Friday, September 30, 2011

Christa Faust, new books, and the remembrance of things past

I've always thought authors must feel weird, at least early in their careers, promoting books that they may have written two or three years earlier.

The book is new and exciting to readers, but the author has long since moved on to new projects. Do you remember what you were working on two years ago? Do authors find it difficult or odd to talk with enthusiasm about something that may be old to them? (Authors' comments welcome.)

I got a taste of this temporal dislocation when I read Christa Faust's Choke Hold this week. A couple of years ago, Faust made a blog post or Tweet that she was off to do research on the effects of traumatic brain injuries. Hank, a major supporting character in Choke Hold, very likely suffers from such injuries, and Faust does a hell of a job showing their effect rather than telling us about them. I'd bet a week's worth of bagels and whitefish salad that Hank is the product of that long-ago research trip.

This has also made me think about social media. The biggest effect of social media on our lives is the blizzard of speculation about the effect of social media on our lives, but in a small way, Faust long-ago blog post/Tweet makes me feel that I've had a glimpse into the gestation and genesis of a book.

P.S.  The book packs an emotional punch, and that's no cheap joke about its characters' involvement in Mixed Martial Arts.

© Peter Rozovsky 2011

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8 Comments:

Anonymous I.J.Parker said...

Faust writes a different sort of book from what I normally read. I have a notion that mysteries set in the here and now suffer more from being resurrected. That's one advantage of writing historicals. They're set in stone.

I haven't been asked to talk much about my books as novels. Ususally, I field questions about why I would choose such a weird subject. That doesn't change over time. Just as well: I forget my plots.
However, I haven't had to resurrect anything so far. All my children are alive and well, except for one novel that awaits another magic touch. :)

October 01, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Historicals are susceptible to the kind of resurrection I have in mind. My subject is simply the lag time between writing and publication. By the time a book sees the light of day, the author has moved on to something else.

October 01, 2011  
Anonymous I.J.Parker said...

Oh, certainly. But all promotion is a drag. So is the work that is required (revision, copy-edited ms., proofs) to get the done book out, while you would much prefer to go on with the current one. Still, in that case, going over the old book three separate times tends to bring it to the forefront again.
I had books where the lag time was anywhere up to 7 or 8 years. I didn't really think of them as resurrected. Maybe dusted off a little. :)

October 01, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Seven to eight years! Ye gods! That's a lot of dusting.

October 01, 2011  
Anonymous I.J.Parker said...

What can I say? I'm lousy at selling myself. I'd try 5 agents and give up.

October 02, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I'd imagine that even when authors were not called on to do the promotion they do now that they might have felt odd seeing "new" books ride the best-seller lists or draw critical attention when the books were no longer new to them.

October 02, 2011  
Anonymous I.J.Parker said...

Not at all. Just grateful.

October 03, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Ha! You sound awfully well-adjusted.

October 03, 2011  

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