Books That Shaped America, ISWG, ROW80, and Gaiman, Vonnegut and Ephron

Happy Fourth of July!

It's also the second to last day for the Indelibles' INDIEpendence Day Blog Fest: discover some great new indie authors and win prizes! Over 70 authors are offering books and interviews. For instance, Medeia Sharif is featuring J. L. Campbell!

Not a bad way to celebrate Insecure Writer's Support Group day, either.

Actually, there's one aspect of a writer's life that's sometimes overly-secure. I mean, of course, shiny new idea syndrome.

I'm using my morning pages (bonus ROW80 goal!) to draft my new druids/beauty and the beast/1000+ year curse/legend modern archaeological romance (whew! can't wait till this one gets a title!) all about two characters named Fred and Lyne. And I'm so excited by their story that I find it hard to concentrate on editing Rome, Rhymes and Risk (real ROW80 goal). Poor Ayten:

I promise not to give up on her.

And though I'd like to talk more about Fred and Lyne, I haven't really got any images for them yet. Just discovered the artist Joseph Jacobs John Dickson:

But there are other authors who pave the way.

First, Neil Gaiman, who says: "it's not like there's a right or a wrong, or that when a book was published anyone will know how you wrote it. The important thing is to get to the end, and then go through and make it better until it's done."

Second, Nora Ephron. I feel badly that I haven't mentioned Ephron's passing. The last essays I read of hers were in the I Feel Bad About My Neck collection. I'll add some more to my wishlist.

Third, there's Vonnegut:
"I've deposited my first check in a savings account and, as and if I sell more, will continue to do so until I have the equivalent of one year's pay at GE. Four more stories will do it nicely, with cash to spare (something we never had before). I will then quit this goddamn nightmare job, and never take another one so long as I live, so help me God. I'm happier than I've been in a good many years. ... 
This letter is sententious crap, shot full of self-pity. But it's the kind of letter writers seem to write; and since I quit G-E, if I’m not a writer then I'm nothing. Yours truly, Kurt"
I thought that since I did a round up of Canadian books on Canada Day, I ought to compile a few American books on the Fourth of July. But a list of Books That Shaped America would be near-endless.

So I thought I'd pick one city - New York - and talk about some of my favourite New York books. But even that list begins, and never seems to end: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself... and those are just three YAs!

What is your favourite story setting?


J.L. Campbell said…
Hi, Deniz,

You've covered a lot of ground here. Thanks for the mention. I'm indebted to Medeia for featuring my book. Writers Rock!

Don't you just love/hate that shiny new idea syndrome. It tears you between what's not quite conceptualized and what you should be doing. It should be called rock and a hard place syndrome. :)
LR said…
I was sad to hear about Nora Ephron too. What we would do without all those great stories/movies?
Gwen Gardner said…
I loved all of your quotes today - so inspiring that those famous writers were where I am!

The shiny new idea syndrome is such a rush. Love when that happens:)
Good luck with your shiny new idea! It sounds awesome.

I love all kinds of story settings. If it's written well enough and feels real, chances are I'll like it.
Arlee Bird said…
Hard to go wrong with NYC as a story setting. I do like stories set in the South as well.

I like Gaiman's advice.

A Faraway View
Jemi Fraser said…
So many great quotes! I love that Gaiman one especially! I think (at the momet) my favourite setting is NYC in 2060 via JD Robb's In Death series :)
Deniz Bevan said…
Definitely a rock and a hard place, Joy!

I need to read more of her writing, LR, I've missed out on a lot!

Aww, thanks Gwen and Eagle!

I've got one idea for a story set in NYC, Arlee. But I've got to finish the current edits first!

Oh no! More stuff for my TBR pile, Jemi!
Alleged Author said…
I hate it when I get a shiny new idea and it takes over everything!

My favorite story setting is the Shire from LOTR. I would love to live there!
Deniz Bevan said…
Oh my yes! I'll live there with you!
Kim Switzer said…
Oh my gosh, I'm so excited by Fred and Lyne's story! Your description pulled me right in! :)

Oh, my favorite story setting is a place called Newford. It was created by Charles de Lint, and I want to live there. So much magic!
Gina said…
Good luck with your new idea! It sounds awesome.

From Diary of a Writer in Progress
Nadja Notariani said…
Shiny New Idea Syndrome can strike anytime, I've got a stack of notebooks with those shiny new ideas written out I don't forget! Ha.

As for my favorite story setting...
Hmmm. I don't know if I can narrow it down to just one. I love anything set in the Ottoman Empire - or the Near East. I'm also partial to ancient settings - no matter where! But I always return to stories set in England - medeival through Regency ♥. (So the Austen addict
Talli Roland said…
Ephron is a legend. This is going to sound super cliched, but I don't care! I love stories set in New York and London.
Lexa Cain said…
I certainly agree with the Shiny New Idea syndrome. I get a brilliant new idea every week that gets canned a week later.
I've never followed a "girdle" before. lol
Boy, can I relate to Shiny New Idea syndrome! I'm using ROW80 round 3 to reign myself in from that, in fact.

Great quotes from Gaiman, Ephron & Vonnegut. I didn't realize he had worked for GE.

It's my first time on your blog, I popped by from the linky list. Nice to meet you! I'm off to check out your Insecure Writer's Support Group link now.

Happy writing!
Excellent quotes. Inpsirational. I'm glad you're not going to give up on Ayten and your other story.

I find it hard sometimes to stick with the story/project I'm doing when others rush in to compete, too.
Great post.
There were two indie fests this week and they were both big successes!
Deniz Bevan said…
Thanks so much, Kim! I'm excited to be writing it. Newford sounds interesting!

Thanks Gina!

I hear you on the Ottoman Empire, Nadja. I never thought I'd be writing about that setting until it happened. But I love England and Wales too - so I'm glad my new idea is set there!

I love your London stories, Talli!

Ooh, an idea every week sounds fun, Lexa!

Nice to meet you too, Tui!

Thanks, Madeleine!

I'm still catching up, Alex - soooo many books to read!
I liked the setting of The Mixed Up Files, but I thought the book was just okay. I loved the setting of Holes--not that I wanted to be there, but it was a character (or two) in itself. Did you read Holes?

Favorite setting: Hogwarts.
Guilie said…
Awesome post, Deniz, and thanks for stopping over at my blog earlier. Yep, I have to agree with Mr. Gaiman--finishing the dang thing is the very very first consideration. Everything else--the editing, the polishing of word choices, the streamlining, the adding/developing themes, etc. etc.--can only come once the thing is done, the story told. Thanks for sharing!
MTeacress said…
I don't think I can put a finger on my favorite story setting. I like a lot of them. :)

I love shiney new idea syndrome!
Deniz Bevan said…
Ooh, Theresa, no, I haven't read Holes - not another book for the wishlist!

Thanks so much for coming by Guilie!

Me too, Michelle!

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