Archive for January, 2011

Zen & A Novel’s Inception

Monday, January 31st, 2011

You’ve decided to write a novel, now where to begin?

The pathway to writing begins with desire.  Imagery of glamour and excitement are only illusions, for creative writing is fraught with disappointment, rejection and continued determination.  Just the setbacks in plot alone can render a writer helpless.  Then there’s the bad secret awaiting around the corner when you have finished the first draft: It’s called rewrite, rewrite, rewrite until you can spit sparks across the room.

Desire to become an author is the first reason why a magnificently intelligent human being would ever take up writing.  Before we go further, please forget the dollar signs.  Definitely clear your mind of watching the cinematic version of your first novel at the Festival de Cannes.  Today, the publishing industry is undergoing a dramatic change. Barnes & Noble, the world’s largest bookshop chain is up for sale.  Borders Books announced Sunday evening (1/30/2011) that it was delaying January payments to vendors and landlords in a move to conserve cash. Or as John Steinbeck once observed, “The profession of book-writing makes horse-racing seem like a solid, stable business.”

Yes, there is money in writing novels.  It comes from promoting yourself as a brand. This involves creative and aggressive strategies to achieve widespread recognition.  Be assured: if you do not promote yourself, no one else will!  More later in a subsequent blog post…


What Not to do in a Haunted Villa

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

Praia da Luz, Algarve, Portugal is the setting for five (out of twenty chapters) in Rules of Engagement that I wrote between 2007 and 2009 and then published in 2010.  However my history with Praia da Luz began forty years before I ever wrote Rules. The purpose of this blog post is to relate the uncanny events that occurred when I retreated to ‘Alec’s villa’ alone in 1978 for four weeks to write The Iberian Jaguar. Only much to my chagrin I was not alone in the villa.