Tuesday, 8 July 2008

not barking but wistful

You find me today wistfully wondering if, just sometimes, it wouldn’t be nice if certain fictions could be the truth and certain truths entirely fiction. O, I know, but that way barking madness lies. And if there’s anything I am not, it’s barking mad. Obviously.

That aside, I am currently absorbed in book blurbs, gathering up ones that publishers have sent me to show off to library people who are choosing what brand spanking new books they’ll be getting in come September. I have no argument with most of the blurbs that publishing people come up with. They are fearsomely hard to write; in the cleverest hands they are an art. It’s not a review; you have to summarise everything about the book and indicate why one cannot afford to miss reading it, in about a sentence. And the sentence can’t be “God, I mean, like, buy this book!!”

Anyway, when you are talking about the type of books that are generally bestsellers, which is what I’m concentrating on at the moment, there are only so many ways you can describe the newest, latest, shiniest crime thriller. So I am forgiving of a certain amount of repetition of ‘unforgettable ‘,‘fast-paced’, ‘gritty prose’, that is ‘intricately-plotted’ and finds a character ‘at the crossroads of x and y (passion and betrayal/ cooking and gardening/ um, barking and mad). And frankly, if anyone were to say any of those things about anything I’d written, it would totally shiver my timbers for many, many months. (Except, possibly, ‘gritty prose’, because that surely just gets right up your swimsuit).

I feel a certain redundancy in sending forth these particular blurbs, though, because really, what library in the world is not going to buy the new John Grisham, James Patterson or Patricia Cornwell? Can there be a single library out there that sees a new John Grisham is on the way and feels an overwhelming need to read the blurb before deciding to buy it? No, there cannot. They are going to say, “Look, it’s the new John Grisham, I will need the usual 20 copies”. Not "But what is it about?? Is it fast-paced and gritty, or fast-paced and unforgettable? Tell me, oh guru of the blurbs!”

CLOTHED IN WISTFULNESS is the intricately-paced, fast-plotted story of a woman who finds herself at the crossroads of fiction and truth. Hers is an unforgettable and, um, intricately…er, I mean, gritty, no! gripping, gripping, um, like, story. Oh, wait, I said story already. God, I mean, like, buy this book!


Allison Fairbairn said...

And yet, certain publishers cannot get the gist of this at all, and couldn't sell a book to a roomful of the author's family. Which is essentially what I do, I guess, but I let the author do the talking.

This sounds awesome. How many blurbs do you have to do??

Amber said...

Approximately one hundred thousand million. By tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

That's quite a lot, isn't it?


Amber said...