Something different this time, a guest blog from fellow self publisher Catherine Brophy with a little personal tail of science fiction.
BUT IT’S ONLY FOR NERDS!
I suggested Science Fiction. There was a sharp intake of breath and startled show of the whites of their eyes. You’d think I’d suggested barbequing a baby!
Let me explain. I’m in a book club. It’s all women. They’re all bright, they all work and they all love a challenge. We have just one rule… no cooking. We’re not one of those book clubs that cook elaborate meals get tiddly and only make passing reference to the book. We don’t have the time for cooking elaborate meals. We’re all working women, we have lives, we love reading. You can open a packet and pull a cork but that’s the max for hostessery.
Over the years we’ve read everything from classics to chick-lit, biography, history, science, travel, philosophy, you name it, we’ve read it… except science fiction. That, it seemed was a challenge too far.
“That stuff is only for nerds,” they objected, “teenage boys and losers with no friends…”
“I’m married to one of those nerds.” I said.
They were taken aback. They know my husband and like him… well duh… he’s intelligent and funny and thoughtful and warm.
“He loves science fiction” I ranted on, “ and fantasy/alternative universe/time travel… all that stuff and he also loves philosophy, classics, history, travel and regular fiction. They’re not mutually exclusive you know. Maybe you’ve been watching too much “Big Bang Theory”
They shuffled their feet and looked sheepish.
“But isn’t it mostly … well… rubbish?” they asked
“Have you read any?” I countered.
“It’s like everything else there’s the good, there’s the bad and the horribly ugly. The trick is to read the good stuff.”
“So suggest something.” They said.
Now I was in a quandary. What should I suggest? My friends were unaware of the infinite sub-categories within Sci Fi/fantasy genres so my choice was wide. Too wide. I thought of Frank Herbert’s Dune but reckoned it might be too long to start with. I toyed with King Rat because I love China Mieville. (‘My job,” he said in an interview “ is not to try to give readers what they want but to try to make readers want what I give’, Fans often demand that their favourite writers churn out more of the same, this limits the writer and keeps them from writing their best.) I flirted with The Terror by Dan Simmons. But I finally choose Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs partly because I’d read it recently and partly because I thought it was an easy introduction to sci-fi fantasy genres… and oh yeah… because it’s beautifully written..
The book club read. They loved it. Some have converted and are asking for further recommendations. The rest are at least willing to admit that it’s not entirely rubbish. Success.
So now that I’ve opened a few people’s minds why don’t some of you try my latest book… it’s a comedy and hey… everyone enjoys a laugh don’t they?
A COMEDY ABOUT MONEY, FAME AND THE CELTIC TIGER
The Celtic Tiger is in his prime and the Kerrigans are splashing the cash. They have made it big time, so eat your heart out you small town snobs! But Daddy’s-girl Kirsty wants International Celebrity and devotes herself to this dream. She crashes Madonna’s Christmas party but that doesn’t help. She goes on Big Brother and causes a stir but doesn’t help either, However, when a You Tube video of Kirsty goes viral, fame arrives with a bang. But Tracey O’Hagan, a blast from a shady patch in the Kerrigan past, has appeared on the scene. She’s mad. She’s bad. And she’s definitely dangerous to know.
Burning Bright is told in the voices of Kerrigan family members and friends. It’s funny. It’s believable. And it will definitely make you laugh.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Catherine Brophy is a writer, story-teller and broadcaster. She writes film, T.V. and radio scripts and she also writes short stories. Her previous novels are The Liberation of Margaret Mc Cabe and Dark Paradise. She lives a blameless life in Ireland but escapes whenever she can. She’s been rescued by a circus troupe in Serbia, had breakfast with a Zambian chief, ate camel stew in the Sahara, and was kicked by a horse on the Mexican plain.