“Getting too quickly to where you want to go, getting there too smoothly, is antithetical to thinking through complex issues. You want roadblocks, confusion, chaos, and doubt. Unexpected, wonderful things come out of this approach.” Jeff VanderMeer provides a master class for Publisher’s Weekly on novel revision, explaining in five steps how his new book Borne arrived at its final incarnation. And for more shop talk, see VanderMeer’s interview with The Kills author Richard House from our own pages a couple of years back.
Slate corrects an oversight to Sarah Palin's otherwise impeccably edited memoir: no index. Theirs runs from "Alaska, autumn bouquet of" (page 1) to "'you betcha' - revelation of as not actually Alaska's state motto" (page 309), and includes such helpful detours as "exclamation point, usage of" (pages 4, 26, 120, 121, 122, 138, 150...) You almost - almost - don't have to read the book.
“In Colombia, Mexico, Nigeria, Mozambique, it’s the real thing, not magic, and the only way to tell these stories.” Man Booker International Prize finalist Mia Couto discusses the label “magic realism,” the death of Cecil the lion, his new novel Confession of the Lioness – one of the most anticipated books of 2015, and post-civil war Mozambique. Pair with Philip Graham’s Millions essay on Couto’s fiction.
Julia Fierro is a writer we've featured before, and her first novel Cutting Teeth was published last month. But as she explains in a new piece, there was a stretch of time when she didn't write at all. "I was so cruel to myself, so impatient, beating myself up daily for not writing," she says. "It took seven years worth of teaching... before I returned to writing with solid commitment. And when I did sit down in front of my computer, I was a better writer."
Simon & Schuster is planning to put out full-length audio editions of Ernest Hemingway's novels. At the blog Okay Terrific, Steve figured out that Islands in the Stream will be read by Tommy Lee Jones and For Whom the Bell Tolls by Campbell Scott (and Steve is launching a campaign to get his own narrating gig.)Remember my post about book news RSS feeds? I've added the USA Today book news feed to the list. I use the book news feeds to generate the headlines that appear to the right. Any feeds that I'm missing? Let me know in the comments.Recently discovered The Publishing Contrarian via Books Inq. It's full of all sorts of insidery book industry commentary.