Write the book you wish to read

From August 2019

It was Toni Morrison who said, “If there is a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, you must be the one to write it.”

Growing up, all my pocket money would be spent at WH Smith in Hull and ever since I can remember, for my birthday and Christmas, books were always more than welcome. A stack of books to read is ever present, and I can never resist buying a paperback in my spare minutes at an airport. To say I have read a lot would be an understatement. Therefore I know what I expect from a book and this is what I have applied to my novels.

To explain how, I will make a distinction between what I call the ‘base elements’ and then the ‘ingredients that add flavour’. Let me start by explaining the base elements I wanted in my stories:

Surprise – I love surprise. Just when you think you know who the murderer is, just when you know the way a story is going, just when you believe you’ve sussed the plot, BAM! A new direction, an unexpected twist. It is this what is often so enthralling in a good read.

Suspense – I hunker for suspense. That state or feeling of excited or anxious uncertainty about what may happen next. Whether it’s walking through a dark wood, sensing someone is behind you, but also the electric tension when two attracted people meet. Suspense is a must.

Excitement – I’m addicted to excitement. That high feeling of enthusiasm and eagerness to read further. In such a state you almost want to skip texts in impatience for the next. For me, these are the best books. Ones that you simply cannot put down and end-up reading until the early hours of the morning.

Learning – I’m hungry to learn. Whether its gaining insight into something you know less of, sharpening one’s existing notions, getting a understanding of situations and people, or just appreciating the power of prose, I do enjoy learning something new or alternate, and this can be both fact and fictional, as long is thought is stimulated.

So pretty good base elements wouldn’t you agree? So what are the ingredients that add spice to my further appreciation of a book?

Murder – Murder must be the most obnoxious act for someone to do, and the most horrific way for someone to die. And it’s probably this that has such a wide, be it morbid, appeal in literature, television and film. With so much stimuli, it is quite easy for our warped minds to envision conducting a murder, or even being at the receiving end.

Paraplegia – For every 1,000 people there is one person in a wheelchair, half of which are due to spinal cord injuries. A sizeable representation but, like the depths of the oceans, a great unknown to most people. Not to me though as I’ve been a paraplegic since 1981. Given the above element of Learning, why not share my experiences and thoughts, and even make this an original and recurring theme in my novels?

Eroticism – Ever since reading the description of a naked Apache squaw in a book by William M James at the tender age of twelve, eroticism in writing incurred my interest. This allure isn’t just an appreciation of the naturalness and beauty of the human body, nor the rousing description of physical contact, but also to counter cramped notions of indecency and immorality.

If you like the elements, and you are intrigued by the spicy ingredients, then don’t hesitate to pick up a FAAS KRAMER novel, and then tell me if you enjoyed the meal!

Originally August 2019

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