Saturday, November 19, 2011

Writing as a Series of Bad Haircuts

The series of pictures you see above aren't just there to humiliate me. They're there in response to a question that I get from time to time:

"I want to be a writer. How do I start?"

The guy in the pictures is young. He's got bad '80s hair and '80s posters on the wall. This is because, yes, it's the 80s. And in two of the pictures, he's writing (including one, where he's actually writing on a typewriter.) He doesn't know it, but he's at least eight years away from getting anything published.

So, if you want to be a writer, how do you start?

First, you write. Then you keep writing. Then, when everybody else around who says that they want to write eventually gets tired of it and gives up, you keep writing. The magic formula is there is no magic formula. You find an idea that you love so much that you can't leave it alone, and you keep at it. In all likelihood, years will pass before you get anything published, but that's okay. All that time, you'll be getting better.

It also helps if you're not afraid of humiliating yourself.

And feed a few woodland animals along the way.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

At Harry's Bar in Venice

The photo was taken last fall, when my family and I were in Europe. It was a research trip for a novel that I was working on, but also just an excuse to see Italy, France, Switzerland and the UK.

But let me go back a bit...

My name is Joe Schreiber. I live in Hershey, Pennsylvania. I work at a nearby hospital as an MRI technologist, I'm a father of two young kids, and I write books. Like this one...

A couple weeks ago, Houghton Mifflin published my first YA novel, Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick. Here's the book trailer...

There's a UK edition coming out from Egmont/Electric Monkey in March.

I've got a sequel coming out next year -- the one that I was in Italy researching last year -- and hopefully I'll be able to post the cover art for that soon. Meanwhile, stay tuned for more updates about forthcoming work, books, screenplays and general nonsense.

If you're a writer, a reader, or just curious about what would compel anybody to spend hours, days, months and years of their life in total solitude, putting words on paper, maybe you should come back and hang out here sometime. Or we could be friends on Facebook. Or follow me on Twitter.