|Posted by email@example.com on September 13, 2014 at 12:40 AM|
A couple of weeks ago I wrote an article for the WriteWords web site writewords.org.uk/forum/48_454224.asp which read in part:
'There is a scene that must be familiar in a lot of publishers offices. Someone has had the idea to ask a well known media personality, someone who sparkles in the cut and thrust of TV and radio debate, to write a novel. The manuscript is delivered and the editor begins to read. And then as the pages are turned there is the awful realisation that it is a pale imitation of something dated and long gone, perhaps Agatha Christie or Eric Ambler or Tom Sharpe. The characters are wooden, the whole thing is as flat as a pancake.
It as if the famous broadcaster, in searching for a voice and a theme, has returned to his or her parents bookcase in search of a comfort blanket.
I am not sure why this occurs, but the point is it does seem to happen to most writers. You have to push through and come out the other side. For most new writers these drafts are simply discarded. It is a literary growing up process. For the unfortunate celebrity they end up on the shelves of Waterstones.'
A few days later a review theguardian.com/books/2014/sep/10/head-of-state-andrew-marr-review-novel-politics of a first novel by the TV pundit Andrew Marr said ( as a criticism) that it read like a Tom Sharpe novel.
The reviewer then added : 'For me, it was neither funny enough nor exciting enough to make me want to turn the page. While it's not meant to be taken seriously, even a satire has to carry the reader along. The characters were too Cluedo-esque to retain my interest.'