New Work by Now Write! Contributors

Now Write! contributors are extremely prolific.  Here is a small sample of books that came out in the last two years.

God: A Human History by Rezla Aslan (Now Write! Nonfiction contributor)
Random House (November, 2017 – hardcover)

The bestselling author of Zealot and host of Believer explores humanity’s quest to make sense of the divine in this concise and fascinating history of our understanding of God. In Zealot, Reza Aslan replaced the staid, well-worn portrayal of Jesus of Nazareth with a startling new image of the man in all his contradictions. In his new book, Aslan takes on a subject even more immense: God, writ large.

Music Is Power by Brad Schreiber  (Now Write! Screenwriting and Now Write! Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror contributor)
Rutgers University Press (November, 2019 – hardcover)

A guided tour through the past 100 years of politically-conscious music, from Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie to Green Day and NWA. Covering a wide variety of genres, musicians take a variety of approaches to fight for a fairer world. Shines a spotlight on seminal, politicized artists, and offers a new appreciation for classic acts such as Lesley Gore, James Brown, and Black Sabbath, who overcame limitations in their industry to create politically potent music.

Strangers and Cousins by Leah Hager Cohen (Now Write! Nonfiction contributor)
Riverhead Books (May, 2019)

A novel about what happens when an already sprawling family hosts an even larger and more chaotic wedding: an entertaining story about family, culture, memory, and community.

One of The Washington Post’s ten best books of the year.

 

Criminals: My Family’s Life on Both Sides of the Law by Robert Anthony Siegel (Now Write! Fiction contributor)
Counterpoint (July, 2018 – hardcover)

A look at one family led by a charismatic, defense attorney father – a lovable, impossible man of gargantuan appetites and sloppy ethics, a criminal defense attorney who loved his drug-dealing clients a little too much and went to prison as a result.

 

Blood Prism by E.E. King (Now Write! Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror contributor)
Flying Feline Productions (January, 2018)

Penny Dreadful meets American Gods. Like Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, Blood Prism is a blend of history, fantasy, and Americana. A cast of real and mythological traverse the Catskill Mountains, the River Styx and into an alternate San Francisco during the start of the AIDs crisis, where love might just be stronger than destiny…or maybe not.

 

Careful What You Wish For: A Novel of Suspense by Hallie Ephron (Now Write! Mysteries contributor)

William Morrow (hardcover and Kindle, August, 2019; paperback August, 2020)

Called “a modern-day Nancy Drew for grownups” by actress Jamie Lee Curtis.

Emily Harlow is a professional organizer who helps people de-clutter their lives and she’s married to man who can’t drive past a yard sale without stopping. She distracts herself from marital problems with new clients who have a mess that might be too big for her to clean up.  “Careful what you wish for,” as the old adage says . . . Emily might lose her freedom, her marriage, and possibly her life.

**Find Hallie Ephron’s book Writing & Selling Your Mystery Novel in the Now Write! Contributors updated writing books post.**

Rabid Heart by Jeremy Wagner (Now Write! Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror contributor)
Riverdale Avenue Books (August, 2018)

Can true love survive the Necro Rabies pandemic that has turned the world into hordes of rabid undead zombies known as “Cujos”?

 

 

Writing Books by Now Write! Contributors – Updated

Now Write! anthologies belong on every writers’ bookshelf – the perfect gift for the writer in your life.  Now Write! contributors have  a number of their own writing books that can make the ideal companion gift to encourage your favorite writer.  

(Note: Now Write! editor Laurie Lamson was the host of International Screenwriters’ Association’s free teleconferences for four years.  Many Now Write! contributors were guest speakers – podcast links provided below when available.)

FilmGenreforScreenwriterFilm Genre for the Screenwriter by Jule Selbo PhD (Now Write! Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror contributor)
Routledge (Aug, 2014)

A practical study of how classic film genre components can be used in the construction of a screenplay. Based on Jule Selbo’s popular course, this accessible guide includes an examination of the historical origins of specific film genres, how and why these genres are received and appreciated by film-going audiences, and how the student and professional screenwriter alike can use the knowledge of film genre components in the ideation and execution of a screenplay.

Explaining the defining elements, characteristics and tropes of genres from romantic comedy to slasher horror, and using examples from classic films, Selbo offers a compelling and readable analysis of film genre in its written form. The book also offers case studies, talking points and exercises to make its content approachable and applicable to readers and writers across the creative field.

