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As an experienced novelist, what advice would you give to a beginning writer who hopes to become published someday?

Forever and always—read! And I suggest reading the very best of literature...the old classics to start. Read the kind of story you'd like to write. As for the actual writing, don't worry about perfection at first. Take your time, get the story down, then rewrite and fine-tune later. And, yes, spelling and grammar do count! There are many wonderful reference books for new writers. Ask the reference librarian at your local public library for help in locating books to point you in the direction of publishers who may be interested in your work.