Oh the Times, They are a A'Changin'
I'm 61. I've been seriously writing for about forty of those years. My publishing resume isn't very impressive if measured by New York Times bestseller lists, awards, and other accolades, yet I've taken great pleasure in my writing. If you think Hollywood uses a formula for it's picks, you should see the book publishing industry!
I recently completed a literary novel that I believe is my best work. Meadowland explores the machinations, and complexities of several dysfunctional North American families in California. Every rejection letter I have recieved (about 20) praises the elegance and beauty of the prose, and each of them complain that there's not enough action in the beginning. My thoughts went out to Tom Robbins, John Irving, Jose Saramago, and John Steinbeck, whose set-up time was crucial to the understanding of their works. I am disappointed that the contemporary "big publishers" cannot allow for a proper introduction to the world that the author has created.
As Bob Dylan once sang, "Oh the times they are a'changin'".
Social media, internet research, cellphones, instant gratification through fast food, on-line shopping, the remarkable collapse of real bookstores, and people who read anything of substance...signs of the new times. Yes...I've become a grumpy old fart. It is difficult for me to live in these new times. I'm trying, really I am. My publishers have me tweeting, facebooking, trying to boost sales. Yet, the older I get, the less I care about any of that. My work has an honesty, stems from an old-fashioned work ethic, and my novels and stories slowly bring the reader into my world. You won't find sex, Kung-fu fighting, murder, or spectacular displays of emotion in the first few pages. What you'll get is a picturesque background...a painting that you must study first before an explanation is offered. I ask for your patience...just for those first few pages. You shall be rewarded.