Quite honestly, I have read more books about the craft of writing than I care to admit to … Maralys Wills’ book is superb. I felt like I had uncovered a gold mine when I began reading … absolutely loved her writing style and the information she presented. I couldn’t put it down and finished it in one day. Her suggestions had depth and were right on target with some of the issues I’ve been struggling with in my own novel. I feel confident my completed work will benefit by incorporating her suggestions.
~ Maureen Rice, Grand Rapids, MI
“Maralys Wills, genre-hopper extraordinaire, will make you laugh and cry and laugh again in this gripping how-to handbook for writers everywhere. As I read, each sentence compelled me to read the next, and before long I was completely lost in your wonderful book. She is clearly a force to be reckoned with.
~ Sidney Sheldon, Bestselling Author
Wills takes readers off the fast-paced freeway into the colorful scenery of bumpy but genuinely educational secondary roads to show them the realities of the highly competitive writing and publishing industry. The book is possibly one of the best professional road maps on the market.
~ Ray Newton, former National Coordinator for Reader’s Digest Writing Workshops
Not only does Damn the Rejections, Full Speed Ahead cover a lot of things I hadn’t seen in other books, but the anecdotes are engaging, and the prose is as clean as I can recall seeing. This is easily my favorite tome on writing, with the books by Stephen King and Ray Bradbury coming in right behind. Thank you, Maralys Wills, for writing this splendid little book. It was absolutely terrific, a breath of fresh air.
~ Andrew J. Rausch, author, nine non-fiction books on cinema
No exaggeration: Because of Maralys Wills and Damn the Rejections, Full Speed Ahead, I’ve stopped saying ‘I can’t’ about writing, getting published, and a lot more. Maralys and her book have, truly now, changed my life.
~ Stephanie Edwards, Multiple Emmy-Winning Television/Radio Commentator
Many authors have written wonderful guides about how to write – Ayn Rand and E. M. Forster come to mind – others have written books about how the publication process works – James A. Michener – and others have tried to separate life and writing into two parts of one book – Stephen King’s On Writing. All these books have value as a guide to writers, but none of them have so perfectly blended writing and publishing advice with autobiography.
~ Tyler R. Tichelaar, Reader Views
Solid, practical, realistic advice, packed with useful information and examples. Her informal style is inspiring, entertaining, and motivating.
~ Marylin Hudson, Orange Coast Magazine
This is a must read for every writer, Maralys Wills’ book is both informative and entertaining.
~ Jerry D. Simmons, Former Time Warner Publishing Executive, Author, What Writers Need to Know About Publishing
“Damn the Rejections is the antidote to the “I’ll never be published” blues. Read liberally and often. Overdose impossible.
~ Paula Berinstein, Producer and Host, The Writing Show
I read Damn the Rejections in one sitting—not unusual if this were a novel, but it isn’t. It’s an instructional book on the art of writing. Rather than a dry treatise covering rules and regulations, it is a series of signposts to steer a would-be author through that deceptively simple minefield called creative writing. The book vibrates with the life and humor of a good memoir and, indeed, it is both a funny story and an excellent guide for storytellers. Besides enjoying a great read, new writers and those of us with frost on the temples, will benefit from the accumulated wisdom and knowledge set down in this book.
~ E. Ervin Tibbs, Author, Sunset Tomorrow
Reading just a few lines of Maralys Will’s sparkling prose is enough to prove why she is the perfect person to advise others on the principles of writing. However, being unable to stop with those few lines you will be rewarded with a book that entertains while it educates. Having written memoir, thrillers, romance, and how-to’s, she covers the gamut of genres and styles. Learning a craft has never been so much fun.
~ Jan Murra, Author, Castoff
When it comes to motivating authors, Maralys Wills certainly knows her subject. Her knowledge as a multi-published author, together with her unique style and ability to teach writing in a way that gets results is a gift few instructors possess. I am a former writing student, and never miss an opportunity to recommend her classes to new writers. Out of the twenty students enrolled in our class, nineteen have since become published. November, 2004 marks the publication of my twenty-fifth novel! I give a great deal of credit for my success to Maralys Wills. Any book she pens on the subject of writing is a book I will definitely buy!
