What am I doing here?

Do you ever have the feeling you’ve slipped into a different version of the universe by mistake? Sometime I feel as if I’m living another MTM’s life where the basic essentials are the same but some of the bits around the edges are… not what I thought. I can’t quite explain this but it’s usually at times when I look at the zeitgeist around me and then at what I do and think… ‘ah.’

This cropped up in two respects this week. First, because as a fairly avid reader of Chuck Wendig’s blog (you really should check it out) I read his post about 10 books that had stayed with him and took up his invitation, at the end, to list the ten books that stayed with me. You can check out the post and read everyone’s comments (including  mine) here. What interested me was that the books that had stayed with people were all pretty heavyweight, barring one person, who, like I did, listed Green Eggs and Ham. But basically, the mood is academic. And serious. And then I turn up.

Here are ten of the books that have had the biggest effect on me:

THE MAGICIAN’S NEPHEW, CS Lewis. My parents read all the Narnia books to me and my brother as kids. I thought all books were like that. I didn’t realise there was a special pariah genre for them all.

FAIR STOOD THE WIND FOR FRANCE H E Bates. H E Bates can describe a summers day and just put you right there. This is just a wonderfully uplifting story and I loved it.

THE CHILDREN OF THE NEW FOREST Frederick Mayerat. Another fantastic book which my parents read to me as a kid. It has people with big hats and swords in it. What more could you want?

A GENTLEMAN OF FRANCE, Stanley Weyman. More hats and swords, in France this time.

THE THREE MUSKETEERS Alexander Dumas. Cracking historical novel. More Swords and big hats, with the odd heaving bosom thrown in for good measure.

THE ASTERIX BOOKS by Goschinny and Uderzo. Yes. All of them. I first read them when I was about five. After that, each year I grew I got more of the jokes. Multi-layered masterful humour. And silly names.

THE HITCH HIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY Douglas Adams. Because that’s how you do brainy comedy.

GREEN EGGS AND HAM Dr Seuss. The world of Dr Seuss – particularly Tweetle beetles from Fox in Sox has me completely hooked. That’s where my own fantasy world building started. With the weirder offerings of Dr Deuss. But I like green eggs and ham best.

WYRD SISTERS and THE NIGHT WATCH by Terry Pratchett. Because Terry writes the most fantastic stuff and I love it.

ABOUT A BOY Nick Hornby. Poignant, intelligent and laugh out loud funny.

A SPOT OF BOTHER, Mark Haddon. Ditto.

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, Bill Bryson. Bryson makes a history funny. It’s densely written. You can’t read too much at a time because it’s the literary equivalent of an enormous cream cake. Little and often is the way to read this. But it is absolutely fab. Actually, anything Bryson writes is a scream.

Looking at it now, I missed out, PRACTICALLY EVERYTHING BY GRAHAM GREENE (whose name I can’t remember how to spell) and PRACTICALLY EVERYTHING BY OSCAR WILDE. If I could write one piece of work like The Importance of Being Earnest I would consider my work as an author done.

Looking at my list compared to the books on the others it struck me how very out of step with the popular zeitgeist I am. Lots very serious books by people like Melville, Poe, Atwood, Hosseni… A fair bit of GRRM, CS Lewis, Herbert and King. Nobody mentioned Pratchett as far as I recall although I think someone mentioned Douglas Adams.

Find a forum about books and the authors everyone bangs on about seem to be the likes of Steinback, Hemingway, Poe, King, Herbert, Melville, Hemingway, GRRM….  American authors. Always American. No-one mentions HE Bates, no-one mentions Greene. Perhaps, most Americans – and we have to face it, the English speaking internet has a very strong US bias even though there are more of us, from other nations, than them – haven’t heard of Bates or Greene, or other greats like George Bernard Shaw, Oscar Wilde or Sir John Betjamin, just as I haven’t read Steinback or Melville (yet). But going back to the blog post, the onus of that set of comments does seem to be on cutting edge, horror or high brow.

It made me realise how inept I am at trying to be edgy.

It also highlighted the career decision that lies ahead of me now; heart or head. Let me explain. I started out with a budget that would cover six books. But due to the requirement to edit K’Barthan 1 again and again and the need for a proof edit after the copy edit I’ve blown that budget on four books. I thought six was a good buffer but to be honest I expected to earn enough to produce a low budget book once I’d published two or three. I’ve published four and that may yet happen. It may but it’s not looking too hopeful.

