Monday, March 02, 2009


George Singleton, author of Pep Talks, Warnings & Screeds, launches his blog tour!

In Pep Talks, Warnings & Screeds: Indispensable Wisdom and Cautionary Advice for Writers acclaimed Southern story writer and novelist George Singleton serves up everything you ever need to know to become a real writer (meaning one who actually writes), in bite-sized aphorisms. It's Nietzsche's Beyond Good & Evil meets Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird. It's cough syrup that tastes like chocolate cake. In other words, don't expect to get better unless you get a good dose of it, maybe two.

Accompanied by more than fifty original full-color illustrations by novelist Daniel Wallace, these laugh-out-loud funny, candid, and surprisingly useful lessons will help you find your own writerly balance so you can continue to move forward.

Singleton graduated from Furman University in 1980 with a degree in philosophy, and from UNC-Greensboro with an MFA in creative writing. Singleton has taught English and fiction writing at Francis Marion College, the Fine Arts Center of Greenville County, and the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities. He has been a visiting professor at the University of South Carolina and UNC-Wilmington, and has given readings and taught classes at a number of universities and secondary schools. He has published four collections of stories: These People Are Us, The Half-Mammals of Dixie, Why Dogs Chase Cars, Drowning in Gruel; and two novels: Novel and Work Shirts for Madmen.

He lives in Pickens County, South Carolina with the clay artist Glenda Guion their eleven dogs and one cat.

Visit his website at

Published by Writers Digest Books., $17.99
Publication Date: October 22, 2008
Non-Fiction, Writer’s Advice, Hardcover
ISBN# 9781582975658

Book Giveaway Comments Contest!

If you received our Events Newsletter, remember, we are holding a contest to win a signed copy of George’s book, Pep Talks, Warnings & Screeds, to those that comment. So, grab a cup of coffee, pull up a chair, and enjoy the chat, and share your thoughts, and comments, at the end. We will randomly choose a winner from those who comment. Enjoy!

Interview by Jodi Webb

WOW: Welcome to WOW!, George. We're delighted to launch your blog tour for your book, Pep Talks, Warnings & Screeds: Indispensable Wisdom and Cautionary Advice for Writers (Writers Digest Books, 2008).

George: Well, I've visited The Muffin and I definitely win Most Curmudgeonly, Ugliest Person to ever be on the blog. Sorry about that.

WOW: Why don't we change that to the Trailblazer Award? After all, you're our first male author on a WOW Blog Tour. And writers, of all people, know not to judge a book by its cover. George, up until now your cover has been stamped "fiction" with four short story collections and two novels. How did you switch from fiction to writing advice?

George: I started writing these little aphorisms and anecdotes in September of 2007. I told my friend Will Allison (a fellow novelist) about it, and he said, "You should contact Lauren Mosko at Writers Digest Books." I did, and sent her 40 of the little sections.

WOW: How did you decide to include illustrations with the book?

George: Actually, while Lauren was consulting with her boss about accepting my book I was on a book tour in Nashville where I told Daniel Wallace (a writer and illustrator) about it. He said, "I want to do illustrations for that book." It was as simple as that.

WOW: It seems like this book led a charmed life. Everything just fit into place.

George: Lauren was a great editor--taking out some of the aphorisms she rightly didn't think made sense. But then, about a week after the book came out Lauren let me know about her decision to leave Writers Digest Books. When Lauren left I felt as though the book no longer had a cheerleader. Wait--I don’t think of Lauren as a cheerleader. I know longer had anyone in my corner. Wait--I don’t think of Lauren as a boxer's cut person. (Laughs) Then I learned that because of layoffs there wasn't exactly a PR department either. My book was an orphan.

WOW: So what does the author of an orphaned book do? Did you have your own marketing plan set up?

George: I never did any publicity for myself. The publishing houses would assign a publicist and I would go off to book signings, interviews…or the people somehow found me. I had some book conferences and festivals lined up, so that was about it.

WOW: Sounds like you aren't a big fan of drumming up publicity for your writing George.

George: I think of it as a necessary evil. I would much rather sit at home and write. It's not that I'm a total misanthrope--I've been known to have a good time--but I get way too nervous at book signings and readings.

WOW: So I suppose a Blog Tour is perfect for you. What's up next, maybe a rant against unreliable publicity plans? And what type of publicity plan for your next book?

George: I'm working on a novel and have a collection of stories pretty much ready. But I'm waiting out the storm. I hope that Houghton Mifflin Harcourt gets going again, or someone buys it out. [HMH published George's fiction books but recently stopped acquiring new manuscripts--another victim of the economy]. I worry, again, more about the writing than on publicity plans.

WOW: Well, we're looking forward to those books and are glad to see that you haven't lost that sense of humor that makes Pep Talks, Warnings and Screeds such a fun read. Want to join George on his blog tour? Check out these dates and mark your calendar! You can also snag a copy of WOW's Events Calendar HERE.

Blog Tour Dates: Come and join the fun!

March 2, 2009 Monday
George will be chatting with WOW! Women On Writing at The Muffin. Stop by and share your comments! One lucky commenter will win copy of George's book!

March 3, 2009 Tuesday
George will be stopping by Writer's Round-About and sharing his advice on how to make a living as a writer! And, there's a book giveaway contest! Not to miss.

March 4, 2009 Wednesday
George will be stopping by Joyce Anthony's new blog for an exclusive author interview and book review.

March 5, 2009 Thursday
George will be stopping by Jo Ann Hernandez' BronzeWord's Blog to share his writing advice!

March 7, 2009 Saturday
George will be stopping by Mike's Writing Workshop for an author interview and guest post. Not to miss!

March 9, 2009 Monday
George will be visiting Annette Fix's Paper Trail blog to talk about the craft of writing. Be sure to stop by!

March 10, 2009 Tuesday
George will be visiting Writer Unboxed to share his tips on the five things every writer should know. I can't wait for that one!

March 13, 2009 Friday
George will be visiting Beth Morrissey's blog Hell Or High Water to talk about making a living as a short story writer. Another must read!

March 16, 2009 Monday
Thursday Bram will be reviewing George's book Pep Talks, Warnings and Screeds at her fantastic blog!

March 17, 2009 Tuesday
George will be stopping by Mary Jo Campbell's blog Writer Inspired for an exclusive interview and book giveaway contest! Comment for a chance to win a copy of George's book!

March 19, 2009 Thursday
George will be stopping by C. Hope Clark's blog for an exclusive interview!

March 23, 2009 Monday
George will be stopping by Susan Johnston's blog The Urban Muse for a surprise guest post!

March 27, 2009 Friday
George will be stopping by Day by Day Writer for an exclusive interview!

Get involved!

We hope you are as excited about the tour as we are! Mark your calendar, save these dates, and join us for this truly unique and fascinating author blog tour.

If you have a blog or website and would like to participate in George Singleton's blog tour, or schedule a tour of your own, please email Angela and Jodi at:

** Please feel free to copy any portion of this post.

Oh, be sure to comment on this post to enter in a drawing for a copy of George's latest book Pep Talks, Warnings & Screeds: Indispensable Wisdom and Cautionary Advice for Writers. Visit his website at

George will be stopping by to answer your questions, so ask away! ;)

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