No excuse is a good excuse. But, facts are facts, and the fact is that I love movie-theater popcorn. Somehow I skipped over/passed by/was oblivious to a great book/author/trilogy. I’m talking about Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series, aka The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo books. And, at the risk of committing blasphemy, I hereby admit that I saw the movie before I read the book!
Forgive me, stone me, just listen to me.
We all have 24 hours in every day. Some people accomplish much in life, others not so much. The reality is that each of us makes time for our own priorities. I have read dozens of books since The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo was released in America, and I have spent countless hours working out, sleeping, God knows eating, etc., etc. And now I WISH I had made time for the book; the story was that good. The second installment in the series is the next book on my reading list… it just jumped ahead of other books I’ll probably also kick myself for not reading sooner, but nonetheless, The Girl Who Played With Fire will be my next book.
But the amazing fact that I just discovered is the similarity in theme between my new novel, That Changes Everything, and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Sure, you have to strip out the details like location, occupations, and the serial rapist/murderers, but the bones are very similar. Both books could be described as such:
An accomplished man has just hit rock bottom. He meets a young, dysfunctional, seductive female. The girl tries to help the man solve a mystery and regain his life; some sort of relationship ensues; maybe they end up together… maybe they don’t. (Not going to give the ending away!)
Now, once you (meaning me) reintroduce a specific location, occupation, time frame, and unique problems, an entirely new book is created. In fact, I’ll bet few people would ever compare the two novels like I have just done because the circumstances and fluff are so dramatic that they greatly disguise the bones. And “to go one moment more,” I realized while I was away in Costa Rica, the same comparison to another of my favorite books that was made into a movie: Out of Africa. This time, you also have to change the genders of the two main characters, but the comparison remains.
Maybe what they say is true: There’s nothing new under the sun. Perhaps, but my novel is a compelling, current, intense version of two other great stories. It’s the story-telling that makes a book so delicious and fun. I didn’t realize it as I was writing, but now I can see the comparisons. I mean, hey, had you noticed the comparison between Out of Africa and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo before now?
Shameful self-promotion? Yes, but I believe in my work that strongly.
I think you’re gonna like it, too.