Published by Penguin Press’ Perigee Books and available at all fine bookstores and online. In the Harrisburg area, copies are available at the Midtown Scholar (in the local authors section near the front) and Cupboard Maker Books.
TRUTH IS STRANGER THAN FICTION
If you’ve imagined famous writers to be desk-bound drudges, think again. Writers Gone Wild rips back the (book) covers and reveals the seamy underside of the writing life.
Insightful, intriguing, and irresistibly addictive, Writers Gone Wild reveals such fascinating stories as:
* The night Dashiell Hammett hired a Chinese prostitute to break up S. J. Perelman’s marriage (and ran off with his wife).
* Why Sylvia Plath bit Ted Hughes on the cheek hard enough to draw blood.
* Why Ernest Hemingway fought a book critic, a modernist poet, and his war correspondent/wife Martha Gellhorn (but not at the same time).
* The near-fatal trip Katherine Anne Porter took while high on marijuana in Mexico.
* Why women’s breasts sent Percy Bysshe Shelley screaming from the room.
* The day Virginia Woolf snuck onto a Royal Navy ship disguised as an Abyssinian prince.
Pull up a chair, turn on good reading light, and discover what your favorite writers were up to while away from their desks. Sometimes, they make the wildest characters of all.
- Authors and Appetizers offers food for thought on “Writers Gone Wild,” saying it’s perfect for book groups and that “these delightfully-titilating, sometimes hysterical factoids about your favorite authors will keep you entertained for hours.”
- Richard S. Wheeler, who has written a number of award-winning Westerns, describes “Writers Gone Wild” “a literary zoo.” Living in Livingston, Montana, he says he has heard enough stories about local writers and filmmakers (including Sam Peckinpah) to live “a vicarious life as a Wild Writer even if my conduct is more akin to that of Emily Dickinson.” Hmmm, I see by his home page that he started writing novels about my age. I like that. Gives a man hope.
- Jennifer over at Books Make Me Happy hasn’t bought her copy of WGW but knows “this is going to be another one for my bookshelf, lol.”
- Karyn Johnson at Curled Up With A Good Book hasn’t bought her “Writers Gone Wild” “Funny, witty and fascinating.” Thanks, Karyn!
- Kristin Harmel, author of a young adult novel “After” and her romance novel “Italian for Beginners”, gave her holiday gift list on WESH in Orlando, Fla., and included “WGW” as a great gift for writers. Thanks, Kristin!
- Rick Dakin over at PopMatters calls “Writers Gone Wild” “a delightful little stocking stuffer for a reader or literary snob on your holiday gift list.” Rick’s latest book is “Geek Mafia: Black Hat Blues”.
- The Lancaster News profiled Bill and the book in its Sunday newspaper.
- At Bookgasm, Malena Lott calls “Writers Gone Wild” “a great read for writers and lit-lovers alike.” Malena is the author of “Dating da Vinci”
(“pure romantic escapism written smartly” – Publishers Weekly) and “The Stork Reality.”
- The newspaper I work for, the Harrisburg Patriot-News, reviewed “Writers” in its Sunday section. Writer Lewis Silverman called it “chock-full of humorous anecdotes, and it will at times leave you shaking your head in amazement.”
- Over at the Book Tree, Laura Johnson let me drop in to talk about the genesis of “Writers Gone Wild” and what I’m reading.
- Adam Schwartz at NPR station WFIU in Indiana and I talked about Hoosier writers gone wild.
- Frank Wilson, the former book page editor at the Philadelphia Inquirer, mentions that he’s been reading “Writers Gone Wild” on his Kindle and found it “simply addictive.” Thank you, Frank!
- BookPage, the tabloid magazine available at libraries everywhere, gave “Writers Gone Wild” a rave review, calling me “an artful writer, he presents each priceless nugget of trivia with style and flair. Bibliophiles will love this enormously entertaining look at authors who succumbed to the very impulses they wrote about.” *blush*
- Over at Guns & Verbs, Ryan David Jahn gave me the blurb of the year in his brief review: “If you’re someone who shits, and who isn’t, it will make a great bathroom book.” Jahn’s latest thriller novel, “Acts of Violence,” has gotten rave reviews from British newspapers.
- Steve Goddard mentions the book at his History Wire blog, along with another interesting book, 100 Mistakes that Changed History.
- Novelist and book reviewer Claudia Leavitt gave it a rave review, calling it a “hilarious and witty compendium of writers acting badly. (What? We act badly?)” She also did a Q&A with Bill. Laevitt is the author of “Girls in Trouble,” and her new book, coming out in January, is “Pictures of You.”
- TV producer and “Monk” novelist Lee Goldberg published a guest post on “Raymond Chandler’s Big Bender” on his blog.
- Denver, Colorado’s Tattered Cover Bookstore recommends the book to its readers.
- Reading Life editor Pam Kelley profiles the book for The Charlotte Observer and The News and Observer in Raleigh, N.C.
- Charles Apple published a Q&A at his blog at the American Copy Editor Society. He managed to squeeze this in between discussing the 2010 midterm elections and jetting off to South Africa on a consulting job. Rumors that he regularly saves the earth as Superman are not true, but just barely.
- The New York Times’ Paper Cuts blog published a personal essay by Bill about his failure as a wannabe musician and offers his playlist of songs inspired by the lives of great writers.
- Flavorwire’s Chelsea Bauch used the stories in “Writers Gone Wild” and created “A History of Fist-Fueled Author Feuds.”
- The Patriot-News in Harrisburg published Bill’s article “How Can I Get My Book Published.”
- Alan Caruba, longtime reviewer and charter member of the National Book Critics Circle, listed “Writers Gone Wild” as one of his picks of the month.
- Lynn Viehl published a rave review of the book on her website, saying “I came away from reading ‘Writers Gone Wild’ with a better appreciation for the writers who came before us, not as literary greats but as real, flawed, often likeable human beings. … More than anything, though, reading this book made me feel a little wiser.” If you’re at all interested in learning to write fiction that sells (pssst, I mean commercial fiction!), you should visit her site.
If you have a Kindle, check out his serio-comic novel “The Man with the Iron-On Badge”. As a fan of the old-time TV detective shows, I loved it.
Some are in the works but not announced yet.
Bill spoke about “Writers Gone Wild” in March 2012, at the Camp Hill Woman’s Club at West Shore Baptist Church.
Bill spoke about “Writers Gone Wild” Oct. 6 at the Fredricksen Public Library in Camp Hill.
Bill spoke July 23 at Delta Kappa Gamma’s Northeast Convention on “Where Do You Get Your Ideas.” Bill discussed the nature of creativity as the result of remixing, not just inspiration; the techniques famous and successful writers used to make their books; and the tools writers need to make it all work.