Writers as Main Characters

There is a long history of novels that have writers as the protagonist. Just look at Jo March from Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, published in 1868. In that classic, Jo writes plays to perform with her sisters, sensational stories for tabloid-like newspapers, and eventually, longer manuscripts that get published as books.

Modern authors continue to use writers as main characters. Here are a few newer titles on our Davenport Public Library shelves.  (Descriptions provided by publisher)

The Fiction Writer by Jillian Cantor – The once-rising literary star Olivia Fitzgerald is down on her luck. Her most recent novel, a retelling of Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, was a flop, and she’s battling a bad case of writer’s block. When her agent calls her with a high-paying ghostwriting opportunity, Olivia is all too willing to sign the NDA. At first, the write-for-hire job seems too good to be true. All she has to do is interview Henry “Ash” Asherwood, a reclusive mega billionaire, twice named People’s Sexiest Man Alive, who wants her help in writing a book that reveals a shocking secret about his late grandmother and Daphne du Maurier. But the more Olivia digs into his grandmother’s past, the more questions she has, and before she knows it, she’s trapped in a gothic mystery of her own.

The Skeleton Key by Erin Kelly – Fifty years ago, Sir Frank Churcher wrote The Golden Bones. Part picture book, part treasure hunt, he created a fairy story about Elinore, a murdered woman whose skeleton was scattered all over England. Clues and puzzles in the pages of The Golden Bones led readers to seven sites where jewels were buried – gold and precious stones, each a different part of a skeleton. One by one, the tiny golden bones were dug up until only Elinore’s pelvis remained hidden. The book is being reissued along with a new treasure hunt and a documentary crew are charting everything that follows. During the filming, Frank finally reveals the whereabouts of the missing golden bone. And then all hell breaks loose.

Writers & lovers by Lily King – In the summer of 1997, Casey Peabody works on the novel she’s been writing for six years. At thirty-one, Casey is still clutching onto something nearly all her old friends have let go of: the determination to live a creative life. When she falls for two very different men at the same time, her world fractures even more. Casey’s fight to fulfill her creative ambitions and balance the conflicting demands of art and life is challenged in ways that push her to the brink. Writers & Lovers follows Casey – a smart and achingly vulnerable protagonist – in the last days of a long youth, a time when every element of her life comes to a crisis.

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