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It Takes a Certain Type to be a Writer
Facts from the World of Writing and Publishing
Erin Barrett, Jack Mingo
ISBN: 9781573247221
Book (Paperback)
Conari Press
$14.95
5 x 7
198 pages
August 1, 2003


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Erin Barrett and Jack Mingo are the Queen and King of trivia, relied upon by game shows including Who Wants to be a Millionaire? and game manufacturers. Millions of people read their daily newspaper column and together they've written twenty books. The sixth book in the Totally Riveting Utterly Entertaining (TRUE) Trivia Series puts a magnifying lens on the wacky world of writers.

It Takes a Certain Type to Be a Writer will tell you everything you could possibly want, or were afraid, to know about writers, publishing, and the writing life. Bite-sized facts are organized into chapters including "Everyone's a Critic", "Stranger than Fiction", "From Bad to Verse," "Kiddie Lit", "A Word's Worth," and many more. You'll learn things like: where Proust wrote (in bed with gloves on); what Voltaire drank (70 cups of coffee a day); and how James Cain prepared himself for yet another publisher's rejection. (The title The Postman Always Rings Twice had nothing to do with the plot of the best-selling novel. It was a private joke of author James Cain. His postman would ring his doorbell twice whenever the many-times-rejected manuscript came back from a publisher.)

Erin Barrett and Jack Mingo have authored 20 books, including How the Cadillac Got Its Fins, The Couch Potato Guide to Life and the best-selling Just Curious Jeeves. They have written articles for many major periodicals including The New York Times, Salon, Reader's Digest, and The Washington Post and have generated more than 30,000 questions for trivia games and game shows such as Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?. Their website, which lists their "This Day in History" nationally-syndicated column.


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Along with Erin Barrett, Jack Mingo published over 20 books, including Random Kinds of Factness. He is a full-time writer specializing in somewhat offbeat trivia books. In his spare time, Jack keeps six hives and half a million bees in his Alameda (Bay Area) backyard and sells their honey at local farmers markets. His bees produce 650 pounds of honey per year (59 gallons, 472 pint jars).
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