Bill Peschel

Are writers born or made? What characteristics, choices and compulsions combine to create a writer? No matter the genre; whether published or unpublished; fiction or non-fiction; poetry, essay, short story, or journalism, a writer is a writer when they write.

This week in #litchat we’re discussing “The Writer’s Life.” Well talk about why we write and our hopes for the words that we pour onto the page. We’ll discuss productive writing habits, breaking through writer’s block, understanding constructive criticism vs personal opinion, and other topics relevant to successful and satisfactory literary accomplishment.

To help us unmask the writing mystique is Bill Peschel, author of Writers Gone Wild, The Feuds, Frolics, and Follies of Literatures’s Great Adventurers, Drunkards, Lovers, Iconoclasts, and Misanthropes. A perfect gift for the writer in your life, Writers Gone Wild, includes dozens of hilarious and heartbreaking stories of writers behaving badly. If you think James Frey pulled a good one on the literary community with his fake memoir, consider Upton Sinclair’s planted obituary for the faked suicide of Arthur Stirling, the fictional protagonist in his novel The Journal of Arthur Stirling. This 257-page book includes dozens of hilarious and heartbreaking tattles and tales, along with a bibliography and an index.

Bill Peschel was born in 1960 in Ohio, and grew up there and in North Carolina. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.A. in journalism. At The Avalon Hill Game Company in Baltimore, he published a magazine for fantasy role-players and developed computer games. He spent several years as a shipping clerk, bread truck driver, paste-up artist and unsuccessful novelist before returning to journalism as a book reviewer, copy editor and page designer. Currently living in Hershey, Pa., and working for The Patriot-News of Harrisburg, “Writers Gone Wild” (Perigee Books, 2010) is his first book.

Follow Bill Peschel on Twitter at @Bill_Peschel.