Last week while I still had a rota with an introductory whole hour’s worth of lunch I used my second lot of thirty minutes to escape the office and go to a nearby bookshop.
I went to breathe in the quietness of books for equilibrium and ESCAPE. So there I was, a-browsing, when I happened upon a book which is hopefully wonderful. Due to that dazzling hope, I now want it. It is the novel The Witches of Cambridge, by Menna van Praag which I strongly suspect would be my novel in feel if I ever got round to writing a novel. I’m not providing linkage because I’m going to review it on Thursday. 😉
It’s the first offering of hers I’ve come across, and it feels very me. Even down the some of the names and my obsession with particular artworks. The Oracle that is goodreads said: If you like Alice Hoffman and Sarah Addison Allen, you’ll like Menna van Praag. For sheer pleasure I’ve read nearly everything SAA has ever written.
But what I really want to know is, how do you feel when something that is already published has a lot of the features of your own writing? Vindicated because ‘your market’ exists? Or downhearted because someone else got there first? I think every writer has to reconcile the idea that in the marketplace you are no longer ‘a unique and beautiful snowflake.’ Still, is that awful? I’d like your thoughts on it.
I really love Magical Realism, so buying this book is a no-brainer. It’s nice not to be the one doing the work! I read the blurb and liked it, and was tittering at the pages I read – detailing a flirty meet-cute between a character and her eventual husband. This fictional ‘sitch’ made it clear that I’d forgotten how to flirt because I assume men are being dumb, need to be told that, try harder, or to please excuse me while I leave.
Clearly I don’t know how to give love a chance.
On happier themes though, words like ‘blurb’ are superlative for playing the game Alternative Definitions…
a) The state of incoherence suffered by someone who has fallen in love with a book immediately and doesn’t know how to contain it.
b) The state of your vision of book covers being blurred due to co-browsing with a stranger and being more attracted to the person rather than any book.
c) A No-Man’s Land that is neither in the suburbs, country, or city. Mainly where author-recluses live.
I was given another gift card for my birthday you’ll remember, so I’m giddy with that “And it isn’t even my money! It’s FREE MONEY – FOR BOOKS!” feeling. I’ll get getting it by the weekend. Please comment answering my question about published books. Thanks.
~ Pola ~