book review: 10 Takes Pacific Northwest Writers

When I confront a new topic or one I need to know more about, I look for a way I can write an article, a paper, or web content about it. So I jumped at the chance to write a book about writing.

10 Takes: Pacific Northwest Writers is an interesting book because it takes a constraint (write about writers living in the Northwest region of the USA) and turns it into a broad survey of successful, working writers using a wide variety of genres and forms. Each of the ten chapters is an interview transcript with a different writer, prefaced with a brief author bio and list of published works. There's a novelist turned screenwriter, an urban fantasy novelist, a poet who also teaches about prison literature, a comic book writer... if your preferred form isn't covered here, there is an interview with someone who does something very close.

Interview transcripts can be tricky things to read on a page, but Roland does an excellent editing job here. The transcripts are conversational and still sound like a spoken discussion of writing, but are easy to read. For the most part, Roland keeps out of the dialogue, with just quick, easily-identified prompts here and there so that the reader understands the context of the writer's comments.

I really appreciated the straightforward, down-to-earth approach each of the writers took to discussing craft and career. It really struck me that these are people discussing their jobs, or one of their jobs for those who have multiple ones. A lot of the comments are more practical and less theoretical — which is to say, even when theory gets discussed, it's because it's useful. There's a mindfulness which permeates all of the interviews which makes them all enjoyable to read.

This is one "writer's" book that I think could be enjoyed even by people who don't write; any appreciation of the written word would make it appealing.

Author Bio: Jennifer Roland is a freelance and marketing writer with more than twenty years' experience in newspaper, magazine, and marketing environments. Jennifer also works as a virtual assistant to writers, helping them build their online presence and connect with readers so they can focus on what they love — writing.

She loves fiction and writes that under the name Jennifer C. Rodland. She hopes to put all of the lessons she learned writing this book into getting more of that published.

Book Summary: From novelists to poets to playwrights, Jennifer Roland interviews a variety of authors who have one thing in common — they have all chosen to make the Pacific Northwest their home. Covering a diversity of disciplines — from comics, fantasy, and detective novels to long-form poetry and illustrated children's series — ten distinguished authors provide unique perspectives about their craft, provide helpful writing advice and tips for success, and share their passion for living and writing in the Pacific Northwest. Buy the book here.

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