Monday, October 23, 2006

Whither the Passion?

One of the things I noticed when reading my book was the energy, the passion if you will that seemed to jump off every page. How do we writer's get that? Is it even a good thing? And how will I get it back? Maybe it has something to do with genre. The Shadow Warriors wasn't a mystery, and it wasn't even suspense, really, although of course there was a lot of suspense generated because stuff kept happening and I was taking the reader on a pretty good ride. It wasn't a "literary novel" either. I thought about marketing it as "a novel of technology and desire," and you can probably guess how far that got me. Anything that bends the genre, known as a genre bender is hard to market because the work doesn't fit into the bookstores and the publishers cozy little niche. Kind of makes you wonder how Griffin and Sabine ever got published.

But TSW was obviously something I had to write and loved writing, and it was so painful that it did not get the kind of literary boost it deserved, but I am getting an inkling that this happens to lots of books, good, bad and indifferent. You can write a good book that will never see the light of day. Life is not fair. Literature is not fair. Publishing is a business now ruled by bean counters and marketing.

Have to confess I have no respect for marketing. Anyplace I ever worked, marketing couldn't use regular mail but always had couriers running around, couldn't ever understand that Information Systems did not read their mind and if they wanted to do something requiring the computer (and what didn't) that they would actually have to tell us ahead of time, not the day after. Can't tell you how many times that happened. Marketing was the natural enemy of information systems, as cats are to dogs. So it doesn't surprise me that marketing wouldn't know how to sell that book, not that they ever got the chance.

How to get the passion back? Each book has a song associated with it, that I play over and over and over again, a song that sort of defines the book in my head on a symbolic level. Playing that song would be one way, but how else? I'm thinking. How to get the passion back into the text? Real big problem.

Grapeshot

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