Questions Writers Ask – Wise, Whimsical, and Witty Answers from the Pros by Karen Speerstra – A Book Review

Questions Writers AskQuestions Writers Ask: Wise, Whimsical, and Witty Answers from the Pros
By: Karen Speerstra
Robert D. Reed Publishers, P. O. Box 1992, Bandon, OR 97411
978-1934759325, $ 16.95, 2010, 312 pages
Reviewed By Richard R. Blake

Age Old Questions Writer’s Ask – Fresh Contemporary Answers

“Questions Writers Ask” is a surprising gift, a compilation of nearly 6,000 quotations addressing questions asked by real writers. Karen Speerstra has been painstakingly scrupulous in her task of gathering and selecting the quotes for this project.

Writers from the past some contemporaries, well known greats, recognized authors, and a number of upcoming more recent writers provide bits of wisdom, wit, insight and advice participating in a worldwide forum in dialog across an imaginary common table.

Using a conversational approach, Karen presents fresh writing insights and small gems of wisdom explaining why writers write, practical ideas on play writing, poetry, comedy and satire. The quotes she uses are often funny, sometimes profound, and always enlightening or entertaining.

Among the twenty topics covered in the book, I personally appreciated the information on editors and publishers, the thoughts on handling criticism, and where writers get their ideas. I plan to implement many of the thoughts on personal writing: journals, diaries, and memoir. Getting started and facing up to writer’s blocks were also very helpful. The chapter on writing specifically for children and adolescents is packed with information and inspiration.

Karen is the perfect one to compile this book. Her thirty year career in publishing encompasses writing, acquisitions, newspaper columns, curriculum writing, and developmental editing.

“Questions Writers Ask” is destined to become a classic. I am adding it to my own permanent library to be read and re-read often for sheer enjoyment.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.


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