Re: RARA-AVIS: RE: NYC Publishing & Noir

From: Sandra Ruttan (
Date: 13 Mar 2010

  • Next message: Dick Lochte: "RARA-AVIS: Re: NYC Publishing & Noir"

    I only want to say I wasn't meaning to infer that was the method Brown or Rowling used. It's just what happened, although I've heard it asserted Brown was strategic in what he chose to write, but I don't know what the source was on that claim.

    But I don't know that I'll completely say you can't write something you aren't passionate about and do it well. When I studied journalism we were told a good writer can write anything, given the facts. A lesser writer might make it clear they were only in it for the money, but I'm sure there are authors who are capable of writing outside their preferred genre and first love and doing extremely well. I know a good handful who started with sci fi/fantasy intentions but couldn't sell there and switched to crime, and are extremely successful in this genre, but still have a special passion for the genre they left behind.

    Cheers, Sandra

    On Sat, Mar 13, 2010 at 11:26 AM, Patrick King <> wrote:

    > A friend, who's worked for years
    > in publishing once told me the secret was to figure out what the next
    > big thing was before anyone else did and write that book, which
    > explains Dan Brown and JK Rowling. Beyond that... well... Who knows?
    > It's the $6,000,000 question.
    > ***************************************
    > There in lies the rub. You can spend a buck on a lottery ticket, or you can
    > spend three years of your life writing a book you calculate "everybody" is
    > going to love.
    > I doubt that that was the method Brown or Rowling used to break the mind
    > barrier, anymore than it was the method of Ian Fleming, Grace Metslious,
    > Margaret Mitchell, or Edgar Rice Burroughs.
    > These writers wrote what amused and interested them, and were fortunate to
    > be published in such a way as to attract a very large audience. They aimed
    > at their own inner core and found something that resonated with many. I
    > doubt anyone who has aimed at the audience in a calculating manner has ever
    > hit that kind of payday. I've read lots of books that come from that cold,
    > professional attitude and they don't resonate. Many people may buy them
    > searching for more Harry or more Bond or more Scarlett, but those characters
    > aren't there and though the books sell, they fail. Ultimately, a novel is a
    > work of art however crudely executed. If one's writing to make millions, the
    > lottery ticket is probably going to be less disappointing.
    > Patrick King

    LULLABY FOR THE NAMELESS Dec 09 Dorchester

    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


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