Coming Soon: the Second Book in the Justine Trilogy

March 11th, 2014

In August, 2013, The Cairo Codex, the first book in the Justine Trilogy, was released. In the beginning for this riveting trilogy, anthropologist Justine Jenner discovers a lost codex belonging to Mary, mother of Jesus. Readers particularly find and applaud the details describing Egypt and the build-up to the revolutions to be of compelling interest.

Now, I can forecast the publication of the second book in the Trilogy.

The Italian Letters lies in the sensuous curvature of ancient and present day Italy. The sequel to The Cairo Codex, follows the life of anthropologist Dr. Justine Jenner after she is expelled from Egypt in the wake of discovering and making public a controversial codex, the diary of the Virgin Mary. Exiled into Tuscany, Jenner finds herself embroiled in three interwoven stories of discovery: the long-lost letters from D.H. Lawrence to her great-grandmother, Isabella; an Etruscan tomb revealing the origin and migration of an ancient people predating Rome; and the genealogy of the Virgin Mary and Jesus. While shaken by the frank revelations in Lawrence’s letters and the intimate relationship between the primeval Etruscans and Jesus’ mother, Justine must confront her own sexuality and yearning for personal freedom. The Italian Letters is riveted with literary, religious and archeological history and international politics, each narrative magnifying and altering the meaning of the others.

 

Posted in creativity, Egypt, Fiction, history, Italy, Travel, trilogy, writing | No Comments » | Leave a Comment


Book Clubs! Schedule a Phone Conversation with me!

February 12th, 2014

Recently, a member of a book club asked if I might be in Kansas City on a day scheduled for a meeting. They planned to discuss my novel, The Cairo Codex. I find such conversations exciting indeed! However, since I won’t be in the vicinity on that certain date, I suggested a speaker phone or Skype Q&A discussion. I hope to hear from you about scheduling such a conversation. Or, depending on the place and time, we might be able to schedule one in person.

 

Tags: , , , , , ,
Posted in Book Tour, Egypt, Fiction, trilogy, writing | No Comments » | Leave a Comment


Bono and Elon Musk on Creativity

January 17th, 2014

The day after Christmas, I told the story of the two Kents, each with a different process for writing novels or stories. Last week, Fareed Zakaria interviewed two talented individuals carved on two sides of the coin of creativity.

Bono and Elon Musk experience creativity as differently as the two Kents experience writing. You are familiar with Bono, the musician and social activist. Musk is the creator of the Tesla electric car and Space X. The questions at hand: “How are you creative? What does it mean to you? How does your creativity work?”

For Bono, creativity is that magical, flaming flash of creation surfacing from the well of God. Lyrics may appear full blown in the early morning, in the night. Musk, on the other hand, sees creativity as hard work–pushing until the brain hurts. Two men, two sets of experiences. Both with bountiful creativity.

I’ve heard people say: “I’m not creative because it doesn’t come easy, in flashes. I have to work too hard.” Yet, clearly, there isn’t a “right” way to write, to think, or to create. How does creativity happen for you?

Tags: , , , , ,
Posted in creativity, Education, imagination, writing | No Comments » | Leave a Comment


Hemingway’s style continued….

January 7th, 2014

If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast. Ernest Hemingway

…as I was saying, Hemingway’s approach to writing–with his morning companions, whiskey and fine brandy–was to write to a peak moment. When he was in flow. Then break and allow ideas to germinate, slosh around while he spent time with others. He listened. He was creating and writing The Sun Also Rises at the time.

A second intriguing learning from Hemingway was how he found his “true” sentences for which he is most celebrated. If he were in need of one–but the “truth well” was dry–he went to the Louvre and sat in front of a painting by Cezanne. The true sentence thus revealed itself. Where do you find truth? Cross over into another creative discipline and listen.

Unknown

 

Tags: , , , ,
Posted in Fiction, Paris, Travel, writing | No Comments » | Leave a Comment


New (necessary) Habits for Writing a Novel

January 2nd, 2014

In the past week or so, I’ve written about the novel from several perspectives, including styles, fiction vs. non-fiction, behaviors to abandon, the story of two Kents, etc.  The habits I write about here are the roles of others in our writing lives.  Since I enjoy writing alone in my private world, I initially resisted the time necessary to involve myself in the thoughts of other writers.

Ah, but writing is not a singular life. Instead of losing time in the presence of others—those conversations projected my writing into new realms, new ideas, a process of jump frogging ahead. So when you return to your own manuscript, doors yawn open revealing new images.

I learned this long ago from Ernest Hemingway through his claims in A Moveable Feast. He would end his writing in the late morning when his creativity was in full flow and wouldn’t allow himself to think about it again until the next morning. The afternoon and evenings were spent with his son Bumby, Ezra Pound, James Joyce, Gertrude Stein….

Find your Hemingway, Pound, Stein, Joyce in a writing coach, a writing group, a writing conference or class, an insightful editor, or a critical friend.  Staring in the mirror can be inspiring, yet staring into the eyes of others can provoke a new way of imagining the world.

 

 

Tags: , , , , ,
Posted in Fiction, imagination, Travel, writing | No Comments » | Leave a Comment


Writing the Novel: Fiction versus Non-Fiction

December 30th, 2013

Post Dec. 28

The story of the two Kents (Haruf and Nelson) in my last post represented two ends of the cognition spectrum: stories that spring organically from experience…and stories that present themselves in a more systematic way. The common ingredient: imagination and fine writing.

