We are a full-service writing magazine. From the nitty-gritty of grammar, to the ins and outs of craft and character, to book reviews, to the writer’s journey, to interviews with bestselling and award-winning authors, you can find everything you need in Author, either in our current issue, or in our free archives. This from a man who avoided writing magazines all his life. I avoided them out of habit, not bias. I don’t like people teaching me anything. When I was a freshman in college and I had to show something I had written to the head of our English department so I could get out of a basic composition class, she asked, “Where did you learn to write?” I answered, “At my typewriter.” I wasn’t being snarky. I didn’t know how else to answer.
I did not start this magazine to teach you anything. You already know everything you need to know. You know grammar, but maybe sometimes you are afraid you don’t and so you use “which” instead of “that”; you know what a good story is and how to tell it, but maybe you doubt yourself, and so the story doesn’t come the way it could; and you know you are a writer, but maybe because people sometimes don’t want to publish what you write you worry that you are not a writer.
This is why I started the magazine, to provide the only thing anyone ever needs to have anything they want – a reminder. James Thayer only reminds you why contrast is useful; Jason Black only reminds you that point of view affects your characters; and Yann Martel only reminds you that all art is life-affirming. You have known all these things since the first moment you read your first book or heard your first story.
Which is why everyone is self-taught in the end. We go in search of what we already know, and we find the answers often in other people. Just yesterday I had one of those bouts where nothing was coming and I was feeling a tad grumpy about it. But then I remembered my recent interview with Holes author Louis Sachar (interview coming in June). Sachar always requires six drafts to find his stories. With each draft he further refines what it is he’s trying to say. It’s messy, it’s uncertain – but it’s the only way he knows to find a story. This is how I work also, but I forget sometimes and grow impatient. Until, that is, I meet or hear from people like Sachar, and then I remember what I’ve always known.