** Intl. Screenwriter’s Association podcast with guest Jule Selbo **

MyFirstNovel

My First Novel edited by Alan Watt (Now Write! Screenwriting contributor)
contributors incl: Cheryl Strayed, Rick Moody, Aimee Bender (Now Write! Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror contributor), Janet Fitch, Jerry Stahl, David Ulin, Merrill Markoe, Dan Fante, Sheri Holman and many more
Writer’s Tribe Quest (Aug. 2013)

Have you ever wondered how your favorite authors got their start? How did they make the leap from closet scribe to published author? In My First Novel: Tales of Woe and Glory, twenty-five authors recount the variety of hurdles, both internal and external that they had to overcome on their journey.

The Essential Guide for New Writers, From Idea to Finished Manuscript by Valerie Storey (Now Write! Mysteries contributor)
Dava Books (February, 1995)

EssentialGuideDesigned for both beginning and established writers, this is a complete writing workshop in just one book. From first draft jitters to completing a polished manuscript for publication, the material is presented in a fun and informative progression filled with ideas for brainstorming plus checklists and writing exercises. Chapters include full coverage of characterization, plot, setting, dialogue, and marketing and query letter techniques. Besides end-of-chapter writing assignments, the book concludes with a strong question and answer section.

You Can’t Make This Stuff Up: The Complete Guide to Writing Creative Nonfiction—from Memoir to Literary Journalism and Everything in Between by Lee Gutkind (Now Write! Nonfiction contributor)
Da Capo Lifelong Books (August, 2012)

YouCan'tMakeThisSTuffupOffering new ways of understanding the genre, this how-to guide from the “Godfather behind creative nonfiction” (Vanity Fair) helps writers of all skill levels thoroughly expand and stylize their work.

What is creative nonfiction? It’s simple: true stories, well told. And yet—it’s not so simple.  Telling true stories can be hard work, but worthwhile.  It’s the hottest genre in the publishing industry.

Frank, to-the-point, and always entertaining, Gutkind describes and illustrates each and every aspect of the genre with depth and clarity. Invaluable tools and exercises illuminate key steps from defining a concept and establishing a writing process to the final product. 

The Mindful Writer: Noble Truths of the Writing Life by Dinty Moore (Now Write! Nonfiction contributor)
Wisdom Publications (April, 2012 – hardcover)

MindfulwriterExplores how a lifelong pursuit of writing and creativity helped open me to the path of Buddhism. The book explores these ideas through sixty writing quotes, from Buddhist writers such as Pema Chodron and from others, including Flannery O’Connor and August Wilson. Each of the quotes is discussed in a short page or so, revealing the similarities between artistic awareness and mindful thought.

** Dinty Moore’s guest post:
Writing and Creativity at a Peculiar Crossroads **

Riding the Alligator: Strategies for a Career in Screenplay Writing (and not getting eaten) by Pen Densham (Now Write! Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror contributor)
Michael Wiese Productions (2011)

An artist-friendly screenwriting guide to success, with a non-dogmatic approach to finding your own personal creative process.

Pen draws from his own extremely simple breakthrough techniques, shares his inspiring philosophy of finding a personal well of creativity from your inner voice, to overcoming the many challenges in a unique business, managing stress, the real secrets to selling your work, finding the right agent and being true to one’s nature to create a lasting and passion-filled career.

**Pen Densham’s Guest Post and Free Download:
Creative Person’s Survival Manual
** 

** Intl. Screenwriters’ Association podcast
with guest Pen Densham
 **

Dating Your Character: A Sexy Guide to TV and Screenwriting by Marilyn R. Atlas (Now Write! Screenwriting contributor), Deborah Cutler-Rubenstein(Now Write! Screenwriting and Now Write! Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror contributor), Elizabeth Lopez
Stairway press (August, 2016)

Most books approach character development using a winnowing process involving general categorization and list-making. Dating Your Character focuses instead on the importance of the individuality of characters: their eccentricity, drive, and relative “basis in fact” inspired in part by people you know or you yourself.

The 90-Day Novel: Unlock the Story Within, 2nd edition by Alan Watt (Now Write! Screenwriting contributor)
The 90-Day Novel Press, 2010

90daynovelGet the first draft down quickly! The 90-Day Novel is a day-by-day guide through the process of getting the first draft of your novel onto the page. The 90-Day Novel was workshopped at LA Writers’ Lab over three years and has helped hundreds of writers complete their work. Some of Watt’s students have gone on to become bestselling authors and win major literary awards.

Writing & Selling Your Mystery Novel by Hallie Ephron (Now Write! Mysteries contributor)
Writer’s Digest Books, 2nd edition (January, 2017)

New York Times best-selling author shares the secrets to crafting an unforgettable mystery. The essentials of craft and the plan to execute them. This completely revised and updated edition features solid strategies for drafting, revising, and selling an intriguing novel that grips your readers and refuses to let them go.