Imagination is still the driving force, regardless of how we bring it to life. Because I had written non-fiction texts in leadership before turning to the novel genre, I brought along many strategies that serve me well in my former life.  Many of those strategies got in the way!! They had to be discarded, often painfully.

In non-fiction, a writer leads the reader down a primrose path to understanding, bridging and looping ideas, repeating key points, closing arguments—all in service of thorough understanding.

But what about: Surprise? Puzzlement? Tension? Not if you can help it.My first draft of a novel read like a graduate thesis.  But surely some practices served me well in fiction as well as non-fiction…what were they?

1)   The discipline of writing—writing every day.

2)   Tenacity—staying with the project until it is done.

3)   Getting the ideas and story down quickly, revising later.

4)   Not personalizing critique from self and others.

5)   Rewriting, then rewriting again.

Next…New Habits for Writing a Novel

Tags: , , , , , ,
Posted in Fiction, imagination, non-fiction, trilogy, writing | 4 Comments » | Leave a Comment


How to Write a Novel: a Story of Two Kents

December 26th, 2013

Let me start by saying…that, of course, there is no formula. However I have the story of two Kents, both from Salida, Colorado, on the day that I talked with them. First, Kent Nelson (The Touching that Lasts) at lunch. Later Kent Haruf—the New York Times best-selling author of Plainsong and Benediction—at a book talk later in the day. They are both fine, poetic writers. I will tell you their approaches—then my own.

41RP4FG4FGL._AA160_ 414FMFpXfGL._SL160_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-dp,TopRight,12,-18_SH30_OU01_AA160_Kent Nelson was driving along the highway south of Flagstaff, headed for Phoenix, when he spied a formally dressed man sitting proudly in a lavish field of grass. Kent pulled over, approached the man, sat down beside him, and coaxed out his story. Thus began a book of short stories, later a novel. No outline, no themes—at least at first—just a man and his story. Once he begins, the stories flow organically, one emerging from another.

Kent Haruf, on the other hand, is a quiet, interior man of precision. He outlines his books, organizes his work and time: a linear author of non-linear stories. Each character, action, shared interaction, and conclusion is part of a plan rather than serendipity.

Are you one of the two “Kents?” Is one approach better than the other? In my next post, I’ll describe how I write a novel.

 

 

 

 

Tags: , , ,
Posted in Fiction, writing | 2 Comments » | Leave a Comment


So—you want to write a novel…

December 23rd, 2013

It is said that vast numbers of people have—or believe they have—the GreatAmerican Novel inside them. Perhaps that is so, in that the novel blends our imagination and dreams, our biographies and experiences, our hurts and disappointments. We can decide how life turns out. We can shape our destinies.

A few ideas to consider as you undertake this magnificent, mammoth task:

1)   Do you have a concept or story that will carry you through to the end?

2)   Can you unravel the threads of your story into intriguing characters and sub-plots?

3)   Will you discipline yourself to find the time to write each day?

4)   Do you enjoy spending time alone, inside your own imagination?

5)   Can you write fully, joyfully, and freely without worrying about publication? (more on that soon)

Next: How Do You Write?

Linda

Tags: ,
Posted in Fiction, writing | 2 Comments » | Leave a Comment


Why a Trilogy?

December 16th, 2013

I am often asked: Why a Trilogy? Why not just write the first book and see how it goes? I’m sure my publisher has asked himself the same question. So I decided to answer this question as a set of “trilogy rules,” or—when you’re ready to write a trilogy.

You are on your way to a trilogy…

  1. You have a fierce obsession with some big themes, like the history of the Roman Empire, the transition of Egypt from a dictatorship to heaven knows what, the progression of a people or tribe, your characters must grow up and transform… You have a great deal to say and just can’t keep it under 400 pages.
  2. You have a lot to say about the evolution of an individual who is representative, iconic, symbolic of a particular group, e.g. women, a political or religious figure, men, ice skaters, explorers, etc.
  3. You are inventing/creating a voice and actions for a historical character, e.g. Mary of Nazareth, Jesus, Tolstoy, Hemingway, etc. Such a reinvention benefits from a trilogy since it takes time to alter the reader’s sensibilities and experiences.
  4. Novel Number 1 is doing so well that you receive fan letters demanding to see the next novel.
  5. Numbers 1-4 above are true for you, but you need a breathing space in between.

Linda

 

 

Tags: , , , ,
Posted in Egypt, Fiction, history, Travel, trilogy | No Comments » | Leave a Comment


Very best gift ever for: historical novel lovers; those who yearn to go to Cairo; devotees of Middle Eastern intrigue; Christians, Muslims, and Jews; feminists and misogynists; intellectuals; travelers to exotic locales…

December 14th, 2013

TheCairoCodex-3D-sm… real and armchair adventurers; those given to an astounding imagination and addicted to danger. Those who believe the Christmas story and want to walk with the Holy Family into Cairo….

 The Cairo Codex by Linda Lambert is the perfect gift…a riveting new novel set in Egypt 2000 years ago—and today. A captivating and suspenseful novel that portrays the lives of two provocative women, two millennia apart. One legendary; both heroic. This compelling novel explores the bold themes of dominant human desires, fundamentalism, sexual awakening, feminism, and the pressures that lead to revolution.

Egypt is a powder keg ripe for revolution, sparked by a discovery so shocking that religious and political forces converge to prevent its revelation and the Muslim Brotherhood plots to take over the country…

            The Cairo Codex, first in The Justine Trilogy.

www.lindalambert.com

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment » | Leave a Comment


« Older Entries Newer Entries »