Expanding Literacy through Narcissism

The front page of this Sunday's Los Angeles Times Calendar section features a big essay by my brother Tod discussing his experience writing BURN NOTICE: THE FIX and his research into the business of tie-in writing. I was approached to write the novels, but I declined and recommended Tod, who I knew was perfect for the job:

My brother was right: I was the perfect person. The only problem was my
advanced sense of artistic self. I had long, twisting conversations
with my agent, my wife and the kid who makes my sandwiches at Quiznos
about the literary equity I'd accrued, about how writing a tie-in might
somehow sully my career and other topics concerning my navel. My agent
told me to take a deep breath, get lucid and call her back after I did
some research…

So he did. Read his very funny article and find out what he learned.

UPDATE 8-25-2008: Tod's article got a surprisingly unsnarky mention on GAWKER, some love on TV Squad and some attention from Publisher's Weekly's Book Maven.

UPDATE 8-26-2008: TV Squad also gave Tod's book a rave review.

7 thoughts on “Expanding Literacy through Narcissism”

  1. What a thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining essay, by turns humorous and then serious, insightful and touching. It comes across as a really interesting debate a writer has with himself where he loses, only to find something of great value that he didn’t know had existed — and only to find a cause he believes in so much, he is ready to fight for it. This is a work of real intelligence by a writer who is not afraid to change his mind when his experience does not match his biases. Reading this essay gave me a whole new way to feel about the TIE-IN NOVEL, and the essay has elevated these books in my thinking. Really a good essay!

  2. Tod’s piece is superb, true and entertaining. A while ago I went through the same angst when invited to write a work for hire. But I had no reputation to sully, and my only life accomplishment has been to make a decent living for decades writing fiction. So I wrote the novel, involving a character created by a dead author, and it went well. Now they want another. I’ll do whatever it takes to put bread on my table.

  3. On top of everything else, BURN NOTICE: THE FIX is just plain fun to read.
    I cannot wait for the second in the series….

  4. Richard,
    The only impact I can see is that we bump into each other when we’re signing together if I sit on his left. And his handwriting is even more illegible than mine (at least I have a bum arm as an excuse).


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