It’s the Story, Stupid / Meanwhile…in my email…

"I’ve listened to new writers at conferences or while lurking on writers’ boards and the newbie writers seem obsessed with everything except what matters most: the writing." — Lee Goldberg


Lee Goldberg nails it perfectly in this post originally on the Top Suspense blog, then on his A Writer's Life.

 I logged onto Lee's blog as a break from  THE RETURN OF THE SAINT — a new full length Saint novel. In my previous Saint novel, CAPTURE THE SAINT, I began with an early 60's style, then progressively (regressivly?) went stylistically backwards to the '30's and then moved sequentially up to the present.

For THE RETURN OF THE SAINT, I'm keeping the style consistent, but the novel is structured on a variation of the episodic format of UK Pulp Thrillers of the 1930's.  I want it to "feel" as if the pages are yellowing as you read it, but  the story is 100% contemporary. 

 Simon Templar,
seated comfortably at a Knightsbridge pub’s outdoor patio, sipped a cool beer while
jotting notes on a yellow legal pad. 


brilliant, Mr. Templar?”

The voice
belonged to Nina Walden, but he recognized her legs before he heard her voice.

“Sit down and
be amazed,“ said the Saint, “ I’m composing the greatest ode to stupidity in
the history of the 21st Century“

“The 21st
Century has just begun,” replied Nina as she sat down opposite him.

“Good, that
leaves me plenty of time for revisions.” 
He cleared his throat theatrically, and began his recitation:

“The once was
a fool named Riga…“

He stopped ,
and the only sounds were street traffic and the indistinct chatter of fellow

“Go on,” Nina
encouraged, leaning forward in feigned fascination.

“That’s it so
far," said the Saint, "The trouble is simply that nothing
rhymes with Riga.”.

 “Send a memo,” said Nina: "Notes on bad
guy – change his name to Tucker."

“You’re a
bright woman, Nina.”

“It’s the hair

So, here I am working on structure, plot and style when I get an email nagging me to give a rave review to a book I have not read from a vanity press who sent Lee Goldberg the same form letter. 

Neither of us responded, yet they email me to ask when they will receive my praise.

Sooooooooo…I actually skimmed through the novel (a pdf attachment) to see if perhaps this woman had written something I could praise without regret. 

In symphony, from
every direction, police vehicles and bodies converged… and
multiple footprints stomped through the slush. 

In sympthony? Footprints stomped? 

I responded: 

I am admittedly miserly with blurbs, and do not spread them about haphazardly. Perhaps I can provide one for this author in the future, but at this time, and for this specific novel, I regret I cannot do so.

All this has energized my efforts.  Thank you, Lee. Thank you (name withheld) Vanity Press. Today, more than ever, I feel that I am on the right path. Now, back to work!




3 Responses to “It’s the Story, Stupid / Meanwhile…in my email…”

  1. Ginger Dawn

    Ha good post and to think I just sent you some tea in a lovely card! No worries no begging for Blubs from me 😉

  2. David Marohl

    Just to note that as a long time Charteris fan I did enjoy “Capture The Saint”.
    Good luck with the follow-up.


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