introducing readers to writers since 1995

June 22, 2005

More Authors With Blogs

by Ron Hogan

Somehow, despite my great admiration for Paul Collins, I never realized until just now that he has a blog. I know exactly what he means when he says, "Everybody keeps telling me to read Charles Portis, and I still haven't got around to it. Why? Because I am a bad person." Except with me, it's Susanna Clarke. (Actually, it might as well be Portis, too, since I've never gotten around yet to anything past True Grit...but Collins just inspired me to pick up the copy of Gringos I found while browsing the big paperback bin at the Strand the other day.)

I've also recently discovered a blog by Rochelle Krich, who interviews debut novelists for the "First Looks, First Books" feature at Readers Room. She and I are both pretty enthusiastic about Stephanie Doyon's The Greatest Man in Cedar Hole, plus she's a contributor to The Blog Short Story Project, which Sarah Weinman's fans already know all about. (Sarah's big on the Doyon, too; hmm, this might mean something...) And then there's Bennett Madison, who seems to be using his blog to recruit a posse of exactly the sort of girls Martha O'Connor and Colleen Curran are talking about in their novels. "I need you to invite me to your parties, come to mine, and help me stay current on all the new trends in the TOY and NOVELTY CANDY markets," he implores. "This is not a Michael Jackson situation. There will be no slumber parties, no duck butter, and DEFINITELY NO APPLE HEAD CLUB.* I just want to keep it real with my target audience." So the sequels to Lulu Dark Can See Through Walls will ring that much truer, I guess...

I also started dipping into Tsipi Keller's blog after reading Jackpot, a tight downward noir spiral of a sexually and emotionally frustrated twentysomething woman abandoned by a friend at a Bahamas resort. From her site, I stumbled onto a guest essay on writing in non-native English at the excellent literary site Book Coolie, which appears to focus primarily on what might most easily be referred to as "world literature."

Finally, because of all the fuss made over the new, "literary" Sherlock Holmes adventures by people like Caleb Carr and Mitch Cullin--and please note that I've read and very much admire Cullin's A Slight Trick of the Mind, so I'm by no means complaining about his getting props, merely observing that Holmes pastiche was already pretty much a cottage industry before these guys came along--anyway, I took a little extra notice when Locked Rooms, the latest in Laurie R. King's series of mysteries featuring Holmes' wife, Mary Russell, showed up recently. (I'd like to read it, but I'll probably want to start at the beginning and work my way up to it...) So then I realized King has a blog, where she cheerfully reminds readers that she's a "mother, daughter, wife, citizen, and wearer of a thousand other hats, but," she concedes, "you're probably here because I'm a writer." And an awfully good one at that, judging by her recent entries...

*"Apple head club"? I hadn't been following the Jackson trial all that closely, so this reference threw me at first, but it turns out to be even more unsavory than "rainbow parties."
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