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Question
Dear Nori

As a young and aspiring author, I would be grateful to receive some of your wisdom and knowledge.

Hence the following question:

What things have your life and work taught you about the art of writing, especially based on your special interests and subject covered by your writing?

I'm open to any advice or feedback.

Thanks in advance,

Brian

PS. If you could have me read and master the contents of one book or course, what would it be?  

Answer
Dear Brian,
Thank you for your questions. Wow, these are the kinds of questions i like!

What things have your life and work taught you about the art of writing, especially based on your special interests and subject covered by your writing?

One is to let the writing flow. Don't restrain you writing in any way. Keep a journal and dump the contents of your mind whenever it gets too crowded up there. I've probably written a thousand words for every one that's been published.

Also, you can never learn too much about writing. Take writing classes and read books on writing. If you've never read a book on writing, start with The Elements of Style, by William Strunk, Jr. & E.B. White. That is the most important book for writers, especially the last chapter. Every professional writer must re-read this book every year.  There are a lot of good ones. For non-fiction the best one is On Writing Well, by William Zinsser. I once met Zinsser and thanked him for his book.

If you could have me read and master the contents of one book or course, what would it be?

I recommend American literature. It's something i put off until just recently. When i was in college i never took American Lit, thinking, "Who cares about a bunch of old, dusty books?" However, in recent years i started to feel left out, like here i am calling myself a writer and i never studied American Lit. So i bought a 84 lecture tape series and devoured it in twelve days. I'm on my second time through it now, and starting to read some of the actual books. There is a whole world in American Literature, so i recommend learning it, especially if you're an American. You need a teacher because some of it seems like a different language. Most of it is very complex and takes some getting used to before you can appreciate it. So far, my favorite is Emily Dickenson.

If you're from a different country, American Lit isn't as important, but consider studying the literature of your country. It always pays to know your own roots.

That's all for now. If you have any follow-up questions, feel free to write back again. Also, to look up some good writing books, use the link at my writer's page:
http://steamboats.com/writing.html

Sincerely,
Nori

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Nori J. Muster

Expertise

Writing and publishing books, including e-books.

Experience

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 Amazon.com.

Organizations
Lakes of Tempe Authors, Tempe, Arizona

Publications
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


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

Awards and Honors
Interviews:
USA Today, Los Angeles Times, BBC World Services Focus on Faith, BBC Sunday Programme, Salon.com, 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), Rediff.com, 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, Rediff.com, Amazon.com.

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.

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

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