An American writer: Lewis Black
Comedian Lewis Black was born in Washington, D.C., in 1948 and brought up in Silver Spring, Md. He first did stand-up when he was studying at the University of North Carolina, and he went on graduate from the Yale School of Drama. A long career in the theater -- including the 40 plays he's written plays -- has been eclipsed by his intense, ranting comedy persona, made popular on "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart."
Black's most recent book, "Me of Little Faith," came out in paperback last month.
In a video on his website, he gives advice to aspiting writers.
I would just like to say to those of you who are thinking of writing a book: don't. Unless of course you get great joy out of sitting at a desk and staring into space wondering why you agreed to write a book, and now you haven't got one thought in your head... What's the worst thing about writing a book? Remember what it was like when you were a kid Sunday, late afternoon, just after a really great weekend -- you hadn't thought about school at all. And just as the sun begins to fade into darkness, you hear your mother: she says, 'did you do your homework?' that's what every day is like until the book is written... you have homework every day. It never stops. It's always there... there are few things worse in this life than homework every day.
-- Carolyn Kellogg
Photo: Lewis Black in West Hollywood on June 29. Credit: Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images