Over a span of three weeks (the standard borrowing period), I managed to devour James Connelly’s latest novel. While a lovely read, the main thing I took from the piece is the legacy that the dying character leaves behind. In the book, there’s this ageing billionaire who yearns to give everything he has to a missing heir. Having borrowed the late Stieg Larsson’s work, I became even more intrigued.
Of course, Larsson is that Swedish author who finished three mystery novels, dubbed the Millennium trilogy. All this was posthumously published, with significant material covered for two other books. I read online that he intended to write 10 books in the series. Having witnessed his work, I can avow that this is not wishful thinking. What bothers me though is that Larson, while alive, never approached a publisher. He wrote purely for his own enjoyment. Being a writer myself, I can never grasp why someone as talented as him would just shun it all.
It’s much like Franz Kafka, whose novella The Metamorphosis I reviewed on this blog ages ago. He wrote throughout his life, only to instruct his friend to burn his manuscripts. If not for the quick thinking friend, every bit of his great fiction would’ve been lost forever. We have more than our fair share of inept writers, of bad language, and even badder grammar. We’ve read enough sloppy prose, awkward sentence structures, and paper thin characters. At the end of the day, what we need are more brave authors who would have Larsson’s twists and Kafka’s imagination.
I can’t imagine a world where everything is revealed when you can no longer enjoy it. This lifetime is our chance, so we must live it to the FULLEST. I’m not saying you can’t be the next Salinger, but it’s just a lot more rewarding if you’re the next James Connelly. Write, love and laugh. What is the use of all that material, if it hasn’t left your shelves? Quality fiction is meant to be shared, and each one is a learning experience. Growing as a writer would be tough, without sales and feedback. Be driven enough to publish consistently and make your mark, but don’t do so as a lone wolf. Everybody needs a team. Let’s not leave our riches for tomorrow. Write as much as you can, put it all on the table right now, because you might never get another shot. ‘Be firmly resolved to let nothing stop you!’
Note: Books and other library material can be renewed, but there were pending holds on Connelly. The secret was out.