Wiersema spoke to a group of writers who gathered under the aegis of Canadian Authors in Victoria.
For his presentation, he chose to debunk seven myths about the writing life. His comments emphasized the stunning variety of stories and ways they are made. Also, a self-described movie fan, and in keeping with Oscar season, he pointed out that many of the stories that were nominated as films started out as books.
Examples included Bridge of Spies, recently rediscovered after the novel's original publication in 1964. Room was a prize-winning Canadian novel whose author, Emma Donoghue, wrote the screenplay while she created the book. The Martian began as a series of blog posts by a space science aficionado. At the request of readers, it became an e-book. Then, the movie rights were sold; the print rights came last. Truly, ours is a fascinating era of opportunity for story making.
More good news. Unlike the paranoiac myth fuelled by aspiring but as yet unpublished writers, said Wiersema, publishing is decidedly NOT a closed world. He assured his listeners of the falsehood of the idea that the publishing world consists of "only five people" who "sleep together on the pages of discarded manuscripts."
Many thanks to Victoria Canadian Authors members Liz, Steve and Myrtle for hosting this fun, enjoyable and encouraging talk.
Robert Wiersema's recent novel, Black Feather, is a "mythic thriller" set in Victoria. He has also just published Walk Like a Man, a biography of singer Bruce Springsteen.