Until the publication of my first novel, I'd never consciously thought about the importance of cover design. But the graphic artist's crucial role in the novel's production (and possible success) became apparent. The artist's talent was vitally important to the commercial viability of the novel.
Raymond Khoury is the bestselling author of several novels, including The Last Templar. Born in Lebanon, Raymond and his family were evacuated from Beirut's civil war, and fled to New York when he was 14.
Among the fictional characters we might want to avoid (if they somehow came to life) are murderers, liars, hypocrites, busybodies, racists, male chauvinists, militaristic men, rotten bosses, the money-obsessed and people who are just plain boring.
Just when I think the literary establishment can become no more obliviously dismissive of SFF as a genre, along comes Joanna Trollope to complain that fantasy novels, while "a lovely escape," fail to provide a strong enough sense of moral guidance for children.
Some of the best novels have very believable protagonists, so it almost seems sort of/kind of possible to meet them. One of the pleasures of reading is immersing ourselves in a fictional world to the point where we can imagine being part of that world -- at least as a fly-on-the-wall.
To me, the vulgarity in the novel was not its language. What truly makes me cringe -- the most vulgar and obscene things in life -- are humanity's ubiquitous displays of unrelenting greed, hatred, intolerance, and the unquenchable need of people to make war.
For a number of years, liking a novel by a certain author set me off on a binge of consecutively reading other books by the same author. It made sense. If you love one fictional work by an author, there's a good chance you'll at least like another.
I went into the creative process promising myself to listen directly to the voices of my characters. I felt compelled listen to the voices telling me that Avery and her multicultural mosaic of friends would not succumb to cat fights and back-stabbing to move the story forward.