I have got a large bookshelf stocked with writing reference books, from Stephen King to Terry Brooks to various Writers Digest books, Orson Scott Card and Lisa Tuttle. On various subjects - middles, ends, characters, dialogue, structure - and so on.
But none of them are as funny and rib-crackingly hilarious as Wanna be a writer by Jane Wenham Jones. I picked this up a few weeks ago and am planning to buy it for all and sundry - even those friends of mine who do not write.
If you've ever wondered, as a non-writer / non-potential writer, what it takes to sit down behind a laptop or desktop computer, or if there are pitfalls to being a writer (such as writers butt), or why some potential or existing writers tend to be able to sit for ages, staring off into the distance with a vapid expressions, then this is the book to solve all those mysteries and then some.
Packed from cover to cover with clever advice, intelligent and pertinent comments for modern writers, this is a true treasure of a book. It inspired me to pack myself off to my local Waterstones' cafe to sit and write, which I did. Several short stories were born in due course.
Ms. Wenham Jones uses her skill as talented writer and humourist to bring reality to the profession sometimes seen as monotonous and dreary. It lifts the lid on our insecurities, our paranoia and what we would do to get our books published. But it is done with such style and good humour I am sure it would find a cross-over market for those who like reading books, i.e. everyone then!
I have several writerly friends who will be getting a copy for this as "random present" very shortly.