Thursday, July 26, 2012

Let's Start with a Work in Progress

     Today's book, A Work in Progress, was billed as literary fiction, though the blurb I received sounded more like Romance, so I just wasn't sure about it. For one thing, I often wondered what the term literary fiction meant.  I had my suspicions, mind you. After all, most of the works of fiction that win the big prizes are literary fiction so it must be miles above genre fiction. The truth is, now I see it as just another genre, especially when I realized the novel I wrote for NaNoWriMo (National November Write Month) was literary fiction! If you are, like I was, searching for a definition to put in your pocket, Annie posted a good description on Write Anything. For another thing, the plot sounded a bit weak, which trust me it isn't, but it is quite subtle. I read Heir to Power by Michele Poague, and when the review time came, it was hard to put a finger on the plot, because it was as much about the growth and coming of age of the main character and others as it was about the story. The plot was, as it is in Brad Cotton's book, subtle and brought to life as we watch the characters change.

From Promo: A Work in Progress

Writer Danny Bayle’s life is in shambles. His true love has left him and his grandfather — the last and most important influence in his life — has just passed away. Danny has spent the last few months languishing, unable to write a single word, but at the urging of a friend ventures out into the world in an attempt to jumpstart a new life, befriending in the process an interesting assortment of characters including an author, a musician, an artist, and an elderly retired nurse. Garnering the attention of more than one woman, Danny sees his new friends unwittingly begin to shape what could just be the story of his life. But will he ever let go of the girl that got away?

About the book:
    The promotions give a good description about what the book is like on the outside or the plot side of the story but the real story takes place inside, where emotions live. Danny has two huge losses in his life - his girlfriend leaves and his grandfather dies - setting Danny adrift in a sea of unfamiliar emotions manifested by his inability to write, which for a novelist is death. His friends and others have lots of suggestions but only one makes sense to Danny - go outside, do new things, meet new people, and create new adventures.  Though he isn't sure how to do it, once he steps out of his world and opens himself up to possibilities, he meets the people his soul needs to survive.

My Take: 
   Danny Bayle is a compelling story and, because the book is told in the first person, we learn from him about him but we can also see where his world view doesn't quite compute. The supporting characters of his life make sense because they are the people you would expect him to have as friends.  The supporting characters of the story, the second tier characters, are strong and vivacious but none so much as Katherine.  I can still see her on the rooftop with her brush directing the boys painting like an orchestra conductor.  I believe it is an imagine which will stay for years and that is really what we want from a book, isn't it? Actually what we want from life? We want characters and scenes that live with us, for the rest of our lives if possible. This book, for me, provided  such a character.
   The writing itself was engaging, the movement between words, paragraphs and scenes artistic, and the editing perfect - it never dropped me from the story.  In fact I didn't actually read the book so much as I absorbed the book. Mr. Cowherd, a chemistry teacher, once said you can't learn chemistry through osmosis but I did and this book is just like that. Now there is as much book on the inside of me as on the outside with no real effort on my part. In less than 48 hours I lived through the book I had set aside a week to read.

    I absolutely loved this book.  I most highly recommend A Work in Progress to anyone who likes character driven novels, novels about regular life and the changes we make as we travel that journey. I don't normally read literary fiction, so if you don't either, you might still give this book a try. You just might find a new 'genre' to read.

                                   A Unique Lit Fiction Novel with Moving Dialogue!

A Work in Progress is a new literary fiction novel by author Brad Cotton. The book has received great reviews and is on sale from July 23rd to August 3rd! Download your copy here.

In addition, Brad is doing a big giveaway, including a $100 gift certificate to Amazon and signed copies of his book!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Tweet, like, follow, share, blog and grab a copy of his book to enter.

Get your copy of A Work in Progress today! On sale on Amazon only.

About the author

Born and raised in Toronto, Brad Cotton has been writing professionally for over a decade. An average guitarist, a subpar painter, and a horrible juggler of anything larger than a tangerine, he is currently married to a woman, but does not have a cat, a drum set or any children. A Work in Progress is his first novel.

Learn more about the author and his work at:


  1. Great stuff, Sunday Smith! Thanks so much for sharing. Warmest regards -- Dr. Glen Hepker

  2. Thank you. I think you will find the book quite good.


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