diabolic abyss

February 23, 2018

The Devil is the border of possibility, and the witch has for his or her playground the whole of manifestation from the solar pole to the diabolic abyss of the otherworld.

Nicolaj de Mattos Frisvold
Craft of the Untamed

very clever marketing

February 23, 2018


Danielle Brown when she (he) sold a manuscript to Putnam Books for $12,500 was lucky; the book was “187 Men to Avoid” and was a success, which was again very lucky for the author Dan Brown who’d used this feminine pseudonym for his first book. Prior to this Mr. Brown had been desperately trying to launch a career in the music business. It was here the big money resided. And he was very focused on financial success, but “faced growing disappointment in the music industry”. That disappointment was very lucky for him, because he decided book publishing was the way forward and went on eventually to write and sell “The Da Vinci Code”.

Dan Brown is a very focused individual. It was this focus and desire for success that led him to the agent Heide Lange (she’d just signed a new thriller writer Brad Thor to a million dollar publishing deal with Pocket Books). Lange saw great potential in Mr. Brown’s works and went on to represent him, luckily. To quote Mr. Brown:

“By this point in my career, I had learned enough about publishing to know that if I were ever going to be a successful novelist, I would need a team who could orchestrate a large-scale release of my novels”.

Mr. Brown also suggests: “It is impossible to ignore the fact that The Da Vinci Code launch was one of the best orchestrated in history. It is still talked about in the industry.”

“I am quite sure that a great deal of the success of The Da Vinci Code is down to the excellent promotion the book received” (said Mr. Brown). “The Da Vinci Code got a huge launch. My first three books were barely promoted. There were more Advance Reader Copies given away for free of The Da Vinci Code than the whole print run for Angels & Demons.”

Which may well be lucky, but it is also very clever marketing.

The lies of novelists

February 23, 2018

a clock

Of course, novelists are not the only ones who tell lies. Politicians do it, too, as we all know. Diplomats and military men tell their own kinds of lies on occasion, as do used car salesmen, butchers and builders. The lies of novelists differ from others, however, in that no one criticizes the novelist as immoral for telling lies. Indeed, the bigger and better his lies and the more ingeniously he creates them, the more he is likely to be praised by the public and the critics. Why should that be?

My answer would be this: Namely, that by telling skilful lies — which is to say, by making up fictions that appear to be true — the novelist can bring a truth out to a new location and shine a new light on it. In most cases, it is virtually impossible to grasp a truth in its original form and depict it accurately. This is why we try to grab its tail by luring the truth from its hiding place, transferring it to a fictional location, and replacing it with a fictional form. In order to accomplish this, however, we first have to clarify where the truth lies within us. This is an important qualification for making up good lies.

Haruki Murakami
Award acceptance speech given in Israel, Feb. 20, 2009