Writing with the Master by Tony Vanderwarker Writing with the Master:
How One of the World’s Bestselling Authors Fixed My Book and Changed My Life
Tony Vanderwarker

Skyhorse Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-626365520

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". . . useful tips on plotting a novel as passed on by a successful master of the art."

Tony Vanderwarker’s career in advertising didn’t prepare him for the perils and pitfalls of trying to get his novels published. Although his work attracted the attention of two literary agents, it failed to set the publishing world on fire. Several years later, Vanderwarker met bestselling suspense-thriller author John Grisham through their sons’ baseball team and struck up a friendship. When Grisham offered to assist his friend in reworking one of his manuscripts, it led Vanderwarker to a reappraisal of his methods and writing techniques.

Writing with the Master recounts Vanderwarker’s trials and tribulations as he worked for over two years on his thriller, Sleeping Dogs. Guided by Grisham’s critiques of the manuscript, Vanderwarker crafted several rewrites, re-emphasizing the main plotline and highlighting the actions of the main character. While his attempts to publish his finished work weren’t successful at first, eventually his novel did sell—to the publisher of this writing memoir. Vanderwarker’s engaging tale isn’t solely about writing, however, as he touches liberally upon his former advertising career and his present role as an environmental protection advocate within his home state of Virginia.

It’s interesting to note that Vanderwarker’s novel failed to catch the eye of a publisher for some time even with the noted Grisham’s help and guidance. Wannabe writers should make note of how the book market is subject to trends. Although not strictly a how-to guide, the reader will find some useful tips on plotting a novel as passed on by a successful master of the art.

Reviewer: Cindy A. Matthews