Thursday, August 27, 2009

Christina Dodd Mocks the Book of Your Heart

image Whenever I hear that phrase, “Just write the book of your heart,” I grind my teeth and turn an unattractive red color, sort of like Yosemite Sam right before he blows steam out his ears.

The Book Of Your Heart. What does that even mean?

As I understand it, The Book Of Your Heart is the deep, meaningful, sincere story of something Very Important to You.

Which leads us to the next logical question — do you only have one Book Of Your Heart? Unless you’re Margaret Mitchell and the book is GONE WITH THE WIND, one book will not give you a writing career.

Is your heart commercial? Does it team with interesting characters, fast pacing, and memorable dialogue? Because if it doesn’t, there’s a good chance you can’t sell The Book Of Your Heart. Do you want to write a book no one will ever read? Because every writer I’ve ever met who has suffered through the anguish, the anxiety, the pure put-you-butt-in-the-chair-for-hours-and-days-and-months-on-end agony, wants to publish that book. And have it read. To great acclaim. By Dan Brown’s audience. Every single one of Dan Brown’s audience. And that will only happen if The Book Of Your Heart is commercially viable.

Does this mean I advocate writing The Book Of Your Wallet? The one book that will be published to great acclaim and read by Dan Brown’s audience? Sure. Go for it — if you know what it is, and if you feel a passion for the story, a passion you can translate to the page. I’ve written forty books, plus six anthologies, and I’ve loved every single story. Each one has been a deep, meaningful, sincere story of something Very Important to Me. Moreover, I have a file of books that I want to write in the future, and I’m able to look at each one with a critical eye and ask, “Which of these do I want passionately to write ... which will also most further my career?”

imageI have a job I love — but it is a job, one that supports me and my family, and I intend to make intelligent (as far as possible in publishing), informed (as far as possible in publishing) decisions about the stories I tell. Because (thank you, God), my heart is teaming with books.

STORM OF VISIONS, out now. STORM OF SHADOWS, September 1! Read excerpts and watch videos!

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