Adina Rishe Gewirtz – author interview

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Paperback Writer welcomes Adina Rishe Gewirtz, author of How To Say It: Business Writing That Works.


How to Say It Synopsis:

How to Say It: Business Writing That Works takes the gut-wrenching pain out of the writing process by breaking it down into ten easy-to-follow steps. Adina Gewirtz teaches that writing is first of all a thinking and organizational skill, and that if writers learn how to ask themselves the right questions, understand their audience and group ideas and information before they try to find the right words, the words will come.

In a funny, light style that makes the learning painless, Adina Gewirtz teaches her ten-step system, then shows how to put that system to work in various business writing tasks, from a letter to a report to a proposal. The book covers even notoriously hard writing tasks like audits and performance reviews, and teaches writers how to make even a reluctant audience a willing one.



Hi Adina,


Welcome to Paperback Writer.


Would you share with us how you came up with the idea for your book? 


            I’ve been teaching business writing, and writing in general, for years. In school, I had the great good fortune to learn my craft from some of the best writers in journalism at the University of Maryland, College Park. One of them was Jon Franklin, whose system for structuring a piece of writing appealed to my sense of order and logic. So I began using it, and then, when I was asked to teach non-writers, I remolded it a bit for their use, adding lots of helping bits that professional writers take for granted. I was amazed at how well it worked, and thus began my career offering what I call the Writer’s Roadmap. After many years of listening to me teach and watching me write, my husband persuaded me to put it all down into a book.


Was it a light bulb moment or something that you thought about for a very long time?


 I thought about it for more than fifteen years, but the light bulb moment came when I realized how I wanted my book to sound. I wanted the book to teach, but I also wanted it to entertain. So when I began hearing it in my head, I was ready to write, because I knew then that I’d be able to teach people my system for business writing and keep them laughing at the same time.


How did you come up with the title?


 The title came from Prentice Hall, my publisher. They wanted to offer my writing system as part of their How to Say It series, and so the book became How to Say It: Business Writing That Works.


How did you find an agent and publisher?


I found an agent by sending out a bunch of query letters describing my book. I’d also written a proposal. My agent helped me hone and sharpen that proposal, and used it to sell the book.


Who reads you work in progress?


I have a great friend who is also a terrific writer. We share our work with each other.


Who made a difference in the book’s quality?


She did, as well as all my wonderful teachers who helped me learn to write well, and the students through the years who’ve shown me how to sharpen my teaching skills. Then of course there’s my family, who contributed great suggestions for funny memos, letters, proposals, reports and even a performance review for my book.


How long did it take you to complete the first draft?


It took me about six weeks.


How long did it take from start to publication?


That took a year, because the publishing process requires a lot of back and forth.


Do you have any advice for new authors?


I’d say understand the process before you jump in. You need to research agents and publishers, and write a really good query and proposal. Know what you’re trying to say, and learn to say it with as much power as possible.


Thank you, Adina, for stopping by Paperback Writer on your virtual book tour. I wish you continued success through the rest of your tour.

Thank you!




HOW TO SAY IT: BUSINESS WRITING THAT WORKS VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR ’08 will officially begin on May 1, 2008 and continue all month. If you would like to follow Adina’s tour in progress, visit in May. Leave a comment on her blog stops and become eligible to win a free copy at the end of her tour! One lucky winner will be announced on this tour page on May 30!






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This article was written by Rebecca

Rebecca is a book coach and editor. She guides aspiring writers, coaches, entrepreneurs and speakers to become self-published authors so they share their expertise, knowledge and passion. Thinking about writing a book? Contact her today to start writing your book.

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