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Write what you know. I know me and I'm talking to you, reader, in the first person, not the anonymous third person, because when I write I write about me and the world that thrives around me.
I wrote decent poetry in college, I couldn’t get the hang of short stories. I finished my first novel so many years ago writers were still sending their works to publishers instead of agents. My first novel was rejected by everyone I sent it to. The most useful rejection, by a Miss Kelly at Little, Brown, said something like this: “You write beautifully, but you don’t know how to tell a story.” Since then I've concentrated on learning to tell a good story. The writing isn’t quite so beautiful but it will do.
Life intervened. Like the typical Berkeley graduate, I went through five careers and three marriages. Since the last I've been writing like there’s no tomorrow. I have turned out twelve novels, a smattering of short stories and a little poetry. My latest novel is the third in a series about a man who is not my alter ego, he’s pure fiction, but everyone he interacts with, including the women, are me. My title for this trilogy is The Libertine.
Writers who have influenced me include Thomas Mann, Elmore Leonard, Albert Camus, Graham Greene, Kurt Vonnegut and Willa Cather. I don’t write like any of them, but I wish I did.
I'm currently gearing up to pay attention to marketing. Archery isn’t complete if there’s no target. I've neglected readers because I've been compulsive about putting words down on paper.
Today the balance shifts.
on July 04, 2011 :
“Who am I? “Where did I come from?” Universal questions asked by mankind since the nightly entertainment was watching the stars move through the night sky. Some of us wish the answer was anyone besides our real family. But what if you really didn’t know because you were kidnapped as an infant?
Angus Brownfield’s She’s Got Her Own, an entertainment, is a page turning thriller. The deceased Penthouse Centerfold Angel DuCane leaves an infant daughter, and several men vying for paternity and access to the vast fortune she acquired. It was happy work to marry a very rich old man who was very willing to trade his fortune for a few years of having THE beauty on his arm and in his bed.
When Anna Nicole Smith played out her tragic drama on the world’s stage, I felt a mixture of envy and sorrow. A little silicon to enhance what is God given and instead of marriage bringing dishes and laundry, you get so much money you can cover your casket with a blanket of sparkling pink rhinestone and ribbons. But when they slip you in your grave, no one knows if anyone really loved you. Like the real life Smith, Angel DuCane died too young and foolishly, and unlike Smith, left one heart to mourn for decades.
Brownfield’s writing is full of the unexpected. Angel’s precious baby disappears and no amount of effort finds the kidnappers, who succeed because they were the only people not after money. Their life leads the adolescent Lizzie Mae Brown to ask the “who am I question” with the persistence of a blood hound. Naively, she is entirely unaware that she is being sought with the same vigor. Little does she know the real danger she is in every day.
Brownfield’s character’s leap to life, be they a ten year old girl or a seventy year old man. I continue to be amazed by his mastery of dialogue. And his backdrops of the Bay Area and Miami transported me. It seems to me that no small detail of life and the stage on which it unfolds, goes unnoticed, which gives Brownfield a deep well to draw on in creating this work or his earlier books El Maestro and Río Penitente, both of which are as much worth a good weekend of reading adventure as I found in the aptly titled She’s Got Her Own, An Entertainment.
(reviewed 37 days after purchase)