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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

How I Became a Famous Novelist

How I Became a Famous Novelist
This morning as I was preparing for tonight's class which introduces the idea, concept, and appeal of genres, I heard a great interview on Fresh Air with Steve Hely the author of the new satiric novel, How I Became a Famous Novelist.

The book pretends to be a memoir of the life of a loser turned best-selling novelist. The interview was interesting because it was obvious that seasoned comedy writer, Hely, really thought about why books become bestsellers before he set out to make fun of the entire thing. Click here to listen to the 23 minute interview and read an excerpt from the book.

Hely was talking about much of what I had just looked over in my lecture notes. He talked about genres and why people like certain books. He talked about the bestseller list, and even read an excerpt from the fake one he included in his book. Terry Gross joked that she thought she may have read some of those books; and even though they were made up, she kinda had a point.

I also loved his comments on author interviews. His theory is that the best authors turn themselves into a character and that is the persona they present in interviews. He gives some interesting and funny examples from real author interviews to back up his claims.

Anyway, listen to the interview. I don't know if the book is any good, but I would venture to guess that most readers would at least appreciate what Hely is trying to do in this novel.

I also think this interview will be very useful to my library students and am going to add it to their required reading for our class on best sellers.

1 comment:

Laurie said...

I just finished reading How I Became a Famous Novelist by Steve Hely, but haven't blogged about it yet. It's a funny book about writers, readers, books, and book buzz. There's even a librarian or two in it!