Please welcome my guest for today, Lynda Wilcox, another UK mystery writer. She has just published her new novel ‘Strictly Murder’ as a Kindle book on Amazon – http://amzn.to/K1MC6U. Lynda talks here about blurbs, which are indeed impossible things to write. Who would have thought summing up all those months of work in two sentences would be so difficult? I must confess to having once been rendered speechless in a workshop session at a writers’ conference when we were asked to turn to the person next to us and describe our current novel in one sentence. Ever since then I tend to start with one sentence and build it into a novel from there instead of the other way round!
Lynda continues from here – cue applause, bouquets, congratulations:
Hello. My name is Lynda Wilcox, and I’m a writer. I have to keep reminding myself of that fact whenever I publish a new book because, you see, any writing talent I possess seems to disappear faster than a ferret up a drainpipe when I’m faced with that first, inevitable, terrifying question.
“So, what’s this book about, then?”
I’ve just written 75,000 words telling the reader what it ‘s about but now I’m expected, somehow, to condense all that prose into one descriptive paragraph or, worse, a single sentence. Is it any wonder my brain turns to jelly? That the right words escape me? That I lose sight of the fact that I’m a writer?
I find it incredibly difficult to come up with a ready–made answer for these occasions. I could simply say that it is a mystery and leave it at that but, then, what about the romance in the book? The humour? Or the fact that one reader thought it was chick lit? If I say that it is about the murder of a TV celebrity, then what of all the sub-plots, the subtle nuances, the carefully crafted personality of Verity, the heroine who drives the story forward?
Describing a book succinctly is what the dreaded blurb is for — and, if you can find a writer who admits to enjoying writing these things, not only would I like to meet them, I’d also happily employ them. Because, without a good description, a stunning précis, that instantly intrigues and hooks the reader, any book is doomed to be passed over, to lie forever unbought, unread, uncared about, before gently sinking into the ooze of obscurity.
So, while I could ramble on about Verity working for a famous crime-writer and researching a twenty-year-old unsolved disappearance at the same time as house hunting and discovering the body of a glamorous celebrity and investigating her murder, I won’t. I’ll simply give you the blurb that I have written and hope you like it.
The estate agent’s details listed two reception rooms, kitchen and bath. What they failed to mention was the dead celebrity in the master bedroom. Personal assistant Verity Long’s house hunt is about to turn into a hunt for a killer. It will take some fancy footwork to navigate the bitchy world of dance shows, television studios, and dangerously gorgeous male co-stars. When Verity looks like the killer’s next tango partner, she discovers that this dance is … Strictly Murder.