 

The Hollywood Pitching Bible: A Practical Guide to Pitching Movies and Television by Ken Aguado and Douglas Eboch (Now Write! Screenwriting contributor)

Expanded 2nd Edition (Aug. 2014)

hollywoodpitching-bibleBreaks down the art of pitching in Hollywood step by step. From choosing the right idea, to selling it in the room, this book tells you how it’s done, in clear language, suitable for the beginner or the seasoned Hollywood professional.

With decades of combined experience working in Hollywood as buyer, seller and teacher, the authors, Douglas Eboch and Ken Aguado, have created the definitive book that will demystify the pitching process, supported by a reasoned, logical point of view and supported by numerous specific examples.

If you want to work in the Hollywood creative community, you must know how to pitch. This book will show you how to succeed.

The Hidden Tools of Comedy by Steve Kaplan (Now Write! Screenwriting contributor)
Michael Wiese Productions (July, 2013)

toolsofcomedyUnlock the unique secrets and techniques of writing comedy. Kaplan deconstructs sequences in popular films and TV that work and don’t work, and explains what tools were used (or should have been used). While other books give you tips on how to “write funny,” this book offers a paradigm shift in understanding the mechanics and art of comedy, and the proven, practical tools that help writers translate that understanding into successful, commercial scripts.

The Screenwriter’s Bible: A Complete Guide to Writing, Formatting, and Selling Your Script, 5th Edition, Expanded & Updated by David Trottier
 (Now Write! Screenwriting contributor)
Silman-James Press, 2010

screenwriters-bible-5th-editionOne of the most popular, authoritative, and useful books on screenwriting, this is a friendly guide through the Hollywood morass. The new edition offers expanded coverage of dialogue writing and character development, the latest in proper screenplay format, a new section on jumpstarting your career, new advice on creating and delivering pitches and much more.

Rewrite 2nd Edition: A Step-by-Step Guide to Strengthen Structure, Characters, and Drama in your Screenplay by Paul Chitlik
 (Now Write! Screenwriting contributor)
Michael Wiese Productions, 2008

Rewrite2ndEd A step-by-step process to take your script from first draft to submission draft.  Chitlik reveals the hidden structure of screenplays, sequences, and scenes, as he guides you through the process of examining your draft, restructuring it, and populating it with believable, complex, and compelling characters. Along the way he outlines how to make your action leap off the page and your dialogue crackle.

Story-Maps-book Story Maps: How To Create a Great Screenplay by Daniel Calvisi
 (Now Write! Screenwriting contributor) and Story Maps: The Films of Christopher Nolan by Daniel Calvisi 
and William Robert Rich
Act Four Screenplays (January, 2012 and March, 2013)

Learn the secrets to writing a great screenplay from a major movie studio Story Analyst. Master the structure and principles used by 95% of commercial movies by studying detailed breakdowns or “Story Maps” of several recent and classic hits in all different genres.

** Intl. Screenwriters’ Association podcast
with guests Daniel Calvisi and William Robert Rich
**

Your Screenplay Sucks!: 100 Ways to Make It Greatyour-screenplay-sucks by Will Akers(Now Write! Screenwriting contributor)
Michael Wiese Productions, 2008

A lifetime member of the Writer’s Guild of America who has had three feature films produced from his screenplays, Akers offers beginning writers the tools they need to get their screenplay noticed.

** Intl. Screenwriters’ Association podcast with guest Will Akers **

storydesignStory Design: Creating Popular Hollywood Movies
by Richard Michaels Stefanik (Now Write! Screenwriting contributor)
Amazon (February, 2013)

Story Design analyzes the dramatic structures found in some of the most commercially successful and popular movies ever produced. This second edition includes detailed analysis of WIZARD OF OZ and AVATAR.

Savvy Characters Sell Screenplays by Susan Kouguell (Now Write! Screenwriting contributor)

SavvyCharsCover * An essential and inspirational hands-on guide for creating and crafting compelling characters

* An invaluable resource analyzing and referencing over 220 Hollywood, independent and foreign films, offering 34 screenwriting exercises, and providing six templates from fictional scripts

* Accessible, fun, and thought-provoking screenwriting exercises geared to develop characters in each vital element that comprises a successful screenplay.

Learn how to create believable, compelling and gripping characters with distinct characterizations, motivations, and behaviors, and how these people can best drive your plot forward in a meaningful and plausible journey.

***

If you’re a Now Write! contributor with a writing book not listed here, please post the details as a comment here. Thank you!  

Creative Writing for Entrepreneurs: Access Your Hidden Talent and the Power of Words

Communication through writing is one of the most valuable skills for entrepreneurs.

