Saturday, October 11, 2008
The way you define yourself as a writer is that you write every time you have a free minute. If you didn't behave that way you would never do anything. --John Irving (1942 - ) Having just spent six days in Whitefish, Montana, at the Authors of the Flathead writers' conference, I'm inspired. It wasn't supposed to be that way; I intended to inspire others when I taught a three-day workshop, then shorter sessions over the weekend, to conference attendees. But they, too, said they were inspired -- and that's what it's all about, writers helping writers. I wish I knew then what I know now when I wrote my first nonfiction book, The Killing of Tupac Shakur, in 1996 and '97. The writing transition, from newspaper stories to a book, was a struggle. And this was before full-on Internet use; my research came from libraries, book stores, magazine racks, newspaper clips and interviews -- the old-fashioned way. It was a crash course on becoming an author. Also teaching a three-day'r was screenwriter Rick Reichman. Presenting with us that Saturday and Sunday were Pulitzer-prize-winning journalist, blogger and soon-to-be-author John Woestendiek (very witty guy; check out his blog), and literary agent Stephanne Dennis, romantic suspense author Laura Hayden, and fiction editor Denise Little. Thoroughly enjoyable week!