Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Fiction Writer Now on!

The Fiction Writer is at the top of the required reading list for my students. With its engagingly direct, conversational style and easily accessible format, it is a veritable cornucopia of hands-on help for aspiring writers of any age…the quintessential book for the soon-to-be published.”—Susan H. McLemore, Director of Glynn Academy Language Arts Department

WOOT! My fiction writing guide, The Fiction Writer: Get Published, Write Now!”  (Starfire World Syndicate) is now available for sale on, (in Canada) and (in England). So, now you can buy it easily; no excuse! LOL!

Seriously though, I’m kind of proud of this book, which only took me a few months to write. I drew from my own twenty-odd years experience in writing and publishing, from struggling aspiring writer to established internationally published author. I include personal examples of queries and synopses that worked, actual rejection letters and hilarious but educational stories (well, they were funny at the bar) about my publishing misadventures. For instance, in Chapter "R" not only do I show images of my actual rejection letters but I relate an embarrassing story in the section entitled, "Something Worse Than Rejection". What could that possibly be, you may very well ask. You're just going to have to read Chapter "R" then tell me if you agree!

I also borrowed from the wisdom of many experts in writing and publishing, notably Robert J. Sawyer, Elizabeth Lyon, Jack Bickham, Sol Stein, Janet Fitch, Tobias Bucknell, Ansen Dibell, Margot Finke, Marg Gilks, Crawford Killian, Ralph Keyes, Victor Frankl, among others. I mixed their erudite advice with my educational experiences to produce a guidebook that fills a rare niche: a guidebook that seriously educates but is entertaining and fun to read.

I’ve been delighted to see The Fiction Writer and its associated course materials adopted by schools, colleges and universities throughout North America.

Here’s what writing instructors, published authors and writing students said about The Fiction Writer so far:

“I’m very impressed…Nina shares the hard-won knowledge she’s accumulated…I’m thoroughly enjoying the book!”—Robert J. Sawyer, Hugo and Nebula award-winning author of Wake.

“Nina is…lively and knowledgeable…approachable, relevant and humorous.”—Pamela Richardson, University of British Columbia

“Although aimed at the writing student, this is a handy book for the emerging or mature writer as well…a great resource to refresh one’s mind on every aspect of the writing process…I am keeping this book at my desk as I plunge into the writing of my next chapter.”—Shane Joseph, author of After the Flood

“Thanks, Nina! My songs, stories, and screenplays…can all benefit.”—Colin Wiebe, musician/writer

“Great writing lessons! They are practical and simple for any budding writer.”—Graham Seager, writer

“Nina Munteanu’s The Fiction Writer is the book I wish I had 15 years ago. Writers young and old can find ways to improve their work, with the book’s fun, easy to read format.”—Theresa Vinson, bookseller

“Nina Munteanu’s book, The Fiction Writer: Get Published, Write Now is a terrific resource in my professional library. I started reading it almost as soon as I got home after purchasing it. Nina shares tips and techniques from many great writers and I loved soaking all that up. I highly recommend it.”— Zoe M. Hicks, author of The Women’s Estate Planning Guide and Dream Catcher, the Power of Faith

The Fiction Writer improves with each read. it reminds me of those ‘For Dummies’ books, back when they first were great – except without the ‘you are a dummy’ humor, which I greatly appreciate”—David Merchant, Louisiana Tech University

The Fiction Writer packs twenty-six chapters of relevant, well-researched and easy to read instruction that encompasses virtually all the topics one needs to get published: beginnings and endings; characterization; dialogue; exposition; setting; plot; scene; metaphor & language; grammar; voice and point of view; research; query letters; rejection letters; synopses and outlines; showing vs. telling; writer’s block; attitude, inspiration and passion in writing.

Nina Munteanu is an ecologist and internationally published author of novels, short stories and essays. She coaches writers and teaches writing at George Brown College and the University of Toronto. For more about Nina’s coaching & workshops visit Visit for more about her writing.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Choosing the Less Worn Path of Intuition

In the middle of the journey of our life I came to myself within a dark wood where the straight way was lost—Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy

Intuition is sometimes called “gut instinct” as opposed to using evidence-based rationality. Some describe it as the ability to see any event or object from a viewpoint of “the cosmic whole, from its culmination—the seed, the flower, the fruit—to the whole: the comprehensive grip of the principles of universality. A person who develops intuition can “know anything without the barriers of time, space and any other obstructions.” Inventor and founder of the Intuition Network Buck Charleston believed that intuition “comes from a source beyond consciousness itself.”

Carlin Flora in Psychology Today (Vol 40, Issue 3: 68-75, 2007) defined intution as "quick and ready insight." She added that intuition is "the act or process of coming to direct knowledge without reasoning or inferring." It comes from the Latin word intueri which means "to see within" and is a way of knowing, of sensing the truth without explanations.

Monday, September 14, 2009

“Cosmetic Neurology”—the Cost of Cognition Enhancement…

I just helped my son move to the University of Victoria where he will live in residence for a year as he pursues his post-secondary education. It was a momentous event and I have to admit that tears were shed (though I pulled it together enough to shed them after we parted). My son is a grounded, emotionally mature young man and he admitted to feeling the jitters about the move. But he was stoked too and looking forward to university life. He’s bright and motivated to work, though he likes to “party” like the rest of them. So, I’m not worried. I have faith in his wisdom (he is a lot wiser than me in some respects!) and his balanced approach to life.

But… he has also grown up in a culture where the stress of high-performance in school and work is ever growing and where overworked professionals are openly seeking help from cognitive enhancement drugs.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Nina and Toulouse Go To Georgia (as told by Toulouse)

Nina’s too busy (writing 90 articles for her publisher) to post so she asked me if I could post for her. I said, “ok, dude. I can write as good as the rest of them!” On an aside, I should tell you that I’ve been Nina’s ghost writer for years, (since I was rescued from a truck stop in Michigan, that is…) and that her publisher corrects Nina's spelling all the time… In fact, everyone corrects her spelling all the time. But enough about her. This post is about ME…

Oh, and about my neat adventure in Georgia…