So what now?

The K’Barthan Series was completely self indulgent. I wrote exactly what I wanted to write, and I wrote it with a passion. In an ideal world that’s what I’ll do. But I’m beginning to realise that K’Barth is quite… out there. But… in the wrong way. It’s up front but not edgy enough, it’s weird but not scary enough. It’s not normal. It’s a book syndrome. It’s a bit socially lumpy.

Mwahahahahargh! I’ve produced the literary equivalent of myself!

MTMcGuirePhoto

FACCover 300dpiFront

Then I swing back the other way and convince myself it’s fine. Comfort myself with stories of people like Anne Magill, who studied fine art at Liverpool and then went to London (St Martin’s) where she met solid resistance from her tutors to her style. She stayed true to it, though, and is now a hugely successful painter selling works to people like Russell Crowe.

Nice.

She says (Anne Magill, I mean):

“I ended up going into commercial design because figurative traditional work was frowned upon,” but, she added, “If I’m damned I’m damned. I can only do what’s in my head.”

She followed her heart and now she’s doing OK.

Then there’s Kate Bush. Look at the pop scene in the late 1970s and early 80s. You’ve got punk, two tone, mods doing the usual do and then the odd M.O.R. hangover from the disco era. Where in the name of all that’s holy to you put our Kate Bush among all that? Her output is completely crazy, it’s quirky, her voice is weird, her choices of subject for her songs is esoteric, at best, and at worst barking loola. But people liked it anyway because it’s so honest and genuine, oh and it’s also good.

That’s what I want. For my stuff to be honest and genuine and good. And for me to be right in believing.

But am I? Or am I just being a self-indulgent, jumped-up twat? Someone called me a hack in a review the other day. It was oblique, as in ‘hack habits’ but it smarted. A lot. And the worst thing. It’s probably true.

When I wrote the K’Barthan Series, I wanted to show myself and all the naysayers that I can write like this and succeed. I reasoned that, if I liked it, other people would. And some do. And I am beyond grateful to each and every one of you who has bought it, read it, reviewed it. But it is a hard sell. And I’m realising that all the publishing people who said the names were stupid, the plot too involved, the level of intellect I assumed for my readers too high… I’m realising that unfortunately, if I want to make enough money to pay for another book, they might be right.

That’s probably why the big self publishing sites like Big Al’s Books and Pals and Bookbub won’t touch Few Are Chosen. Because when it comes down to it, even in self published author land, the big fish want the same commercial criteria that publishers want. And it’s all very well trying to prove something actually does work, but for that to happen, readers have to know it’s there. And it’s almost impossible to get it in front of them. Except off line, in the real world, where you need stock that costs money I don’t have. It’s a bit chicken and egg to be honest.

So the nub of it all is that I’m suffering a bit of a conundrum as to what I should write next.

Because I want to write stuff that is honest and true, that is me on paper, which means more stuff like the K’Barthan Series. But if I’m going to write more K’Barthan style madness, I need to do something alongside that sells, to fund it. Or something that will, at least, be mainstream enough for the big indie sites, with thousands of followers, to risk actually putting it in front of them. That’s tricky, because I wouldn’t know what commercial was if it stood up and smacked me in the face with a haddock. Universal appeal, yeh, I can do that, but nobody wants that, it makes selling the books too difficult. They want the next big thing. Before it happens. They want stuff that sells. And I don’t know what that is.

Oh dear.

So it’s back to the brick wall. That’s right, the one I was hoping I could sidestep by self publishing my books and proving to the world… yada, yada, yada.

Because my stuff didn’t fit with publishers, but it doesn’t fit in with the indie gatekeepers either – except for Awesome Indies, who I, therefore, think are awesome.

So here’s my three step plan:

STEP 1: Find out what, exactly, is ‘wrong’ with the K’Barthan Series, somehow. I.E. find out why a publisher would say ‘no’ so I can avoid making the same mistakes in the next book.

STEP 2: Applying what I’ve learned, I need to write the most commercial novel of which I am capable and use it to fund any subsequent pieces of unmarketable whimsy.

STEP 3: Stick £10 a month away in my building society account. For all my hand-to-mouthness (yes I know, I spent everything I had on a car. It’s definitely my fault) I won’t notice it’s gone. I have discalculia, for heaven’s sake! And in a year’s time, when I’ve written my next book, there might be enough cash to publish it at the usual loss and eventually there might be so many books that the sales income they generate can fund another one, anyway.

