Strunk & White.
Elements of Style.
It’s not that I believed myself capable of equaling their (arguable) classic work on grammar, style, and writing in general but rather I wanted to produce a book that was small in stature, large in OOMPH. A book one might keep next to the computer (or typewriter, for your sadomasochists). In fact, I priced the paperback as low as the distributor would allow (which means I make less on a physical paperback than a digital copy), all because I honestly believe, of all books, this is the one that deserves all the real highlight marks, dogears, and other signs of heavy usage over the years.
You see, over the decades I attended (and led) quite a number of writing workshops, attended courses, and handed out work to be critiqued (with the telltale grimace of someone who doesn’t want to hear what he or she knows they need to hear). But the gemsI learned over those years. I had to share them. I needed to share them. I believe fervently that writers need to band together because, unlike other products, ours is continually in demand—far more demand than only a few select of us can provide. In other words:
There are enough readers for all talented writers (and even for some not-so-talented ones).
Books are not like sofas or cars or television sets. People don’t buy just one and hold on to it for 5-20 years. Some speedy readers I know read a book a day. What’s the average? Book a week? The demand for books is there—what we authors need are two things:
1) A hand-holding-hand path out of the jungle, to civilization, where the readers live
2) A product well worth their hard-earned money and time when we arrive there to present our work to them.
I work diligently at helping with #1. Now I wanted to share what I’d learned through trials, hard knocks, painful red ink on the page, and some damned fine writers over the years so that a fellow author might sit with my book and use a few simple (call them what you will: rules, techniques, processes, guidelines) and come out the other side with a book at least twice as good as it was entering the makeover.
Thus INK: Eight Rules To A Better Bookwas born.
Not of greed; not of pride; not of chance. INK was born because I was destined to write it, and I promise you, those writers who’ve taken the time to read it (one self-proclaimed slow reader devoured it in three hours!) will learn a lifetime of lessons. And it’s a book you can read over and over again. Highlighting, coming back to a section you love or need or just wanted to get straight in your head.
Writing is a process, and like every other skilled profession in the world, there are those to whom it comes naturally; there are great writers and good writers and decent writers and, yes, horrible writers. But I didn’t write INK for any one group. My theory is that no matter where you fall on the spectrum of ability or talent, your prose can always improve. None of us—nor non of “them”—is at the one hundred percent, don’t need to fix a thing stage.
None is perfect.
Lastly, the cover is intentionally simplistic, because I believe in the simplicity (and conversely, the POWER) of the eight rules. They aren’t rocket science and every single writer out there in the world can put them to use. I also have an absolute reason for using the hand print in ink for the cover. It has come to represent the unique signature of every writer on the planet. Each of us is different in some way from the next. Like snowflakes.
Like hand prints.
“Black Beast: A Detective Bobby Mac Thriller” marked Guthrie’s first major release and it heralded the first in a series of Detective Bobby Macaulay (Bobby Mac) books. The second in the series (LOST) hit the Kindle shelves December of 2011. Reckoningcloses out the trilogy. For now…
Guthrie’s “Blood Land” is the first in the James Pruett Mystery/Thriller series and represents a project that is close to his heart: it is set in a fictional town in the same county where he spent much of his childhood and still visits. The sequel, Money Land, hit the shelves Christmas Day, 2012. Honor Land, the third in the bestselling series is due out in the Summer of 2013.
Guthrie lives in Colorado with his wife, Amy, three young Australian Shepherds, and a Chihuahua who thinks she is a 40-pound Aussie! Pictured is Elsa, the oldest, the Alpha, crazy adorable and every bit the diva (and she knows it!). And yes, there is a Hero Dog book bursting to get out that Guthrie plans to write concurrently with his third Pruett book.
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/RSGuthrie