Thursday, July 3, 2008

When writers write back

An amazing thing happened after writing about Jack Kerley’s book, The Death Collectors. I went onto his website out of interest (I am of course always fascinated by people who have successfully thrown off corporate life to become novelists) and left a comment and the lovely man sent me a really detailed response. Bet bloody Stephen King doesn’t do that!

Here’s a little of what he said … “Although I never sold ice to Eskimos, I did write lyrics for singing hot dogs. I think that's in the same basic category. I've also freelanced … Years ago a fellow was a thousand bucks or so in debt to me (back when that was real money). I went to his office to hear his latest sob story, then glanced through the window at his fleet of snow-white service vehicles and mused how someone with a can of spray paint could find creative release in his parking lot. Got a check two days later. Never underestimate the power of malevolent musings.”

Now you see that’s not advice they dole out at journalism school! Naturally I am now reading his first novel, The Hundredth Man, alongside Peony in Love (about love, death and ghosts in 17th century China). I like to mix it up a bit.

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