I just got my advance paperback copies of my forthcoming novella, THE RAPIST, and I’m like the guy from the Robertson’s…. HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY! It’s a gorgeous, gorgeous book. Thanks for Jon Bassoff, the publisher of New Pulp Press, who also designed the best cover I’ve ever had on any of my books.
I’m hoping to create a bit of buzz here, so I’m going to start including some of the blurbs I’ve received as the days dwindle down to release date on March 20. To date, I’ve received over 30 blurbs and every single one of them is raving about it. I really think this is going to be my breakout novel.
The first one I’m throwing at you is one of my favorites, from Scottish writer Helen FitzGerald. Because of the title and content, it was suggested I ask some women writers for their take on it and here’s what Helen had to say:
So, I’m reading Les Edgerton’s The Rapist. The title has already made me uneasy.
Five pages in and I can hardly breathe.
Ten and I’m nauseous.
For the next 50, I’m a mixture of all of the above, but most of all, angry.
I feel like ringing my feminist friends and confessing: Sisters, I’m reading something you will kill me for reading.
I feel like ringing my ex colleagues - parole officers and psychologists who work with sex offenders in Barlinnie Prison, Glasgow - and asking them if they think it’s helpful to publish an honest and explicit transcript which shows the cognitive distortions of a callous, grandiose, articulate sex offender; one which illustrates his inability to have a relationship with a woman and his complete lack of empathy?
I’m thinking I don’t know what I should be thinking.
Will it turn sex offenders on?
Should we listen to this guy?
Is it possible to separate the person from the offence, and to empathise with him as he waits to die?
I don’t ring anyone.
I read on.
And the breathlessness, nausea, anger and confusion increase all the way to the end, at which point all I know is that the book is genius.
Helen FitzGerald, author, Dead Lovely, Bloody Women, The Devil’s Staircase, The Donor and others.
Thank you so much, Helen! Coming from a writer of much renown such as you, this means an awful lot.
Bonus: For reading through my self-promo (thank you!), I’m including some more writer’s quotes, since folks seemed to enjoy the last batch.
ADVICE TO OTHER WRITERS
“You write a hit play the same way you write a flop.” William Saroyan
“To a chemist, nothing on earth is unclean. A writer must be as objective as a chemist; he must abandon the subjective line; he must know that dungheaps play a very respectable part in a landscape, and that evil passions are as inherent in life as good ones.” Anton Chekhov
“It is by sitting down to write every morning that one becomes a writer. Those who do not do this remain amateurs.” Gerald Brenan
“There is only one place to write and that is alone at a typewriter. The writer who has to go into the streets is a writer who does not know the streets… when you leave your typewriter you leave your machine gun and the rats come pouring through.” Charles Bukowski
“Listen carefully to first criticisms of your work. Note just what it is about your work the critics don’t like—then cultivate it. That’s the part of your work that’s individual and worth keeping.” Jean Cocteau
“If you want to be true to life, start lying about it.” John Fowles
“The last paragraph in which you tell what the story is about is almost always best left out.” Irwin Shaw
“One should never write down or up to people, but out of yourself.” Christopher Isherwood
“Only ambitious nonentities and hearty mediocrities exhibit their rough drafts. It is like passing around samples of one’s sputum.” Vladimir Nabokov
“A good many young writers make the mistake of enclosing a stamped, self-addressed envelope, big enough for the manuscript to come back in. That is too much of a temptation to the editor.” Ring Lardner
“Writing is a wholetime job: no professional writer can afford only to write when he feels like it.” W. Somerset Maugham
“Everyone who does not need to be a writer, who thinks he can do something else, ought to do something else.” Georges Simenon
“Once you start illustrating virtue as such you had better stop writing fiction. Do something else, like Y-work. Or join a committee. Your business as a writer is not to illustrate virtue, but to show how a fellow may move toward it—or away from it.” Robert Penn Warren
“Unless you think you can do better than Tolstoy, we don’t need you.” James Michener
“Better to write for yourself and have no public, than write for the public and have no self.” Cyril Connolly
“If you want to get rich from writing, write the sort of thing that’s read by persons who move their lips when they’re reading to themselves.” Don Marquis
“You can’t want to be a writer; you have to be one.” Paul Theroux
“Advice to young writers who want to get ahead without any annoying delays: don’t write about Man, write about a man.” E.B. White
“If you can tell stories, create characters, devise incidents, and have sincerity and passion, it doesn’t matter a damn how you write.” W. Somerset Maugham
“If I had to give young writers advice, I’d say don’t listen to writers talking about writing or themselves.” Lillian Hellman
Hope you folks enjoyed these! More next time!