Whenever an author publishes a book, perhaps the best form of publicity is a profile written in a national magazine that is devoured by avid readers. I read one of these profiles the other day and was struck by the fact that the journalist who wrote the piece positioned the writer to come off like some kind of off-beat genius. [Read more…]
Delphinium Books Blog
A good friend of mine (who started her career more or less at the same time) reminded me the other day how it used to be when a writer of literary fiction published a book. All the reviews would appear within a couple of weeks, and there were quite a few of them at that. I remember, for example, whenever I had a book out in the UK, it would get reviewed the day of publication, and often that same day, in several different places at once. Now, except for the most prominent of writers, the climate has changed.
At Delphinium, we often ponder the difference between fiction and non-fiction narrative, and it seems more and more that these two literary distinctions are being blurred. Even though the memoir genre is still thriving, it’s now generally understood that memoirs are embellished, truth laced with invention; and yet it’s also true that many memoirs could not be successfully published as novels. With a memoir, it’s the very idea—or in some cases, the illusion—of confession that makes a book saleable. The premise is that a memoir will attract a reader who can believe they have gone through an experience similar to the one they read about. For this reason, memoirists—and their publishers—may be reluctant to divulge whatever is actually invented. [Read more…]
The premise of my dystopian novel set in South West Asia, Before She Sleeps, is that war and disease have decimated the female population of the region. A new authoritarian regime emerges that seeks to do two things: restore the female population to normal numbers, and keep tight control on a society made unstable by the sudden imbalance of the male-to-female ratio. They do this using a combination of technology and terror, tracking women and their fertility, assigning brides to multiple men, and punishing anyone who rebels against the new order. [Read more…]
My tenth novel will be published in September. I began writing it more than four years ago. The delay in its publication is mostly due to the fact that I parted ways with my former literary agent as well as my former publisher. When I broke ranks with them I knew I was taking a risk: unless you are incredibly successful and have a stellar track record, it’s difficult to begin again in mid-career. [Read more…]
Back to Philip Roth whose death still haunts some of us.
A few months ago a first novel called Asymmetry was published whose author, Lisa Halliday, wrote about an affair she had with Roth. I saw that the book had good coverage but then heard via another famous writer (who by the way ends up being mentioned in the novel) that it was a fine piece of fiction, a “must read”. I marked Asymmetry as weekend fare and polished it off over Father’s Day weekend. [Read more…]