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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Writer's Life 7/26 - Authors & Weirdos

Most writers hope their work will influence people. Sometimes warped minds pervert an author's intent. Here are four examples gleaned from, pared and edited by yours truly: "Isaac Asimov’s Foundation trilogy is the story of a vast empire’s collapse and rejuvenation. It caught the imagination of the leaders of a Japanese religious group and shaped the thinking that resulted in the horrific gas attack on Tokyo’s subway in 1995. 13 people died and some 5,500 were injured... William Harrison Ainsworth’s novels are largely forgotten, but during his heyday, in the first half of the 19th century, he was hugely popular in England. That may have encouraged a Swiss valet to claim the author’s crime novel, Jack Sheppard, inspired him to murder his employer. It remains unclear whether the perpetrator actually read the novel or simply knew of it, but Ainsworth was horrified by the incident and began writing historical novels instead... Joseph Conrad published The Secret Agent in weekly installments from 1906 to 1907. Its plot revolves around an attempt to dynamite the Greenwich Observatory. Ted Kaczynski, a wide-ranging reader, was known to have read Conrad repeatedly, and the parallels between The Secret Agent and infamous Unabomber’s own life prompted the FBI to contact Conrad scholars in an attempt to better understand his campaign of mail-bomb terror... When Mark David Chapman was arrested after fatally shooting John Lennon in 1980, he had a copy of  The Catcher in the Rye with him. He later wrote to the New York Times insisting that a reading of J. D. Salinger’s novel 'will also help many to understand what has happened.' In 2000 Chapman claimed the novel didn’t cause him to murder Lennon but that he went too far in identifying with its protagonist, Holden Caulfield..." I remember how leery I was about my third novel, Killing, which I consider my best. Even though the protagonist does not carry out his plan, I feared someone would imitate it. Maybe I should be glad only 122 copies have sold. I had the same fear about a short story, Network 2015, I wrote circa 1990. It involves younger people assassinating the elderly because of the drain their care is in taxes. It was published in a small press magazine in 1997 and appears in the A Hitch in Twilight collection. It's now 2016 and, fortunately, the contentious problem of entitlements has not incited any widespread violence in that vein. 

Kudos to Bernie's supporters for keeping the protests strictly verbal so far.

I dreaded setting up shop in the heat but immediately realized how silly I was being as soon as I reached Avenue Z, where a cooling breeze was blowing. It was so pleasant I didn't even drink from the bottle of water I'd brought. Unfortunately, business continued to be slow. My thanks to the gentleman who purchased James MacBride's highly praised The Color of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother. Published in 2006, 1200+ readers have rated in at Amazon, forging to a consensus of 4.5 of five. My thanks also to the FedEx Guy, who donated Steven W. Horn's wonderfully titled When Good Men Die, which has been rated five stars by all six of its reviewers. It is Horn's third Sam Dawson mystery. Is he the next break out author of the genre? I offered it as a gift to Herbie, who has donated many mysteries to the floating book shop. Curiously, he turned it down.
Vic's Short Works:
Vic's 5th Novel:'s 4th novel:
Vic's 3rd Novel:
Vic's Short Story on Kindle:
Vic's Short Story Collection:
Vic's 2nd Novel: Kindle:
Vic's 1st Novel:

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