Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Writing the Book You Want to Read

I was browsing the shelves of Colliseum Bookstore back in 1988. Not sure how many of you ever heard of this gone-but-never-forgotten Grandis Libris Domus. I feel sad for those who never experienced it. The classic browsing place. I was flipping through titles in the "Psychedelic New Age Science Fiction Rock & Roll Romps" section with Tim Leary and Jimi Page. There was a single book. It was called Milky Way Marmalade. I bought the book and strolled over to Central park, sat on a giant brass mushroom in the Alice in Wonderland sculpture. Beside me a dwarf was smoking from a huka. I read the entire tome aloud and he did a little dance and said "Yes my friend. There is nothing else to read."

Ok- maybe that didn't really happen. Milky Way Marmalade was not in print in 1988. It was published in 2003 and I was the author.

But the feeling I get from writing it and the feeling I get from knowing it exists fills me with utter joy. I honestly, with all humility tossed out the nearest stained glass window, feel that Milky Way Marmalade is the greatest book ever written. Keep your Bible and your Mahabarata and Harry Potter. Milky Way Marmalade is THE BOOK I wish I had when I was in high school. It would have one-upped its inspiration - Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. If I pick up a copy of it now and flip to a random section I laugh out loud. I feel wonderful.

THIS is the feeling you must all go for as authors. Write the book you dream of reading. Stop trying to write a bestseller. The book you write should be on the top of your own favorite reads list.

Now I did get amazing reviews. It won a Dream Realm award which no one ever heard of but felt nice. It has not sold too many copies but that is because I did not give it the push it deserves. I will. It will one day be an amazing motion picture with the greatest classic rock soundtrack.

Then again it may remain in the farthest depths of Amazon print on demand jungle. No matter. I love the book with all my heart and soul. I makes me smile just thinking about it.

You are cheating yourself if you never strive for this feeling. Use the Joseph Campbell philosophy. Write Your Bliss. There will be people out there who will get it. Who will love it. I will never forget the amazing feeling I felt when I discovered someone had listed it as their favorite book on Facebook. A COMPLETE stranger! Then again- someone else said it sucked like a Hoover. But what do they know. I wrote it and I know Milky Way Marmalade is the greatest book ever written.

Write your best ever...


  1. You know, Michael, I'm going to agree with you here. I genuinely like my own books. I enjoy reading them, and despite knowing the ending, I can stay up until the wee hours of the morning reading. And, yes, I DO know what the Dream Realm Awards are. I have a beautiful crystal award staring at me right now. So, congrats on that win for you! Thank you for reminding me of why I write - my bliss.

  2. I love your enthusiasm, Michael, and your positive thinking. I, too, know about the Dream Realm awards. My paranormal story was a finalist. Best of luck with your writing. Reach for the stars.

  3. Our books are our kids. We need to love and be proud of our kids. Maybe some day I'll get an award, too!

  4. Michel, congrats on the Dream Realm. I've been a finalist twice and maybe someday.