Saturday, December 01, 2007

Little Ironies

Donis here.

Boy, Charles, you are just a ray of writerly sunshine with your observations on the lot of the midlist mystery novelist. Correct, sadly, but depressing. I love to have my characters struggle with moral ambiguity. I like to see how they handle it, since I often have to deal with it myself in real life and usually don't have a clue.

In my books, too, the murder is solved and everything more or less works out. I'm very aware that readers like that. In all three of the books I've had published, and in the one I'm working on now, I do leave a couple of untidy loose ends, which I think adds interest and at least some authenticity to the story. But it's true that the second book, wherein everything doesn't quite work out to the antagonist's satisfaction, seemed to upset some readers. My best reviews and best sales come with the happiest endings. What is an author to do? The plan is to become a New York Times Best Seller List regular and reach a level where you can write what you want. Or else write what you want and not care whether you sell or not.

On another note, I'm proud to report that that my first book, The Old Buzzard Had It Coming, has been added to the Junior High English reading curriculum in Enid, Oklahoma. That book, at least, apparantly achieved the proper level of innocuous moral ambiguity.

And for my last little irony, I thought my fellow bloggers might be interested in an article that appeared in the Arizona Republic newspaper yesterday entitled "Taser Parties' Success Stuns". Here is an excerpt : "Pack up you Tupperware, and get ready for a new kind of party. Dana Shafman, founder of Shieldher Inc., has recently started sponsoring Taser parties, giving women a chance to buy Tasers ... 'We have Tupperware and candle parties to protect our food and house, so why not have a Taser party to learn how to protect our lives and bodies?' Guests have the opportunity to shoot the Taser for the first time at a cardboard cutout during the parties. For safety reasons, no alcohol is served and no one is actually Tasered. [A guest said] 'I'm going to buy one for my mom. It's going to be her 81st birthday present.'"

There's more to the article, but that's about all the moral ambiguity I can stand for now.


Charles benoit said...

"Or else write what you want and not care whether you sell or not."
This is the route I plan to follow with my next book. When I wrote my first, I didn't know of any rules/standards - I just wrote what i wanted, never thinking it was going to be published. It was just 'something to do'. That's the way I plan on approaching my next book. Which may mean I have published my last book. Ah well, we'll see what tomorrow brings.

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