STEP 4: Write some shorts and experiment with putting 20,000 novellas into things like KDP Select on a rolling basis, which, hopefully, will introduce my work to a whole new bunch of readers who have no access to it now, and who will buy all my other books (and then music will play and there’ll be smeary shots of me dancing, crying with joy, through falling rose petals-) Sorry. Got a bit carried away there.

Held in reserve, steps 5 and 6.

STEP 5: Find a publisher who will make me rewrite and rewrite and rewrite my next piece of unmarketable whimsy until, together, we turn it into something marketable. This is a hugely unappealing prospect because I can’t imagine a publisher thinking any differently about my books from the agents and the big hitter review sites. Which means thousands of pounds on postage and years and years of being told, politely, to fuck off and trying to put a positive spin on it. But I might manage it, and if I do, it will open many closed doors, and I’ll learn a huge amount.

STEP 6: Crowd fund the next book? Eeesh. I guess there’s Unbound, but do I have the time or charisma to undertake the social media activity required to drum up… well any votes? Let alone enough for them to publish a book.

Which brings me back round in a circle to the question ‘how do I make my work commercially viable?’ The biggest problem I face lies my answer to that question: ‘I like it the way it is.’

So that’s the nub of it. Do I attempt to be the Kate Bush of writing and try to make it on my own? Only with rather less talent and no help in the offing from any literary equivalent of David Gilmour. Do I keep on struggling and hope that somehow, one day, my work stands up? That I can find a way to walk the line between being true to myself and bang on the money. Or do I try to sing something more mainstream, in a slightly less squeaky voice, about a bog standard subject to see if the Polydors of the writing world will accept it?

Very tricky question. And one to which, right now, I have no answer.

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33 Comments

Filed under General Wittering

33 responses to “What am I doing here?

  1. Oh, MT. There’s nothing wrong with Few Are Chosen. It’s a damned good book. Not for everyone, I would imagine, but definitely for me. Certainly, you can write more “commercial” fiction if you’re hoping to make money off the next series, but there is no guarantee that will happen. If you force to write something that you’re not in love with heart and soul, the readers will be able to tell. Trust me. I read a lot of books, and I can tell when an author is writing for the sake of making money. The book might be structurally perfect. It might have all the right elements in all the right places, but something is missing. I can always tell. Stay true to yourself.

    • Thank you so much. What you say about heart. Yes, I agree, which is why I’m quite daunted by the idea of trying produce something more commercial to fund the fun bits. The trouble is, I’m really not bothered about making money but some money would be good. So far I have earned… about 540 quid… since 2010.

      That said. I scheduled this post on Wednesday and since then I’ve been thinking about my plans for future books a bit more. Right now I have three on the go:

      The first is set in a future where everyone is in debt and to be debt free is rich. Some creditors have foreclosed, forcing people into a kind of debt slavery, collecting space junk to sell for salvage. There’s a lot of corruption so our poor hero only manages to pay off about 1% of his debt each month with the lion’s share of his earnings being creamed off by corrupt officials. That might be a little grittier than my usual thing. I’ll have to see how it goes.

      The second is about a race of aliens waiting for a meteor to hit the earth. Then they can settle here after we’re all dead. Our heroine has to convince the aliens that we’re sentient – by their definition – and worth saving. That sounds normal but if I tell you that there’s only one gender of alien and it takes three of them to bud and fertilise an egg you can see it’s not going to be your usual meteor strike story. It’s going to be a gas to write though.

      The third is a short(er) story project. I thought that DI Philip Softone and DC May Gurney out of K’Barthan 2 could be seconded to MI7 as the touchy feely talk to the aliens people (before their colleagues kill them and cut them up to see how they work). They could investigate all sorts of stuff, K’Barthan incursions etc and as paranormal and other world investigators they might get a bit more commercial traction… although once I start to think through the idea they’ll probably go the way of the second one.

      So yeh… now I just need to find out obvious commercial stuff like easy names, that I can deal with without changing my style and –
      ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,m,kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk sorry, that’s a message from my cat – I might get somewhere… possibly.

      Cheers

      MTM

      • These all sound like great stories, but I particularly like the one about the debt. I think I could probably relate to it, unfortunately.

