My first idea for a blog was going to be about being a dad and a writer. Before I plunged into that, I looked around and not only did “Writer Dad” already exist, it was the launching pad for one of indie-publishing most prolific writers (look up Sean Platt, he’s got like 77 books on Amazon, and his serials with Johnny Truant and Dave Wright at Sterling and Stone are hugely successful). There was also Part Time Novel, doing an excellent job of conveying the plight of the working stiff, night-time novelist. Today I stumbled upon a great blog that started around the same time I did: Everyday Author: For Author’s Who Can’t Quit Their Day Job… Yet.
Honestly I never wanted my blog to be only for writers. I do hope that my writer friends near and far enjoy my blog, but I wanted a place to connect with my readers between books. To do that I just try to be some combination of entertaining and topical. I’m going to be me (when I’m entertaining and topical.)
I’m easily amused, so when I stumble on to an obscure topic, I get a huge kick out of seeing random hits on my blog from South Africa or Belgium because I’ve mentioned an author with ties to those places. I don’t know if these people are checking out my book, but I do hope they enjoyed landing on this page. (Still wondering if my Chemtrails comment got me on any CIA watch lists.) I’m a little mad at myself for ever mentioning them because they’d be a great vehicle for a plot twist, like the conspiracy in the The Grandfather Clock (no spoilers here, read the book.) Hell, where I live, the Tea Partiers briefly got FLUORIDE removed from the drinking water of hundreds of thousands of people because of a conspiracy theory (but they don’t buy climate change, weird.)
A writer friend said that a another author said that watching good television helped their writing. That makes sense… just as reading good writing, hearing good stories can help you be a better storyteller. (As opposed to right now, my wife has The Bachelorette on. As a man I am totally capable of tuning this out completely. I have no idea what Kaitlyn sees in Sean.) When we aren’t watching these ‘most shocking episodes,’ we’re binge-watching Mad Men, because we have 2 kids and are generally a half decade behind pop-culture.
But I do get a chance to read (print and audiobooks) and I want to talk about a book (with a conspiracy or two) that I’m very angry no one ever told me to read. It’s called Shibumi by Trevanian. It was recommended to me by our babysitter… not a teenager, but a hip child of the sixties who outfits our kids with “Haight Ashbury” and Rolling Stones shirts. Trevanian is the pen name of a university professor who hid his identity for much of his career. His best known work is The Eiger Sanction, which was made into a Clint Eastwood movie that is half way between James Bond and Austin Powers. (If you want a truly accurate accounting of who Trevanian was, you know how to use the internet.) Shibumi doesn’t bother pretending that the spy genre needs to be grounded in reality. It’s the anti-Tom Clancy. Clancy would spend ten pages telling you everything you need to know about surface-to-air-missiles, even if you don’t really need to know for the purposes of the story. In Shibumi, Trevanian creates an (absurdly) ultimate spy who could eliminate a room full of Jason Bournes without breaking a sweat. If you like the spy genre, read it, and never read another (unless I write one, then you can read another.)
Why am I telling you this? It’s my blog. I can say whatever I want. You read this far… so maybe you were entertained. Let’s review: We talked about some good writing blogs, the fact that my blog is for everyone (even you, Dan), also Chemtrails!, how I do NOT watch The Bachelorette – but in case you do, read this blog: Lost Angeles, and I gave you a terrific book recommendation. On top of that, some family member of the great Trevanian will have a Google Alert out, stumble across this page and know that his work is still dazzling readers. I tip my hat to Trevanian.
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