Monday, July 18, 2016


I don't know if any of you guys do this, but since I am a book addict, I cannot help but have my eyes stray to what other people are reading when I'm sitting around Barnes & Noble. I am known for approaching perfect strangers and going, "Oh, what book are you reading!  Tell me about it!  What attracted you to it!" Sometimes the response to my cheerful intrusions is pure annoyance, at which point I make an embarrassed retreat, which is not likely to stop me from doing the very same thing the next day.  

At other times, I will get a good book title to read plus additional recommendations.  This is how I discovered the author Wendy Wax.  Apparently, the person I asked about it told me, the book of real interest by Wendy Wax is entitled "A Week at the Lake." However, just to warm up I decided to read "The Accidental Bestseller" instead.  Start small, I say.  

Anyway, as per my normal style, once I obtained this book recommendation, I looked Wendy Wax up online and found that she does not have a wiki page.  I guess that means she hasn't written 150 books like Heather Graham, still she has written several highly respectable books, most of them delicious beach reads apparently, which makes sense since she is originally from Florida.  She is also highly popular with USA Today, The Atlanta Journal and Ladies Home Journal.  I did find an excellent speech she made at the Hoover Public Library regarding "Southern Voices in 2013", and I will post it in another blog.  Overall, my impression is that Wendy Wax is a highly entertaining, interesting author who really should get much more attention than she is getting.

I specifically chose to read "The Accidental Bestseller" by Wendy Wax because it promised to give me inside information regarding the writing process and the publishing industry and it did not disappoint.  Wendy Wax was unsparing about what she termed "the brutality of the publishing industry." That's something I already know from my own experiences, but it is good to have her validate that impression. Clearly, it is a sink or swim business where you either attract an extensive audience or you just don't and you get erased.  Of course, what I can see is that it makes a considerable difference if your publishing company, your editor and agent are a hundred percent behind you.  But whether they will or will not be so appears to be a matter of the luck of the draw!  

Talking about covers, which Wendy Wax discussed extensively in The Accidental Bestseller", I do not like the cover of "The Accidental Tourist"--it appeared to have no real connection to the story.  It has a picture of a woman reading a book on a beach. There are no beaches in this book!  Or maybe there was and I didn't notice it. Whatever! The Art Department could have and should have done better.

Wendy's premise in this book fascinated me, i.e. the idea of four authors coming together to write a hit book on their way to helping a fellow author out of a writer's block kind of jam.  First, I liked the concept of that kind of mutual support between women authors, and second I wanted to know, how would they go about such a task on a practical basis.  I loved the fact that the book was self-referential, in that the book I was reading was also, ostensibly, the book these four authors were busy creating.  There were many subtleties like this that were very attention grabbing and interesting, and so I can't say that I was bored at any point in the book.  

Of course, the author, Wendy Wax went to great trouble to make sure that each of the women, including the editorial assistant, had a very hunky love interest--plan on reading all sorts of great detail there  And, of course, each of the authors involved in this book had a very intriguing back story that kept me turning the pages.  

I will admit I am rather late in picking up this book.  It was written in 2009 and has some contemporary references that are no longer timely.  That will teach me to wait so long to read my juicy but probably intellectually junkie novels.  

As a novice writer myself, I did take notes regarding how these fictional characters set about writing the novel and put it together. What it told me is that folks who say they just write as the inspiration takes them are full of nonsense.  This "accidental bestseller" required advanced brainstorming and considerable advanced planning.  So seat of your pants people, take that!  I won't talk about the ending because I don't want to ruin the fun, but I would want to discuss that at length with any of you who eventually read the book.  Was this the right way to end it? Let me know!

Bottom line, if you've run out of things to read this summer and want to be thoroughly entertained, go out and get "The Accidental Bestseller"; it's nothing but fun!

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