Monday, October 25, 2010

Letters, Emails, Diaries, Notes, and Blog Posts

Last night I finished reading another brilliant novel by Jaclyn Moriarty.  I am loving this woman.

The book was The Murder of Bindy Mackenzie.   It's one in a group of books involving kids at Ashbury High School in New South Wales.  The school is fictional, but it's in a real town called Castle Hill.   It's not too far from Sydney, but I'm not sure if it counts as a Sydney suburb.  I'm confused about that.  Lord Wiki says it's a suburb north-west of Sydney, but he doesn't say it's a suburb OF Sydney.  So if he's telling the truth, then I guess it's NOT a Sydney suburb. Or I could be misunderstanding Lord Wiki.

Anyway.....I've read three of the four books already.  I have one more left to read; and I ordered it from Powells yesterday because they have a free shipping deal going on.  

The books are connected by the school and the characters, but they're not really sequels of each other.  I've read them totally out of order, and it wasn't much of a problem.  Each book concentrates on different characters and situations.  For example, Bindy is the main character in the book I just read.   Prior to that I read The Ghosts of Ashbury High.   Bindy was mentioned in that one, but she didn't have a pivotal role.  There's an Elizabeth in the Bindy book.  Her role isn't too huge in that book, but in Feeling Sorry for Celia, she's the main character.  I'm REALLY hoping that Moriarty continues to write more of these.  She might not though because the last book has the kids in their last year of school.  I guess she could follow them to uni? Or maybe she could do some prequels. 

The books are epistolary novels, so they're made up of various documents.  This is what  Bram Stroker did for Dracula.

Lord Wiki says a modern example of an epistolary novel is We Need To Talk About Kevin.  One of my new email pals told me about that book. At first I thought it was about Kevin Rudd....well, because we had talked before about how we were both fond of Rudd.

Moriarty uses blog entries, emails, notes left around the house, journals, dream diaries, meeting transcripts, etc.  I think it's a really fun and easy way to read a novel; and I think it's a fun way to write one as well. That's how I did my first novel.  It was the diary of a girl with Cystic Fibrosis.  

If I ever write another novel, I think I'll use that form again.

I don't think I'll ever write another novel.

Usually when I'm in the young adult section of the bookstore or library, I have a twinge of jealousy.  Sometimes I have a LOT of jealousy. When I was at the library a few days ago, I had the complete opposite feelings.  I imagined my novels being on the shelf, and the idea horrified me. I don't know.   It's hard to explain. Maybe it was like standing outside naked in front of everyone?   Yeah.   I think that was the feeling.  I've never had that feeling about being published before. I usually adore the idea of my books being at the library and bookshops.  And you'd THINK that having this blog would make me more open to people reading stuff that I write.

Then again, I don't feel weird about my book being on sale online. Maybe because not many people buy it?  What is the difference if it's on a bookshelf?

I'm not understanding me right now.  I probably need major psychoanalysis.  

Oh well. Let's move on to something else.

I'm looking at Moriarty's website. She's a funny one.  For her FAQ page, she doesn't have questions that her fans ask.   Instead, she asks questions that people ask in general.     Examples:  Why not?  Why don't you just quit your job?   What can you offer to this firm?    Can I borrow that?   

On her bio page, Moriarty lists her favorite authors. JK Rowling isn't listed as one of them.   I'm a bit horrified over that.  I try to be a tolerant person, but I fail sometimes.  I can't tolerate the fact that not everyone loves Harry Potter.  

Moriarty says she always wanted to be an author, but she knew it was a wise idea to get a back up job.  So, she did law. Eventually, her books were published and she was able to write full-time.  

I wonder what are the best career/job and education choices for aspiring writers. Off the top of my head, it seems a lot of them have a background in teaching. John Marsden was a teacher, and so was Melina Marchetta.  I think Stephen King taught high school.  

What else?

Rowling did a French and Classics degree.  Stephanie Meyer got a degree in English.  I think Catherine Jinks did medieval studies. Yep.  Lord Wiki confirms that.   She did medieval history.  

Stephanie Laurens was a research scientist. 

I think probably anything works. And I'm not even sure a degree is necessary. You could do independent learning....spend part of the day reading and researching, part of the day writing, and part of the day making money (as a bartender or something). There are benefits to a university education though, such as meeting like-minded people.  

Well, I better quit before I go off in a million more tangents.