Not mine, but a friend’s. 🙂 Charles Gramlich, who’s a university psych professor in his day job, wrote a book called Write with Fire, subtitled “Thoughts on the Craft of Writing.” I have it and enjoyed it very much.
It’s different from most writing books in that it’s not set up like a textbook. Rather, it’s a collection of essays talking about a wide variety of topics, some the same as or similar to what you’ll find in a typical How To Write book, and others different, more real-world practical. So while there’s a section entitled “Creating Sympathetic Characters” which is about what you’d expect it to be about, there’s also a section called “The Workingman’s Curse,” which discusses writing around a day job and how to cope when everything goes pear-shaped.
I highly recommend the latter section, by the way, for its entertainment value as well as any actual lessons to be learned. (Sorry, Charles!) He lists the events of one particular week when he got no writing done at all because of an ever-growing series of crises and calamities, and I have to admit I was LOLing by the end of it — poor Charles must have desecrated a shrine or something, seriously. 😀
There are discussions on punctuation and getting started and work habits, which are fairly typical of writing books, and sections on blogging and criticism and keeping hydrated, which are less so. And the whole thing is written in the very clear and readable style I’ve come to know while following Charles’s Blog for the last couple of years. I highly recommend this book to everyone, those who’ve been at it a while as well as those who are just starting out.
And for those of you in and around Louisiana, Charles is going to be doing a talk and then a signing this Saturday the 19th, at the Mandeville Branch Library, 845 Girod St., Mandeville, LA 70448-5209, (985) 626-4293. The talk, which is about writing, starts at 10am. Then he’ll take whatever questions and then sign books. If it weren’t around fifteen hundred miles away I’d definitely go. :/