I love the Friday and Saturday issues of the Wall Street Journal. Not because I have investments to track (I don’t), but because there is always a good piece or two about authors and writing (and I enjoy the style of the publication). Here’s a sample from the last few months.
Harlan Coben, author of twenty-one novels, starting with the Myron Bolitar series about a sports agent who never quite makes the big killing because his clients get into all sorts of trouble. Coben got a $5,000 advance for his first three novels in the Bolitar series. He has since sold 50 million copies of his books in books in 41 languages.
The most annoying and full- of- crap thing a writer says is, I write only for myself, I don't care if anyone reads it. A writer without a reader doesn't exist.
Hillary Mantel, author of two historical novels on Thomas Cromwell, the political advisor to England’s King Henry VIII, who helped engineer the split between England and the Catholic Church, commented on she found her writing voice
I didn’t think about it or calculate it at all. When I sat down to write the first paragraph of “Wolf Hall,” I thought I’d write a page or two to see how it sounds, and that was the voice that came out.
Peter Carey, Australian novelist who won the Man Booker Prize twice and will release his next novel, The Chemistry of Tears, on Tuesday, on losing direction in a novel:
There are moments of complete panic in each book. At some stage, you fall of a cliff and you have to sit down and remind yourself what it is and why it can work and why you're writing the book. And it wouldn't be worth it if it wasn't like that.