Blog – a work in progess

CONFESSIONS

BOOK BLOKE started this ‘Reader Confessions’ tag as follows:   OK, so i haven’t actually been tagged in this but it seemed like a fun idea and i’m doing it anyway. 1. Have you ever damaged a book? Unfortunately yes , I once dropped a harry potter book (it may have been my sisters actually) in a bucket of wallpaper paste. Other than that no,but i do break the odd spine (on books not people) , i know that to a book lover breaking a book’s spine is the 8th deadly sin but sometimes it’s unavoidable. I also buy a lot of second hand books which have already been broken but that doesn’t bother me . I also damaged a …

The Norman Mailer Center Announces Six Writers Selected for 2016 Fiction and Nonfiction Summer Fellowships at Ucross Foundation. The Norman Mailer Center Announces Six Writers Selected for 2016 Fiction and Nonfiction Summer Fellowships at Ucross Foundation Fiction Fellows are Jenessa Abrams, Cara Diaconoff, and Raghu Karnad Nonfiction Fellows are Andy Martin, Michael Nixon, and Joshua Stupple Greg Curtis will serve as Mentor New York, NY – The Norman Mailer Center announces that six writers have been selected for 2016 Fellowships in Fiction and Nonfiction, which will take place from July 8 – 25 at the Ucross Foundation. The 8th annual NMC summer fellowship program is designed to facilitate a balance between a focus on individual work and a forum for …

CFA Master Class: Lee Child – VIDEO

Published on Mar 18, 2016 Admired by his peers and hundreds of thousands of readers, author of the wildly popular Jack Reacher series, Lee Child returned to Crime Fiction Academy (CFA) to talk with CFA Director Jonathan Santlofer about the craft of suspense writing and about his most recent book, Make Me. There’s simply no one better to impart crime fiction wisdom.

The Camus of the crime thriller: behind the Jack Reacher books – REVIEW

REVIEW NEW STATESMAN BY Leo Robson – the New Statesman’s lead fiction reviewer DECEMBER 2nd 2015 Andy Martin’s Reacher Said Nothing: Lee Child and the Making of “Make Me” gives us a fly-on-the-wall view of the crime writer. Of all literary genres, biography is the one most bound by convention and least guilty about being conventional. W H Auden was forever dipping in to Saintsbury’s History of English Prosody to snuffle for technical challenges, and claimed to have written a poem in every known metre, but none of his half-dozen biographers has abandoned the well-worn route parodied in his sonnet “Who’s Who” (“A shilling life will give you all the facts”). In 1934, the year that Auden wrote that poem, …

REVIEW – ‘Reacher Said Nothing: Lee Child and the Making of Make Me’, by Andy Martin

Review by Steven Poole FINANCIAL TIMES December 11, 2015 You wouldn’t think the process of a novel’s creation lends itself to a particularly exciting “making of” feature. Writers sit in rooms, thinking and typing. They drink a lot of coffee. But then most writers don’t have someone peering over their shoulder as the work progresses, asking questions and making wisecracks. And, for that matter, most writers aren’t Lee Child. Child is the British maestro behind the global thriller phenomenon that is the Jack Reacher series. One of the most popular fictional heroes of our age, Reacher is a taciturn, sardonic American powerhouse who is invincible with fists and guns, and is also a brilliant detective. Child writes a new Reacher …

From the first word to the last – Dead Good Books

From the first word to the last By deadgoodbooks I was cycling along King’s Parade, one day in August 2014, when it hit me. If only Jean-Paul Sartre had been looking over Albert Camus’ shoulder when he wrote The Outsider! He wrote a good essay on the subject, to be fair, but how much better could it have been, and rather less speculative, if he had been present at the time of writing, keeping a close eye on the writer, pitching in occasional questions, and getting reasonable answers in return. More empirical, less metaphysical. True, I said to myself, but they’re all dead. So much for that great idea. On the other hand, could it still be done? Right now, …

Writing a bestseller ‘on the verge of a stroke’ – REVIEW

REVIEW Andy Martin describes the many months he spent observing Lee Child — fuelled by coffee and Camels — complete his 20th Reacher novel – Stav Sherez Every four seconds, somewhere in the world, a Lee Child book is sold. This phenomenal statistic places Child alongside Stephen King, James Patterson and J.K. Rowling as one of the world’s bestselling novelists. But what makes the Jack Reacher books so successful? This is one of the questions Andy Martin, a lecturer in French and Philosophy at Cambridge, sets out to answer in this intriguing and uniquely unclassifiable book. Reacher Said Nothing, however, isn’t a work of literary criticism or a how-to guide. Martin contacted Child and asked whether he could observe the …