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26 October 2009


Countess de Vintage

Your site is such an intriguing read - I can't believe how blunt some of the vintage ad copy used to be! I've never seen anything like the images and ads you post - well done xox

(Ive just posted a competition I was sent on my blog you may be interested in entering, its free to enter and a great prize)

Matthew H. Davidson

For many years, I wrote a weekly horse-racing column, contributed to racing monthlies and did a *lot* of "adult" entertainment and supermarket-checkout tabloids.

Then I became "respectable", and it is only recently that I have "returned to my roots" in the dank basement of morbid sleaze, with a new series of low-life lust-&-crime novels [under noms-de-plume, natch].

In preparing to be a working writer, I read all the writer autobiographies/biographies, read the Paris Review interviews, blase blase.

The *typical* stuff young "aspiring" writers are supposed to study. Uh, *right*.

But looking back with a geezer's gimlet eye, there are but *two* titles that *really* influenced me as a writer: [1.] "Eliminate the Losers" by Bob McKnight, nominally a book about racehorse handicapping, there were concepts here that get right to the *heart* of what a working writer is all about.

The other title that blew the top off for me, in a way that the academic stuff could not, was something I picked up in a 42nd Street NYC used magazine-&-book store [Jay Bee, I think] where I used to cop back issues of '50s true detective and women's confession mags and their comic-book analogs, by the *ton*:

"How To Write Thrilling Love Letters", Plaza Books, 1952 [originally 98 cents, if you please]. People think I'm joking when I mention this title: Here's Crazy Matthew again, talking sh*t out the side of his neck, etc.

Got a *hot flash* for ya, kids: master the material in this little book and you---yes, YOU---have a *real future* as a working writer.

Look at the Table Of Contents in the ad posted here: that's the operating core of the writer's trade, distilled to its essence. From this foundation, you can handle *any* assignment, and make your deadline, every time.

Life's a *funny old dog*, full of surprises---they never go out of style: That this little book [booklet, really] would do what it did for me as a working journeyman writer is a matter of surpassing astonishment to me, but there you have it.

Cheers !

Paula Zargaj-Reynolds

Your comment reminds me of a creative director I once worked with (I'm a copywriter by day). He bought all his writers subscriptions to the National Enquirer and told them to study the headlines because he thought the National Enquirer had the best headlines in the world -- concise, informative and irresistible. Just as advertising headlines should be. Thanks for sharing.

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