Thursday, December 9, 2010

THE WRITER'S GUIDE TO PSYCHOLOGY by Carolyn Kaufman

Dude, you guys, up today for the Bookanista feature is THE WRITER'S GUIDE TO PSYCHOLOGY by Carolyn Kaufman. I think is such a HUGE resource for writers! I have a copy, and it is, in one word, brilliant.

I really liked how easy this book is to read. Anything you need to know re: psych, and this book is your resource. The go-to resource. And you can win a copy by leaving a comment on this post.

But first, let's explore the awesome that is THE WRITER'S GUIDE TO PSYCHOLOGY and the real brainz behind the genius, Carolyn.


About THE BOOK:
The Twitter version: tell us about your book in 140 characters or less:
Avoid common psychology misconceptions and inaccuracies in your stories and start getting your psych right: The Writer’s Guide to Psychology!

What made you think, "I need to write a book like THE WRITER’S GUIDE TO PSYCHOLOGY?"
The media is packed with outdated information and inaccuracies about modern clinical and counseling psychology. Though there are a very few professional books detailing the problem, nobody was teaching the people creating the media – writers – how to overcome the problem. In other words, someone needed to say “Hey, what you think you know about clinical and counseling psychology -- disorders, diagnosis, and therapy, for example -- may not be accurate” and then take it a step farther and offer a solution.

So that’s what I decided to do.

The whole time I was writing, I kept in mind the way I got into psychology: I started taking psych courses in college to help me become a better fiction writer. Generally, the people who write books like mine are experts in their fields first and writers second. But since I was a writer first, I really appreciate all the ways psychology can be used to improve things like characterization and plotting, and I worked those details into the book.

What else are you working on? Secrets? Inside scoops? Give us the juicy stuff!
I’m working on a proposal for another book right now. Like this one, it will involve psychology for writers, but from a different perspective. I can’t say a lot more than that, other than that I hope it will be a nice companion to this book.

I have this feeling I’m slower at producing proposals than other writers, but I do tons of research ahead of time. I need to know exactly what’s going into each chapter, and that the information is grounded in solid research. I think that’s part of what makes this book (and what will make future books) unique – it’s not based in pop psychology, it’s based in empirical psychological research and practice.


About THE AUTHOR:
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
This is kind of a funny question to me, because “writer” has been the most enduring part of my identity for most of my life. In other words, I haven’t always wanted to be a writer – I simply always have been, the way I’m female or a brunette. I don’t really know how else to describe it.

With regards to publication, it didn’t really occur to me when I first started writing. It wasn’t until other people started suggesting it, and then that sort of became part of the dream. Writing has always sustained me on its own, though.

What made you decide to go that “extra step” and seek publication?
THE WRITER’S GUIDE TO PSYCHOLOGY was born of three loves: writing, psychology, and teaching. (I’m a psychology college professor by day). So writing a book to teach writers how to get their psych right was a very natural step for me.

When I write fiction, I write it for me. I would love to publish it, but I also just love writing. This book was different from that, because there was little point to writing it unless it was going to be published. A teacher needs students, or she has no purpose! I kept my readers in mind the entire time I was writing. Based partly on my experience as a professor and partly on my work with writers, I tried to anticipate questions and concerns while really digging into information writers can use.

Quick! You’ve been chosen to be a contestant on Survivor. What luxury item do you take?
Are you kidding me? They won’t be able to throw me off the island fast enough. I’m taking my computer. ☺

Tell us something about yourself we don’t know.
I have a weakness for Pre-Raphaelite art. It’s kind of like your weakness for bacon. Speaking of which…

And the most important of all: bacon or chocolate?
I do like bacon, but…definitely chocolate.

THE WRITER’S GUIDE TO PSYCHOLOGY is available from all the big and small online retailers like Amazon.com. Though it isn’t out quite yet, a Kindle version of the book is coming soon!

You can visit Carolyn’s WGTP website for more information, including the media kit and a detailed table of contents, follow her on Facebook, visit her YouTube channel, or send her your psychology and writing questions at Archetype Writing, her website on psychology for writers.

