How I Write: Secrets of a Bestselling Author

How I Write: Secrets of a Bestselling Author


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How I Write: Secrets of a Bestselling Author by Janet Evanovich, Ina Yalof

How many people would kill to be a bestselling novelist? Especially one like Janet Evanovich.Writers want to know how a bestselling author thinks, writes, plans, and dreams her books. And they are primed for a book from Janet Evanovich that tells, in a witty Q&A format:

- How she comes up with such remarkable characters

- How she nails the perfect name every time

- How she finds out insider details

- Just how she sets up those masterful plots

- What the life of a full-time writer is really like

- What she'd tell an aspiring author about the publishing industry

- And much, much more!

This book details the elements of writing and publishing a novel, and addresses all categories of fiction-from mystery/thriller/action titles to romance; from stand-alone narratives to series. It offers practical and inspiring advice on such subjects as structuring a plot and handling rejection. And it combines one of today's most successful fiction writers with Ina Yalof, a published non-fiction writer who teaches creative fiction. HOW I WRITE is the perfect reference for anyone looking to improve their writing, and for those fans who are hungry to find out more about just how Janet Evanovich ticks.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780312354282
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 09/19/2006
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 159,991
Product dimensions: 5.49(w) x 8.23(h) x 0.76(d)

About the Author

Janet Evanovich is the author of the Stephanie Plum books, including One for the Money and Sizzling Sixteen, and the Diesel & Tucker series, including Wicked Appetite. Janet studied painting at Douglass College, but that art form never quite fit, and she soon moved on to writing stories. She didn't have instant success: she collected a big box of rejection letters. As she puts it, "When the box was full I burned the whole damn thing, crammed myself into pantyhose and went to work for a temp agency." But after a few months of secretarial work, she managed to sell her first novel for $2,000. She immediately quit her job and started working full-time as a writer. After a dozen romance novels, she switched to mystery, and created Stephanie Plum. The rest is history. Janet's favorite exercise is shopping, and her drug of choice is Cheeze Doodles. She and her husband live in New Hampshire, in house with a view of the Connecticut River Valley.

Ina Yalof is a full-time writer with several published books and countless magazine articles. She teaches writing at Dartmouth College's continuing education program.


Hanover, New Hampshire

Date of Birth:

April 22, 1943

Place of Birth:

South River, New Jersey


B.A., Douglass College, 1965

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How I Write: Secrets of a Bestselling Author 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 34 reviews.
RARogers More than 1 year ago
If, like me, you are a novice writer and are looking to improve your knowledge and expertise in a very competitive field, How I Write, by Janet Evanovich, et. al., is a lighthearted and quite useful look at the way one of America's successful writers does what she does. It is chock full of useful facts and tips to help us in our own quest for that magical author's publishing agreement and full-time careers as writers. In her own trademark amusing style, Janet covers such topics as how to create great characters, the nuts and bolts of the writing life, story structure, revising and editing, how to get published, and other things that are normally not covered in "How to" books such as how to write a query letter and the actual formatting of your manuscript. Janet's daughter, Alex, who runs and manages Janet's website, also includes useful tips and information within the confines of the book, as does friend and fellow writer, Ina Yalof. All-in-all I found it quite useful to me as a newcomer to the field and a witty, amusing look inside the life of one of my favorite writers. Hats off to Janet and Alex Evanovich and Ina Yalof for creating this useful book in my ever-expanding library of literary resources! And let's not forget SuperJen Enderlin, who makes it all possible for them. May I be so lucky in my quest for a literary agent!
cottonmilltown_writer More than 1 year ago
I average about 4 "writer's manuals" a year. This one was probably one of my top 3 writing books. The reason I personally enjoyed it was that, even though I'm a 100% heterosexual male, I enjoy reading Janet. Therefore I had the background of her work, and it made her writing tips easy for me to relate to because I had seen them used in her writing. It was good to read a writing book by someone that is a proven success, and not just a one or two hit wonder. It's not a deeply detailed book, but it surely a great complement to a more technical manual. I strongly recommend new writers to give it a look. Cottonmilltown writer
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This one is a fast read, but aspiring writers will want to mark it up and go back to it again and again. It's chock full of down-to-earth advice, including repeated urgings to start a project and stick with it. (Those of us who have a tendency to jump from one thing to another know that we need to hear that a lot!) Highly recommended!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Best selling author, Janet Evanovich, explains the secrets of writing and getting published. The fact that J. Evanovich is a best selling author does add to the credibility of the book, but the advice in it is nothing new. Considering that I¿ve read a lot of ¿how to write¿ books, this one actually held less writing help then most others. However, this book did have a lot of help in the publishing department. It had a real example of a query letter, and the advice on how to get published seemed more complete then those in most other books. All-in-all, this was nothing new, and there are better books out there when it comes to writing help, but it was a quick read.
BeachRead245 More than 1 year ago
Are you a writer who wants to know how to progress in their manuscript? If you are I have the book just for you! How I Write Secrets of a Bestselling author by Janet Evanovich, Ina Yalof, and Alex Evanovich. This book is constructed from the many questions on Janet’s website in the Frequently Asked Questions or FAQ. I did not realize how in depth or what kinds of questions were submitted to Janet. They are enough to create this informative book. This book is divided into eight parts. The topics are: Creating Great Characters, Nuts and Bolts, Revising and Editing, Getting Published, Bits and Pieces, The Writing Life, and the Quick Reference to the resources for this book. In each section a question listed and Janet answers with Ina Yalof providing creative writing insight. My Thoughts: I found this book to be a great reference point for my writing. I also know that it will help others. When assessing a book such as this I look for something that I can take away that might be different or unique from other resources. I found the information about publishing process once the manuscript was submitted very informative. She also discusses what a writing advance means in regards to sales and how the royalties will translate into profit for you the writer. One aspect I might copy and keep for myself is the chart for editing the manuscript once it is finished. The only part of the book that seemed to not interest me some topics were repetitive. Always to take what benefits you as the writer the most. This book to be very useful! by Jencey Gortney/Writer'sCorner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The insight into the publishing world, written with a one of a kind humor that has become addictive to her true fans, reads almost as easy as any of her novels. This giude is a simple, uncluttered, step by step for anyone who has ever read a Janet Evanovich book and thought, hey, I can write like that. Written chronologically from the first thought, to the movie deal for your book rights. I can only hope that the novel I'm writing now makes it through to the bookshelves as seamlessly as this would have me believe. Thank you, Janet, for your faith that I'm writing a #1 bestseller, before we have even met.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome book. Very helpful, enlightening, easy to read and witty. I love anything Janet puts out. If you are an inspiring writing, "How I Write" is a must read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Janet Evanovich doesn't disappoint. Great tips on writing - useful to everyone who wants to be a writer!
ellisonWM More than 1 year ago
Author explains that after seeing a movie about a bounty hunter and realizing their only skill is bravado she creates a female character with New Jersey attitude. Creates a cast of charicatures (some of which she beds). Then she answers questions about writing, creating characters, dialog, and location. Aspiring authors ask about discipline, food, and where write. She also shares information about the production of a book. Insightful, adult content.
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Life_Long_Reader More than 1 year ago
I purchased this book because I knew I loved Evanovich's humor and I knew she was a best selling author. Her characters jump off the page with personality, her plots are unique and funny, and she has a long-lasting series that is still fresh and engaging. She did not disappoint with this book. What I love is that she talked about specific "guidelines" and "rules" and then gave examples so that we could understand. What I also thought was genius is the addition of Ina Yalof's voice, advise, and expertise. Yalof is a non-fiction writer and her advice was so valuable. If you are a writer, buy this book no matter what stage of your career you are in, but especially if you are a beginner writer.
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