        Last year, I didn’t make any money writing. I moaned and cried and suffered, until I finally decided to stop worrying about money and write for me. I guess that’s easy for me to do because I have an income from my day job, but I’d still like to make a living from writing. That might never happen for me, but I’m going to keep writing regardless. This year has been MUCH better in terms of sales. I’m going to be optimistic and expect that each year will be better.

      • Yeh, realistically the debt one is the book after next. I just got it wrong on the cash front. I thought the writing would be funding itself by now. It isn’t. I think you have the right approach. If there are any easy fixes that’ll make my work more approachable I will definitely apply them. After that I’ll just keep churning them out. I’m having a bit of an ebay binge at the moment so we’ll see how that goes…

        So pleased to hear your sales are going well. That’s ace. I’m told that the real deal breaker is a critical mass of books. Hit that and if they’re good they’ll start to sell whatever you do. Trouble is, I think that mass, for me is probably going to be more than four. It’s a whole year before I’ll have finished the next book so you’re right. I really should stop worrying. Do the ebay thing, do the crowd source thing and cross the bridge when I come to it.

        Cheers

        MTM.

  2. Well, since I love your writing, I must be weird too. OK – stating the obvious is no recommendation — sorry.
    But – for what it’s worth:
    I believe in your writing.
    And I believe that your dreams as an author will come true.

    A few other points:
    You DO have the charisma to do a crowd-funding campaign, MT. Why do you think I read your blog — every single one?

    And it will work. As I re-read what you wrote here, I think you could precis it, and make it part of your appeal for crowd-funding.

    As for your book list: don’t you think the halo effect (social acceptability) is often at play when people only list the heavy, obscure tomes? Like people who buy the big award winners to proudly display on their bookshelves, but never read them.
    My own book list includes several children’s titles because, having produced TV programs for children, I know that writing very well for children is one of the most difficult things a writer can do.

    • Aw bless you… Thank you for believing and I admit, I do love writing my blog, which is why I put my conundrums like this one on here, because I know there are people who read it. It’s more that I really don’t think there are enough of you, yet, to do crowdfunding.

      You might be right about the book list….

      Thanks.

      Cheers

      MTM

      • That’s not how crowdfunding works, as far as I know.

        a colleague of mine, who’s written a book about writing memoirs, just got 97% funded within two weeks. The crowdfunded appeal attracted some friends, but mostly strangers.

      • That’s interesting. Hmm… maybe nearer the time, when I have the cover art to show them but haven’t had the bill!

        Cheers

        MTM

  3. Actually the K’Barthan series is pure genius

  4. You may be “out there” but you’re a deep thinker, MT. Read what you love and write what’s in your heart. And get busy on twitter if you aren’t already. I recently joined a retweet group on amazon’s MOA forum (US site). My followers are growing every day. It take time to retweet, follow and send messages, but I am noticing a slow increase in sales. Think about joining.

    • Thank you… I must go and look at that. I like the idea of a retweet group but I look at my twitter feed and it’s all advertising, no-one talks to each other, and so at the moment I’m trying to reduce the number of tweets about books and tweet about other stuff… like… oh I don’t know like random things, a picture of a tomato that looks like Admiral Ackbar from StarWars… that kind of thing.

      I’ll go and take a look though, for deffo.

      Cheers

      MTM

  5. First, if I did my ‘ten books that have stayed with me’, they would probably all be fantasy, and definitely include a Pratchett and an Adams. So I’m with you on the less respectable (but more fun) side of the fence there.

    Second, I love K’Barth and all who dwell therein.

    Third, re your head/heart dilemma … not sure there’s an easy answer to that one, or even any answer at all. But I would say that trying to write something that isn’t from the heart will probably just make you miserable.

    Fourth, please can I see the Admiral Ackbar tomato? 🙂

    • Thank you. It is reassuring to hear that. Thank you re thing two as well. Third, I think you are spot on because since I scheduled this post (Wednesday) I have been thinking long and hard about what I want to write next and got rather enthusiastic about three very uncommercial ideas, although the third might fly – see my answer to Tricia’s comment. Fourth, I posted it on twitter. Give me a minute and I’ll to a DM it to you there.

