Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Why I love C.S. Richardson, and Goodbye...For Now

As those of you who read the blog know, I've been struggling with starting my second book for the last several months. I haven't actually been writing, but I've been in a strange phase where I'm constantly thinking about what I want to write. I sat down with BHJ earlier this week and tried to explain the strange, fuzzy, in-between phase of thinking - but not actually producing - a book. And the reason why I'm not yet writing is that I'm just not ready. I spend a lot of time thinking about my writing, and even more time not actually writing. With the last book, I wrote the first draft in 3 months and then spent the next 3 years rewriting. But at least I had a whole book to work with. This time, of course, I have nothing.

I was watching Fine Print on Thursday - which is an excellent show, btw - featuring Canadian writer C.S. Richardson talking about his first book - The End of the Alphabet. Richardson is an award-winning Canadian book designer who decided to try his hand at writing. During an interview he was asked a question along the line of; how did you come up with the idea for this book?

He said, "Well, I was kind of thinking, people always wonder; 'what would happen if you won a million dollars. But then I was thinking, what would happen if you got some very bad news, like you had a month to live?'

I sat back on our couch and breathed that in for a minute...what would happen if? It was perfect. What would happen if, is the best way to start a book that I've ever heard. And it's so simple. I have all of my characters rolling around my head and a loose idea of the plot - all I have to do is ask is; What Would Happen If?

Richardson went on to write a book about a man who finds out that he has only a month to live. What would happen had a month to live? Me being me, I made one of my a semi-weekly trips to the bookstore today and picked up a copy of his new book, "The End of the Alpaphabet." It's beautifully designed and looks like a great read. And for giving me some clarity, he certainly deserves the buck he's going to get from the sale.

Then I came home, had a nap, had dinner, and started my next book; ten pages. So, thanks, C.S. Richardson.

In other news, I've come to the point where I'm ready to take a hiatus from the blog. I've been doing it for a year now, and while I've really enjoyed it, it's time for me to focus on the next phase of my writing, my next book.

I wanted to thank everyone who's come by and read and made comments, and especially those who have sent me nice emails about what I've written. It's been VERY much appreciated.

If you want to see how I'm doing, drop by my web page and sign up for my mailing list. When I sell my first book, you'll be the first to know. And you can check back here every once in a while, I'll probably be able to cough up a few semi-witty remarks every now and then.