Ask a male author about your male character traits or thoughts.

Amazon links to my stories: Autumn Breeze, A More Perfect Union, Double Happiness, The Wolves of Sherwood Forest, Neanderthals and the Garden of Eden can be found down the right side of the blog.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

The Great American Novel


We all want to write it. We all have read it. Perhaps To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, is the first one that comes to my mind.

Today’s LA Times offers an article on the subject with examples by different Times contributors using To Kill a Mocking Bird, The Woman Warrior, Song of Solomon, The Brief Life of Oscar Wao, The Princess Bride, Sula, Bleeding Edge, Miss Jane Pittman and American Tabloid as good examples.

I’ll quote the first contributor who used To Kill a Mockingbird as his inspiration for treatise. John Scalia …the G.A.Novel must have:

Ubiquity: It has to be a novel that a relatively large number of Americans have read, and that a large proportion of those who haven’t read it know about in other ways (for example, by a popular filmed adaptation). [I add from other parts of John’s piece: on High School reading lists.]

Notability: There has to be a general agreement that the novel is significant—it has literary quality and/or is part of the cultural landscape in a way that is unquestionable (even of critically assailable).

Morality: [In walks the romance writer, IMO.] It needs to address some aspect of American experience, usually either our faults or our aspirations as a nation, with recognizable moral force (not to be confused with a happy ending)."
[This doesn’t exclude happy endings, IMO.]

[Bob R. here: What comes to mind as recent experience is Hillary and Donald. We picked them. They seem flawed, but perhaps they represent us figuratively and literally. I’m going to keep a copy of this article for anybody who wants one. I’d also love to hear your thoughts.]



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Separate subject: I’ve been writing romance for a long time. Even my first novel about cave men and wolves was held together with many love stories. Yet, I have sat on my first “romance novel” for over seven years. I simply didn’t think it was good enough, although I love it (of course). But when one f my female readers pleaded with me to let her see it and then cried I knew I had to release it. She said I was missing too many commas, my hero was Beta (but she loved him) and that I needed to always remember to simplify.

I’m proud to announce that I have made and am making corrections of the sort she mentioned and will release Angel’s Eyes soon.

Angel’s Eyes was inspired by a number of my favorite things.

1. I read Janet Dailey’s Ivory Cane, a story about a blind woman coping with life and love and wanted the challenge and pleasure of writing about a strong woman who had lost her sight.

2. I admire women in the military and believe that they can do anything a man can do (and probably better, LOL). My gal starts as a Colonel in the U.S. Army who leads her brigade into battle.

3. I prefer to write stories of women of color. Bekah is a Stars and Stripes pin-up whether she wanted to be or not. In the story, her sexuality is not visible in order to maintain respect with the troops but her exotic beauty is.

4. I wanted to address unexplained phenomena, which can be confused with the paranormal. Both need explanations that may or may not be proven by science someday. I.e., Bekah has Blindsight, a real medical unexplained condition in which the blind see, of sorts (look it up).

5. Bekah, a tactical and strategic genius is also a chess master. I write about chess in this novel with great love. Since I am also a chess master I lend my expertise.

Her love interest, as the story evolves, is a Professor of Physics from NYU who is a renowned expert and skeptic of paranormal or unexplained phenomena (and also a chess master). He sets out to help her after she loses her sight and discovers new abilities.

The Army no longer wants her after she loses her sight, but will a boy now man, who crushed on her in high school, take on quite a handful? {Of course he can.}
WIP on cover too. I would very much like to hear comments that might improve the cover and I might use the remarks above for inside the book up front and as a blurb. What is not visible on this cover shot (that I can see) are the words, a paranormal romance novel across the bottom.

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