1. The Darkness Beneath - Free Copy
2. It's All About You
3. Writers Read Right?
4. Watcha Reading?
The Darkness Beneath: Sex, Death and Trains, all Yours For Nothing (still!)*
You can get a free copy of my first novel, The Darkness Beneath, by following this link - but hurry! Only (yes, only...) the first 100 people to sign up can claim a free copy. *Terms and Conditions apply.
It's All About You
Last week's IAAY was hosted by British writer Stephan J Myers, whose first novel, Loss De Plott, is beautifully brought to life by the drawings of the characters on his website.
Writers Read Right?
We all know that as a writer you have to read - it's the law and if you don't, one day we'll all find out and then you'll be sorry. But that said, am I the only one who worries that other people's writing might unduly influence my own?
Weird as it seems, this is a worry for me. I worry because I want my writing to be original - it's bad enough that there's only six or seven distinct plots we can use, the fact that I might be using other people's ideas, mannerisms and language terrifies me.
It's hard to be original, but I think as writers we owe it to ourselves to plough our own furrows, even if that means furrowing our own brows as we chase our elusive unique selling point across our screens. And that takes work and the willingness to re-write or even throw out the lines that are not of our own loins.
This week I have been mostly reading The Sense of An Ending by Julien Barnes. It's the first book by JB that I've read and I'm really enjoying. I think this is partly because I relate to the subject matter - aging, memory, death, and partly because the way he writes is so simple the words just flow off the page.
I bought this book (yes, a real book with pages that turn - I'm still dragging my heels through the pre-Ereader mud) because of his delightful book A Life With Books. In this JB talks about his childhood and how he became a collector of books as well as a writer.
As a young man he used to spend much of his time searching musty old bookshops as he built his collection of what sounds like 1000s of books. This reminded me of how much I used to love doing the same, though on very much more modest scale. I particularly like the fact that he and I must have scoured the same book shop in Aylesbury. Obviously it's no longer there, which is a shame because being whisked away into lost and dusty worlds by the smell of a book that hasn't been opened for the last 50 years is a wonderful experience.
Call me sentimental, but there's nothing that fires my imagination more than opening a book, a world, that's been shut for decades. It's a world that puts me, as far as I am concerned, directly in touch with the ghost of the previous owner.