Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Writing jealousy

James Reasoner announced having written his # 177 novel. While I heartily want to congratulate him (he must be one of the prolicic author of his generation), I'm extremely jealous. It's just what I want to do: churn out paperbacks after another. Here I'm stuck with having to do non-fiction books that involve a heavy deal of research and perhaps interviews (I actually hate doing interviews and would want to be only the interviewee!).

I'm not nostalgia type of guy in any sense, but I think that I could do better with the publishing industry that existed in Finland in the decades just after the World War II, when there were dozens of new cheapo publishers. I just glimpsed journalist Aake Jermo's book about the war-time and post-war depression. He writes that some guys he barely knew in Turku came to meet him and told that they had put up a publishing house and wanted something to publish. So, Jermo who had previously penned several short stories for the Finnish pulps (he doesn't say this in his memoirs, though) wrote two very short crime novels as by Riku Rauta (roughly Rick Steel). That's just what I'd like to happen: some guys I barely know come to me and ask if I could write something for them. I'd be even happy to write for a publisher like West-kirjat who made four large-sized paperbacks with ugly covers in the mid-sixties.

Same goes for the YA novels. They are very difficult and intricate today and you have to deal with the extreme problems: anorexia, drugs, neuroses, stuff like that. In the fourties, the only thing you had to do was to write some 50 pages of two bright boys finding the smugglers' den. You could even write a pirate novel, which seems quite far out these days. (Who would want to read a YA novel about the modern pirates of the China seas?)

And the paperbacks - you can't write paperbacks in Finland nowadays. Just give me a novelization to do! Anything!


Enough of complaints. I started going through the YA novel Elina and I wrote two years back. It has received good reviews from the publishers, but they haven't picked it up. The last publisher reporting back said that it had a bit too much of tendency in it. It's about the homosexuality of a young girl's father. I'm toning that aspect down and putting more stuff about the girl's everyday life in. I certainly hope that works. We have the sequel (and spin-offs!) planned, but should maybe get this published first...

The Joe Novak story about the missing treasure map is drawing to a close. It's been fun to write! I'm planning a real pirate story, though, and planning to write it under an alias. I should start the crime/music story for an anthology Tapani is editing. If it gets through, it will be my first professionally published story. Here's hoping...

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