Pep Talks, Warnings & Screeds
Indispensable Wisdom and Cautionary Advice for Writers
By George Singleton, with illustrations by Daniel Wallace
Writer’s Digest Books, 2008
$17.99 hardcover, 224 pages
Read an interview with George Singleton.
Toddlers—and drunks—bang around hitting walls, tables, chairs, the floor, and other people, trying to find their legs. Writing fiction is a similar process. Sometimes it might take a while before the story gets some balance and moves forward. Sometimes the story takes off as if motor-driven, then crashes into something not foreseen or expected. Learning to be a writer is all about finding your legs, and doing your best to convince onlookers that you know what you’re doing and where you’re going.
In Pep Talks, Warnings & Screeds, acclaimed Southern story writer and novelist George Singleton serves up everything you ever need to know to become a real writer (meaning one who actually writes), in bite-sized aphorisms. It’s Nietzsche’s Beyond Good & Evil meets Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird. It’s cough syrup that tastes like chocolate cake. In other words, don’t expect to get better unless you get a good dose of it, maybe two.
Accompanied by more than fifty original full-color illustrations by novelist Daniel Wallace, these laugh-out-loud funny, candid, and surprisingly useful lessons will help you find your own writerly balance so you can continue to move forward.
About the Author
George Singleton has published four collections of stories (These People Are Us, The Half-Mammals of Dixie, Why Dogs Chase Cars, Drowning in Gruel) and two novels (Novel, Work Shirts for Madmen). He’s published over 100 stories in magazines and literary journals such as The Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s, Zoetrope, Playboy, The Georgia Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, and Shenandoah. His work has been anthologized often. He’s taught on the secondary, post-secondary, and graduate levels, and his students have done well.
About the Illustrator
Daniel Wallace is the author of four books, including Big Fish (1998) and Mr. Sebastian and the Negro Magician, which was released in paperback this summer. His illustrations have appeared in the Los Angeles Times and Italian Vanity Fair. He lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, with his wife, Laura.