How To Write a Novel in 20 Pies: Sweet and Savory Tips for the Writing Life (Paperback)
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Providing comfort food and inspiration for the aspiring novelist, How To Write a Novel in 20 Pies offers novelist and writing coach Amy Wallen’s insider secrets on living the writing life. Filled with chapters about writing, revising, submitting to an agent, and book promotion, this book combines Wallen's experienced writing advice with the brilliant illustrations of Emil Wilson, including recipes for literary success and the full recipes for 20 sweet and savory pies.
As a novelist, memoirist, and associate director of the New York State Summer Writers Institute, Amy Wallen has a few things to say about the writing world, many of them irreverent and snarky. From her perspective as a teacher, mentor, and published author, her belief is that the way to survive the hard knocks of writing a book and trying to get published is to bust a gut working, laughing, and eating pie.
With chapters including "Oh Agent, Where Art Thou?", "Revising, Rewriting, and Reimagining," and "The Joy of Rejection," Wallen balances out the challenging stages of the writing process with both sweet and savory goodness, featuring recipes for chocolate pecan pie, salmon and portobello pie, and the recipe for the best cherry pie ever.
Throughout the book, Wallen demystifies the vagaries of the publishing business, providing delicious recipes that will keep your belly full even when you're staring at an empty page. Her writing advice is neatly paired with the brilliant illustrations of Emil Wilson, who shares her sharp wit, sardonic look at the demands of the writing life, and her mad love of pie. Combined, the stories, lessons, images, and recipes will provide encouragement and camaraderie for the novel-writing journey, from putting pen to page, to finding an agent, to celebrating publication—all with a piece of pie.
About the Author
Amy Wallen is the author of the Los Angeles Times bestselling novel Moon Pies and Movie Stars and the memoir When We Were Ghouls: A Memoir of Ghost Stories. Amy is the associate director at the New York State Summer Writers Institute during the summer months, and the rest of the year she facilitates and co-teaches (with past Los Angeles Times book critic David Ulin) a manuscript workshop in San Diego (at which she serves pie) and teaches novel writing classes at UCSD Extension. She is also the creator of Savory Salons, literary salons with pie—a day of discourse with successful authors on the writing life. She’s also the founder of DimeStories—Three-minute stories told by the author, and featured on NPR. Currently, she is working on two novels, and she started NaNoPieMo after NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), which encourages writers to get started on their novels.
Emil Wilson is an art director, illustrator, and comic artist based in San Francisco. His work has appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers, as well as on billboards, gas station walls, NPR, the Oscars, and the Super Bowl. He recently graduated from The Center for Cartoon Studies, where he has completed a graphic novel in verse form. This year, he was nominated for a Broken Pencil (Canada) award and earned an Ignatz nomination for "Promising New Talent."
"Wilson’s illustrations pair perfectly with Wallen’s pull-no-punches take on the writing life. And while the book is filled with LOL-inducing takes on the rather unglamorous life of writers (along with accompanying illustrations), it’s a refreshing and candid take on the how-to format. Rather than coddle aspiring writers with “you-can-do-it"-type platitudes, Wallen keeps it real, often serving up a slice of — ahem — humble pie." (San Diego Union-Tribune)
"[Amy Wallen's] new book sweetens writing life with pie and perseverance. The book looks at Wallen's journey to write and publish her novel, "Moonpies and Movie Stars" and memoir, "When We Were Ghouls: A Memoir of Ghost Stories." It's also a how-to guide for readers to find the perseverance to write a book themselves. Plus, there's pie, from metaphors to "eat pie here" suggestions to plenty of pie recipes — all illustrated in vibrant color and comic form by artist Emil Wilson." (Julia Dixon, KPBS Public Media)