This may not be every writer’s worst nightmare, but it has quickly become mine. While my agent is getting things together to submit my historical fiction to publishers (we’re still working on the title and I’ll probably blog on that soon), I’ve been writing away on a second novel.
This one is quite different from the first—it’s a satire and written in an existential style. I’ve been working on it in various forms for several years, and have finally found the correct voice for the narrator, so I have recently been enthusiastic about moving ahead at last.
I don’t want to say too much more about it, but about a year ago I had an idea that as the main character, who is something of a loser, continues to gain power, he might also gain weight—a metaphor for his growth and the indulgences that come with it. Rather creative, I thought.
Well I guess I wasn’t the only one. Got my Wall Street Journal today, which included a section on books to watch for in 2010. Right at the top of the page is a blurb on Ian McEwan’s latest, titled Solar, a comedy about climate change. Here’s what they wrote: “Solar centers on a Nobel Prize-winning physicist who leads an initiative to pioneer a new source of clean energy. He also gets fatter as the novel unfolds.” So much for my creativity.
I suppose I should be flattered that a writer of the “weight” of Ian McEwan came up with the same idea. And maybe his treatment of the weight gain is not quite the same. But it sure is frustrating. His book is due out March 30. Guess who’ll be first in line to grab a copy and see how the fat man sings.