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Writing Books/Ripe time for the Great Near Eastern Novel?


Hello Nori,

I have hopped over from the Turkey Travel board on the Allexperts site.  My question to you is stark and simple:  Should I rearrange my tidy life to accomodate a substantial shift in resources to pour out the budding book in me?  The book would be a Turkish "Joy Luck Club" or "Suitable Boy", delving into what constitutes a Turk, based upon my experiences with my Turkish mother, Turkish (ex) husband and living/working in Turkey for the last 15 years while raising my child.

How do I begin? I need a major crisis to jump start me.


Dear Dina,
Thank you for your questions. That sounds like a fascinating idea for a book. While i encourage you to write it, i caution you about quitting the old day job to do so (if that's what you mean by a substantial shift). You will be surprised how difficult it is to find a publisher and how little a book makes in terms of cash flow. There are other good reasons to write a book. YOu have to love your subject and have a deep desire to bring the information out to the world.
Another caution is that memoirs don't usually sell very well. You will have to write your story as though it were a novel, in order to get a publisher interested. This isn't true 100% of the time, but it holds true to the 80-20 law. Eighty percent of people want to write their memoir, while only 20 percent ever write one that is readable enough to come to market.
To get started, i suggest that you download whatever is in your mind. Just get a notebook or a keyboard and pour your heart out. This is the process of emptying the contents of your mind onto paper. It will be much easier to access your thoughts once they're down on paper. You can refer to these notes later for inspiration when you're in the thick of it.
After writing down everything, the next step is to pick out the details that will tell the story. You can find more about how to do this at my Fiction Writer's Workshop. See
While you're there, also check out the article on how to find a publisher.
Best to you. Write back if you have any follow-up questions.

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Nori J. Muster


Writing and publishing books, including e-books.


I have been writing for publication since 1981, including years as a staff writer, associate editor, editorial writer, and freelance reporter. At this time, I have eight Kindle books for sale at

Lakes of Tempe Authors, Tempe, Arizona

Betrayal of the Spirit: My Life behind the Headlines of the Hare Krishna Movement
Dreaming Peace: Your Thoughts Can Change the World
Cult Recovery Handbook: Seven Paths to an Authentic Life
Child of the Cult
Learning to Flow with the Tao: The 64 Hexagrams of the I Ching
Positive Quotations: Wisdom from the Master Mind
Collected Writings: Five Books by Nori Muster
Noriland Art Gallery: Secrets from the Vault
Spiritual Summer and Other Short Stories

UCLA Extension Writer's Program, 1988 - 1994
Master's Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, Western Oregon University, 1991

Awards and Honors
USA Today, Los Angeles Times, BBC World Services Focus on Faith, BBC Sunday Programme,, Glamour Magazine, Portland Mercury News, W-Five TV (Toronto), Publisher's Weekly, Boston Phoenix, San Francisco Chronicle, ABC TV News - 20/20, ABC radio, Associated Press, The Age (Melbourne),, The New York Times, Religious News Service, Dallas Morning News, Columbia Journalism School, Whole Life Times (Los Angeles), Toronto Sun, the John Dayle Show (KFYI AM, Phoenix), the Eliot Stein Show (syndicated radio and Internet broadcast), Discovery with Josh Wagner (KKUP, 91.5 FM, Santa Clara, California), KOGO (News Radio 600, San Diego), Jupiterís Girl syndicated radio show, Lakes Log.

Book Reviews:
Publisherís Weekly, Feminist Bookstore News, Yoga Journal, New York Post, Choice Magazine, Boston Herald, Nexus (Colorado), Gentle Strength Times, Coastlines (UCSB alumni), Theology Digest, Nova Religio, Rapport, India West,,

Book Signings:
Prescott College reunion; Gentle Strength Co-op, Tempe; Different Drummer Bookshop, Laguna Beach; L.A. Times Toastmasters; Biltmore Plaza Border's Books, Phoenix; Bodhi Tree Bookstore, Los Angeles; Health & Life Enrichment Expo, Pasadena; Sacramento Reads book festival, and others.

ISKCON World Review, Van Dhal Publications, Gentle Strength Times, Arizona Woman, Lakes Log, ICSA Today, Cultic Studies Review, University of Illinois Press, Kindle,,, Apple Books, and others.

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