Into the Book



  1. Ever since I realized (last week) that All Right has been somewhere in my head for over two years, I’ve been a little bit ashamed by how long it’s taken to produce a draft of the story. After all, 10,000 usable words in two years is not exactly a blistering pace.

  2. It’s time for an update on the ItB New Year’s Reading Challenge. Modeled after Tim Challies’ challenge, the idea is to read a certain number of books over the entire year. We had several options to choose from: The “Normal” Reader, the “Fast” Reader, and the “Insane” Reader. Here’s an update on how the “Fast” tier has been working out: (more…)

  3. More thoughts on Paul Auster, the New York Trilogy, and reading carefully

    This Writing Life has been a pretty consistent column for the past several months: my passions are pretty apparent if you’ve read even a few posts. Books must be written with the worldview behind them in view, with intentionality and craft, instead of blatant preachiness. Stories have an incredibly powerful ability to impact their readers, so writers have an opportunity to saturate their books in the truth that they believe, subconsciously introducing their views in the vehicle of a fantastic story. This philosophy puts more emphasis on the story than on being right, dismisses preachiness as ineffective, and longs to portray Christianity and faith as the greatest true story of the world, rather than a two-minute confession in prayer. While all of this is true, today I want to look at the converse of the idea: books must be read with the worldview behind them in view. What does it mean to be a Christian reader of books?


  4. We’re announcing the winner of our Lord of the Rings trilogy giveaway, and it is: (more…)

  5. I like to consider myself a writer. On the good days, that means I write, but mostly I fiddle around and tinker. I had hoped that Writing Life would be the silver bullet, all of a sudden I’d understand how to write, and the heavens would be opened and I’d sign six-figure book deals (this didn’t happen). Annie Dillard did a phenomenal job with Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, and she’s one of my favorite writers, so I figured I could do little better for a book on writing. (more…)

  6. Our interview with Wayne Martindale was packed so full of good things that we didn’t even have time to cover everything we’d talked about. Now, see the rest of the interview: tips for writers! These are gold, folks: (more…)

  7. Hi everybody, it’s time for another ItB book giveaway! Read on for more details:


  8. Well folks, we’ve made the drawing for our giveaway. Read on to learn who the lucky winner is!

    Congratulations Faith Blum! We’ve contacted Faith and her prize is already in the mail. Faith won the first two books of Robert Treskillard’s Merlin Spiral series: Merlin’s Blade and Merlin’s Shadow. Hope you enjoy the books, Faith!

    We are so excited to have done this giveaway and are really happy with the turnout. Y’all are great! If you didn’t win, it’s okay: we’re planning on doing many more giveaways in the future, so stay tuned and be ready. Your prize could be just around the corner!


    This is an email update from Into the Book. Contact us Here. Or, like our Facebook Page.

  9. Hi everybody!
    The ItB book giveaways are back! It’s been a long time since we’ve given a lucky reader a book, and that’s a shame, because everyone loves books and everyone loves a chance to get free stuff. So, without further ado, tt’s time for a book giveaway!

    The Prizes

    This is more than just a book giveaway, though — it’s a books giveaway, winner-takes-all. We’re giving away two books to one lucky reader: Robert Treskillard’s latest creations, Merlin’s Blade and Merlin’s Shadow. We’ve reviewed these books previously at Into the Book, and really enjoyed them: here are the links to our reviews:

    These are really great books, and the winner will end up with two-thirds of the Spiral series, which will be completed in May with the release of Merlin’s Nightmare.

    Start Your Engines!

    The giveaway starts today, Monday the 17th, and runs until Monday the 31st at 10:00PM CST. Here’s how to enter to win:

    1. Just leave a comment on this post: Nothing fancy, you don’t have to tell us why you deserve the books or why you’re a wonderful person (though we don’t doubt it!) — this is going to be a random drawing. OR:
    2. Leave a comment on our Facebook page: we’ll have a post up for you to comment on.
    3. Tweet or share the link to this post with your friends: Important: this only counts if you include a link to your tweet or Facebook post when you leave a comment. Sharing the post makes you eligible for an extra entry! This option works in addition to the previous two.

    The winner will be contacted as soon as we’ve drawn a random number (really, we’re super excited to draw that number, so we’ll do it fast!). We’ll post the results on the site as well. Also, stay tuned for an exclusive interview with the series author, Robert Treskillard, which will be posted sometime while the contest is running.

    A few rules:

    • You may enter on any of these websites (Into the Book, Facebook, and Twitter) to double or even triple your chances of winning! But please do not comment or enter more than once on a single post. Those who enter more than once on a single website will be disqualified.
    • We also need you to have an account (Blogger, Facebook, Twitter) in order for your entry to be valid. We need this to be able to contact you and to validate your entry. No anonymous entries will be accepted. In case you win, we need a way to get in touch with you.
    • Participants must have a valid US postal address (International readers, we feel your pain, we really do, but shipping costs are prohibitive).

    Best of success on your chances in the giveaway!
    ~The ITB Team

    This is an email update from Into the Book. Contact us Here. Or, like our Facebook Page.

  10. “If you are writing without zest, without gusto, you are only half a writer.”

    Were I inclined to get a tattoo, I would probably have the above sentence etched into my forehead, that way every glance in the mirror might double as a piquant reminder: don’t forget to love what you do.

    For the first thing a writer should be is – excited. He should be a thing of fevers and enthusiasms. Without such vigor, he might as well be picking out peaches or digging ditches; God knows it would be better for his health. 

    And there, in one paragraph, is The Reason Why you should read this book, Zen in the Art of Writing. It is a collection of eleven superlative essays, written by a writer who revels in his craft. Bradbury. Ray Bradbury. He of mechanical hounds and dark carnivals and wine made from dandelions. When I say he revels in what he does, you’d better believe it. Just picture, if you will, a man who throws himself into writing like a child into a freshly-raked pile of leaves. That’s Bradbury.

    From “Drunk, and In Charge of a Bicycle”:

    … you look around at a community of notions held by other writers, other intellectuals, and they make you blush with guilt. Writing is supposed to be difficult, agonizing, a dreadful exercise, a terrible occupation. 

    But, you see, my stories have led me through my life. They shout, I follow. They run up and bite me on the leg – I respond by writing down everything that goes on during the bite. When I finish, the idea lets go, and runs off. 

    That is the kind of life I’ve had. Drunk, and in charge of a bicycle, as an Irish police report once put it. Drunk with life, that is, and not knowing where off to next. But you’re on your way before dawn. And the trip? Exactly one half terror, exactly one half exhilaration.

    From “The Secret Mind”:

    Self-consciousness is the enemy of all art, be it acting, writing, painting, or living itself, which is the greatest art of all.

    From “Zen in the Art of Writing”:

    The artist learns what to leave out. 

    His greatest art will often be what he does not say, what he leaves out, his ability to state simply with clear emotion, the way he wants to go. 

    The artist must work so hard, so long, that a brain develops and lives, all of itself, in his fingers. 

    Writing is hard, yes. Mr. Bradbury would be the first to tell you so. But it need not be – indeed, should not be – a bland or joyless exercise. It should not merely be a matter of dropping in one word after the other without screwing up the grammar. If that’s how it feels, it’s time to step back and take a look at what you’re missing.

    Stoop down. Look low. See that? Buried beneath the pyramid of elements and style, beneath the smelly carcass of “writer’s block” and the panicky butterflies that circle it – beneath all of that you may find the body of a child. Set him loose. He knows where the leaf pile is.

    – Corey P.
    Buy Zen in the Art of Writing and Support ItB!

    This is an email update from Into the Book. Contact us Here. Or, like our Facebook Page.