Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

The Librarian Who Became a Novelist


I have a new (virtual) friend who just happens to be a fine poet.

Lucia St. Clair Robson

Click to visit Lucia St. Clair Robson’s site…

“Virtual” because I met her in a place called The State of Writing—which is in the Virtual World, Kitely.

She’d just visited for the first time two nights ago and we shared a boat trip (virtually) last night.

This morning she left a comment on yesterday’s post with a link to a fascinating article in the Capital GazetteLucia Robson: How I made peace with telling lots of lies for a living.

As usual, I’ll excerpt (with comments) and encourage you to go read the full article

Early in the article, Lucia says:

“In 1975, I accepted a job in Anne Arundel County’s exceptionally fine public library system.”

You’d think someone who’d spent so much time around books would be able to imagine writing one; yet, after an editor told her she should do just that, she said:

“Don’t be ridiculous. I don’t know how to write plots or character development or snappy dialogue.”

Luckily, the editor replied:

“Just shut up and do it.”

After much prodding, she began her attempt to write a novel, finished a six-chapter draft, sent it to the editor who’d gotten her into this, and had him give her the name of another editor to submit to—result (in Lucia’s own words):

“A week later Pam called the library and offered me a contract to finish what turned out to be a 562-page historical novel, Ride the Wind.”

Lucia went on to write nine more novels

And, apart from asking you, again, to go read the full article, the best ending to this post is this excerpt:

“My tenth and latest work of fiction, Devilish, is set in the present in Anne Arundel County. But no matter when or where a novel takes place, the writer and the reader make an unspoken pact. The astute reader says, ‘I know you’re lying to me, but I’ll suspend disbelief on the chance that, together, we’ll come to some greater truth.’

“That’s how I’ve made peace with being a professional liar.”

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4 responses to “The Librarian Who Became a Novelist

  1. philipparees November 30, 2015 at 11:32 am

    She looks and sounds wonderful. I think telling a lot of lies in fiction is not as dubious as telling a lot of truth in Memoir which is what I am attempting!

    Like

    • Alexander M Zoltai November 30, 2015 at 11:35 am

      Ah

      Said like a true Writer, Philippa

      :-)

      Like

  2. Mike November 30, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    “Just shut up and do it.”

    That’s harder to do than you think, but it feels SO GOOD once you commit yourself.

    Like

    • Alexander M Zoltai November 30, 2015 at 3:04 pm

      Absolutely True, Mike :-)

      Like

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