Saturday, January 30, 2010

Publishing and J. D. Salinger

Video of a reading of Motherless Soul.

In the movie Field of Dreams Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner's character) was instructed by the voices he heard to seek out Terence Mann (a reclusive author) and take the writer to a baseball game. The book the film was based on, Shoeless Joe by W. P. Kinsella, didn't pull punches. In the novel the author's name was J. D. Salinger.

The reclusive nature of this great writer is fascinating to me. Salinger was quoted in the NY Times in 1974 as saying, "Publishing is a terrible invasion of my privacy. I like to write. I love to write. But I write just for myself and my own pleasure."

I can identify with beauty of the relationship between a writer and his or her words, but if that's where it stops then a great deal is missing. Although most of my writing is fiction, it is always an expression of my thoughts and emotions. I want my words heard and contemplated. A friend of my is halfway through my book (Motherless Soul published by All Things That Matter Press) and everyday she comes to me to talk about one of my characters, Michael. Novels should be for the readers more than they are for the writer. It's as if I am a cook and my readers are the diners. I work hard to make my words as perfect as possible, but the readers are the ones who consume them.

Hopefully they appreciate the flavor of my thoughts.

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