Introduction to Interview
on (December)
Writer's Digest 101 Best Sites for Writers 1999



When literary agent, Noah Lukeman first contacted me last month, I had no inkling of his many accomplishments. I agreed to preview the galley of The First Five Pages, and when it arrived in the mail I sat by the fire for a quick read. I stayed awake past midnight studying the well-crafted book on technique. Within 24 hours I had completed The First Five Pages, and was starting over, this time applying exercises from each chapter to my own belabored novel--with beneficial results.

Keep in mind I'm not a total beginner. I was a content editor for a corporate Internet company, have taken workshops and classes from the University of Iowa, Iowa Woman Magazine, Painted Rock, and the Writer's Digest School, have worked with professional editors on my writing, and have belonged to two writers' groups (and I'm almost ashamed to admit, once paid a New York City literary agent 10 years ago to read a novel I'm still rewriting). I'm familiar with "show, don't tell," using too many adjectives or adverbs, weeding out repetition, avoiding florid prose, and the importance of professionalism. Though I have no degrees in writing, I have learned a few things while stumbling through my own creative process. And I discovered many new techniques from Noah Lukeman's book and took other, more familiar lessons to heart as if learning them for the first time.

Noah Lukeman felt immediately accessible to me since he had written fiction himself. I realized he was sharing more than general information that would improve my skills: his book meant to fortify me, give me insight into the publishing industry from an agent and editor's point of view. It's a competitive world out there. I needed to interview him. Luckily, he agreed.

At age 26, this former editor is the founder and president of his own New York City literary agency (see the accompanying links and press release), where he represents many prestigious clients. He is also a gifted writer in his own right, as you will soon learn when you read our interview and the introductory sample chapter of The First Five Pages at his site. He is articulate, educated, and Web savvy, founder of PrePub. His mother, Brenda Shoshanna, Ph.D., also a writer, is the author of Why Men Leave. When he speaks of her, women all over the world will want to embrace him. He sounds like the ideal son. Not only has he promoted her work, but represents two uncles: Alex Lukeman, Ph. D. author of Sleep Well, Sleep Deep and Daniel Myerson M.A., A.B.D., Blood and Splendor: The World's Greatest Tyrants. Noah's oldest brother, Josh Lukeman, M.B.A., is the author of The Art of Day Trading: The Seven Pillars to Success, another client of Lukeman Literary Management.

When you read The First Five Pages, you'll hope Noah Lukeman will one day teach us more. How many of us caught up in this age of technology still believe in working for as long and as hard as it takes to produce art?

I don't usually praise books on writer's craft on my site. Most of my suggestions pertain to creativity, but The First Five Pages is exceptional. It is your choice of course, whether or not you apply everything the author suggests to your work, but you may learn something important about the publishing industry.

click here to read the full Interview

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