This is a blog. Or is it?
What is a blog?
What does blog mean? And why does it mean that? Where did it get a name like that? Doesn’t sound very attractive. Sounds sort of blog.
Why attempt one?
I’m told if I’m publishing a novel it’s a good thing to do. It seems like work to me. Work I’ve escaped. Most of my life I wrote newspaper columns and pieces of a humorous nature for newspapers, working against time while the wolves were at the door ringing the bell in a loud Wagnerian manner.
Writing novels was much more leisurely because you didn’t expect to get any money for it. Sometimes it was rather pleasant. I remember taking a train over the Alps and down to Rome. We stopped in Milan and I looked out the window and saw a big photograph of myself looking back at me. I had just been published in Italian. Selling a novel in a push cart, like ice cream – that was the Italian way.
Now I can expect nothing like that. They can put photos of me all over Italy and I won’t be able to see them. I can’t walk, at least not very well; I limp across my garden leaning on two sticks (who says polo is a sissy game?) I have a wheel chair but I refuse to use it because sit in one (go ahead and try) and suddenly you are no longer treated like a human being. It doesn’t sell new novels, either.
Not being able to walk has been responsible for writing novels. Ernest Hemingway did it standing on his head (no, you fool, standing up Ed) but the rest of us sit down. Being forced to sit down and with not much else to do but watch Clueless again, I started writing. I chose crime fiction this time because you know you can end it. Writing ‘real’ novels, it’s hard telling when it’s ended – after 80 or 100 thousand words, I guess.
I shared a literary agent with P.D.James and she said she wanted to write ‘real’ novels but first time out to do a whodunit because she knew it would have to end. A runaway bestseller meant she had to continue.
Few may know that Agatha Christie wanted to write like D.H.Lawrence, but wrote her first crime novel as a bet with her sister. She also never looked back. (The gamekeeper did it, and kept doing it.)
One must I suppose get back to one’s own work. Having had a whale of a time practising 127 cardiac arrests I wrote a crime novel, Death Dyed Blonde, set in a backwoods New England village. ‘Quaint’ and ‘cosy’ the critics called it. I’ve written five more set in the same yokel town and now I’m publishing the second, MURDER IN A COLD CLIMATE. If this goes down well enough, I’ve got four more. If not, it’s back to writing, without end in sight, like Tolstoy.
That’s all, folks,