Barnaby Conrad, Monte Schulz et al

Barnaby Conrad, Monte Schulz et al
Snoopy’s Guide to the Writing Life

Snoopy, in his quest to become a world-famous novelist, amasses so many rejection slips that Woodstock sews an entire quilt from them. (Yes, in the alternate universe of Peanuts, birds sew, bunnies dance, and beagles write books—or try to.) How can the Literary Ace maintain his optimism and maximize his chances of success?

That’s what Barnaby Conrad and Monte Schulz, son of Peanuts creator Charles Schulz, set out to learn. Thirty-two well-known authors, from Ray Bradbury to Oakley Hall, answered their request to advise Snoopy on some aspect of the writing process. Cherie Carter-Scott offers him tips on the self-help genre; Julia Child proposes that he try his paw at a cookbook.

Each essay is inspired by, and illuminated with, cartoons of the beagle at his typewriter—searching for the mot juste, coping with critics, and ringing variations on Bulwer-Lytton’s “dark and stormy night” line.

And those rejection slips? Snoopy doggedly refuses to see them as a sign of defeat; he’s sure the next envelope from a publisher is going to contain a check for a million dollars. As Shelly Lowenkopf puts it, “He brings the concept of the reptilian-brain response to new heights—beagle-brain heights.”

An immensely cheering addition to the bookshelf of any literary hopeful.

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