Heigh ho! You have 5 days to enter the Tardy Contest to win ARCs of The Body at the Tower. Don’t be late! (har har)
Also, I’m featured at Books on the House this week. Enter there to win copies of A Spy in the House plus an Agency t-shirt.
When Misa Ramirez of Books on the House interviewed me, she asked, “Are your books serious, or does your wit come through?” I’m not really happy with the answer I gave then, so I thought I’d try again here. Ahem.
The Mary Quinn novels are dramatic novels that include comic moments. I write them in the tradition of two serious genres (historical fiction, mystery novels) but also joke about the expectations and conventions of those categories.
Having said that, one of the delightful things about novels is that nobody reads one the same way. What’s funny, dramatic, bland, or ridiculous to me will be quite different to you, dear reader. So while I wrote some scenes with the intention of providing comedy, some readers won’t find them funny. Some scenes, which I consider serious, will seem absurd to others. But it doesn’t really matter whether I think my books are funny. The question is, do you?
Also, thoughts on author branding
Did you read Maureen Johnson’s Manifesto? It was much disseminated on Twitter this week but if you don’t want to click over, here it is in brief: Maureen Johnson spoke at a conference where her co-panellist endlessly declared, “I am a brand. I am a brand. I am a brand.” MJ begs to differ: she is just herself and uses social networks to have conversations and create connections with people. She also likes loves snacks.
MJ’s position is entirely reasonable and sane. But what really stayed with me was the unnamed co-panellist’s proud and frequent declaration: “I am a brand.” It’s one of the saddest things I’ve read lately. Not: I am a writer. I am a thinker. I am creative person. Not even, I am a lover, a believer, a human being with valuable and passionate relationships. No, the co-panellist (as depicted by Maureen Johnson) has reduced herself to a few key search terms and the smoothest veneer possible.
I take it back: it’s not one of the saddest things I’ve read lately. It’s one of the most grotesque things I’ve ever read.
I’m off to fetch MJ a snack.