Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Getting ready...

Now 2014 has arrived, suddenly my trip south is looming large like a charging elephant in the rear view mirror.  Someone asked me the other day if I'd started packing yet. No? Will I need 6 and a half weeks? What if I pack all my undies now? I bought some Doc Martens today - my feet are ready.

I thought I'd start the year off with some juicy links to feed the mind and fuel the soul. I like agent Janet Reid's suggestion here on what to say when someone asks you how book sales are going. Her reasoning is sound I think.

Blog reader and starry librarian, Angela Soutar, suggested I check out this lady. Good call Angela. This post seemed especially pertinent (although it's all good). 'Make it urgent' seems like a good philosophy. You can be Donna Tartt and have ten years between novels but there probably aren't that many writers who can sustain the level of interest Ms Tartt is managing. And while her publishing/marketing machine is VERY switched on and does all the smart things to keep the audiences interest current I can't help thinking that its also just partly that the stars are lined up and things are hanging just right for Donna. We can't all be Donna. I'm going to assume it's urgent.

Along with the cool stuff, there will always be the irksome. The opening statement to this piece says that Kate Atkinson's award win (for her book Life After Life) shows that great writing can also be entertaining. I didn't realise that 'challenging' or 'great' writing had previously been mutually exclusive of 'entertainment'. Why is 'entertainment' an unimportant and/or undesired quality in a book?? And its lack, somehow a measure of greatness? If it is not entertainment, then I can't help thinking of a book as the text of a subject I don't wish to learn, or perhaps a punishment, or maybe, worthy: none of which is great.

And lastly, (but not leastly) I had a nice mention of one of my books in the Listener - A Winter's Day in 1939 was one of children's author Kyle Mewburn's reads in 2013. 

1 comment:

Jane Bloomfield said...

Hi Melinda, I love that you have bought Docs. I went to a 10 x 20 metre shop in LA with wall to wall Docs. Couldn't decide if I was too old to rock a pair. So walked out bagless. Now I know! Urgent may be my new mantra... Also, do not pack undies now. Living out of a suitcase becomes tiresome.