Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Free Book Inside

I don’t think Thomas Monteleone will mind me telling you that his book, ‘The Complete Idiots Guide to Writing a Novel’, doesn’t actually tell you how to write a novel. His book is not about the laborious task of typing a very long story. It is about, well, everything else.

Here’s what I got out of it:
  • If you want to be a world famous novelist, you have to write a book that appeals to a lot of people;
  • Most top selling novels fit into a genre;
  • There’s more to selling a novel than banging out 300 pages and sending them to a publisher.
If you dream of becoming a published author then Mentelone’s Idiot’s Guide is well worth your time. However, if this doesn’t sound like your kind of thing, you could try something completely different.

Steve Hely’s novel, ‘How I Became a Famous Novelist’, examines the world of literature form the point of view of a Gen-Y male who wants to be famous. The New York Times Book Review described this novel as ‘A gleeful skewering of the publishing industry and every cliché of the writing life.’ What better way to get the facts?

I have a spare copy of ‘How I Became a Famous Novelist’, which can be yours – free. Leave a comment bellow telling me why you want to write a novel; I’ll send the book to the person who leaves the best comment.

Three things:
  1. I’m the judge of this contest.
  2. The competition closes on the 31 March 2012.
  3. The book is a little worse for wear.
Good luck.

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Business of Loving

The sun was all light and no warmth the day I first saw you. I sought shelter in the public library; alone – yes – achingly so. Do you remember how my fingers brushed against you as I walked past? It was no accident.

After that, for the next two weeks, we were inseparable. You cast a spell upon me that made my eyes open a little wider. New life started to blossom in the desert of my heart.

You were my delight.

But I knew from the first that you belonged to another, that I could not in could conscience keep you as my own.

The separation was bitter, yet I took solace in the changes you had wrought in me. Because of you, I no longer felt alone in this world.

It was because of this, because of my fond memories of you that, years later, I tried so hard to find you. I scoured the Internet searching for you. But my memories did not make suitable search terms. I could not search for Love: of course not.

I looked for you until, one day, after years of searching, I made contact. We were to meet, and I knew that this time you would be mine.

I was nervous. I wondered if you had changed since last I saw you. And at first, it seemed that you had. There were times I worried that I barely knew you. But slowly the memories flooded back, and it soon felt as if the intervening years were but moments.

The eyes-wide-open feeling you engendered within me when I was young has returned. I am so glad that I have found you again; so glad that I can hold you again; so glad to be reading you again.

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Unwritten

Oh Story of a Love Letter, how long will you elude me? Your twists and turns, the gentle curves of you, have proved too subtle for my cumbersome prose.

I sat with you, in the midst of your broken sentences and your un-linkable paragraphs.  I sat, typing endlessly, constantly trying to find the right words to express you. But, even as I worked, you were moving away from me.

The closest I got to you was this:

But, as he approached the letterbox, John realised that it wasn’t a flyer at all: it was an eggshell-blue envelope with a postage stamp placed perfectly in its top right-hand corner.

It seems I was not ready for the next sentence. I was not ready to hear your secret.

Now we must part company, and I am left wondering: were my efforts in vain?

But perhaps, my dear Story, we will meet again? Maybe when my novel is in its tenth chapter, you will come back to me and share your sweet words.

Until then, stay safe.