From the Noosa long Weekend Arts and Literary festival June 2012
Wouldn’t it be great to have Jennifer Byrne, presenters and guests up here every month, for now we have to settle with them appearing on ABC TV.
As part of the Noosa Long Weekend they spent an hour and a half of chat about a new release book, ‘The Lifeboat’ by Charlotte Rogan, and a classic ‘Cold Comfort Farm’ by Stella Gibbon.
The different tastes in reading and writing styles of the panel made an interesting morning; conflicting views were vigorously discussed, with well-meant digging and laughter.
Two main discussion points that stood out for me were-
- the likeability of a book versus believability; you don’t have to like the main character, they can be cold- hearted, ruthless and nasty, but they have to be believable.
- the ‘blurbs’ on a book- the little sentence on the front cover, the endorsement from a more recognisable author (who may or may not have read the book, and sometimes it may have been written for them but with their final signature on it) from the same publishing house, brought into to help the ‘newbie’ out.
The ‘blurb’ on the back of the book, which I have often found to be confusing, where does this fit into the book- is it an outline, or a prologue, it isn’t always the same with every book. After asking the panellists (which I found very nerve wrecking, it takes a lot of courage to speak into a microphone for everyone to hear), Jennifer Byrne (who has worked in advertising/publishing) confirmed it’s meant to be an advert for the book, an outline of the story.
I don’t like reading from an unlikeable characters point of view but I do understand the believability theory, you can’t read something that couldn’t be true, and that goes for the ‘Fantasy’ genre too.
And the ‘blurbs’? – if the author hasn’t read the book then they shouldn’t allow a comment to be left on their behalf, it doesn’t seem right, does it? What do you think?
I do think they blurbs would contribute to the sale of a book. Its a way of saying this book is in the same kind of style as the endorsing author, but I don’t think its completely ethical and I wouldn’t believe them knowing it may not have been a comment directly from the endorser.
What do you think about these two issues?- I’d love to hear what you think! Post a comment below
Thanks for reading 🙂