Jack Messenger | Feed the Monkey

Reading | Reviewing | BLEATING INTO A GUNNY SACK | Writing | Publishing

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Good reviews of one’s own work are so encouraging. I just discovered these wonderful reviews of Four American Tales on Goodreads, after eighteen months or so during which I have avoided social media etc. for the sake of my health. Thank you to all my reviewers, whether you have liked what I do or not. See the Goodreads reviews here.

Farewell Olympus

Farewell OlympusWriting Over, Designing Begins

 

I am tremendously excited to have finished my new novel, Farewell Olympus, which was an entirely new writing experience for me. Now it’s time to think about cover copy and book descriptions. I find it difficult to describe my own work, partly because I dislike blowing my own trumpet, partly because I can never decide what it is exactly. Farewell Olympus is no exception: I think it’s funny, but in a dry, seldom laugh-out-loud way. I also think it’s clever and entertaining, but then I would say that, wouldn’t I? It has elements of mystery and thriller, but it’s definitely not either of those. About all I can say with any confidence is that it’s fiction. Here’s what I have come up with so far.

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Mind Map Your Book

Mind map my next book? I was sceptical – but I’m pleased with the results

When I began to think about writing a short guide on how to avoid common editing and writing errors, I didn’t know where to start. I had a vague mental list of points to cover and things I knew, but that was about it. I had a lot of experience and expertise about the subject but it was hard to know what to do with it, how to organize it so that it could make a book that people would find useful. Continue reading

Lisa Rüll | Addicted to Peggy

This post has been published to mark International Women’s Day (8 March) and to introduce Lisa Rüll, PhD. A while ago, in Nottingham, Lisa gave a brilliant introduction to the documentary film Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict. We spoke some while after the show. This is an abbreviated transcription of a longer conversation (the recording itself can be be listened to below). I’ve made many  changes here and there for clarity.

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Ernest Hemingway | The Killers Keeps On Killing

https://i0.wp.com/upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/23/The-Killers-1946-McGraw-Conrad.jpg?resize=498%2C392&ssl=1

‘The door of Henry’s lunchroom opened and two men came in …’

And, we might add, immediately barged their way into the cultural history of the twentieth century. Three thousand words later, Ernest Hemingway’s seminal short story The Killers watches in relief as the two men disappear from the narrative, still intent on killing Ole Andreson, ‘the Swede’, ‘just to oblige a friend’.

In considering the afterlife of stories and how successive versions and adaptations interpret the original for their own times, it can come as a shock to realize just how old The Killers is: it was written in 1927. Yet this tale which appears so closely tied to its particular milieu is extraordinarily amenable to reinterpretation and variation. The Killers is firmly embedded in the small-town America of the mid-1920s, yet it is that very specificity which has rendered it malleable and pertinent to generations of artists. Continue reading

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