Recently Forbes published a list of the highest earning authors, made up of exactly who you’d expect on a list like that. But of course we all know, for every success like these, there are scores more who’ll never come close to making what a Stephen King or James Patterson does.
For the majority of authors, they of course hope to make a living on their writing, and spend huge swaths of time struggling for whatever attention they can get. While I certainly don’t have the broadcast range to drive someone into the stratosphere, what I can do is what I did as a bookseller and librarian, and advocate fiercely for authors I enjoy and feel certain you’ll enjoy as well.
All of which brings me to ask, why aren’t you reading Brendan Halpin? I’ve read several of his books over the years, and often after struggling to find them in libraries and bookstores. His lack of widespread success baffles me. He’s gotten critical praise, his writing is sharp, but he never seems to break through. He’s like Big Star for fiction. Like them, he really deserves to be the secret handshake for avid readers who like a little rock and roll in their fiction.
Also like Big Star, he’s ready for wider discovery. With the help of ePublishing, hopefully that happens. he’s now releasing some of his backlist as eBooks. Those titles, combined with the traditionally published titles his publishers have converted, mean you can start reading any of a dozen great books right now.
I started with Long Way Back, a funny, beautiful story and one of the most genuinely moving books I can ever remember reading. You have to respect the writer who tells how a widower finds his way back to happiness by learning to play bass. And you have to love an author who then has him play bass for a gay punk band.
Since then I’ve managed to track down Forever Changes, I Can See Clearly Now, Dear Catastrophe Waitress, Tessa Masterson Will Go to Prom, and The Half Life of Planets, co-written by Emily Franklin. For the filmmakers out there, I don’t know whether or not Brendan’s been approached for the rights to any of these, but there are six titles I’ve listed above that are ripe for development. You get to explore coming out as a teen, coping with grief through punk rock, and trying to change the world through music, all on a budget any indie filmmaker could easily afford.
Brendan Halpin has put out some wonderful writing, but perhaps more importantly, he still writes wonderful books. Tessa Masterson, one of his most recent, is absolutely deserving of a much larger audience, and I sincerely hope he finds the readership he’s earned from telling such fantastic stories. I realize my audience isn’t big enough to make that happen overnight, but I can definitely try and get the ball rolling.