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on Jan. 31, 2013 :
Review by Mary Haskett
Meet Duke the Chihuahua, a rum bumptious pug with a yen to write. Duke spends a great deal of time with his neighbour, Donna Fawcett, who happens to be an award winning writer. Inspired by her success, Duke takes up residence in her home. Well in her office most of the time.
This e-book revolves around Donna helping Duke to understand the writing world. The whole book reads in light banter with Donna telling the reader, about her conversations with Duke and her efforts to help him achieve his goals. Later in the book, we meet Bee, a German shepherd, and a few other canine characters. Fawcett’s style will doubtless put smiles on the faces of readers as they visualize Duke the Chihuahua, with his bulging eyes and stumpy legs dancing the Macarena on the office floor, after thinking he has hit the jackpot by writing an e-book.
The thrust of Fawcett’s book is not an in-depth tutorial on how to write, in fact, she addresses that herself, advising serious beginners to take writing courses. Although she does explain, point of view, transitions and a few other key elements. What she does do, and with skill, is inform the reader of the endless facets of the writing world from, conferences to agents, editors, publishers, critique groups, the disappointment of rejections and the highs of acceptance. As Duke and his peers learn a thing or two the reader, especially the beginner readers, will come to appreciate the nuances of the writers’ world, and will certainly be encouraged to pursue their dreams.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
on Jan. 21, 2013 :
As a writer and author, I’ve read shelf loads of “how to” books on writing. Many I keep as a resource to return to again and again. But none have come close to the fun and creative way on how to write as Donna has presented in this book.
With humour and in very short chapters, Donna covers important topics such as writer’s block, point of view, rejection notices, writer’s conferences, different genres, writing portfolios, contracts, book covers, marketing and much, much more. There are tons of examples offered throughout the book; many from Duke and Bee’s funny life.
I highly recommend this for anyone who has ever thought, “I’d like to write a book”. Not only is it an educational book but it’s extremely entertaining as well!
(reviewed within a week of purchase)
on Jan. 12, 2013 :
Duke is indeed a Chihuahua. He’s, shall we say, mature in years. Bee is an adolescent German Shepherd. Donna Fawcett is an award-winning author of fiction (under the name Donna Dawson) and non-fiction, and a former writing instructor. She’s also a speaker and a singer-songwriter.
When Donna began chronicling Duke’s writing misadventures on her blog, they were so well-received that Duke the Chihuahua Writes! was born. As an eager novice, Duke gets himself into some “teachable moments” on his writing journey. Between them, he and Bee encounter just about everything a new writer needs to learn. Duke even tries his paw at NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).
In 67 short chapters, the book covers the basics that beginners need to know: research, queries, self-editing, managing submissions, handling critiques and rejections, genres, characters, and more.
Duke and Bee make great company through the book, and readers will have more fun learning vicariously than reading a traditional “do this, don’t do that” instructional approach. The humour is appealing, and some of the author’s word choices are great. For example, Duke is a gentlepooch who, although he drinks cap-pup-chinos, leaves the pawdicures to Bee.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)