I’m not a huge fan of interviews with “bestselling” authors, for the same reasons that some parents don’t like their kids memorizing the lyrics to the Judas Priest catalog. That said, when I take off my writing-guru-guy hat I have to admit it can be fun, and vicarious, to see what the A-list is saying about all things literary. Or not.
Here are a few reading referrals and links for you.
The Sunday Arizona Republic did a great interview with Patricia Cornwell last Sunday, written by Randy Cordova (of all the places out there, right here is one place you’ll see the writer acknowledged right up there with the subject). Cornwell is doing a signing at The Poisoned Pen bookstore in Scottsdale (where everybody comes for a signing; it’s like being invited to tea with the Queen, probably the most prestigious bookstore for author appearances outside of New York) this week. She’s a no B.S. person and writer, with an interesting journey to share. Enjoy it HERE.
Let’s just say, she feels your pain.
Back in the day, by the way, I did a signing at The Poisoned Pen, sharing the podium and a few cookies with Linda Fairstein. I was funnier than her, and she was, and remains, orders of magnitude richer and more famous than me.
And so it goes.
Speaking of rich and famous… the January 2012 issue of Writers Digest offers up a profile of, and interview with, Diana Gabaldon (who only by coincidence lives in Scottsdale, and who will no doubt be signing for the umpteenth time at The Poisoned Pen before long, sharing the podium with absolutely nobody).
One thing of interest — and you may be wondering why I’d even mention this — is that her writing process is diametically-opposed, in smashing opposition to, what I advocate and teach about story planning and the writing process. Yes, she’s a pantser… proudly proclaiming that she begins her books with a blank page one with absolutely no idea what the story will be, or how it will turn out once she gets something going.
First of all, I don’t believe her, not for a minute.
Second of all, what I think she’s going for is a description of an organic process that relies on her very steep and well-rewarded storytelling learning curve. In other words, she’s very much like Stephen King — the flow, the structure, the sub-text and the underlying physics, are all second nature to them.
If you think you’re in their league… have at it. Haven’t met a writer yet who is, but I wish you well with that process. May you live long enough to find success that way.
Moving on. Backwards this time.
The September issue of Esquire Magazine had a killer interview with actor (and the shoulda-been People Magazine sexiest man of the year; Bradley Cooper agrees, by the way) Ryan Gosling. You may not know who he is, or even like him if you do (in which case you’ll be in a dwindling minority), but if you’re a writer who wants to see characterization (yes, non-fiction profiles are absolutely all about characterization) in full glorious genius form, taken to a visible level of craft that will inspire you in your fiction, then check it out. Here.
Dreaming of a book tour? Or even a signing?
Oh boy. It’s not what you think it is. Believe me… my stories of book signing humiliations are the reason I’m funnier than Linda Fairstein.
With thanks to the esteemed Betty Webb (who posted this link on Facebook), click here to read about the flip side — also known as the dark side — of sitting in a bookstore facing 48 empty chairs and 2 filled with your spouse and some guy named Lester who wandered in to get warm.
The deadline for voting for your favorite writing website approacheth.
It’s the 10th of December. Click HERE to cast your vote… be patient, this site takes longer to load (because of the 2000-something votes that comprise the Comment thread, which is precisely where you cast your vote) than it does for most agents to get back to you.