Monday, January 23, 2017
Book Publishing Needs An Exorcism
William Peter Blatty died this month. He made book publishing and movie history over four decades ago that is worth exploring today.
Peter authored a book that went on to sell 13 million copies. His best-seller shocked the industry as it spawned a new genre: theology-based horror. His phenomenal story translated well into film, as he won an Oscar for writing the screenplay. The film was the first horror movie ever to be nominated for Best Picture.
Can the book and movie industry create a new kind of genre that sweeps the nation?
The Exorcist was a true original. But what is original that is in books today?
It seems we have explored outer space, vampires, erotica, dystopia, pandemics, psycho girls with tattoos and bad marriages, and so many other subjects as to create repetition beyond need. It is time for something new.
Do you remember as a kid saying there is nothing left to invent? That was while the Internet did not even exist. We know now there is so much that can and will be invented, things we can't even imagine or comprehend. This will be true for books as well. In fact, some of the themes and genres to come in books may even be linked to the new society that we create in years to come. Technology, medicine and new political alliances are sure to inform and inspire many books to come.
This doesn't mean that books can grow only along the same track as the growth of science, but certainly as more things become possible, out lives change. This opens writers to write only if what is happening, but to imagine or warn of what could be. It would also naturally spur books about what was, where writers suddenly crown a prior era as some golden era once it is stacked against the current trends and dire predictions for society.
In theory there will be no end to what could be written about, provided the world keeps changing. When we keep the status quo in reality, the ideas of writers tend to dry up. We need to always be tinkering, manipulating, exploring, risking, and even distorting, destroying and disturbing things.
Some books depend on new rounds of violence and depraved acts of inhumanity to inspire their writing. Books coexist in a disturbing way with the world that we have, fir writers usually explain, then protest, then fantasize, then lead change only to again repeat the process of reporting, rebelling, and reimagining the world we live in.
Perhaps our poets and novelists and essayists are not innocent observers and mere truth tellers and philosophers. They are the progenitors of things to come and not all of it is lovely, peaceful, or idealistic. Poets can rape with their words and novelists can kill pieces of society with their ruminations and fantasies.
But the writer, when all is said and done, is still a central figure in maintaining a just and moral society. He or she more often than not leads us down a proper path and helps us to only stray far enough in order to get the proper perspective of what is good, right, and fun.
Let's see what new genre this decade can produce, much the way The Exorcism unleashed a devil of a tale upon us in the 1970s. My bet is it will be linked to technology, simply because that is what drives our world today in such s blinding and smothering manner that it is hard to look beyond our devices to see humanity.
We are overdue for a world war or a global catastrophe. We haven't had an assassination in 50 years. When these things happen, and they will, books will follow them and then take the lead of where such calamities could take us.
Terrorism is an old, predictable storyline that is still lived out in real time. Romance, in the era of Internet dating, seems dead. Stories about families have perished with the decline of the nuclear household.
So where does it leave us?
Ask a writer. Become that writer.
All-New 2017 Book Marketing & PR Toolkit
Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2017©. Born and raised in Brooklyn, now resides in Westchester. Named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs