The long path to be published

Text and Photo by Nora Vasconcelos

Endless faith
Endless faith
I recently read in the New York Times the story of Donal Ryan, a young Irish author who had written two novels dreaming for them to be published. But his dream took a long while to come true.

After receiving more than 40 letters of rejection, Ryan perservered looking for a publisher, until he finally got magnificent news, his two novels, The Spinning Heart and The Thing about December, had caught the eye of a publishing house and the author was finally offer not only one, but two contracts!

The Spinning Heart tells the story of what was like life in a small Irish town after the financial crisis that affected Ireland not so long ago.

In 2012, the novel was awarded the Book of the Year prize at the Irish Book Awards, and its currently longlisted for the 2013 Man Booker Prize, to be announced in October 15th.

This story of perseverance and faith made me remember other writers who had to wait for a long time to be published, facing constant negatives from the publishing houses, until they found one firm that believed in them.

Writers like Jane Austen, Dr. Seuss, John Le Carre, Isaac Asimov, Agatha Christie, E.E. Cummings, are some of the authors who walked this long path to be published.

Ryan’s story also made me think, about the courage and strenght that writers must have to keep on trying, even when their dreams are clouded with letters of rejection.

Even now, when self-publishing is becoming more popular, the task of transforming a manuscript into an actual book and then letting people know about it, is a hard thing to do.

It’s faith in themselves and in their work, as well as confidence on their skills what makes them go on with their dreams.

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Halloween reads

Let the Mystery capture your mind.
With the Halloween day getting closer I started to think about what reads would be good to get in the scary and mysterious mood required for the occasion. It was so that I came up with an interesting list of books that I like.

One of my favorite stories ever is the Strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by the Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson. This story in which Dr Jekyll is the victim of his own experiment and goes wild acting as a complete different person while assuming the personality of Mr. Hyde is one of the most fascinating books I’ve ever read. It also has being the base of several TV representations from movies to cartoons, all of them capturing the very essence of the transformation of this dark character that literary suffers of “split personality”.

Another book that’s among my favorites is The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. With its always gracious writing, the Irish Author presents an extraordinary story of a man who never gets older, what nobody suspects is that somewhere hidden in his house there’s a portrait that gets older and uglier by the day. The end of the story is full of intense feelings that remain for a long while after the book is finished.

Also by Oscar Wilde, The Canterville Ghost presents a very humane picture of a suffering spirit that haunts an old chase in England, wishing only one thing, to finally die.

And talking about ghost stories, one that is perfect for the occasion is The Phantom of the Opera by the French author Gaston Leroux. In this story, a man in pain haunts the Opera House in Paris, wishing for one of singers to fall in love with him, taking extreme measures to make her realize how much he loves her. It’s this love, though, what at the end, makes him set her free of the horrors of his obsession.

An author that of course has to be in this list, is the American writer Edgar Allan Poe due to his amazing capacity to describe through his words the deepest fears of the human beings. Although he has several short stories, the one that has remain stuck in my mind is The Pit and Pendulum.

A different kind of style is offered by Agatha Christie, the British writer who developed the fine art of Mystery writing. In her novels like The man in the brown suit, Christie develops the story in a unique way similar to those presents that are kept in a box that is within another box, and this box is set inside of another box, an so on. So, without even noticing it, the story suddenly offers the reader a variety of characters and situations, each one with a life of its own, but that in the end they manage to relate to each other surprisingly well.

And now that the mood is set, the only thing that’s to say is: Happy Halloween!