I’m an American who has long harbored the idea of writing a novel. I know, not a very novel idea! And like thousands (millions?) of other Americans, I didn’t get around to that novel for decades due to a jagged mountain of excuses: timing not right; too busy with my career; too busy with my family; who wants to sit behind a computer screen when you can be living life in the here and now; there’s a world cup game on soon; you get the idea.
What did it take for me to go from wanna be novelist to an actual published novelist? It took moving half way across the world to The Netherlands for me to finally write my debut novel GREEN. And it has taken me another nine months to plan a return trip to my homeland and schedule my U.S. book signing!
Where, though, to hold your debut book signing? For me it was simple; in my home town of Solvang, California. This small town is also in the middle of the Santa Ynez Valley where my novel ends.
I would be DELIGHTED if my State side friends and acquaintances who live within reasonable driving, walking or cycling distance of Solvang would choose to spend the below mentioned afternoon exploring Solvang, including a visit to The Book Loft for my book signing:
WHERE: The Book Loft, 1680 Mission Drive. Solvang, California
WHEN: Saturday, July 26, 2014
WHY: Because it’s cool to support local bookstores and Indy Authors, and my book is pretty darned great, so readers say.
Is GREEN a Great American Novel?
I’ve been quoted in the paper saying the following:
“Well, it’s not the Great American Novel, but . . . .”
Yet what I didn’t realize is that there is a somewhat official definition of the Great American Novel, which if interpreted in a broad sense, just may apply to my novel. First, the definition (thanks Wikipedia).
The “Great American Novel” is the concept of a novel that is distinguished in both craft and theme as being the most accurate representation of the spirit of the age in the United States at the time of its writing or in the time it is set. It is presumed to be written by an American author who is knowledgeable about the state, culture, and perspective of the common American citizen. The author uses the literary work to identify and exhibit the language used by the American people of the time and to capture the unique American experience, especially as it is perceived for the time. In historical terms, it is sometimes equated as being the American response to the national epic.
Okay. Well. Here’s the thing about GREEN. It is written by an American, peppered with American slang and attitudes and addresses contemporary topics (environment, urban living, love and clashing moral values) relevant to Americans at this time. So by loose definition, this is definitely an American Novel. Whether or not you want to throw GREAT in front of it, is up to you.
No, I’m not comparing myself to Mark Twain or other literary heroes whose works have been deemed great American novels. But I do believe GREEN is representative of a segment of the U.S. urban population who is uncomfortable when confronted with the impact our contemporary lifestyles have on the environment, and the counter segment who is abundantly concerned about the environment and the conflicts and gray areas between these two groups.
If this has you at all curious, please come by my book signing in Solvang, California. If you live in Europe, you can get my book through Amazon.co.uk or de, as listed on the right hand side of this blog, or even pop by The ABC Bookstore in The Hague or Amsterdam to get a copy.
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