Posts, tweets, emails, blogs, business plans and booklets are some of the tools we use to educate and engage investors, partners, clients, and customers about the value of our products and services.

These do not have to be dry, boring, or overly complex – on the contrary. Your writing may benefit from some professional polish, but the essence of your own words and style will best convey your company’s reason for being.

This workshop is designed to help free and empower the creative writer in you to brainstorm ideas and more effectively write (and speak) about your business, while deepening your relationship with your own “brand.”

This will be a supportive, non-judgmental approach to creative writing practice, so come prepared to take a step out of your comfort zone and have some fun!

FREE TO ATTEND – RSVP HERE.

Location:

San Antonio Public Library
600 Soledad Street

Free 3-hr parking next door – validate ticket inside the library

Lead by Now Write! editor: Laurie Lamson

Laurie is an award-winning writer with 100 produced film, video and audio scripts for clients that include banks, universities, health organizations, Levi Strauss and the U.S. Army.

As a lifelong student of creative and dramatic writing, Laurie enjoys sharing support and encouragement with fellow and sister writers and has created many writing workshops.

Empowering Creative Writing Workshop

with Now Write! editor Laurie Lamson 

Want to write, but not sure how to get started?
Having trouble completing a novel, story, memoir or screenplay?Overwhelmed with ideas?
Just feeling stuck?

Now Write! editor Laurie Lamson is offering a 4-week creative writing summer workshop designed to get you writing with clarity and enjoyment.

Each class begins with Laurie’s Writer’s Yoga including a guided meditation/imagination exercise to get grounded, present and open to your own creative flow.

We’ll discuss the cultural purpose of storytelling and hone in on your own values and perspectives – a big part of developing a unique voice and staying motivated as a writer.

We’ll practice some of Laurie’s favorite writing exercises designed to to quiet the inner critic and get your creative juices flowing while exploring key elements of dramatic writing.

A safe creative environment will be established through a non-judgmental approach to feedback. This way we avoid premature criticism that tends to stifle good writing.

Join The Workshop and Get Empowered as a Writer

Schedule: Monday evenings, July 25 – August 15, 7-9pm

Location: Summer Studios, 2161 Lomita Blvd, Lomita, CA 90717

Reserve your spot (limited to 8 participants): (310) 325-8801

Cost: $120 for series

Instructor: Laurie Lamson

Laurie April 2016Laurie is a professional writer, filmmaker and editor. She has completed several screenwriting assignments and currently has three of her own scripts in development with producers. Her short film Family Values in the Goddess Years played in festivals from Berlin to San Francisco.

Laurie has a passion for encouraging fellow and sister writers. For three years she was telecon host for the International Screenwriters’ Association. She designed and taught two creative writing series for teen girls. She was also editor of three writing exercise anthologies published by Tarcher/Penguin: Now Write! Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror, Now Write! Mysteries and Now Write! Screenwriting.

Learn more about Laurie’s philosophy on writers and writing.

Now Write! Contributors’ Recent Work

The holiday season has arrived and it’s a wonderful time to enjoy the work of fellow and sister writers.  Great writers make great readers… and vice versa! There’s something here for everyone including literary fiction, creative nonfiction and mysteries.   See also the recently updated: Writing Books by Now Write! Contributors for gift ideas for writers and a chance to win a FREE GIVEAWAY.
Voyage of Strangers voyageof-strangersaudio book by Elizabeth Zelvin (Now Write! Mysteries contributor)
Lake Union Publishing (Sept. 2014)
The year is 1493, and young Jewish sailor Diego Mendoza has returned from Columbus’s triumphant first voyage with tales of lush landscapes, rivers running with gold, and welcoming locals. But back home in Spain, Diego finds the Inquisition at its terrifying peak, and he must protect his spirited sister, Rachel, from betrayal and death. Disguising herself as a boy, Rachel sneaks onto Columbus’s second expedition, bound for the new lands they call the Indies. As the Spaniards build their first settlements and search for gold, Diego and Rachel fall in love with the place, people, and customs. Still forced to hide their religious faith and Rachel’s true identity, the brother and sister witness the Spaniards’ devastation of the island in their haste to harvest riches. 
Pat Boone Fan Club PatBooneFanClubby Sue William Silverman (Now Write! Nonfiction contributor)
Univ of Nebraska Press (March, 2014)
A one-woman cultural mash-up explores identity among the mishmash of American idols and ideals that confuse most of us—or should. Pat Boone is our first stop. Now a Tea Party darling, Boone once shone as a squeaky-clean pop music icon of normality, an antidote for Silverman’s own confusing and dangerous home, where being a Jew in a Christian school wasn’t easy, and being the daughter of the Anti-Boone was unspeakable. And yet somehow Silverman found her way, a “gefilte fish swimming upstream,” and found her voice, which in this searching, bracing, hilarious, and moving book tries to make sense of that most troubling American condition: belonging, but to what?
escapeofmalcolmpoeThe Escape of Malcolm Poe by Allison Burnett (Now Write! Screenwriting contributor)
Writers Tribe Books (Sept. 2014)
For the past ten years, Malcolm Poe has dreamt of escape. His plan is simple: The day his youngest child starts college, Malcolm will leave his devoted wife to resume the creative life he abandoned for marriage. As the hour of his departure nears, Malcolm buys a blank notebook to chronicle the riot of his memories, passions, regrets, and aspirations – an ascent into the deluded imagination of a middle-aged man who believes it is never too late to start over.
Mothers and Lovers mothers&loversby Maria Flook (Now Write! Fiction contributor)
Roundabout Press (Dec. 2014)
College professor April O’Rourke is in over her head when she moves next door to a family in trouble, including a teenage son, who has returned home from reform school.  She is mesmerized by her young neighbor but his unorthodox bond with his mother has earth-shaking consequences for everyone. This sweeping novel overturns sacred traditions and maps the scissoring boundary lines of family ties and carnal attraction.