~ Mindy Neff, Author, 25 books
With skill and grace, Maralys Wills showed me the power of self-editing. Without her, so many of us might never be published.
~ Barbara Benedict, Author, 15 books
Maralys Wills gives you the gift of her experience. She will teach you and inspire you and give you the tools you need to survive the sometimes rough world of publishing.
~ Maureen Child, Author, 88 books
Maralys gave me knowledge, encouragement, and friendship as I struggled toward publication. Because of her, my dreams became reality.
~ Rebecca Anderson, Author, 2 books
Dear Ms. Wills:
At the Southern California Writers’ Conference I admired again and again your skill at critiquing manuscripts … You were outstanding. A few minutes ago I got around to reading your two pages on masculinizing fiction. I’m highly impressed. It must have been a gymnastic mental feat to penetrate the sex barrier and extract the masculine viewpoint from the evidence, but you did it and produced very readable advice. All writers should applaud your contribution.
~ David Stonecypher
Maralys Wills’ stimulating writing class was a springboard toward publication for me and many of my classmates, some of whom are best-selling authors today.
~ Helen Wingo, Author, 5 books
Maralys Wills created a professional and comfortable atmosphere in her classroom, giving students an opportunity to learn and grow. Criticism was never allowed to be mean spirited. Ms. Wills’ writing knowledge went a long way in helping me reach my goals.
~ Linda Prine, Author, Lady Rebel
As the first order of business, I took Maralys Wills’ writing class and got off to a great start.
~ Jackie Radoumis, Golden Heart Winner
Maralys Wills’ guidance has been imperative to my writing career. Her unique ability to teach, along with her knowledge as a multi-published author, got results in her classes. Nineteen published authors. As a student, she kept me focused with her positive encouragement. She didn’t just grade my work; she critiqued, edited and, most importantly, praised it. A book by Maralys Wills on the subject of writing is a must!
~ Patricia Thayer, Author, 21 books
Thank you very much for your wonderful book Damn the Rejections, Full Speed Ahead.
In writing this “fan-letter” it seems presumptuous, and way too familiar to start off with the word “dear” but the blame must be cast at your feet.
Your book was written in such an intimate, frank, and personable way, that as I found myself lost between its pages (oblivious to the mechanics of reading), it was as if I were in a room, perhaps one of your classes, and was receiving a live presentation. Your work was–and is–so endearing, accessible, full of passion and wisdom and hard-earned insight, that this happens to be one of the few times that prefacing a letter to a stranger with the word “dear” seemed warranted for far more important reasons than simply good form.
Having read many books on the craft, including King’s On Writing and just now finishing up Sol Stein’s incredible book Stein On Writing, I can honestly say that yours can be held high with the best of them.
Before picking up your book at the Barnes & Noble in Lakewood, Washington, I had not experienced your work or had any familiarity with your name–nor had any of my writing buddies.
They do now.
Certainly with your well-deserved plugs from so many accomplished writers, not to mention your own long and professional history, the truth of your talent, as a writer and teacher, is of no surprise. But still, I wanted to write you a fan-letter, anyway, and tell you that finding your work, reading it in detail, has been a joy, a totally edifying and encouraging and eye-opening endeavor on multiple levels.
Your book did contain a few glitches (most do), and I trust that with its second printing, and then on into its twenty-third–those will get culled out.
If it were available, I’d love to be in your class. No doubt, many who read your book are going to have the same reaction. You helped make the craft live by presenting it on the silver platter of your life.
Those within my circle have been hearing praises about your work, and more than one have purchased their own and are already giving me feedback as to how much it is blessing them. (Neener-neener. How’s that for vicariously taking advantage of your hard work…but I can’t help it. I feel as if I discovered something wonderful. A shame that stores don’t do more to market, or profile some of the absolute gems that come across their shelves.)
