We’re told that by far the best training for writers is reading. But what happens when what you’re reading is being a big bully? Tempting you with sweet nothings? Calling you names? Interfering with your confidence and ability to write? I have a conversation with an unbearably smug book to explore the concept, and discover something nasty.
Cookery books are always popular, so I’m finally jumping on the foodie blogger bandwagon with my own recipe. In other news, the numbers behind book sales can be a lovely thing, but only if used for good. Unfortunately this information is currently being used for evil, which means I’m about to get ranty.
No matter how good a Grip-Lit book is, there are only so many psychological thrills we can stomach in a row. With the help of some tenuous and downright cheesy food metaphors, this week I’m asking you: what’s for dessert? What do you, the reader, want to read next? Shouldn’t we, the actual consumers have a say?
I want to blow my mind with a book, but the publishing world is consistently offering me the literary equivalent of aspirin. Unfortunately, what I want doesn’t seem to fit into those narrow marketing categories which now dictate everything we read. Don’t they know that the biggest blockbusters of the last few decades didn’t fit in either, and that’s kind of the bloody point?
Romantic heroes. Sigh. All that tortured power in a designer shirt. So much angst and wealth. So little practicality, and mental health. Because they’ve been hurt before – y’know? But you would never do that. It’s different with you.
But what really happens after ‘The End’? When dietary fibre and la vie quotidienne get in the way? What would it really be like to LIVE with a tortured romantic hero?
It’s harder than ever to get published by writing original fiction. So why bother? Why not just reimagine a proven bestseller with a tweak of genre, or a change of setting, and call it your own? If it works in politics…
So how about writing The Bourne Identity as a lifestyle thriller set in IKEA? What if fans of Stephen King wanted to see his take on YA Romance? Would The Hunger Games work as a diet book?