Welcome to the book blog of writer and creative writing tutor, Diane Paul.

Thanks to the publishers and kind PR people who send me books and releases about their clients' books for review. Press releases and review copies of fiction and non-fiction are always welcome. (No sci-fi, fantasy or erotica please.)

Due to the barrage of requests from self-published authors for reviews, I'm unable to deal with them all, although I'm sometimes drawn to non-fiction for the subject matter. And because I love print books, the smell, the touch of the paper and the sight of the words, I don't have an electronic reader or review e-books.

E-mail to: bookblogforbookworms@keywordeditorial.com for the postal address.

My writing website: http://www.keywordeditorial.com/

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Blair versus Brown

Predictably, given the media hype, Tony Blair's memoirs, A Journey are outstripping sales of some of the top fiction blockbusters written by authors like Dan Brown and JK Rowling, according to Waterstone's and it's already tops at Amazon.co.uk. Sales have apparently left Lord Mandelson's book, The Third Man standing. The profits from the book are being donated to the Royal British Legion for a new sports centre for injured troops. We won't go into that...but much of the gories have been extracted from the text by the media already, including Mr Blair's drinking habits and his tottering relationship with Gordon Brown, so as this looks like another political rubber-necking exercise for the curious, I'll give it a miss. What does interest me now that I've mentioned author Dan Brown, is The Daily Telegraph's article on Oxfam's most received and best selling books list where Brown's (not Gordon's) books are top of the most donated and he is their 10th best-selling author, reputed to be the highest paid author in the world (although the charity's best-seller is Ian Rankin). Sorry? I'll just check that. I'm aware the Da Vinci Code sold phenominally well at 81 million copies worldwide so when did quality of writing cease taking precedence over media hype? Some popular authors don't write that well, even with the help of editors but they are often great storytellers. (I have names.) Having read the controversial book, (Brown's, not Blair's) I hoped that creative writing students would avert their eyes and look for a more instructive example of how to structure a novel, create a convincing plot that you couldn't drive an amphibian truck through, believable characters who you could root for and prose worthy of the legacy left by Dickens and Austen. Why am I teaching people how to write?

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