Monday, December 7, 2009
How do you write an expat bestseller?
Toma Haines, an American writer and entrepreneur living in Berlin, sent me this link about writing an expat bestseller a few weeks ago and I wanted to share it in case, like me, you're working on a book about life abroad. While some of the information in the article seems a bit obvious, I think the most important point is that the book you're writing (or wanting to write) must have a universal take-away. Of course, it also helps (at least with a memoir), if you went through a lot of crazy stuff and changed as a person because of it.
I recently took a memoir writing class (through mediabistro.com) and we spent a lot of time trying to nail down the theme for our books. Sometimes this is tough to do because the theme may not be obvious right away. But once you do have the theme, it can help you decide which scenes should go in the book and which should come out.
But I think it's important to realize that you can write the book first and then go back and try to decipher the theme as you revise. In any case, I prefer not to analyze theme to death like was done in high school English, but rather let it show itself to me. Just a personal choice.
While the odds of publishing a book are tough, as best-selling expat writer Maya Frost told us last week, it's best to believe that you and your book will succeed.
Are you working on a book? If so, are you paying attention to the theme as you write it? Or worrying about it later?