Hi folks, sorry about last week, I was little down and didn't mean to spill over.
Thanks for putting up with me through the doldrums.
I'm going to shift gears this week with a three-week series on non-fiction. I'm mostly a fiction writer, but a piece of me likes to tell it like it is. Note readers, don't go running into the hills because I'm focusing on non-fiction because let's face it, a novel requires as much research as any popular non-fiction book.
I come from a world were kids don't get exposed to as many ideas a middle class kids do. I'm blue collar all the way, but my parents made it a habit to get me to museums, zoos, and galleries all the time as a child. Most of my friends weren't so lucky. This experience and knowledge of deprivation put a fire under me to provide kids with books that make them think, make them learn, that introduce them to the world of wonder that books bring to us.
I think half the battle of writing non-fiction is finding a topic that is big enough to take on a book and then finding a way to convey that topic to the reader with vim, vigor, and vibe. The topic has to be more expansive than what you would find in a magazine article. A great non-fiction story just screams, "Everybody has got to know this."
The foundation of non-fiction is meticulous research. I love libraries and I love the Internet. We have more information at our finger tips than any other generation. The job of the researcher has gone from being one of just finding the sources to being the one discovering what sources are authoritative and which are so much bunk. Research is all about exploring my favorite technology -- Writng.
Non-fiction must have a compelling story to be successful. I cringe a little every time someone writes another "Why does poop stink?" book. I know. Inquiring minds want to know. Like every genre, "shock value" titles have their place, but personally I gravitate more toward thinker books. I do think non-fiction needs a compelling hook, a big surprise, or a new-fangled twist, so much the same as fiction in that regard.
I've got tons more to say and will get through it slowly. Seize the day, folks.
Instead of doodles this week, we have(YAY!) books in the mail! I got my little brown box of author copies of IF YOU WERE A QUADRILATERAL and IF YOU WERE A CIRCLE from Picture Window Books. I wanted to share the beautiful covers with you. The brilliant illustrator is Francesca Carabelli. Kudos!
Lovc, love, Guys and Dolls. Here's a fav number: Nicely, Nicely singing "Rocking the Boat."
My quote of the week is:
I've written six novels and four pieces of nonfiction, so I don't really have a genre these days. Anne Lamont