Friday, March 2, 2018

Book Review: 'Nine Day Novel - Authorphobia' by Steve Windsor

California author Steve Windsor has an infectious mode of communicating: once you start reading and chuckling and laughing out loud (at Steve's hilarious presentation coupled with laughing equally loud at your own mirrored experiences) you'll want to keep this by your computer or wherever it is you creatively write. Forgot to mention: this book is about overcoming fear and self doubt about writing your own book. Steve comes about this installment in his 9 DAY NOVEL SERIES with a strong background as a technology executive in the hallowed Silicon Valley where information such as he offers plays a major role in encouraging young writers. Bu the also has proved his mettle in the successful writing of rasty dark naughty and exciting thriller novels. All that talent is packed into this handsome hunk who appears he could convince an audience of anything he wishes to address. But on to the book at hand.

In a book that Steve claims `I despise pithy little quotation books that paraphrase long-dead authors as if their perspective on writing from 300 years ago has any bearing or relation to your current author struggle . . . in a modern-day capitalistic and overly technological culture', wisely opens with his statement, `If you remember nothing else from this book, remember this quote-- it's the essence of how to overcome your fear of writing. "If you hear a voice within you say `you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced." -- Vincent Van Gogh . That is Steve's manner of grabbing attention while pushing aside self-doubt and fear of failure.

He addresses the common fears all writers face (if they are honest about their psyches) and uses the verb `sucks' so frequently it soon becomes part of your own word patter. But at the core of every page is a little gem of reinforcement that flies so far above the usual motivational books for writers
or seminars or `group eval meetings' that it make s all else suck (oops!).

A particularly cogent example of his instruction is his comment on criticism: `"Asking a working writer what he thinks about critics is like asking a lamp post what it feels about dogs." -- Christopher Hampton But the haters will show up. Keep in mind that there will always be those who disagree and seek to make certain that you're aware of their disagreement. In short, they want to tell you how badly you suck . . . publicly. I've found that writing criticism approaches religion in that
regard. "If you don't believe as I do, I'll nail you to a cross or cut off your head. There, now do you believe me, infidel?" Uh, now I can't believe anything, because I'm dead. "Literature is strewn with the wreckage of those who have minded beyond reason the opinion of others." ― Virginia Woolf. More quotes of his won choosing that add punch to his delivery and a wink at reviewers.

If you write, buy this book. You never have so much fun learning how to feel good about your talent. Highly Recommended. Grady Harp, June 15

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.