"A girl was never ruined by books," my mother used to say. I've spent most of my life trying to prove that wrong.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Just Hours Left in the River Music Giveaway.

At midnight it will be all over, so enter now for a chance to win one of three copies of River music.  Just click here.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Corruption, Or What Evil Lurks in the Hearts of Men

The Shadow was a radio program that I loved to be frightened by when I was a child.  It began with a voice (in some cases that of Orson Welles, I just discovered) asking "who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men: and answering after a wicked laugh: "The Shadow knows."

And evil what's I've been thinking about it lately as I start to work on a new fiction project.  The characters are going to be wound up somehow in a skein of corruption.  How they get there is something I'm trying to determine.

Listening to the radio shows, I see that it's all too easy to paint things in sharply contrasting colours.  Getting from good intentions (with which we all know the road to Hell is paved) to outright corruption is considerably more complicated.  So a few weeks ago I sent out a Facebook request for suggestions on how other writers have dealt with the whole idea of corruption.

The list my FB buddies came up with very interesting.  Here it is, in no particular order.

Lady MacBeth, Shakespeare
Solomon Gursky Was Here and The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, Mordecai Richler,
Morvern Caller, Alan Warner;
The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald;
The Man Who Corrupted Hadleysburg, Mark Twain;
Vanity Fair, William Makepeace Thackeray;
All the King's Men, Robert Penn Warren;
F, Daniel Kehlmann;
JR, William Gaddis;
Faust, Goethe;
The In-Between world of Vikram Lall, MG Vassanj;
Bonfire of the Vanities, Tom Wolfe;
La Curée (The Chase in English), Emile Zola;
Freedom, Jonathan Franzen;
Our Man in Havana, Graham Greene;
What's Bred in the Bone,  Robertson Davies;
Two Solitudes, Hugh MacLennan;
Un homme et son péché, Claude Henri Grignon

And to top things off, a whole list of list of political novels, some of which deal with corruption, and some not.

I've been making my way through the list, although I realize with some of them as I  read just a few pages that this is not what I want/need to know.  But it makes an fascinating reading program with no time to listen to radio drama.


Saturday, June 6, 2015

No Reviews But Good Comments from Friends

One of the thing I learned a long time ago is never to ask a friend if he or she liked one of my books.  If they did, they'll tell you.  If they didn't, well, they're going to be reluctant to say.

So it has been a great, great pleasure to have several messages from friends who have read River Music and really liked it.  A couple have ordered the ebook version, while others have sought out copies in local book stores.  "A page turner," one friend said.  "Very, very, very good," another wrote.

There have been no formal reviews yet.  The Montreal Review of Books and The Gazette are supposed to have ones too.  It would be lovely if they were as positive.