Writing the book or character that will headline your obituary

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Earlier this year, while scanning news headlines (as I do frequently each day), I came across the following:

Legends of the Fall author Jim Harrison dies aged 78”

Even though I’ve seen the movie of Legends of the Fall, starring Brad Pitt and Anthony Hopkins, I didn’t know it was based on Jim Harrison’s book. In fact, I didn’t know who Jim Harrison was.

Now I know (because I did a little research before writing this blog post) that Jim Harrison started writing while he was recovering after falling off a cliff, that he was rather prolific, that Legends of the Fall is actually a novella, that he specialised in novellas and that I’ve never heard of any of his other works. Which explains why the writer of the headline felt it necessary to include the name of his most famous work. Continue reading

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Book Writing As Therapy And The Sob Story As Marketing

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I’m going to outline a scenario. See if it sounds familiar. You’re reading an article, a very personal article, a confessional of sorts from someone who has had something go very wrong in their life. It’s moving. It might even be heartbreaking. And it’s taken something beyond courage to write the piece and allow it to be published.

And then beneath it is a small line in italics that tells you the author of the piece currently has a book available for sale. Continue reading