I’m Not Alone!

Oh, my!  It happens to other writers, too!  Even Pulitzer prize-winning former film critics/favorite PowerLine novelists like Stephen Hunter who had the following to say today on that blog about his newly released thriller Soft Target:

Some books write themselves. Some don’t. The former are beloved as labors of love. The latter are labors of, er, labor, and are the unwanted step-children of the writing business.

My novel Soft Target started as the latter. At a certain point, I think it was trying to kill me. It was the Thing in the Office, reeking of malevolence. It stank of mediocrity, infantility, and sheer inertia.

Okay, I don’t think Sky has quite reached the point of trying to kill me, but it’s definitely had its moments of being “the Thing in the Office, reeking of malevolence!” 

I loved what he wrote in his PowerLine blurb about how he overcame all this. articulating, more or less,  the very thing I know I haven’t found yet in my own WIP — the spark or seed or core that resonates with me and gives the book its life. His blurb not only encouraged me, it gave me an example of how it happens — and reminded me that it has happened for me a number of times before.  

Plus, I now have another book on my list to read. Not that I need any other books, mind you…

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8 Responses to “I’m Not Alone!”


  1. 1 sally February 21, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    Soft target is a great read. Just letting you know hes actually appearing on the book report radio show on March 3rd and I know the host does a fantastic job interviewing authors and i know she will give get out some great insight on his writing of the book. heres a link to see when it airs for you.. but its a great radio show either way.http://bookreportradio.com/

  2. 3 Stan R. Mitchell July 23, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    Stephen Hunter is one of my favorite authors, but I haven’t read Soft Target — his only one I haven’t read. (It didn’t get good reviews on Amazon, which I trust, so I’m a little leery and afraid it will end his nearly perfect record with me… How weird is that?)

    • 4 karenhancock July 23, 2012 at 10:31 pm

      Thanks for the comment, Stan. I’ve found with Amazon that often not so good reviews result from readers not really understanding what the author was doing in a book, or objecting to a change in the way the author has written a story, or even the type of story written. I see this a lot with Dean Koontz. Readers want him to go back and write like he did thirty years ago when he’s not the same man he was then… You can always try the library. 😉

      • 5 Stan R. Mitchell July 24, 2012 at 5:49 am

        That’s a great point about Amazon reviews. I hadn’t considered that.

        Did you see any political bias in the book? That was the gist of much of the criticism that concerned me most. (Plus, many just lamented that it wasn’t another Bob Lee Swagger continuation…)

        • 6 karenhancock July 24, 2012 at 10:04 pm

          I haven’t read it, but from the description he gave in the article I read I’m interested. I suppose some might say his conservative leanings could be considered political bias, though…

          • 7 Stan R. Mitchell July 24, 2012 at 10:23 pm

            Yeah, quite a few of them were on the Amazon reviews. Not fair for me to say whether it does or doesn’t since I haven’t read it, but it was enough to discourage me from reading it. (Along with the fact it’s one of his lower-rated books.)

            I think it would kill me to see him write anything average or even just slightly above average. He’s pretty much immortal right now in my mind! : )

      • 8 Stan R. Mitchell July 24, 2012 at 5:49 am

        That’s a great point about Amazon reviews. I hadn’t considered that.

        Did you see any political bias in the book? That was the gist of much of the criticism that concerned me most. (Plus, many just lamented that it wasn’t another Bob Lee Swagger continuation…)


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