Part memoir, part mentor, PERMISSION TO WRITE: How to Write a Book and Other Myths from the Real World of Writing and Publishing is a cautionary tale for writers toiling away, all alone (except for those damned online writers' groups), checking the best-seller lists every day and noting that their names are not there.
Unknown writers have always been writing: they just haven't been seeing their words in print. The awful truth is that the digital age has made it much easier to have a book published – and much more difficult in so many ways. Indeed, it is truly disheartening for both writers and readers to think that publishing a book is so easy (digital self-publishing anyone?), but ensuring its quality is truly problematic.
PERMISSION TO WRITE does just that: gives aspiring writer permission to write – if and only if they manage to improve their writing, take a more realistic approach to the fact that they probably don't write as well as they think, and disabuse themselves of the notion that just because they can publish their books, they should.
This book chronicles author Patricia J. Parsons's journey through a quarter of a century of slogs with traditional publishers (including Doubleday Canada, the now-defunct NC Press, the University of Toronto Press, Kogan Page, London), as well as her romps through the increasingly convoluted corridors of the Wild, Wild West of the burgeoning digital-self-publishing world.
The purpose of this book is to entertain everyone who ever thought that he or she could write a book – possibly a majority of the population – and to provide a bit of tough-love, "mentorly" advice along the way.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Patricia J. Parsons has been a writer and writing teacher for over 30 years. With a background in medical communication, she took her first foray into writing books with a nonfiction trade book on the ethics and politics of organ transplantation, an area in which she had worked in medical communication. That first book was published by a now-defunct Toronto publishing house. After a few years writing for magazines and corporate entities, she wrote several more nonfiction books for large publishing companies in Canada, the US and the UK. Since then she has branched out and has written several novels and a memoir. She began her academic career teaching corporate writing at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, Canada, where she then spent 26 years teaching, researching and writing in the area of corporate communication strategy and ethics. She retired as a full Professor, taking early retirement to pursue her passion for writing.