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Introducing INKBLOTS

Hey there — writers, readers, fans and fellow bloggers. If you’re interested in analyzing the Fine Art of Fiction, take a look at my new Writer’s Blog. I’ll be doing monthly updates on my novel-in-progress. Allow me to sling a little ink here as I reveal the secret life of a novelist at work. There will be agonies, ecstasies, suicide notes and spilled coffee. Be prepared for a rare glimpse behind the scenes as hidden patterns emerge out of a writer’s inkblots, those messy scribbles that turn into first drafts that turn into second drafts that — through some kind of mysterious alchemy — turn into polished pages and chapters. And finally . . . The Book.

We all know how an inkblot can suggest a story and reveal deeper psychology — or perhaps it’s a stain on a wall, a scent, an overheard conversation, a memory from childhood. A smell, such as peppermint or bread baking, can unlock the whole Rorschach of a writer’s memory, leading to a masterpiece such as Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past. You never know what’s going to spark an idea, but it’s all a projection of the writer’s self into the world he is creating. Novelists must first dream their books into being, and then somehow that world of shadows becomes imprinted into the words on the page which, when the reader opens it, can swell into life magically like those Japanese paper flowers you drop into water. Fiction, at its best, is a dream in the mind of the reader.

Come dream with me. Character, conflict, setting, dialogue — these are the flash cards of fiction I’ll be pulling out here on INKBLOTS. My first novel Magnolia City has just been chosen as the top pick for book clubs by Book Page Magazine. But that doesn’t make my job any easier. I’m still involved in daily skirmishes in what I like to call my War Room, my writer’s studio, as I work on the sequel. Subscribe to my blog and get all the fresh dispatches from the front lines.

(Please click on the subscribe button and fill in the information — it won’t be used for any other purpose).

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Greetings, bloggees. Did you know that "blog" is a truncation of "web log" and is supposed to consist of "discrete" entries? I promise to be totally indiscreet in these blogs, logging in with a tangled web of gossip and slander. Please subscribe.

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Guest Thursday, 19 October 2017