Monday, July 13, 2009

Stalked by a Bibliophile

The wonderful Charles Tan has posted an interview with Yours Truly on Bibliophile Stalker. I think it came off rather well, if I do say so myself. Here's a taste:
What are the qualities that you look for in a story?

This is broad. But I could narrow it down to two things.

One, there is a certain spark that either is or isn’t there. If it’s there, it’s there from the first sentence and it runs to the end. If it isn’t there at the start, it won’t show up late in the game. People think that editors see tons of atrocious fiction in their submission pile, but the truth is, we see tons of perfectly competent fiction. We’re not looking for diamonds in the rough. We’re looking for diamonds amid the quartz and crystal. There is so much competition out there, both to get published, and then when you do, to get noticed alongside everything else on the shelf. Why take something that fires on only one or two cylinders when next to it is something that fires on all cylinders?

Second, I think I in particular am looking for a narrow band of overlap between commercial and literary fiction, or between stories with enough of a plot and action component to appeal to a broad audience, but a certain elevated writing style that transcends the average.

4 comments:

impossiblewriter said...

Nice post! :) Thanks for the great info!

God bless,
Taylor J. Beisler

www.taylorbeisler.com
http://www.eloquentbooks.com/ArintSaratir-WarriorsLight.html

Author and Freelancer

Paul said...

Lou, great interview. Just curious: Why did your father shove A Princess of Mars into your hands and why did you protest?

Lou Anders said...

We were in a B Dalton bookstore. I was maybe 13. He said, "Here. This is a great book. Read it."

I didn't like being told what to do, and since he's a lawyer, he appreciates a good argument. We were fundamentalist Presbyterians, so I said "But it has a naked woman on the cover." (Not that this bothered me).

He replied, "I know it has a naked woman on the cover, but it's still a good book. And you are going to read it."

I read pretty much everything by Burroughs then in print over the next year.

I wonder if Dad regrets this now.

Paul said...

Thanks!