Friday, June 13, 2008

Some Thoughts

My wife has a concept concerning a certain level of literature that she calls "bridge books." (This comes not from some zany; she is a former battle-hardened bookseller with a degree in English.) Bridge books are not books about bridge or books about bridges, they are books that bridge the perceived gap between popular and literary fiction. They help people who read only crappy but popular books step up to more challenging, and ultimately, more interesting literature. This doesn't mean that reading one book by Jan Karon or Russell Banks will take every reader from Harlequin Romances to Tolstoy, but every little step helps.

Now, I bring all this up because it has occurred to me that Michael Drayton, Detective Guy might just be a fair example of just such a book. It starts in a manner almost lighthearted and ends in a far and distant place from that. However, and I did not plan it this way, it makes that transition slowly and almost imperceptibly throughout the book.

On the one hand, I think that mirrors Drayton's experience throughout the story. The change in mood of the story reflects the change in his mood. There is, however, another way of looking at it, I think. I think it also reflects my personal journey as a writer, that it starts out with me the comedy writer and ends with me the serious author. In that way, it is my own personal bridge book.

We'll see how it seems to the cold cruel world once it gets published though. Readers will take what they want from it, not what I intend for them. That's the game.

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