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Peter Heller on Nonfiction Book Proposals: “Keep Knocking on Doors”

peterheller.jpgReading a work of nonfiction, we forget how much work and reporting goes into proposing the book–years before the book is completed. Today’s guest on the Morning Media Menu was Peter Heller, author of the memoir, Kook: What Surfing Taught Me About Love, Life & Catching the Perfect Wave.

Heller spoke about the art of balancing writing and a day job. He also shared his harrowing experiences with the documentary filmmakers behind the Academy Award-winning film, The Cove.

Heller discussed his long book proposal process: “I was keeping at it, keeping the proposal out there. I wouldn’t go without a publisher interested in this, I needed to wrangle a publisher. It took two years to line that up. So there’s the persistence thing. If you have the dream, keep knocking on doors, keep sending it out, keep trying.”


He concluded: “Sometimes, you just go for it. You sell the car and you piece it together however you can–you do that piece of writing that you wanted to do… I had this idea in my head ever since I took that first surfing class. It took two years to materialize–doing other work, other assignments.”

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Nonfiction Book Proposal

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