Wednesday, July 13, 2016

How a book for reluctant readers might help reluctant writers, plus a cover photo by me

My latest cover photo with accompanying novel has landed.  Linda L. Richards' When Blood Lies, like the book that supports  my previous cover shot, Reed Farrel Coleman's Love and Fear, is part of Orca Books' Rapid Reads line.

I've known the author for a few years, and I wrote about her 2008 novel Death Was the Other Woman, a Sam Spade-like story told from an Effie Perrine-like character's point of view. The Dashiell Hammett love continues here. The protagonist is named Nicole Charles, and the book's epigraph is a nod to The Thin Man.

Linda L. Richards
Rapid Reads target "a diverse audience, including ESL students, reluctant readers, adults who struggle with literacy and anyone who wants a high-interest quick read," and I can add reluctant writers to that potential audience.

I am one such, and the brevity of these books, plus their stripped-down narrative, vocabulary, or both make it easier for me to see how the authors build their plots and what they do to keep the story going. Since plot is not the strong point of my occasional efforts at fiction, I took mental notes as I read Richards' and Coleman's books. Perhaps other would-be writers who want to learn how to build a story could do the same.

© Peter Rozovsky 2016

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Blogger Linda L. Richards said...

Oh, thank you Peter! That's lovely. And I also dig that you got the Hammett homage. If anyone else has, they have not mentioned it to me. (Nic Charles.)

July 13, 2016  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

My pleasure. The Hammett homages were a nice bookend to the ones in Death Was the Other Woman. This book used the character name and the epigraph in a not especially Hammett-like story. That book's story was Hammett-like but without such direct tributes, or at least none that I remember. Of course, I was less immersed in Hammett then than I am now, so I might have missed any that you included.

I wonder if Ruth has thought of pitching the Rapid Reads books to, say, beginning fiction-writing classes.

July 13, 2016  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

That was a neat trick, keeping the narrative stripped down and basic even with all that stuff going on.

But life at a newspaper that's cutting back and cutting back and cutting back? How could I possibly relate to that?

July 13, 2016  

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