Writer's Life: August

The most consistent advice you hear to writers is read. So I’m trying to catch up on good fiction authors, whose language and writing style can permeate mine. This week I started The Falls by Joyce Carol Oates. I’ve heard of her forever. Should I be embarrassed (as a blossoming author) that I’ve never read anything by her?

The writers with the best run-of-the-mill success are genre writers: romance, mystery, suspense/thriller, fantasy/science fiction categories. Their books are fast, easy, a nice escape without much challenge. I have great respect for the imagination and craftmanship of these authors.

But (naturally), I’m reaching beyond the genre formulas, striving to be a little more complex, a little more character-driven. I love a mystery or a thriller that turns out to be a grand morality play. Like the best of John LeCarre (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy). Or Graham Greene (The Third Man).

So, August: reading. And I continue to outline novel #2, though I am easily distracted into marketing activities for novel #1. Yesterday morning I fell down the rabbit hole of Google Book Search — reformatting and uploading yet another PDF of P&P so that I can activate a “Preview this book” button in Goodreads and on my website. Why? Because other authors have it, I want one too.

We’re having a warm spell, so yesterday Jim and I took a lazy 3-hr float in a kayak down the Irondequoit Creek to the Bay. In the middle of the float, I got a phone message from a dealer who was interested in closing a deal on some items in a list we’d sent him. It reminded me how much easier it is to sell stuff out of our closets as opposed to wrenched out of my soul.

This entry was posted in Journal, reading and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.