Tag Archives: J.D. Salinger

The Joys of being Unpublished

Although I’ve self-published 45 titles online, I’ve yet to be offered a traditional publishing contract. I’m still chasing literary agents and publishers who open a submissions window, but this is starting to feel like buying a lottery ticket…it’s always some other lucky blighter who wins! 

I’m not downhearted, being stubborn/tenacious/determined/downright stupid, and it recently occurred to me that there is much to be thankful about in not having to kowtow to the demands of an agent, editor and publisher. At the moment, I can do what I like with the novels, novellas, short stories, poetry and song lyrics I’ve written, including those uploaded to Smashwords and Amazon, which are readily editable.

The five crime novels I’ve written are so highly polished that they’re visible from outer space, but all the same, there’s still room for improvement. My brain works in weird ways (God was drunk when he made me), coughing out ideas even when I’m asleep. My grey cells recently offered a suggestion of how to improve a sentence that I’ve reworked several times since it was written three years ago. This wouldn’t be possible had the book been gathering dust on some shelf.

Several famous authors have confessed that they never re-read their earlier work, embarrassed by the mistakes they made. Not being in the public eye, and held to account, has its charms. 

There’s a marvellous peace in not publishing… When you publish, the world thinks you owe something. If you don’t publish, they don’t know what you’re doing. You can keep it for yourself.’

J D Salinger

Do any of you feel similarly blessed?

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Meeting your Favourite Author

I came across this quote recently, from J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye:

“What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though.” 
J.D. SalingerThe Catcher in the Rye

It made me think of a contradictory epigram, from Arthur Koestler:

To want to meet an author because you like his books is as ridiculous as wanting to meet the goose because you like pate de foie gras.”—Arthur Koestler

All the same, it made me wonder which of my favourite authors I’d like to have a friendly chat with—for the purposes of this flight of fancy, I’ve allowed time-travel to include deceased writers. In no particular order, my wish list includes:

Guy de Maupassant, Richard Brautigan, Michael Connelly, John Connolly, Dennis Lehane, Barbara Kingsolver, Alice Hoffmann, J B Priestley, James Lee Burke and John Steinbeck.

Who would you like to talk to?

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