Letter to the Editor: The Writer magazine


August, 2001

Not all nonfiction is created equal! In Moira Allenís article on novel queries (September 2001), she says ďnonfiction writing credentials rarely carry much weight.Ē Luckily for writers like me, who tread the line between fiction and non-fiction, Ms Allenís assertion isnít the truism it seems on first glance.

Sure, if you write for Outdoor Photographer and Shutterbug, and youíve written a mystery novel set in the Wild West, your journalistic credentials probably wonít impress. But recent novels by Anna Quindlen (One True Thing) and Anita Diamant (The Red Tent) prove that nonfiction can ensure a successful fiction debut.

When Quindlen and Diamant released first novels, their existing audiences snapped them up, knowing from experience that they could trust the authors to deliver articulate and compassionate stories. Of course, not every crossover is a guaranteed success, but itís happened often enough that Ms Allen can't dismiss the possibility so readily.

Currently, my own nonfiction is selling better than my fiction, but both careers are growing steadily. By the time Iím ready for a fiction book, I hope Iíll have loyal readers whoíll be thrilled to see my name. And if Iíve truly put my heart into the articles Iíve shared with them, Iím confident my fiction wonít let them down either.

Yours truly,

Jennifer M. Paquette
Toronto

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