East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

The Blurb Muse

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m-13_Alphonse_Mucha_Printemps_1900Some guys have all the luck.
They write, and have a muse.
And I don’t mean a girl they fancy, and they are trying to impress with their writing – no, I mean they actually have this spirit that gives them Inspiration.

Isn’t that great – some of us have only perspiration to fuel our writing.

The way these artsy guys talk about it, their Muse is something out of an Alfons Mucha print – rosy-cheeked and classy, wrapped in a simple dress, golden hair piled-up in some kind of Edwardian do, barely treading ground, bathed in soft light, spring breeze caressing her.

The Muse suggests these guys their lofty stories – not narrative but Literature, not entertainment but Art.
She gives them her support in homeopathic doses, doling out one painful sentence per day, so that they don’t write much, usually taking months for a short story.

Then you go and read these guys’ blurbs, and synopses, and they leave you aghast.

Because, you see – plain-vanilla Muses do not do blurbs.
Blurbs are the bailiwick of the Blurb Muse, and she’s quite another story.

5ce4e37fcf95e300a28cafb8d7cf60d1The Blurb Muse is not some classy act out of Mucha – the way I envison her, she’s a rather disheveled, chain-smoking, super-caffeinated red-headed chick in underwear, stockings and high heels, straight out of La Vie Parisienne.
She’s dirty-talking and frantic, her make-up smeared and her manners not exactly posh.
She probably has a naughty tattoo somewhere.
Somewhere naughty.

But she does the job – she sells the book, putting together fifteen lines of copy that actually hook the reader, working hand in hand with the cover.
It’s not art, it has more to do with the buying and selling of pleasure.
Sort of like soliciting, you know.

Now I don’t mean to offend, but I’ll happily leave the Mucha Muse – for all her charms and soft allure – right where she is, and stick with my Blurb Muse every day of the week.
I write the stories.
Then we’ll invent some way to sell’em.

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

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