Author Archives: Zachary Petit

Top 10 Essentials to a Writer’s Life

This week, I finished Erik Larson’s latest narrative nonfiction, In the Garden of Beasts, which is still dominating The New York Times bestseller list. Excellent read. A few years back, I got in touch with Larson (who also wrote the spectacular Devil in the White City) to see if he would...

Remembering Gore Vidal: 10 Quotes on Writing

The legendary Gore Vidal died yesterday at age 86. Here, we remember him with some stirring quotes from an interview we printed in 1975, showcasing him at his most “prolific, elegant and acerbic” (as The New York Times aptly described him earlier today). Rest in peace, Gore. * “You can improve...

Meet the Real Andre Dubus III

He did not set out to follow in his famous father’s footsteps, nor is he as dark and brooding as his own House of Sand and Fog. And those are just the first of many things that will surprise you about the bestseller.

5 Ways to Balance Writing and Life

In her insightful panel “Life or Work? Balancing Life’s Demands With Writing,” moderator Joan Johnston (Shattered, Hawk’s Way) quizzed a group of established publishing pros about how, exactly, you can quiet daily demands so that you can get those voices in your head down on the page and into the hands...

Lee Child Debunks the Biggest Writing Myths

Like his famous protagonist, Jack Reacher, Lee Child is a bit of a rogue badass—especially when it comes to his thoughts on writing, and debunking popular writing rules. In his ThrillerFest session “Tell, Don’t Show: Why Writing Rules are Mostly Wrong,” Child battled a few of the biggest writing myths out...

Remembering Nora Ephron: Before all the Hollywood Success

Nora Ephron died yesterday at 71. In her career, she worked as a journalist before reinventing the modern romantic comedy (Sleepless in Seattle, When Harry Met Sally) while writing everything from novels and essays to stage plays. WD is saddened by her passing, and our thoughts go out to her sister...

72 of the Best Quotes About Writing

A good writing  quote can give me goosebumps. For those days when the well is feeling dry and a tad echo-y, I keep a running list of my favorite quotes—things I’ve read, things I’ve edited, things I’ve found in the WD archives, things people have said to me in interviews. Such...

The 10 Commandments of How to Write a Thriller

Every week, I spelunk into the Writer’s Digest archives to find the wisest, funniest, or downright strangest moments from our 92 years of publication. About 10 years ago, lawyer-turned-novelist John Grisham spilled the beans in Newsweek that a 1973 Writer’s Digest article paved the way for him to write his bestseller The Firm. Naturally, we’ve been geeking...

How to Outline (the Easy Way) Like Janet Evanovich

Every week, I spelunk into the Writer’s Digest archives to find the wisest, funniest, or downright strangest moments from our 92 years of publication. Today: Here’s to Janet Evanovich (and that we all might one day hit it as big as Janet Evanovich). The author of the bestselling Stephanie Plum series celebrates her birthday this...

Are Writers Born or Made? – Jack Kerouac Quotes

Every week, I spelunk into the Writer’s Digest archives to find the wisest, funniest, or downright strangest moments from our 92 years of publication. Today: A vintage article and quotes from Jack Kerouac (On the Road), who in January 1962 wrote a piece for WD asking, Are Writers Made or Born? (This week would have marked...

13 Stephen King Quotes on Writing: Your Moment of Friday Zen

Every week, I spelunk into the Writer’s Digest archives to find the wisest, funniest, or downright strangest moments from our 92 years of publication. Today: An array of quotes from Stephen King, author of, err, well, mostly everything, from The Shining and Carrie to On Writing, The Dark Tower series and The Stand. I...