And there you have it! Leave a comment to be entered to win a signed copy of THE WRITER'S GUIDE TO PSYCHOLOGY. (And in case you were wondering, chocolate: 3, bacon: 0.)

Oh! And check out what the other Bookanistas are up to today:
Christine Fonseca also recommends THE WRITERS GUIDE TO PSYCHOLOGY
Shannon Messenger raves about DESIRES OF THE DEAD and gives away the ARC
Megan Miranda gushes about REVOLUTION
Lisa and Laura Roecker present a special Guestanista review of PERSONAL DEMONS
Bethany Wiggins praises ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS

53 comments:

L. Diane Wolfe said...

In the words of Donkey from Shrek - pick me!
wolferock AT earthlink.net

Maidenveil said...

wow, count me in!

-Len-
maidenveil(at)gmail(dot)com

Theresa Milstein said...

Interesting idea. Since our characters must have flaws, especially our antagonists, we should make sure we're being accurate. Normally, I surf the web. Using a book like this would definitely be better.

tmilstein at gmail dot com

Natalie Aguirre said...

Wow! This book sounds great. When you're creating a character with flaws and emotional baggage from their home life, this would be an excellent resource.

And sorry Elana, yea to chocolate over bacon. It's healthier.

Matthew Rush said...

This has got to be one of the most brilliant ideas for a non-fiction book ever. Copy please!

mattmrush at gmail dot com

Quinn said...

Would love to have this book. I'm excited that the Kinle version is coming soon. I'd be more excited though to win a signed copy :)

lynnrush said...

Love this. Sounds like a great book.

Suzie F. said...

Wow! What a fantastic resource! I'm brainstorming an idea for a new WIP which I'm finding will definitely need some psychology research.

I would love to win a copy. Please count me in :)

Shannon Schuren said...

I love your blog, and I love the idea of this book! Please count me in on the contest.

Also I love chocolate AND bacon. Who could possibly choose between the two?

Hannah Kincade said...

I have been coveting this book ever since I learned of it's existence! Put me down please!!

Marisa Hopkins said...

Oh my goodness, I have to have that book! Enter me, please! But if I don't win, I'll be buying a copy for sure! How absolutely brilliant!!

Cherie Reich said...

This book would be so useful. Count me in!

Angela Felsted said...

This is a great interview! What a wonderful book idea.

Kerri C at CK Farm said...

Sounds interesting! Great interview, and so count me in :)

Kelly said...

Very unique and useful book idea! Great interview!

Melissa Gill said...

That sounds like a must have book for my library. Count me in.

And I'd say chocolate over bacon. Sweets are my weakness.

Joanna St. James said...

me please! Elana have you had the black pepper cured bacon? we should send it to all these chocolate lovers, even my toddler the vegetarian likes it.

Slamdunk said...

I read another review on this book and thought the concept was a fantastic idea.

I am fortunate to have married someone at the highest level of the field who I can bother with questions.

Josh Hoyt said...

I think that it sounds like a great help. As a psychologist by day kind of guy myself it always bugs when the story uses the psychology incorrectly. But I also like the idea of understanding psychology allows us to under stand the characters we are writing about.

Lenny Lee* said...

hi miss elana and miss carolyn! i like this interview lots. i like what miss carolyn said that teachers could need students so this is a really good teaching book that could help writers get inside their characters head. i could like to win this book for sure cause all my characters got some thing they gotta work on like crumby self esteem or bad dreams or not liking themself and that book could be a big help on making them more real. thanks for a really cool interview.
...hugs from lenny

Deborah Burns said...

Writers have needed this resource for WAY too long! Thanks for writing it. ;)

debbie AT burnsfam DOT org

Shari said...

I NEED this book more than you know. If I don't win, which I hope I do, I will have to purchase it. I can see that it is a must have in any writers library.

Mai said...

Sounds like an awesome book. Fingers crossed!

Claire Dawn said...

2 of my characters in current WIP end up seeing a psychologist/psychiatrist/counselor. I've been drawing on my own experience with the 'headshrinkers' but now that I know there's a book, I must check it out.

Alicia Gregoire said...

So. Full. Of. Want. Like, if I won it, I might bring it to bed and snuggle it I want it so bad.

