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Comment from the book world in December 2007

December 2007

After Katrina

17 December 2007

'The most important job of a writer is to tell the truth and I feel I've done that...

The Tin Roof Blowdown came about almost by accident. I wasn't going to write a novel about Katrina because it was too depressing. Then an editor at Esquire called me and asked if I could write a short story and I said I didn't think I could.... The next day, I went to mass at a little town nearby, and when we got home I thought: 'Jesus out to Sea', and that was the title. I had heard an account of the priest in the lower Ninth Ward who tried to get his parishioners to leave. He stayed and he died, so I wrote the story based on two of his parishioners. I figured if I was going to write about Katrina, then this was the time and if others doubt what happened in New Orleans, nothing I or anyone else can say will influence their thinking.'

James Lee Burke on his new novel The Tin Roof Blowdown in Publishing News

After the bestseller

10 December 2007

'I've been asked many times since what are the pros and cons of life after Labyrinth. Too much pressure? Too much expectation? The easy answer is that the best consequence of a novel selling well is that it gives you the freedom to carry on writing for a while longer and, hey, it's a great problem to have. But the truth is that it does knock you off course, if only for a little while. Not because you haven't got the ideas - Sepulchre was already researched and planned before Labyrinth ever came out - but because you haven't got the time to write...

You fret about the possibility that having raised your head above the parapet there might be those waiting to shoot you down - but then again, all authors, actors, politicians, painters and musicians feel this, regardless of what's gone before or since. And you do worry, most of all, about disappointing readers. What if they don't enjoy the new book as much as the last? But then you pull yourself together, get back to work and all those thoughts fade away.'

Kate Mosse in Publishing News

Building an audience

3 December 2007

'My goal as a writer is to have my readers meet people like them, people who make mistakes and learn from them, people who have problems and try to cope with them... They're books about relationships - between mothers and daughters, sisters, friends. I'm here to answer reader expectations and my readers want a good feeling at the end of a book... Having grown up in category romance, you have to build an audience and then keep your name in front of it.'

Debbie Macomber, whose latest book is Old Boyfriends, in Publishing News