In this lively, perceptive, and encouraging book Naomi Beth Wakan shares her experiences as an older writer, from dealing with ageism to working around a sometimes erratic memory, providing valuable insights to other older writers. Along the way she collects the experiences of twelve other writers, profiling them and their achievements. In addition to Wakan's own writing, Late Bloomer contains twelve short interviews, examples of the interviewee's writing, and a reference section. This is a wonderful book, written for an older audience that has often been neglected in this genre.
Excerpt from Chapter 7
Then there is the dreaded form rejection:
We are returning your manuscript because
X It's not suited to our present needs
__ Its language or concept is too mature for our audience
__ We seldom buy rhyming picture books
__ It needs more character/plot development
__ We have a very limited nonfiction line
Well at least I know my language is not too mature but that, yet once more, I've just guessed their needs wrongly. I do that a lot – most of it comes from my own fine powers of visualization that are so acute that they can see my manuscript firmly in print in the magazine to which I have chosen to submit. I can do this so well that I usually miss their fine script - we only accept manuscripts in October and February or we only accept manuscripts from agents, or, worse yet, illustrating my complete lack of attention to the state of the journal – we regret to announce that we have ceased production.
And yet, and yet... I have had sentimental pieces published in hard-boiled literary magazines and my expoundings on haiku have appeared in garden magazines, so sometimes a little carelessness pays off. Publishers, I know, hate writers who spray their submissions out like a garden-sprinkler gone berserk, but some days, that is just how I want to do it.
Late Bloomer by Naomi Beth Wakan (Mary Ann Moore, Story Circle Book Reviews, 6/10/2008) “Many late bloomers would be happy to read Wakan's lively description of her own writing life as she shares the practicalities and the joys.”
Other Titles by Naomi Beth Wakan