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Okay, so I didn't take my psychology courses in college just for my writing, but I can definitely see how they have impacted my characterization. It's weird that I never saw that before. Just told Christine I'd add this one to my Christmas list, but eh hmmm, only if I don't win it :P

Also, you know what's weird? I double majored in English and creative writing, but when I ordered my first transcript after graduating, it said I'd gotten a degree in English and Psychology. Uh, hello.

Also, you know what other type of book I want, too? A Writer's guide to medicine. I could see these two books taking prime space in my writer's library.

Ghenet said...

This book sounds awesome and I'd love to win a copy!

ghenetwrites(at)gmail(dot)com

Shelley Batt said...

I would love this book! Thanks for the chance.

Write Chick said...

I want to get this book! I've read about it on a couple of other sites and have lusted after it, but ALAS, I don't have an
e-reader.
I know. GASP.
So I would LOVE to win the book.:-D
rightwomenwrite at gmail dot com

Katrina L. Lantz said...

I love the concept of this book! I think we're all products of the TV pop psychology era, so I definitely plan on picking up this book at your recommendation, Elana. Thanks for doing the interview, Carolyn!

Wish I could get my hands on it right now, as I'm having characterization trouble that this will likely help with. :)

Cathy Bryant said...

Ooh, pleeeeeez pick me! =) I'd love to win a copy of this book! Thanks!

catbry1 at yahoo dot com

Heather said...

I've got to get my hands on this! It sounds like an excellent resource! Great interview by the way.

danya said...

This book sounds like a great idea! Having majored in psych it always frustrates me when I read about a psychological element in a novel and go, "Um, no, actually, that's not how it really is." Love that this is based on empirical research!

If the giveaway is open to Canada I'd love to be entered :)

chocoholic410(at)hotmail(dot)com

Shannon O'Donnell said...

What a fantastic resource! I love it. :-)

mrso_d at yahoo dot com

Jenn Wilks said...

I. Must. Have. This. Book.

Pretty much as of right now, my way of figuring out what a character would do and why is by asking myself what I would do in that situation and why.

You can see the many pitfalls of this lame approach. Did I mention I need to read this book? Thx for the awesome review and interview.

gideon 86 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gideon 86 said...

Fantastic book! Count me in!

Elana, I know you're extremely busy with so much, but I just wanted to let you know I have an award for you at my blog. I know they're mostly for fun, but I just wanted to acknowledge all the great information and insight you pass on to us newbie writers.

Thanks again.

Michael

Susan R. Mills said...

I've been hearing a lot about this book. I must get it.

Jill Kemerer said...

I want in on this contest! What a fantastic concept! I would love the book!

Carolyn Kaufman said...

Thanks to everybody -- good luck to you all in the drawing! And hey, Elana -- I had some bacon this morning, just for youuuuuu! ;-*

L.T. Elliot said...

Awesome book! I'll have to check it out. Although, I'm sad to see bacon losing in the polls. =[

Elana Johnson said...

Yay for bacon, Carolyn! That just made my whole day. :)

Bethany Wiggins said...

An absolute writer's must have. Nice post!

Lisa_Gibson said...

Sounds like a great resource! And finally someone who likes bacon too. ;)
Lisa ~ YA Literature Lover

Melissa Sarno said...

I love this! One of my characters has severe depression and it's kind of tripping me up right now. I'm skimming over her parts because it I want it to be accurate. I think I need this book. Like. Stat. It's going on my Christmas list!

Mary Lindsey said...

I was lucky enough to get my copy last week and LOVE it. This is a great post, Elana! I'm thrilled to have a resource like The Writer's Guide to Psychology.

Michelle said...

Get your psych right... love it!
Can't wait to get my hands on it :)

Elena Solodow said...

I love the concept of this book. So intriguing!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I've already ordered it. Unfortunately, it's a 3-5 week wait in Canada.

Casey McCormick said...

Oh man, I need this book for my MS so bad!

Taryn Tyler said...

sounds like a very interesting book

Shooting Stars Mag said...

this sounds amazing quite honestly. a very handy tool for writers!

-Lauren
lauren51990 at aol dot com

Trisha Wolfe said...

OOh this does sound good! Def count me in =) Thanks for this!

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