Imagine you and your cat live comfortably in a Manhattan apartment that measures 500 square feet. Then imagine a close friend dies and leaves you his harlequin Great Dane to take care of. Add a minor detail—you have to hide the 180-pound dog because the lease on your rent-controlled, can’t-ever-leave apartment forbids dogs of any size.

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First You Write a Sentence is the best book about writing I’ve ever read, and that says a lot. As a journalist for forty years and now a novelist for ten, I live by the written word, with a passion for improvement. Joe Morgan is my soulmate.

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Mark Willen