Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Okay, here’s my idea.

As you may have heard, National Novel Writing Month has just been and gone in a chemically-fuelled blaze of plotting and pacing (around the garret, that is). I didn’t take part myself, but I know a man who did.

That got me thinking. Why not have a month for fiction readers? Or, more specifically, for readers of novels and short story collections by new authors. I nominate the month of April, (which just happens to coincide with the release of my own novel, Taking Comfort, and the launch of the Macmillan New Writing imprint).

So, I hereby officially announce that from now on April is designated ‘Read A New Author Month’. Or RANAM. You saw it here first.

It doesn’t matter which book by which new author you read. Just so long as you take a chance on one of us. Hey, what have you got to lose? Remember, there are far riskier ways of spending your money.

There will be a helpline to ring for suggestions. New authors will be seen everywhere, signing books, giving readings. Impromptu reading groups will form in villages, towns and cities. There will be T-shirts. And stickers. And book marks. There may even be mugs. I don’t see why we can’t have mugs.

(Okay, I made all that stuff up, but if I can persuade some publishers to get behind it, why not?)

Most importantly, there will be books. Books by new authors. Of this I am certain. And that’s the most important thing.

The countdown to Read A New Author Month starts NOW!


Steve Kane said...

Compared to writing a novel in a month, reading a novel by a new author in 30 days would be a breeze.

Hmm, I wonder which new author's book I should read...?

roger said...

'I wonder which new author's book I should read...?' That's an interesting question, Steve. Let me think about it. [Sits back to let subtle, subliminal messages in plog do their work. Laughs evilly!]

Debra Broughton said...

As I've taken part in Nanowrimo the past two years, I hope that I'll get priority for RANAM when my turn comes ;-)

But this has got me thinking - am I odd for searching bookshops for books by authors I've never read before? I love discovering new authors, and I assumed everyone was like that.

roger said...

Debra - your love of discovering new authors will certainly assure you pride of place! Two years in Nano - that's a real achievement. Or does it just mean you're a glutton for punishment? (Polite term for masochist.)

Tom Saunders said...

Just novels? Hmm.

roger said...

Tom - RANAM will include short story collections, of course! Anything by a previously unpublished (new) writer of fiction.

The Angler said...

What about reading "presently unpublished" authors? I'm all for reading new writers and will certainly participate in April, but what I would like to see is a lot of readers reading novels by authors that the publishing world has missed (or hasn't found marketable).

roger said...

Hi Angler, I appreciate what you are saying, but don't really know how you can get the texts out there to people without some form of publishing - self, maybe? Or by making work available as downloadable pdfs maybe? Glad to hear you might be interested in participating in RANAM. I really appreciate it.