on writing

On the business of books...

It's impossible to know the impact the DOJ's decision to bring a lawsuit against Apple and five publishers for price fixing will have on the book business, but this is, no doubt, the precursor of great changes. Three of the publishing houses have settled:

Justice Dept. sues Apple and Publishers Over E-Book Pricing 

Cut in E-Book Pricing by Amazon is Set to Shake Rivals

This is a rather convincing argument as to why the DOJ was correct in bringing this anti-trust lawsuit: 


John Sargent, from MacMillan, responds on The Authors Guild website:


On a personal note, I have decided to continue honing American Gothic Chicago, while I finish writing Under the Picasso. I'll have both books ready to launch at the same time. There is so much chaos in the marketplace right now that it is difficult to know whether it is smarter to go the traditional route and find an agent -- I had a great one, but now I will need another -- or is it best to strike out on my own and indie publish? When I come closer to finishing the novel, I will make a decision.

Are any of you grappling with these questions? 

On writing a novel...

I've finished writing the novel, American Gothic Chicago, and I'm well into another, Under the Picasso. I write everyday. My writing is usually image driven -- I see the scene play out and I try to capture it with language. It's not always images, though; I listened to Michael Silverblatt interviewing Michael Ondaatje about Ondaatje's book, Divisadero. Ondaatje talked about the influence a movie sound director had had in his writing. Ondaatje took pains to incorporate sound as an specific element in his work. After hearing that podcast, I spent days infusing sound into scenes, just thinking about how to arrange it. It's subtle, but it makes a difference in the writing.