Archive for July, 2013



How many times have you looked at a bookshelf and thought – ‘wouldn’t it be cool to have a book of mine up there’. Or maybe you have a few pages stashed away somewhere, notes ideas quotes stories characters, and you lie to yourself ‘one day i will get back to that’? Well Tom isn’t like that. Not a bit. Years ago he said to himself ‘I want to get a book published’, and ever since he has set about it.
It was great to have Tom at bookgroup to talk about his as yet unpublished book. We heard him talk about actually doing it, rather than just dreaming and putting it off like the rest of us. We heard about him – going to writing classes, organising his work so he has one day or morning per week to write, finding out about agents and editors, planning novels, writing them, editing them, getting feedback, learning not to be precious, learning to delete whole characters and replace them with new ones, lengthen books, shorten them, delete scenes and add them.
It was fun for bookgroupers to be able to say to an author I want more of this character, or start that story line earlier and speed that other story line up etc. it became clear that these are choices he can, and has to, make. As a reader it is tempting to think books come whole, as a package, they always were the way they are somehow. We forget every bit of a book is a choice, and the choices can be changed, so the book is different or at least a little re-emphasised.
Tom’s book is set in the north east US and features gay couple, alex and rob, thinking about marriage and money, specifically about whether and how to get them. It is full of fantastically surprising and vivid sentences. In addition to the topical issue of gay marriage, its something of a comedic satire on some aspects of middle class america. For example sociology gets a bit of a pasting, long overdue in my view, along with the gay nightclub scene.
Bookgroupers thought the marriage storyline was a bit drawn out, and that the money storyline could start much earlier, as could a couple of the other storylines. There are some mysterious characters. The ethereally amazonian B&B host in San Fran and the curiously named psychologist Dr Kashmerkin, definitely get your attention. Vas the overly botoxed gay trader is as colourful as he is easy to imagine. There are also some very familiar scenes. For example everyone has been on a flight from hell, like the one alex and rob have to san fran, and we have all been to the awkward but sweet BBQ at the neighbours.
We ¬†only looked at the first half. We plan to do the rest later. I’m looking forward to seeing how these stories and characters develop and to whether tom has any luck on the publishing front. I hope he does, and that it’s a raging success, mainly because I want to see the movie version so I can get a look at the gorgeous B&B host

July 20, 2013 at 1:21 pm 1 comment


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