Saturday, April 11, 2009

Blatant self-promo?

Or just a lovely letter from a reader that made my day? I think it's the latter, but I'm sure someone here will tell me it's the former. Did I say the book is in its 7th printing? It's nice to know people are still reading it and loving it.
"I just finished reading Pen on Fire and wanted to thank you. I borrowed your book from the library along with several other books about writing. This has been a guilty pleasure of mine for many years now. I read about writing. All this time I’ve been thinking, I’d love to write someday, but…

Your book spoke to me on a personal level and addressed all of my fears and excuses, which I used as roadblocks to writing. Your style of gentle encouragement made me feel as if you were speaking to me as a friend. I was also encouraged by the examples you gave of other successful authors who wrote at their kitchen table with chaos, otherwise known as “life,” happening around them. It made me realize, If they can do it, so can I! and the 'someday' I’ve been storing away could be now.

I’ve often had the urge to write but found myself at a loss for what to write and of course the ever ready excuse, 'I don’t have time' was a handy crutch as well. I started to put many of your tips and exercises into practice and I began to not only jot down ideas and write, but feel energized about doing so. I have an eagerness to write now, which I did not have before. It’s as if I absolutely must get all these ideas and thoughts down on paper. I wish I could find the perfect expression for how I feel. Oh! I’ve got it! It’s as if my pen is on fire. And for that, I would like to thank you."

Olivia Percle
Panama City, FL

Just so this post isn't too sickeningly about me and my book, here are some of my favorite writing books:

Writing by Margaret Duras
Mystery and Manners by Flannery O’Connor
Starting from Scratch by Rita Mae Brown
Ron Carlson Writes a Story by Ron Carlson
Paris Review Interviews
Making a Literary
Life, by Carolyn See
If You Want to Write by Brenda Ueland
Thunder and Lightning by Natalie Goldberg
This Year You Write Your Novel by Walter Mosley

There are so many more and they provide a balm for rough days and a kick in the behind, too.
Photo by Travis in Barnes & Noble, Fashion Island, Newport Beach, CA. They had a dozen copies. I love it when that happens.


joey said...

On my link ever since I read it ... an "inspiration and crackles with joy"!

GutsyWriter said...


That's not self-promotion. You deserve that wonderful comment and it must feel good to know that you're helping so many of us. Thanks for writing, "Pen on Fire."

Mary Castillo said...

Seven printings?!? Look at you go, Barbara! Your book is proof that a positive and generous message has so much more power than its counterpart.

Its a great book and one that I've given as a gift many times over.


Energy Primer said...


Been a long time since I've communicated with you. Congratulations! Seventh printing! I'm envious and very happy for you. Your success is well deserved. I hope to follow in your footsteps.

Best always,

Nick Battista