Thank you again for the time, the knowledge, and the heart that you invested into this incredible work, which I’m sure is but a pale reflection of what you pour into your live classes.
If it doesn’t make it onto the best seller lists, know for a certainty, it did make my list of best-buys, and I’ll be continuing spreading the word.
Note: I’m a 41-year-old male, father of five, and a writer of dark and speculative fiction who cannot stand romance novels. Normally, if asked, even after looking at your book’s front and back cover, I would have said that I wasn’t your audience. What happened? I read your first sentence … then the next. That first page.
And the next…and didn’t want to stop. Had to buy it, and all the way through, till the very last page, never lost my enthusiasm.
Now, really, how often can any writer say they’ve accomplished such a feat?
~ Rob M. Miller
A teacher beyond compare, what Maralys doesn’t know about writing, hasn’t been written. If you are looking to make the leap from amateur to published writer, then Maralys Wills will take you there.
~ Sandy Novy Chvostal, Author, 9 books
Maralys Wills works herself into a dramatic, hilarious, teaching frenzy. As I laugh, I inhale her lessons. I keep this book bedside for nightly inspiration, then carry it into my office for morning companionship. What about money, markets, and selling? Wills does not just write about it, she lives it. Multiple publications in multiple genres attest to her success in the writing business. She generously shares examples of what works, what does not work, and how to deal with it.
~ Leslie Willoughby
I have read Damn the Rejections at least a half-dozen times. Now, I always keep it close by when I am writing. It is filled with advice, which helps me solve any problems I encounter. It is without doubt the best “how-to-write” book I have ever read.
~ Patricia Walker
Maralys Wills is a wealth of information when it comes to writing. No matter whether you are a newcomer to the rocky terrain of writing, or if you have written for years, Maralys offers guidance we all need to be aware of. I am living proof that her methods work.
~ Bill Wilbur
A must-read for all writers no matter where in the process from beginner through published. Yes, even PUBLISHED.
~ Charles Redner
Maralys knows how to WRITE! Sounds simple, but it’s true. I found the proof in her easy-to-read and lively perspective on what it’s like to be a struggling author—who makes it. Whatever you desire to write about, associating with genre-hopper Maralys will give you the insight you need. Do make her your mentor.
~ John Roberts
Who would believe a how-to book that’s a page turner? Maralys Wills pulls it off with a compelling narrative arc that propels a wealth of do-able info for the reader-writer. Building the romantic scene, developing characters, writing the query letter, marketing and more—it’s all here in wisdom gleaned from years of writing triumph, and, most important, failure.
It’s a realistic book, an honest book that allows readers to learn from each step and misstep, each revision, rejection—and advance check. Best of all, it’s an attitude of warmth and encouragement to every writer, from novice to professional.
~ Beverly Bush Smith, Author, Wings of a Dove, Evidence of Things Unseen and Caught in the Middle
Maralys Wills has an extraordinary perspective, based on her life experiences. The examples which filled the pages give a rational viewpoint on the bumpy road to getting published. It only took one afternoon to complete the entire book. . . well worth the time to explore!
~ Nella Webster
I expected a dry instructional manual on how to get published. Boy was I wrong! The book was wonderfully entertaining—so entertaining, in fact, that I didn’t realize how much information was being painlessly inserted into my brain! … Maralys Wills is one talented writer. I couldn’t put the book down.
~ Brittany L. Tedesco
This book … turned out to be wonderful … it is doing the job Maralys Wills intended—and the humor woven throughout the pages keeps me wanting more.
~ Viola Dougherty
“If you ever wanted to learn to write, if you ever wanted to know what the writing life is like, this is the book to read. Mrs. Wills … gives you insights to crafting a manuscript that are not available anywhere else. Yet she inserts personal stories that keep this book from being a textbook. If you are serious about writing—or think you might be—this book is a must.”
