There is, dear reader, something called a “blog hop”. It is designed to attract new readers to blogs by linking them to other blogs, so that the readers of those blogs discover wonders on offer they had never known or perhaps even conceived possible.
The talented artist who does the covers of my books, Joleene Naylor, is also an author and has invited me to take part in one of these. This is my all too feeble contribution. Joleene’s blog is at joleenenaylor.com. If you go to this website, hit books, and then blog, you will find her contribution.
The Written World is about writing, and the topic of the “hop” is too, with four questions. Here we go…
Question 1: What am I working on?
A novel about cruelty. I don’t really want to go into this as it would be a “spoiler’.
Question 2: How does my work differ to others of its genre?
My novels are meant to be novels of ideas garbed in the cloth of thrillers. In my opinion, as the person who wrote them, this doesn’t always work. But it kind of does, in different ways. My books have traversed Shakespeare, Giordano Bruno, Girolamo Savonarola, Celine, Nikolai Berdyaev, Marx, Dostoevsky, and others. This isn’t your usual thriller fare, and the ideas bound up in these people aren’t either.
Question 3: Why do I write/create what I do?
Joleene wrote: “I write what I like. Hopefully other people like it too.” Amen. Beyond that, I want people to share, if they wish, my interests and excitement and to consider the issues that seem to me to matter about the world, about life – what’s important and what’s not. I’m not arrogant enough to think I have all the answers or that everybody – even anybody! – should think as I do. But I do think I have something to say worth listening to, and have considered writing as the principal outlet for that since I was very young.
Question 4: How does your writing/creating process work?
At the moment, it doesn’t. I’ve started this novel three times, and have dropped it for now, while I think about why it just doesn’t feel right.
Writing can be very frustrating. Generally, I work out a plot around a “premise”, people that with main characters, surround them with minor characters, shade in some detail, and then go for it. For me, it is important to leave some things undecided till it’s time to write about them. Otherwise it gets too boring to do. Once I wrote 45,000 words of a novel that I’d worked out in great detail and then stopped. I just couldn’t be bothered anymore. That was a great lesson.
To give an example of this, in one of my books I had two of the characters go on a day trip and have a fight while they were away. this was planned. But I didn’t know exactly what was going to happen when they fought, or what the outcome beyond bruises and blood was going to be. That made it exciting to write, and I think the excitement came out in the prose.
A lot of the pleasure of writing for me comes from the crafting of the actual expression. Most of fiction is not actually like that: it can’t be or readers will tire of it, get bogged down “enjoying” the fine phrases, and drift off. But these wee sparkles of art have to be there too, at the right place and the right pace, for a novel to please reader and writer. So say I.
Thanks for reading.
Here are some blogs by writers and readers about writing. They’re not part in this blog hop but you might enjoy what they are up to.