It is a grand shame Typee is neglected, all that reading pleasure given away to books that may not deserve your hours in quite the same way. Even with the best readers I know I get a dumbfounded expression when I bring up Typee.
The Secret Garden cemented my love affair with books -- well, novels -- and their power primarily to shield me from nay-saying, which I came to realize much later as bulwark against internalized homophobia.
Do women write the best novels starring women? Do men write the best novels starring men? In many cases, yes. But while there's a lot to be said for "living the gender," there are also some great literary works featuring title characters who are the opposite sex of the author.
I began writing Love Gone Mad with that What if? premise in mind. Soon, more complexities, complications and permutations evolved, so by the novel's third draft, the plotline went far beyond the initial What if?
Who among us hasn't lost a few good hours to looking at the vacation pictures of someone you hardly remember from high school? You could have banged out a few pages in that time. Still, I have been surprised to find some very talented novelists who show up regularly in my Twitter feed.
Did this really happen? I believe so. But it really doesn't matter, not to me, because I have absorbed so many reports and whispers and been told so many confessions and recollections for so long that they have become part of me and are fixed as the moon.
I recently tumbled across a book trailer for the novel WHEREWOLVES, by John Vamvas and Olga Montes which combines the legendary creature with a high school bullying theme. I caught up with the authors just in time for Halloween.
My destination: Chaitén Volcano in Northern Patagonia, Chile. My purpose: researching the setting for my next novel. I stayed in Chaitén four days, even though the town remained evacuated and the volcano was still on Red Alert.
Powerful novels demand that we slow down and process how we are creating and destroying in our lives. The rabbis taught that amidst so much destructive behavior we must stop and reflect upon the world we exist in.
I'm partial to novels featuring characters getting another chance at love. Those protagonists may or may not do better in their next relationship, but at least the "happily ever after" potential can put a smile on a reader's face.
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.
Tackling Tolstoy was an emotional, as well as a financial investment. Even if you couldn't wade through the hefty prose, that beautiful hardback edition would display prominently on your oak bookshelf, right next to your edition of Finnegans Wake, by James Joyce.
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.