~ Walt Golden
Add Maralys Wills to your permanent library. I read the book as if it were a novel. It was delicious … in fact I’ve already referred to it as I was writing to an individual who had sent me a manuscript. Quickly, this is not a technical self help … instead, Maralys writes … like she teaches writing … lectures that are both very informative and fun to listen to. It is apparent that Wills picks issues or stories about which she is passionate … she is then able to teach from experience … In many ways, Damn the Rejections is also a memoir, but who better to learn from than an individual who is willing to share and discuss both the good and bad times in her writing life!
~ Glenda A. Bixler
I was given this book as a gift and was surprised at how much I learned from the author’s story of her own writing career, as well as tips for taking my writing to a new level.
~ Nona Moonshine
A book every writer should own. After reading countless “how to” books and magazine articles on writing, I must say this book far outshines them all. Her ten “fine points of crafting sentences” alone are worth the price of the whole book. This is an autobiography as well as an instruction book, and you will laugh and cry as you read about her upbringing, her husband and sons, and her personal journey as a writer. Her observations about the publishing industry of today, as well as the fact that you must be prepared to get rejections, lots of them, was liberating for me. Since it is impossible for 99.9% of aspiring writers out there to sit in her college classes, we are fortunate that she has written this book. I can guarantee that anyone reading it will go back to it for instruction and inspiration time and time again. It’s that good!
~ Judy Reinsma
Maralys Wills is a talented authority on the subject of writing and publishing. Damn the Rejections is a blend of constructive how-to, motivational anecdote, and enlightening memoir. Wills’s voice alone across all of these areas is an example of good craft … I especially liked the chapter entitled “Small Goofs,” and the twelve tiny rules that Wills derives from editing thousands of manuscripts. No writer can afford to ignore these tips. This book has been an impactful and useful writing guide for me and has inspired me to seek out the other eleven books Wills has written.
~ Deborah Tucker
I stayed up most of the night reading Maralys Wills’ outstanding book … and was sorry when it ended. Both a page-turner and beautifully written, her compelling style and skilled craftsmanship lend impressive weight to her practical advice. When she imparts her wisdom of many years on how to sell what you write, you’d be a fool not to listen. Every page of this book sparkles with wit, humor, gems of wisdom, and sentences that made me green with envy.
~ Sheila Sharpe
I know truth when I hear it, and your approach to writing reveals who you are in a way I can totally relate to. You are there on very page, bright, and inspiring and real.
~ Marian Silverman
Like a great novel, I didn’t want this book to end. As entertaining as it is instructive, I found myself reading “Damn the Rejections” over breakfast, squeezed in before dinner, and late at night. I didn’t want to put it down. … at times I wanted to reach out to her and listen as she poured out her sadness or her excitement. She had me living this roller coaster life with her … a good novel does that—leaves you wanting more. In this case, the main character is the author herself, and there is only one way to keep this book alive: to apply Maralys Wills’ advice from Damn the Rejections.
~ Leigh Harris
If I were asked which presenter made the Southern California Writers’ Conference worth the price of admission for me, there would be no contest. Your name would immediately leap from my lips without hesitation. Were I asked to select a single workshop, however, my response would be more difficult. How could I choose one workshop as the best from the three of yours I attended? The Killer Queries & Snappy Synopses was an information wonder, and I so appreciated your handouts and sample materials. Then your two Read and Critiques introduced me to the world of attention-grabbing starters, sentence variation, and curiosity-building endings.
I came home from the conference with a treasure of tips in my handbag, and I felt it only appropriate to take time to thank you. Thank you for the new skills I can now use to enhance my writing. Thank you also for the added bonus – the copy of A Circus without Elephants that I was privileged to win at your Killer Queries workshop. What a lovely way to see the skills you teach put into practice in your memoir.
While I am in the process of writing a memoir, myself, I am not ready for an independent editor to hone the final product. When I am, though, I hope you will be available to work with me. I can’t think of anyone whose talents I appreciate more.
Thank you again,
~ Joy Wassel