Should Books Just be Books?
Two excellent articles on book classification. The first one, by Rosy T is up at Vulpes Libris and the second, by Rosy B is on her blog. And it’s an interesting discussion. I mean, when I walk into a book shop I like to know roughly where I can find what I’m looking for, but, as Rosy B says, that can end up being restrictive for those writing within genre as they often have to be written to a set of ‘rules’. Anyway, have a read and decide for yourselves.
Us Jealous Writers
I felt I should post something on this after reading Welshcake’s blog earlier. I don’t know the ins and outs of the situation she’s referring to (and don’t want to either) but here are the basics:
Writer gets fab deal. Fellow writer from one writers’ website or another gets jealous and makes snide comments about said success.
Which is silly really.
Allow me to put forward my answer.
Writers get jealous. They are naturally envious creatures. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that at all. It is natural. Totally.
I’ve been doing this long enough to be familiar with envy (sometimes called admiration, other times not). I’ve thought, often, they write so much better than I do, I’ll never be that good, wow I wish I was getting that deal, selling that many books, getting my book reviewed there, jetting off here, giving a talk there. Etc. And I’ve thought how come they’ve got a deal etc etc, they’re no better than me! I have.
But I wouldn’t begrudge anyone success. It is an incredibly difficult industry to break in to and to stay in. It’s extremely difficult to earn a decent living from.
So the fact that someone’s good enough and has worked hard enough to get somewhere, I reckon, should be met with professional decency, admiration and respect. Even if what they write, or have written, isn’t your cup of tea. We’re all in similar boats. And if we want to get better or bigger or whatever we just need to work harder and stick at it. That’s a better course of action than looking (and/or being) bitter, is it not?
And the other point that’s come out of this is the record of what you’ve said. What you put on the web could stay there for years. And it would, naturally, have the potential to come back and bite you on the bottom. So, thinking about what you write, what you’ll put your name to and potentially be associated with for a long, long time, is important I think.
This speech (it’s in PDF doc.) by screenwriter John August is marvellous reading on the subject.
Another Review, and thrice well done
Another review of my book, this time without the scary photo.
Reviewed by Casey’s 9 yr old.
This book is about a boy who goes to sleep and travels back in time to meet Romans, Vikings and Celts and has lots of adventures.
My favourite part is when Jack, the little boy, has dinner with the Celts, because the Celts are interesting.
I also like it when Jack goes back in time at the the end of the story and ends up in an air-raid with a girl called Betty. I like it because it is frightening.
It think it is funny when, after Jack has dinner with the Celts, he says he is going to have a little nap and ends up waking up in his bedroom. His dad is trying to wake him and Jack says “is that the Celts?” and he says “No, it’s your dad!”
I’ve learnt that if i’m ever in an air-raid i should go to a shelter.
10/10 because it is really good and funny.
Big thanks to Casey’s 9 year old, Casey and the rest of the Casey family for this.
If anyone else would like to email me a review I’d be happy to post it here.
I think I’m going to call it a day shortly. It’s been a long week and I think I deserve a little rest.
And only two more weeks of the Roaming Roman Book Tour (for now). Sigh. As always, if anyone would like me to visit their school, library or book shop, please drop me a line.
And a reminder that the Wilmslow event, on Nov 11th, will require tickets. They’re free, but to make sure you don’t miss out, please contact them here.
The children’s poetry anthology ‘A Bedtime Poem for Every Day of the Year’ to which I have conrtibuted, should be out any time soon. You can order your copy here.
Three things actually. I’d like to congratulate Emma Darwin for being shortlisted for the Goss First Novel award; Anne Brooke for her poem being longlisted for the Bridport Prize; and say a big well done to Roger Morris, whose book has been spotted, en masse, in South Africa. It’s always good to see nice people doing well, and those three definitely qualify.
On the congratulations and nice people front, I should also mention J W Bennett – whose latest offering is available here.