What people in publishing think of Noah's career conundrum on 'The Affair'
Is it really hard for a blockbuster author to write another book?
The Season 2 finale of "The Affair" airs Sunday night on Showtime and there are still a lot of loose ends that need to be tied up. What is in store for Noah and Alison's engagement? How will Scotty's murder trial play out? But the sex and murder aside, a very real concern keeps popping up throughout the entire series: Will Noah ever be able to write another best-seller?
Noah's last book was so successful, he struggles to write another one. How often does this occur for authors in real life? To find out, we asked two industry insiders:
Carol Fitzgerald, President of The Book Report Network
"From what I know, Noah’s career situation is not unique. When an author writes a book that is a runaway success, especially after writing one that failed like Noah’s first novel did, there is a pressure to write another blockbuster. Noah however wants to write something deeper with more gravitas, something more epic."
"His agent meanwhile says, write the sequel. The story is played out for Noah, but the agent is trying to trade on his success. Tough for an author to write what he or she is told to do, instead of a story that he or she is ready to tell. But to serve the market, it is often what people want."
Sara Nelson, Editorial Direction at Amazon.com
"Noah’s situation is achingly real, especially when it comes to his career woes. First of all, his newly ex-father-in-law is a hugely successful, very commercial novelist, a la James Patterson, who has gone out of his way to make Noah feel inferior (and this was when Noah was still married to the guy’s daughter!). Early on the father-in-law told Noah writing and publishing a second book was 'next to impossible.' I’d say there are a number of writers who’d say writing a second book is very hard, and having it be successful is even harder."
"Donna Tartt, for example, had a huge hit with her debut, 'The Secret History' – and it took her a decade to produce her second book, 'The Little Friend,' which did not sell well. (And another decade to come up with the blockbuster, 'The Goldfinch')."
"Alice Sebold’s first novel (after her memoir, 'Lucky') was the 'Lovely Bones,' which was a huge surprise hit. It was five years until she published 'The Almost Moon,' which was not a hit. Writing books is really an art and not a science!"
"The Affair" finale airs Sunday, Dec, 20 at 10 p.m. on Showtime.
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