      Cheers

      MTM

  6. I agree with the comments here: write what you love, not what you think will sell. Bcause if you sell out and it still isn’t a hit you’ll be heartbroken, plus writing what you don’t love is beyond tedious and it shows in the writing (IMO)
    I would add (as well as saying my Top Ten would be mostly Pratchett novels), do you need a budget? Is that to pay the bills or fund editors/art work etc? Because if it’s the latter, it doesn’t need to cost the earth. You have many people on this blog who would Beta Read/Proof Read/Help design covers etc. I had zero budget when I started and only scraped together enough for a very basic proofread. Okay some might say it shows, but equally I get five star ‘this is well written’ reviews and I haven’t been near a structural editor. That said, I guess sci fi needs more of a sanity check than bogstandard romance. But that’s what your Betas are for.
    I think all your new ideas sound great.

    • Thank you for the vote of confidence. This is me after all, and it’ll be at least a year before I have to worry about funding the next book. It’s just that if I’m going to make it a bit more approachable and mainstream, I have to decide how before I start. That’s giving me a bit of trouble… so I haven’t started…. so… it may be that if I just go ahead with the next weird one I can identify some commercial pointers for the one after, which I think is a bit more mainstream anyway in that it’ll be a bit grittier than my usual stuff.

      You’re right about budgeting and using beta readers etc too. It may be that I can do that for the shorts and make enough on them to finance the longer term projects.

      We’ll see. Thanks for the vote of support anyway.

      Cheers

      MTM

      It may happen and if it doesn’t I hope I will have saved up enough by then. I could always go back to writing the odd bit of corporate puff.

  7. I’m late to the party tonight. Probably because I was re reading one of your books… I can offer you some consolation here MTM. There’s nothing wrong with K’Barth at all: it’s the genre. I was speaking to Michael, the winner of the first Pratchett prize last week and he and I had a shared experience: Zeno Lit Agency had rejected us both because they were convinced that the whole genre of funny fantasy was without any commercial basis. Our mission is to prove the experts wrong, when (like you) I suspect that they do actually know what they are talking about. My horror book is still my best performing book. Sadly I find it hard to stop cracking gags – or maybe I find it hard to start…

    And as a second consolation my top ten list would include Nick Hornby, Graham Greene, Sir Terry and Douglas Adams too. So you are in lowlife company, I’m afraid.

    Chin up!

    • Michael, is that yer man who wrote Apocalypse Cow? I am thinking that, after a couple of fellow mult-genre writers like yourself have shared their experiences with me, there is a clear message that genre is a biggie. For example, Bookbub doesn’t actually have a humour section? No wonder they won’t accept my generous offers to pay them advertising revenue. Perhaps I shouldn’t mention the humour selling my book… I think, possibly, that people will be less likely to try humour from an unknown in case it’s cringeworthy. I will just keep churning out my stuff and see what gives.

      So glad there are fellow lowlifes out there, you and AFE Smith for starters!

      Cheers

      MTM

  8. Don’t worry that your reading list isn’t impressive. As for writing what you love, I always wrote what I wanted to write, what I thought was good. However, this is not a formula for financial success! My record of book sales is pitiful. I always told myself – and still do – that it’s so difficult and time consuming to write that I can only write what I think is good and not what will sell. Writing was an after work activity for me, so I didn’t write for a living. Now I’m retired and not writing much, looking for a project. Keep writing and good luck!

    • Thanks, and hello. 😉 Like you I believe in writing what I love writing… I would love it if it could be a career but if I’m honest, it is only a hobby really – I have elderly parents who are along way away and need a bit of keeping an eye on and a six year old. However, I was hoping the writing would make enough for me to publish another book when the er… seed funding ran out. It hasn’t which is the rub, so to speak. Although I’m hoping that if I squirrel £10 a month away into my building society account I will have enough to publish another in two year’s time. And as it takes me 2 years to write a book I’m beginning to feel a bit better about that….

      Cheers

      MTM

      • I worked regularly up until recently. I wrote mostly late at night. Each of my novels took about ten years. I hoped I could make a living from it. At times I was writing regularly and was quite ready to put in two hours, go to the beach, have a late lunch and call myself a writer. As I was saying, I am not able, or simply have not the energy, to write simething I don’t want to write and like myself. Not exactly a commercial approach to the business. Good luck!

      • We’re not so far apart. I think I’ve made my decision, here, to write what I love.

