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Posts Tagged ‘Mark Vonnegut’

Kurt Vonnegut on Book Deals: ‘Carry on Without an Advance’

It is too easy for first-time writers to obsess over book deals. Back in 1972, the great author Kurt Vonnegut cautioned one young writer against seeking an advance before finishing his book–sharing important advice that all aspiring authors.

Vonnegut advised his son (author Mark Vonnegut) “to carry on without an advance” while working on his first book. You can read the complete letter he wrote to his son in the new Kurt Vonnegut: Letters collection, but we’ve posted an excerpt below:

I have mixed feelings about advances on first books. They are hard to get, for one thing, and are usually so small that they tie you up without appreciably improving your financial situation. Also: I have seen a lot of writers stop writing or at least slow down after getting an advance. They have a feeling of completion after making a deal. That’s bad news creatively. If you are within a few months of having a finished, edited manuscript, I advise you to carry on without an advance, without that false feeling of completion, without that bit of good news to announce to a lot of people before the job is really done.

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Kurt Vonnegut’s Son Disputes New Biography

Mark Vonnegut, the son of the great Kurt Vonnegut, disputed his father’s new biography today on a science fiction blog.

Charles Shields just published an authorized biography of the late novelist, And So It Goes: Kurt Vonnegut: A Life. Mark Vonnegut wrote an email to io9 defending his late father and criticizing the work of biographer Charles Shields.

Here’s an excerpt from the letter: “Shields spent very little time with a much diminished 84 year old who right up to the end showed more flashes of brilliance and warmth than most. There’s a ton of evidence, including his art and writing that he fought hard and largely succeeded to overcome PTSD from WWII and a quirky, but not altogether unloving childhood to have mostly loving and supportive relationships with his siblings and children and even his allegedly distant father. Shields had to ignore most of what I and other people who knew Kurt and most of what he read in the letters to come up with these shocking truths about a beloved writer.”

New Kurt Vonnegut Book

vonn.jpgDelacorte Press has announced they will release 14 previously unpublished short stories by Kurt Vonnegut. Scheduled for November release, the collection will be entitled, “Look at the Birdie.”

The author passed away in 2007, but Publishers Weekly reports that the press will reissue 15 of his books with new art by the author. Reissued titles include “Slaughterhouse Five,” “The Sirens of Titan,” and “Mother Night.”

Here’s more from the article: “Delacorte has also acquired a follow-up memoir by Vonnegut’s son, pediatrician Mark Vonnegut, author of ‘The Eden Express: A Memoir of Insanity’ (1975). ‘Look at the Birdie’ will include original Vonnegut illustrations and a foreword by Sidney Offit, a longtime Vonnegut confidant.”