Friday, July 30, 2010

Three minutes of Fame

How is it that I can write novels one after the other, but as soon as a writing colleague asks for a donation of words to a blog, the mind becomes one great big blank? There are only so many things that can be said about writing, and I’m sure everything has been said many times over, so, I thought I’d tell you about something a little different for me, though still connected to writing.

The daily newspaper decided to do a spread on romance writing, and although I wasn’t part of the printed article, I was asked if they could do a tie-in video. It was great fun. After answering questions about myself, and giving my views on writerly matters, I was then asked to comment on my three favourite books. I’ll name them, in case any of the authors look in. However good a writer you are, it’s always nice to know your work is appreciated.

First for me came Sharon Penman’s “Devil’s Brood.” To be fair, I was only allowed to pick one of her books, though I love all her big novels equally, and so does my husband. She’s my favourite author, and her books are on my keeper shelf waiting to be read again. This particular novel is the story of the betrayal of Henry 2nd by his three eldest sons and Eleanor, his wife.

My second choice was “How Green Was My Valley,” by Richard Llewellyn. It was first printed in 1939, so is a bit on the elderly side. But it hit me straight in the heart when I first read it, and the writing still stands up today. My earlier 1951 copy was borrowed, and was never returned. Luckily the book was reprinted again in 1991 with a different cover. It’s the only book I’ve ever bought twice, and it was made into a TV serial with Stanley Baker and Sian Phillips in the starring roles.

Third comes a debut novel by Helen Simonson, published this year and called “Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand.” The novel is an older-couple romance with family complications, and it’s set in an English village. The writing has a great deal of warmth and is sprinkled with wonderful metaphors. I’m sure we’ll hear from this author again.

So that was my input into the article. The three-hour interview was edited into my three minutes of fame. Author at the computer––author talking about how she started writing, and author talking about her favourite “other authors'” books. Author at the computer again…fade out.

Funny, but there’s something very familiar about that, as though it’s all been done before. Hmmm …

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