In September, I gave a presentation to the Wired Words conference (Federation of BC Writers). My presentation was on my LinkedIn profile but difficult to find, so here is a direct link to it on SlideShare.
We writers are intrigued by mysteries. We read them. Many writers compose them. Hey, even I have a mystery novel manuscript in a box in my basement.
We are intrigued by the unknown.
Yet for many writers, the realm of book contracts goes beyond mystery and becomes a true horror story. As creative people, many writers avoid the business side of their work. Which may be why literary agents exist - to help writers make that connection between wonderful wordplay and the cold economics of the book business.
Winding our way down into Maine from the Canadian Maritime provinces, we followed the twists and turns along the coast and its many inlets, sipping coffee and soaking up the mellow mood. We were looking for the home of the late E.B. White but, coffee being what it is, bathrooms became higher priority than roadsigns.
That's the question Calvin Trillin asked in a New Yorker article a number of years ago, about author's homes as tourist attractions. "The labor that makes a world-famous novelist worth writing about was almost certainly done while he was sitting all by himself in a small room. The raw material was probably invisible to everyone but him."
Trillin goes on to note that "a visitor to Herman Melville's study couldn't expect to find any whales."
I’m riding a crowded shuttle bus from the airport into Victoria. It’s dark and I zone out, knowing my place down by the water will be one of the last stops. Down the highway, into town, back and forth from hotel to hotel, the world is a blinking, bouncing sideshow. All smiles, the driver jumps at every stop to help with the bags.