Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Last Wish of Summer by Phillip Overton
Guest Post: How Do You Keep Your Writing Different?I admit that I do things a little different. Not radically different mind you, but I am mindful of simply not offering more of the same. I get a little frustrated at times when I hear people asked the same questions, such as whose book does your latest novel compare to? It’s true that writing goes through trends in much the same way as fashion changes and evolves over the decades. When something is hot on the catwalks of Paris or New York, the same look will undoubtedly show up on the racks of a Target store the following season. Everyone is looking for the same thing, only different. So as a writer the challenge is to either give them something different, or come up with something totally different altogether.
I like to keep my writing upbeat. I like to write about lives turning out for the better through a set of unique and unusual circumstances, and my writing gets compared to Nicholas Sparks. Does that bother me? No. But it doesn’t mean that I run out and buy every Nicholas Sparks novel to study how he constructs and weaves his story. I leave that to my wife, she’s a huge fan of his work. I on the other hand have loved
the screen adaptions of his books. The Notebook and A Walk to Remember were brilliant, and Message in a Bottle is one of my all time favourites. When it comes to reading however, I tend to indulge in something completely different to what I write. I think it provides a healthy break from the feeling of comparing your work to someone else’s or worse still, slipping into editing mode and not being able to enjoy the book.
So I pick up a Matthew Reilly action thriller or a fiction novel that is a little more thought provoking on life, faith and the bigger picture stuff from someone like James L. Rubart. Or if I’m researching something for a future project, I’ll dive right into such riveting non-fiction gems such as Alaska/Yukon Railroads: An Illustrated History. It’s one way to keep your writing and your reading habits separate.
I think that each writer has a desire to be their own voice, but we live in a world that is tuned to only hear the same things. For me, the challenge is to tell something different in a way that is easily heard. I like to write with a strong dose of reality. I like to put a strong sense of gravity into my work. If the laws a physics don’t allow for something in the real world, chances are you won’t find it in my work either. That aside, I do like to fashion something incredibly amazing from a set of ordinary circumstances. And I do like to stretch people’s perceptions of what life around them is truly capable of if you like, (hence the comparisons to Nicholas Sparks). In order to keep my writing different, I look at life differently. Two of my novels for example have
been set largely around a cafe by the beach. To get the proper feel for a cafe setting you can sit around all day and drink coffee, or you can do as I did. I took a Barista course at a training college and got a job making espressos at a resort. You get a truly different appreciation of life from the other side of the counter.
About the Author:
Phillip Overton’s writing has been compared to none other than Nicholas Sparks, and his latest novel Last Wish of Summer offers readers the perfect book to spend a summer’s day reading at the beach. In a book that reminds us to be careful what we wish for, it manages to weave the wholesome, virginal qualities of the main character Tanya with her band of misfit friends in their pursuit of being able to reason why a washed up message in a bottle is somehow granting their every wish come true. Often in a manner that is both coincidental and strangely bizarre. Just as a movie adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks novel will appeal to people of all ages, so too will this story that follows the adventures of a group of twenty-something’s on the last day of summer. The book not only manages to cut through any pre-conceived ideas we hold on morals, body-image and social status, but delights in helping us discover what may already be right under our nose to begin with.
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Thanks for stopping by today! Have a FABULOUS tuesday!
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