        Cheers

        MTM

  9. Hola! It is I, leclaire. And I have two words for you: Long Tail. My other half used to be a bookseller and he said that for straight fantasy it’s four or five books before people really start to notice, so comic fantasy might take a couple more. It’s not down to the book, it’s just that people don’t always know what to expect so sometimes they’ll go for it, sometimes they won’t. Steady away me dear… Build up the emailing list (I am failing dismally at this) make the first one free, and go write something else you care about. By all means try something commercial and if it catches your attention run with it, but if it doesn’t, set it aside and do something you love because readers are no fools, and if you don’t want to know what happens next, neither will they. But don’t give up and don’t be downhearted, and if you want to swap numbers and see if cheaper options are available, drop me a line. We can only manage the bits that we have control over: the rest is out of our hands. J.

    • Thank you. 🙂 that is comforting to hear. It did occurr to me yesterday, somewhat suddenly, that by the time I actually get to sorting out the production costs of my next book, I will have saved up enough money to do it. I may have spent the seed capital but if I commit £10 a month…. I write so slowly that it should be doable. I do feel very out of step with the popular zeitgeist, but I feel more positive about my writing with the it’ll take ages thing. I still want to find out what to do to commercialise my work just in case there are any really simple things I can do that will make it that little bit more accessible.

      Cheers

      MTM

  10. Hi MT!

    First off, I’m totally with you on the non-heavyweight top 10 books. Sadly, I even have to include Twilight on my list because it helped me realize that I could and should be a writer. (Hell, if Stephenie Meyer can do it, so could I, right?)

    Unfortunately, I don’t have much help for you on the commercial side, but what I can say is that I think you need to find some sort of happy compromise. You CAN NOT write something you’re not passionate about. Can you imagine going through all of the rounds of edits on a manuscript you’re just so-so about? I certainly can’t! I would never ever finish it. But maybe there’s a way to take one of your quirky ideas and turn it more commercial. Keep the depth, but change the names, or use one of the great structural guides (e.g. from James Scott Bell’s Plot and Structure) to help outline the plot in such a way that it’s more marketable.

    I don’t think anyone has the answer for a quick and easy best seller. If they did, every book would be on the charts! Sometimes things take awhile to find an audience. I read a statistic somewhere that it takes the average indie author 5 books to break out. And that’s five published books. So maybe you just need to write one more! 😉

    Keep your chin up and just keep writing. You’ll find your way.

    • Twilight! Snortle! So glad I’m not alone. Thanks you for your reassurance. I think I have sussed it now. I have to find out why K’Barthan is unpublishable and apply anything easy, like un Slartybartfasting the names of my characters, to the new books.

      Cheers

      MTM

      On 22 September 2014 16:00, M T McGuire Authorholic wrote:

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  11. Heart, always heart I think. Even if you write the commercial stuff, you still might not rake in the wonga, so you may as well enjoy what you write because either which way is a gamble. That’s what I think when I write at least. I think if I can have a nice time doing it (although there are often melt downs of ‘I can’t do this’ complete with wailing) and I am proud of what I produce, then that’s enough. Making money from it would be wonderful….. but feeling right inside is the most important thing. xx

    • Yeh, I think you’re right. And I think I’m going to be alright for another book, at least, so I can put off worrying for a while.

      Incidentally I have melt downs about my writing too. I don’t think I’ve ever done anything so satisfying but downright frustrating at the same time.

      Cheers

      MTM

      On 23 September 2014 10:19, M T McGuire Authorholic wrote:

      >

  12. Your first two books are brill and I’m looking forward to getting your other two for myself for Xmas. I do know where you are coming from though, once I get the next farming non fiction out of the way, I have plans to write a novel, I stopped writing the first version cos it was turning into a dreadful chick lit (albeit with a good plot) so I’m changing the style of it totally. I love the idea but want it to be a tad grim (in a Donal Ryan type way) yet I see the most dreadful (and okay, some are okay) chick lits doing so well cos people like them. But I can’t bring myself to write in that genre at all even though the plot would suit it.
    And yes, I’d love to have the wit of Oscar Wilde too!
    I did my ten on facebook – have to admit Grapes of Wrath by Steinbeck made it in there 😉

    • Thanks. The novel sounds cool. I’m sure the non fiction will help as you’ll already have something of following before you start. You are allowed to like the heavy stuff, phnark, I just find it amazing that a book which pretty much passed my by is on nearly every list of favourite books on the net. 🙂 kind of cool. Pity he’s not alive to see it. I think I saw the film with Charlton Heston or someone.

      Cheers

      MTM

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