Of all the artists — musicians, painters, actors & stand-up comedians, even poets — I put my own kind at the very bottom. Novelists ask too much of their audience. These others thrive on immediacy, accessibility, and entertainment.
Musicians bang it out live in short bursts or cast long, sweeping arcs; the audience has only to listen. Painters hang it up on the wall in the right light and, voila: Revelation! Actors and comedians may sweat as they live and die onstage, but this is all to the audience’s delight over a finite period, perhaps two hours. Poets: short, sweet, pithy, and revealing.
Novelists demand much more. We demand those most valuable resources: time and concentration. We invite you into made-up worlds (even non-fiction writers at least pretend to instruct) that can take hours to navigate over the course of weeks. And what happens on the page often holds more truth than what is written between the lines.
Now I’d like to turn this model on its head.
On September 18th, I’ll try making the novel a thing of instant gratification, taking Two Pumps for the Body Man on an hour-long spin at Oakton Library. I’ll do something I’ve never done before and actually talk about the book. And to make it all the more enticing, I’m going to talk about Two Pumps as if it were a seven-layer cake.
Seats are starting to fill up. If you want to hear how this ‘diplomatic noir’ is really like a tall chocolate cake, register today (3rd event down) and we’ll all have a delicious time.