Elmore Leonard’s Ten Rules of Writing

Master of crime fiction, one of the most prolific writers of our time, Elmore Leonard shared his ten rules of writing in a short piece for The New York Times.

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Four Dystopian Novels That Are Eerily Close to Becoming True

Dystopia literally means “not-good place” and is a term used to describe a community or society that is undesirable or frightening. Dystopian novels were all the rage back when during the Cold War, possibly as a way to warn people of the perils of such a totalitarian regime as the Communist one. As a fictional genre, dystopias have the uncanny characteristic of painting a rather hopeless future for society.

Here are four dystopian novels that are eerily close to becoming true:

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Book Review: The Woman with the Bouquet by Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt

In his new collection of stories, Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt, author of The Most Beautiful Book in the World, probes the paradox that the events that shape our lives are often the stuff of dreams, yet nonetheless true. Humor, tenderness, irony, and exquisite writing have always been the hallmarks of Schmitt’s work. Here, he adds a pinch of philosophy.

In one story, a lovelorn writer seeks refuge in Ostende, a remote and charming town on the North Sea. His host is a solitary and eccentric octogenarian. The fairy-tale setting starts to work its magic and the old woman begins to tell her tale—an extraordinary story of passion. Bewitched by what he hears, the writer can no longer distinguish what is real from what is not, and in the woman’s account he will finally find a response to his own deep-seated grief. Here, as in the other stories in this collection, Schmitt displays the combination of stylishness and insight into the human condition that prompted Kirkus Reviews to write of his tales that they “echo Maupassant’s with their lean narratives, surprise endings, mordant humor and psychological acuity.”

It is said that there’s no creature that does not try to escape reality. There isn’t a living thing endowed with a central nervous system that does not dream. The brain is what is called an exclusion system: its purpose is to decide what information is important and what is not. There is so much information in the world that we’d go mad if we tried to understand it all.

What does this have to do with this collection of short stories?

Well, because the characters in each of the stories have this in common: they want to escape reality, they are looking for a shelter against it. If you ever felt this gnawing sense of fear at the thought that you are simply waiting for life to happen to you, if you daydreamed to the point of it becoming an obsession, then this is the book for you.

Reality cannot be negotiated with, but our imagination can be bargained with; our dreams can show us a world that will never come true.

But that never stopped us from dreaming and wishing our dreams would, somehow, come true.

The Woman with the Bouquet is one of the most intriguing compilations of short stories I have ever read.

TMM: A Lonely Job

“An artist is always alone – if he is an artist.” – Henry Miller

Writing is a lonely job, no doubt about it. And no matter how successful you might become, you’re still alone. It’s the inexorable truth of the writer’s condition: you sit at your desk, in an empty room or in the most crowded coffee shop, yet you’re alone. You just do your thing.

Of course, this poses a rather interesting question: if you spend that much time alone, how do you find stuff to write about?

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Stupid Reasons to Read Books even if You Never Did Before

Okay, so let’s be clear about this: reading is not necessary. It does not satisfy any need, it’s not as if there’s this primordial aspect of humanity that it defines and explores. It does make you smarter, more culture, more empathetic, but all of these are optional. You can be dumb and live and long and happy life.

That being said, in a world where people read, on average, a book per year, here are some incredibly dumb reasons to read…

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The Ideal Reader

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I’d say that I’ve come a long way from my high school years, when I was struggling to find people who’d be interested in reading my stories. I’m not going to lie: it’s important to know that someone reads your stuff, that someone cares. Makes you feel less alone, and isn’t that one of the reasons we write?

And I appreciate that, and I’m truly grateful for being able to present my ideas or ask questions, to expect a response every single time I need one. But the truth is, we never write for a bunch of people. Yes, we talk a lot about finding our target audience, about all the ways we can improve how we reach our target audience, but that soon becomes a vague term, one that is used to define different people, who only share a number of preferences.

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12 Books That Will Surely Make You Cry

Art is supposed to make you feel something, right? And what more can you ask from a book other than to be moved by it in such a way that you end up shedding a few tears?

Also, psychologists claim that crying is kind of good for releasing stress and making you stronger emotionally, so here are twelve books that are guaranteed to make you cry.

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The Reader

Whenever I tell someone I’m a writer, and they show genuine interest towards my “profession,” I end up telling them about all the cool e-mails I get from people. Or about the reviews my books get. Or this or that comment.

You know, there are good days and bad days. There are days when you don’t feel like writing, or days that you simply don’t want to write. But your readers are what’s most important, what keeps you going, what makes you feel like a writer even during those bad days. Continue reading “The Reader”