This blog has several purposes. It is designed to showcase my own writing, which I believe to be remarkable. I wouldn’t flog them like a merchant in the village square if I didn’t believe wholeheartedly in their literary worthiness. Also, it is designed to provide personal prescription for writing. The experiences of my adventurous life — from being the victim of identity theft, impersonation, and too many other such things to mention — have given me a unique understanding of victimization, judgment, and unkindness as well as compassion, understanding and open-heartedness.
I taught Creative Writing at the University of Manchester, and lived and worked as a translator in Paris and New York, so I have a good sense for how to put a novel together. For sure, the blog offers you a soupcon of biography. Perhaps most importantly, it offers you a daily (or frequent, when I’m traveling) novel that I find noteworthy and one you might wish to emulate. They alternate between male and female authors, inasmuch as I am not convinced that the two literary voices are one and the same.
I am open to any and all thought, comments, or questions you have. If you want to catch up with me privately, then my blog email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kabuki in a G- String
Is life what we make it or are we what life makes us? This is the challenge for Roberta Martin, a dyed-in-the-wool Southern Baptist who unexpectedly finds herself facing profound existential challenges; challenges that shake up everything she has ever believed. What does someone do, when she discovers that the only significant male figure in her life is gay? She has always believed that homosexuality was a sin, and while Roberta is among the kindest people on would ever meet, she has strong moral and religious beliefs. How can one shun a beloved family member? Is there a middle path? Is there a legitimate and different religious view? As Roberta struggles with a detonation beneath her previously rock-solid moral foundation, she must at the same time cope with the summer beauty of Paris and falling in love for the first time. Roberta could be anyone, except she isn’t … she is herself. In her mind, she might become no one in the face of God should she accept being gay, at least as she has always understood her beliefs. Roberta’s resolution of these challenges forms the backbone of a novel that the Toronto Sun called, "Profoundly moving, laugh-out-loud funny, and perhaps the best look at the complexities of diversity written this year." It’s available from Amazon by clicking on the link below or pasting it into your browser:
Jagged Blind Hop Zozzle
Even ninety years later, the 1920s still roar in the collective imagination of writers, readers, painters, and dreamers. It was a wild time when flappers and philanderers challenged taboos. The guns of the Great War were finally silent, and a new kind of music, jazz, had invaded the clubs. The arts were booming, and great minds were converging on Paris to share, create, think, act, and live. Set in Paris in the Jazz Age, Jagged Blind Hop Zozzle snaps to life in the summer of 1928, in which the Amsterdam Olympic Games took place under warm drizzle, among the wettest and hottest summers on record. Teetering on the brink of financial collapse, it was the complicated era of Ernest Heming-way, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, D.H. Lawrence, Archibald MacLeish, King Vidor, Josephine Baker, fascism, clerical fascism, National Socialism, socialism and communism and Paris was the intellectual crossroad of this too-brief period. It’s available from Amazon by clicking on the cover or link below:
Shirtless in Iceland
Shirtless in Iceland is a stylish, urban-hip story of love and death, friendship and enmity. Centered around two weeks in the lives of city-weary Parisian friends of various nationalities, it attends to Michael Simkins’ observation that, "Paris is a place in which we can forget ourselves, reinvent, expunge the dead weight of our past." For all of these twenty-something expatriates and natives who meet restlessly every night, Paris is work, conflict, traffic, commuter trains, love lost and found, and too-busy lives filled with anxious anticipation of a future they cannot envision, longing for fulfillment and happiness. Paris is the backdrop for the great tragedy in their lives, and it takes a tragedy to bring them meaning, and make them reconsider all of their situations, domestic and otherwise. It’s available from Amazon by clicking on the cover or link below:
Patience Exquisite unreels to cinematic life in genteel, affluent Riverside, California amid the Great Depression and the beginnings of a new California, dominated by the false glitter of Hollywood. With the highest per-capita income in California, thanks to Eliza Tibbet’s famed seedless Bahia naval orange, Riverside dreamed magical dreams of a different Southern California than the one that Hollywood destroyed. The novel focuses on Mary Elizabeth, one troubled victim out of the many injured by the demise of that sunshine magical dreaming. It’s available from Amazon by clicking on the cover or link below:
Please write me at email@example.com … I’d love to hear from you.
Attached as articles to this page, are books I think are both wonderful reads and also excellent models for how to compose, structure, and produce your novel.