Blog Tour Update! Thoughts from Hibou

Here we go! First, a reminder of how this all worked. I received an invitation from Devon of The Starving Artist, who wrote an excellent post on her writing process. I posted a few thoughts (John Lennon and the Writing Process) and asked the supremely talented and energetic Lizzy at My Little Book Blog to follow. She did. And now, we hear from the estimable Hibou.

Why does Hibou earn the adjective estimable? Just go read his blog! Here’s a first sentence from one of his posts:

“Hard to rival the brilliant shifts of humor and abject horror on p. 367 to 375 of Infinite Jest, which I am back to reading (after taking a break by reading, among other works, Marias’ Vol. 1 of Your Face Tomorrow), inspired (again) in part by a budding friendship at work with MB, who happened to be reading, as it turned out, The Idiot at the same time I was (she finished that by the way).”

Reading his blog is like strolling through a Borgesian library, with a friendly tour guide (maybe Borges himself!) keeping you company.

I’m not going to reveal Hibou’s wisdom (for that you should check out his post), but to whet your appetite I will pass along the quotation-prompts he uses to frame his thoughts on the writing process:

1. “It just comes down to voice.”

2. “I really hated that book.”

3. “There’s too much literature in the world, so the last thing the world needs is another book.”

4. “I can’t write if there’s another person in the apartment.” or “I can only write in the morning” or “I can only write at night”.

5. “I never think about my writing when I’m not writing.”

6. “I only read poetry nowadays because I find fiction writing devoid of any rhythm or originality.”

7. “Yeah, I know that’s a great novel. Everyone tells me that. It’s almost as wonderful as that film everyone loves, and that play that people can’t stop talking about. That restaurant is supposed to be amazing…”

and

“You just keep writing. One of two things will eventually happen. You’ll either get published or you’ll die.”

His prompts (and responses) are gems.

My thanks to Devon, Lizzy, and Hibou for putting me in the thick of such a varied and vibrant community of voices. Onward and upward with some pure, raw fun:

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Blog Tour Update: My Little Book Blog Takes the Baton!

Reminder of where we are on the Writing Process blog tour:

  1. Devon Trevarrow of The Starving Artist wrote an excellent post about setting goals, as well as some interesting details about her genres and her forthcoming works. A great read.
  2. Yours truly wrote a little bit about his own process. Unfortunately I kind of blew past the guidelines, instead writing a few thousand words about John Lennon and Stu Sutcliffe, John’s best friend and the Beatles’ first bassist. (I meant well! It really was about writing process!)
  3. And now…old friend of the Jacke Blog (see here and here) Lizzy Baldwin of the irrepressible My Little Book Blog tells how she turned from university magazine book reviewer to blogger extraordinaire. As always, Lizzy’s enthusiasm and practical wisdom shine through in every sentence. She also has a good roster of fellow bloggers on tap for next week, so the writing process tour is in good hands.

My thanks to Devon for inviting me, and for Lizzy for taking up the baton with such a thoughtful and compelling post (and my other guest, Hibou, whom I will be featuring in another post). It’s great to see the community of indie authors, writers, reviewers, and commentators all joining in together. Onward and upward with a classic from the Queen of Love herself:

 

 

Book Review: “An Incredibly Astute Novella About Ego and Politics…”

“Smart, well-written, and frequently funny, The Race offers some interesting speculation into the mind of the American politician…” – Marc Schuster, Small Press Reviews

Readers, it’s another great day here on the Jacke Blog. My short novel The Race has received another wonderful review, this time from Marc Schuster of Small Press Reviews.

(For those of you who missed the previous review from My Little Book Blog (“warm and full of life”), feel free to catch up on the review itself or my reaction to it.)

Schuster’s review begins with a perfect encapsulation of the book:

Jacke Wilson’s The Race is an incredibly astute novella about ego and politics that attempts to explain why anyone in their right mind might run for political office. The answer, it turns out, is that they wouldn’t, as the political arena is reserved for the eternally deluded and arguably insane.

Awesome. “Eternally deluded and arguably insane” could be the title!

And this is also a very shrewd (and generous!) assessment:

There’s certainly plenty of dry humor to be had in the proceedings — particularly as Olson [the former governor at the heart of the book] does his best to turn the rancid lemons of his tattered political career into saccharine-sweet lemonade — but the real strength of Wilson’s writing is in its Marxian critique of American politics.

Man. “[R]ancid lemons of his tattered political career into saccharine-sweet lemonade” is a phrase I should have used in the book itself. Simply perfect.

And then there’s this, which once again really gets at the heart of what I was trying to accomplish:

[The Race‘s main character] demonstrates that what truly drives politicians is a desire to control the narratives of their own lives, as his tragically optimistic efforts at running for office are forever haunted by the specter of the good man he was before throwing his hat into the political arena.

Exactly. Exactly. Exactly. What a great review.

My thanks to Marc for giving my little book a chance and for crafting such a thoughtful, well-written review. You should definitely check out Small Press Reviews – Marc’s clearly an intelligent guy and he’s doing some really good work over there.

And of course, you can find The Race at Amazon.com (in Kindle and paperback versions) and other formats and locations.

Are you a reviewer? Leave a comment or send me an email and I’ll ship you a free review copy. Or you can enjoy the 100 Objects series, which is still going strong. 

Review of The Race: “Warm and Full of Life…”

“[A] delightful novella about politics, scandal, reputation and above all, the importance of love…” – mylittlebookblog

Readers, it’s a very good day here on the Jacke Blog. My novella The Race has been reviewed by mylittlebookblog, and the results have had me smiling all day.

I’m not sure which is my favorite snippet. Maybe the one at the top. But this is good too:

Although the book is short, Wilson also manages to make the characters warm and full of life whilst being well structured with evocative personalities.

Thank you! And there’s more:

Wilson manages to exert meaning and feeling from the characters’ personalities onto the reader, in a candid style but with humour.

I won’t disagree! The rest is too good to interrupt…

  • The writing style is also a real credit to the writer and it not only gives the whole book a certain manner but it also makes the reader feel wholly consumed by the novel…
  • I (honestly) read this is one go; I could not help but keep reading in which to know what was going to happen next…
  • I fell in love with this humorous and clever story because overall it is an extremely realistic tale of tragedy…
  • …beautiful prose, well-defined characters and a real understanding of pace and writing style…

Really wonderful praise; I’m very grateful to Lizzy at mylittlebookblog for giving this such a good read and for writing such a positive and enthusiastic review. I’ll close with what’s my favorite quote (at least today – tomorrow I’ll probably savor a different one):

[W]e follow this campaign right through the end, to see whether the outraged public will forgive this disreputable politician or whether he will go down like a sack of bricks.

A sack of bricks! I might have to redo the cover to add that line.

What a thoughtful, generous review – a true delight to read. Thank you again, Lizzy!

You can read the full review at mylittlebookblog (and really that site should be a regular visit for you if it isn’t already).

And of course, you can find The Race at Amazon.com (in Kindle and paperback versions) and other formats and locations.

Are you a reviewer? Leave a comment or send me an email and I’ll ship you a free review copy. Or you can just read a free story about a football coach desperate to find some meaning in a winless season