The Armor of God, Vol. 1 armorofgodthe first book in a trilogy by Diego Valenzuela (Now Write! Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror contributor)

(Oct. 2014)
A once-beautiful planet razed by a malignant alien virus shields itself from the wreckage of the world: one remaining human settlement is a domed city, where the last humans live comfortable lives, awaiting their inevitable extinction.
Eighteen-year old Ezra Blanchard must take part in military service, but when the army discovers Ezra’s blood possesses extremely rare qualities, he is trained in Zenith, a top secret facility where Ezra discovers humanity’s last glimmer of hope.
Quiet Dell quietdellby Jane Anne Phillips (Now Write! Fiction contributor)
Scribner; Reprint edition (July, 2014)
In Chicago in 1931, Asta Eicher, a lonely mother of three, is desperate for money after the sudden death of her husband. She begins to receive seductive letters
from a chivalrous, elegant man named Harry Powers, who promises to cherish and protect her, ultimately to marry her and to care for her and her children. Weeks later, Asta and her three children are dead.
Emily Thornhill, one of the few women journalists in the Chicago press, wants to understand what happened to this beautiful family. Determined Emily travels to West Virginia to cover the murder trial and to investigate the story herself, accompanied by a charming and unconventional photographer equally drawn to the case. These heroic characters, driven by secrets of their own, will stop at nothing to ensure Powers is convicted.
River CityRiverCity (a Jason Colefield Mystery) by Doc Macomber (Now Write! Mysteries contributor)
Floating Word Press (April, 2014)
As a frozen fog lifts, River Patrol Deputy, Jason Colefield, motors ashore on idyllic Sauvie Island to recover a body. Colefield has a history with the island and any return triggers unpleasant boyhood memories. This visit he comes face-to-face with his childhood nemesis who leads him to the bullet-riddled body of a young boy he claims he stumbled upon while hunting. Colefield suspects the man is lying but it will take more than just gut instinct to prove it. As the story unfolds, with more twists and turns than the majestic Columbia River, island life is disrupted, family secrets exposed and it becomes clear the past isn’t done with him.
PayoffPayoff (a Simon Fisk novel) by Douglas Corleone (Now Write! Mysteries contributor)
Minotaur Books/ St. Martin’s Press (Aug. 2014)
When movie studio mogul Edgar Trenton’s teenage daughter, Olivia, is kidnapped during a violent home invasion in Calabasas, California, former U.S. Marshal Simon Fisk is called upon to ensure a smooth ransom exchange. But once it becomes clear that the kidnappers never intended to return Olivia to her parents, Simon must follow a lethal trail that will lead him from the powdery white sand beaches of the Cayman Islands through the wild jungles of Costa Rica, and into some of the darkest and deadliest cities of South America.
GoodasGoneGood As Gone (a Simon Fisk novel) by Douglas Corleone (Now Write! Mysteries contributor)
Minotaur Books/St. Martin’s Press (Aug. 2013)
Former U.S. Marshal Simon Fisk now works as a private contractor, tracking down and recovering children who were kidnapped by their own estranged parents. He only has one rule: He won’t touch stranger abduction cases. He’s still haunted by the disappearance of his own daughter years ago when she was just a child, still unsolved, and stranger kidnappings hit too close to home.