Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Mind Your Business

A Hollywood Literary Agent’s Guide To Your Writing Career 
By Michele Wallerstein

Book Review
By Ann Baldwin

With over 25 years of successful experience as a Hollywood literary agent, working for one of the top agencies and owning her own agency, Michele Wallerstein has a wealth of valuable information for writers in her new book, Mind Your Business: A Hollywood Literary Agent’s Guide To Your Writing Career (Michael Wiese Productions 2010).

She is candid about some of the pitfalls and negative aspects of the business and reveals secrets and tricks of the trade only an insider knows to help you through them. She’s very encouraging and full of positive advice, which gives aspiring writers the support, help, and hope that they need.

Michele tells you what to look for when seeking an agent, an agent’s responsibilities in both a large and boutique agency, and the best way to communicate with your agent. She is thorough in covering all aspects of running your writing business from the costs involved (mentally, emotionally, and financially) to marketing, networking, socializing, meetings, and pitching your story ideas. She includes detailed legal advice and many sample contracts to study from, along with Hollywood terminology to familiarize yourself. At the end of each chapter, she includes a list of helpful exercises to keep you moving forward.

It’s definitely a book to keep by my side throughout my writing career and should be in every writer’s library. I highly recommend Mind Your Business by Michele Wallerstein for all writers (screenplay and novel), if you want to know how to make your writing career successful.

To learn more about Michele Wallerstein, you can visit her at and purchase a copy of Mind Your Business at Amazon


Thursday, August 12, 2010


By Brandilyn Collins

Book Review
By Ann Baldwin

In Brandilyn Collins’ book, Deceit (Zondervan 2010), she reveals some interesting insights into human nature and man’s natural tendency toward deceit, through the telling of a suspenseful, murder mystery. She takes us on a journey into the lives of characters that have deceived others and been mislead and we witness the line of thinking they go through in the process.

The protagonist, Joanne Weeks, is a skip tracer (someone who searches for people who’ve gone into hiding), which serves the theme of the story that centers on deception, people hiding in plain site behind a mask.

Most of us have met and gotten to know someone only to learn later, they weren’t the person we were led to believe. Baxter Jackson, the main antagonist in the story, has an upstanding reputation within his community as a church elder, successful real estate agent, and loving husband; but, not everything about his life is as it appears. As we look at some of the heroes in films, who go out and do all of those wonderful things, we find that…. well, even Superman was an impostor, who led a double life as Clark Kent, a newspaper reporter.

As we go through life, we begin to search for who we really are; we explore by playing different roles seeking familiarity and comfort. However, our need for love and belonging, along with our desire to connect with others and be accepted can sometimes lead us into pretending to be someone that we’re not; as Joanne Weeks says about Melissa Harkoff, the adopted teenager of Mr. & Mrs. Baxter Jackson, “when I knew her she seemed unsure of herself trying so hard to fit in.”

I highly recommend Brandilyn Collins’ book, Deceit, because not only will she keep you engaged with the characters and wanting to know who the killer is, she’ll give you a deeper understanding of yourself, others, and the human condition along the way.

To learn more about Brandilyn you can visit her website at and purchase a copy of Deceit at Amazon