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George Singleton--Writing Humor With Depth

I have always admired those authors who can effortlesly make others laugh--to do so while also imparting truths and great wisdom is a rare accomplishment. Today's featured author, George Singleton is one of the best when it comes to putting these two concepts together! I have had the pleasure of reading his newest book, Pep Talks, Warnings & Screeds: Indispensable Wisdom and Cautionary Advice for Writers, ( http://www.amazon.com/Pep-Talks-Warnings-Screeds-Indispensable/dp/1582975655/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1236172006&sr=1-1 ) and will be posting my review tomorrow. For now, let's meet George Singleton.

I'd like to start this post with a quote from George, to get you in the mood for his take on writing--seeing that his latest book is for writers :-) Here is George Singleton's take on the difference betwen a short story and novel:

"The difference between reading a novel and reading a short story is like drinking cough syrup instead of drinking bourbon to get drunk. One can get drunk on cough syrup, but it sure takes a long time. As for writing both genres, writing a novel is a walk across a bridge, while a short story is a walk across a tightrope. For a writer, too—in terms of craft—the short story offers more problems in that a mistake ends up glaring quicker and brighter than in a novel. So it’s a test of one’s self, really. I doubt that it’s possible to write a perfect novel, but there’s always the hope of writing the perfect short story."

To read a couple of George Singleton's short stories, visit:


About the Author

George Singleton has published short stories in a variety of magazines and journals including The Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s Playboy, Zoetrope, The Georgia Review, Shenandoah, Southern Review, Kenyon Review, Glimmer Train, North American Review, Fiction International, Epoch, Esquire.com, New England Review, Carolina Quarterly, Greensboro Review, Arkansas Review, American Literary Review, and so on.

His stories have been anthologized in eight issues of New Stories from the South, and also in 20 Over 40, Surreal South, Writers Harvest 2, They Write Among Us, and Behind the Short Story. His non-fiction has appeared in Bark and Oxford American, and has been anthologized in Best Food Writing 2005, Dog is My Co-Pilot, and Howl. He has published four collections of stories: These People Are Us, The Half-Mammals of Dixie, Why Dogs Chase Cars, Drowning in Gruel; and two novels: Novel and Work Shirts for Madmen.

George was born in Anaheim, California and lived there until he was seven. He grew up in Greenwood, South Carolina. He graduated from Furman University in 1980 with a degree in philosophy, and from UNC-Greensboro with an MFA in creative writing. Singleton has taught English and fiction writing at Francis Marion College, the Fine Arts Center of Greenville County, and the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities. He has been a visiting professor at the University of South Carolina and UNC-Wilmington, and has given readings and taught classes at a number of universities and secondary schools.His papers are reposited at the Jackson Library at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.He lives in Pickens County, South Carolina, with the clay artist Glenda Guion and their eleven dogs and one cat.

Book Synopsis:

Toddlers - and drunks - bang around hitting walls, tables, chairs, the floor, and other people, trying to find their legs. Writing fiction is a similar process. Sometimes it might take a while before the story gets some balance and moves forward. Sometimes the story takes off as if motor-driven, then crashes into something not foreseen or expected. Learning to be a writer is all about finding your legs, and doing your best to convince onlookers that you know what you’re doing and where you’re going.

In Pep Talks, Warnings & Screeds, acclaimed Southern story writer and novelist George Singleton serves up everything you ever need to know to become a real writer (meaning one who actually writes), in bite-sized aphorisms. It’s Nietzsche’s Beyond Good & Evil meets Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird. It’s cough syrup that tastes like chocolate cake. In other words, don’t expect to get better unless you get a good dose of it, maybe two.Accompanied by more than fifty original full-color illustrations by novelist Daniel Wallace, these laugh-out-loud funny, candid, and surprisingly useful lessons will help you find your own writerly balance so you can continue to move forward.

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unwriter said...

now this looks like a book I should read since I write short stories.

Love the look of this blog by the way.

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