After weeks of writing, struggling, thinking, correcting and waiting… my book is finally here! I’m happy, proud, humble and excited 🙂
“3898 ord om livet” can be translated to 3898 words about life, and the book can be ordered from www.publica.no
Being in the proses of having my first book published I find myself astonished of J.K. Rowling’s accomplishments. As we all know, she’s a billionaire author, having sold more than 450 million copies worldwide of her “Harry Potter” series. Yet it’s hard to envy the harsh scrutiny faced by J.K. Rowling in publishing “The Casual Vacancy,” her first novel for adults. Everyone’s expectations are exceedingly high, mine was too.
Having read the book over a couple of nights, I can only state that once again, our favourite author has succeeded to create a page-turner, this time for adults. As the gifted story-teller now changes her main audience, she keeps to her well known recipes and gets the story to move along her plot at a brisk, efficient pace.
The Casual Vacancy might be called an epic soap opera: It’s stuffed with revenge, sex, duplicity, violence, malignant gossip, drug addiction, self-mutilation, snobbery, cruelty, poverty and death.
As Rowling’s narrative shifts among various families and characters, she exposes the misery that exists behind their finely painted front doors.
In Pagford, a lovely fictional English village where “the most expensive houses stood in all their Victorian extravagance and solidity,” a married, middle-aged father of four, Barry Fairbrother, drops dead of an aneurysm in a golf club parking lot. His death sets off a frenzy of scheming and leads to some rather disturbing events as well.
As a member of the Pagford Parish Council, Barry was an earnest do-gooder instrumental in bringing to town a drug rehab clinic and a low-income housing development called the Fields. Both measures were highly controversial, pitting rich against poor and raising concerns about crime and entitlement. Now that Barry’s death leaves a “casual vacancy” – an open seat on the council – there is an opportunity to undo his work. To the conniving types (and there are many) who hope to replace him, the vacancy is seen “not as an empty space but as a magician’s pocket, full of possibilities.”
Some neighbors feign pity for Barry’s widow, Mary, while in private they celebrate Barry’s sudden demise and begin plotting their political agendas. Meanwhile, as many of the adults in Pagford engage in increasingly repellent behaviour, the adolescents are mired in dramas of their own.
Andrew Price despises his brute tyrant of a father, Simon, while lusting after a new classmate named Gaia. Sukhvinder Jawanda, an overweight Pakistani girl, endures alienation, bullying and much worse. Stuart Wall, an unrepentant troublemaker, pursues Krystal Weedon, the damaged, foul-mouthed daughter of Terri, a heroin addict and prostitute.
The notorious Weedons live in the Fields, and their squalid existence stirs anger, condescension and disgust among their genteel neighbors. Although Krystal, her 3-year-old brother, Robbie, and their mother are terribly marginalized, fate will cause them to affect the community in ways that prove profound and tragic.
“The Casual Vacancy” might be described as a black comedy or a comic tragedy, either way, it’s a grim story. However, J.K.Rowlings has done it again; she’s capable of creating a believable community with characters and plots that engage me as a reader.
Today our local newspaper (Agderposten) had a short interview with me, under their by-line NAME OF THE DAY. I was hoping to focus on my upcoming book, “3898 Ord om Livet” and I do believe we managed that. However, there were a lot of questions, and I answered them all, about politics, sports, society and personal subjects. I wasn’t too pleased when I saw the headline that drew direct attention to the fact that I left my job to be a fulltime writer. But then again, it is the truth, so why not?
Unfortunately small articles as this one, are only published in the paper version of the newspaper, and not online. I’ve gotten my share of text messages today, from friends and family, and I even got congratulations from a stranger passing me on the way to my car. The attention is nice I only hope it will help my book to sell.
The book is not yet in stores to buy, but it is available on several bookstores online. I was pleased to notice that my book-cover gets noticed, it kind of popes out a bit.
I’m looking forward to see and hold the book. Soon, soon, soon … or in a couples of weeks, that is. And I hope people will buy and read my poems. It’s so exciting and a bit scary….