tripp grew up in North Carolina. She currently lives in Chicago, where she is revising her first YA novel and working in a public library. You can read her regular blog at

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