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April 21st, 2004

The Da Vinci code AGAIN and things

Okay, I signed up for a trial period with Publisher's Weekly, hoping to coincide the review of Deep Blue with my free trial and actually get a copy . Don't know if that will happen or not, but another thing did.

Frequent visitors to my journal will recall the vitriolic bile I spew in the general direction of The Da Vinci Code - and for many reasons. I have nothing personally against the author, I'm sure he's a nice guy. It's the fact that our "lit-ratchure" has sunk to the level where something like that book can continue to bask in the ever-lovin' flame of fame for so long. The book was written on about the level one would expect from one of the old series novels, like The Destroyer. Instead of the old Korean assassin we have a giant albino monk, but hey... The suspensions of disblelief asked of readers concerning things like international law, the abilities of butlers to confound european intelligence agencies after only a few months of study, crippled Knights who go over to the dark side of the Holy Grail - and fellas so hardy (and apparently brain-dead) that they choose to crawl down the entire length of a museum, dripping blood all the way, and hide messages (and other things) behind giant paintings when there was apparently enough time to reach any number of people for help instead...I could go on and on and on. Let's not forget that the entire "intriguing" new plot line came out in the eighties (I believe) in the book Holy Blood, Holy Grail which has been on television as documentaries, reprinted in every concievable form, and followed by at least two more books....very original stuff though...back then.

So I'm reading the Publisher's Weekly e-mail news-thingie and it takes me to the web page, where I read about the editor who bought The Da Vinci Code. It seems (thank the gods) that he is avoiding anything to do with copy-cats. The man was a journeyman acquisitions editor, and he found a gold mine. I can't hold that against him - he made it all work. But now they are "watching him" and I'm wondering, why? Because he spotted that a fast-moving plot driven adventure filled with things intelligent well-read people already knew, but that the masses would be flabbergasted by, peopled by crazy characters and sporting the appropriate happy ending (with a twist, of course) - might be popular? If he had been at a higher level in the company, he probably wouldn't even be able to look beyond the best-selling authors already available to work with...so he was in the perfect position to find the book. If he moves up in the company, probably not so much.

He says he is amused and slightly put-off by those who are snagging all the clones of The Da Vinci code and rushing them off to print and the hopes of discovering the next Dan Brown. I say to this, huh? WHY would you want to do that? My prediction is that, unless he cleans up the writing and the ridiculous plot-lines considerably, Brown's next book will do ho-hum and then he'll disappear (until they make the Da Vinci Code movie, anywhay) because it was a combination of many things that made a not-so-spectacular book become a superstar, and Brown is only one of those things.

Something in the mix made a LOT of folks who would normally buy no book at all buy that one. THAT is what they should be looking for, and it's what this editor claims to be looking for. I smiled when I read that, because he seemed to be getting it - until, of course, he got all excited about his next Brown book....(sigh).

My biggest fear is that the world of publishing is shifting to a point where everything that kills the muse-within-me about writing licensed novels over and over becomes the secret to writing succesfully for money...

I'm reminded of when the second Crow script was first turned in -- very nice, with the girl as the central focus -- and the answer was...that's cool, but can you give us something that has a guy with a white face and a bird????

I'll give them a bird....

DNW

Orffyreus notes

I'm on page 83 and moving rapidly toward the required 100 or so. I have also re-discovered an intrigue in the life of Orffyreus that I'd forgotten from my initial read - one of the reasons, in fact, that I believed it would make a fascinating novel. Bessler was such a jack-of-all-trades that as a character he can come off a bit larger than life, always knowing SOMETHING about everything...and in many cases, though not those that mattered most, being in the right place at the right time. I'm excited about the progress on the book...even more excited that I don't have to outline the entire thing before I send it off. I will have to edit it, but hey - editing is easier than writing synopses and outlines....

On a side note, sent off my 14,000 word noveletta (?) to Rich Chizmar at Cemetery Dance. It's titled "Scuse Me, While I Kiss the Sky," and it was meant to be something else -- but I ended up clipping it from that project and doing a completely different piece, so here it sits. I saw it today and wondered - why haven't I tried to sell that? It may need lengthening to be a novella - or the addition of a story or two -- we'll see if Rich is interested in it at all before I go on and on about it...I'm sure it'll sell somewhere...but I'd love to have another book out from CD.

Onward toward the weekend, and company. Going to put on my White Tornado suit tonight and hit the front hall of my house (which eBay has turned into a semblance of a storehouse / shipping warehouse) and then do something with the office so you can at least walk through to where my side of the desk is accessed from. Trish and I share a desk...it's one of the perks of our house. I get to sit next to the cute, sexy chick and call her MINE (lol).

DNW
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