Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Blog Post - Lucien and I by Danny Wynn

Book Genre: literary fiction
Publisher: Bright Lights Big City
Release Date: Late August 1994
Buy: Amazon

Book Description:

Be Careful What You Wish For…

What if you had the chance to relive your twenties the way you really wanted them to be?

Thirty-nine-year-old David is presented with that opportunity by Lucien, a charismatic young Englishman. Ranging from downtown Manhattan to Istanbul, Majorca, and the Hamptons, the two of them live a life of excess—drugs, beautiful women, and adventure—and forge a strange but great friendship.

But with every journey, there comes a price; and in every paradise there lurks a temptress. For David, will his quest for excitement lead him to betrayal and loss?

"Wynn immerses readers in psychologically rich studies of his characters and their quiet but fraught interactions. The prose is subtle but vivid, intellectually engaged but never arid, as the author provides readers with a flurry of glittering snapshots that gradually coalesce into a picture of tarnished longings. An engrossing and vibrant...meditation on friendship and the deep currents that run beneath its surface." 
—Kirkus Review

Author Bio:

Danny Wynn is a full-time fiction writer, and before that, he was an executive in the record industry and part-time fiction writer. He has lived in New York City, Los Angeles, and London, and now makes his home in the West Village with his wife and two children. His other favorite place in the world (after the West Village) is the island of Mallorca, Spain

He is currently finishing two novels.

Danny describes himself as a creature in search of exaltation. In addition to attending the original Woodstock Music Festival, some of the other great concerts he’s been to include: Roxy Music on the Avalon Tour at Radio City, Bon Iver at Town Hall and subsequently at Radio City, The National at BAM and later at The Beacon, and The Waterboys at the Hammersmith Palais, Bruce on his solo tour, U2 on Zooropa and later tours, Dylan on the right night, and Van on the right night.

Among his favorite movies are: PerformanceBad TimingMcCabe and Mrs. Miller, and Withnail and I. His favorite novels include: The New Confessions by William Boyd; A Flag For Sunrise and Dog Soldiers by Robert Stone; The Magus by John Fowles; Legends of the Fall by Jim Harrison; andThe Comedians and The Quiet American by Graham Greene.

He derives enormous sustenance from his close friends.

Website dannywynn.net


Late August 1994

It was around three in the morning in a pulsating Istanbul nightclub when I caught Lucien’s eye. The club was called Twenty-Nineteen—written 2019—and we were dancing with the exquisite Azine, Lucien’s Turkish ex-girlfriend who lived in the Eurasian city—light brown hair, golden skin, stylish, the epitome of feminine elegance as far as I could see. We were moving loosely, sweat-drenched, Lucien in that whirling, psy­chedelic dervish way of his. I was in a transcendent state, one of those all-too-rare moments when the pure act of dancing makes you high, fills you with euphoria. I caught his eye and shouted above the blasting tech­no-soul, “I’m alive!”
He nodded and grinned his grin. He knew.
That’s the way he made me feel. He enhanced my capacity to enjoy life, made the good times better. And the most acute thread of the feeling was the sensation of living life to the full, which I yearned for like a parched plant with long twisting roots seeking moisture. The sensation was a drug for me, just a notch or two below the jolt of ego-juice a guy gets when a sexy woman looks at him with desire, or better yet, succumbs. Some of my many demons.
I was a creature in search of exaltation.
There was, however, an element of desperation in my quest, and in the moments, or longer times, when I was in the sought-after state, the heady pleasure was bolstered by a strong sense of relief at having made it to that elusive place.
In a way, the trip to Istanbul was the peak of my friendship with Lucien and the night at 2019 the high point of the expedition. Not in any exact sense. It’s just that when I look back, Istanbul seems like the pinnacle of our bond, and the night at the club the time we soared the highest. The experience of connecting, of shared good times, was distilled to its very essence. And yet the stain was already there, dark and spreading.

10 Tips for Becoming a Better Writer. 

1.  Always tell a story.  Telling stories is the essence of the dramatic arts, and don’t let any idiot ever tell you plot isn’t important. 

2.  Become a close reader of the books you  read for pleasure, read slowly and see what the sentences accomplish, both via their actual words and the inferred information and meaning they contain; 

3. When you read other writers, stop and think how they are accomplishing what they are accomplishing (e.g., how did they convey the story or progress the story other than  by just telling you, the reader. 

4.  Take workshops – they are an inefficient, painful way to learn, but they’re the best method we have. 5.  do your best to find workshops led by people that treat leading a workshop as a skill, rather than something any writer can do. 

6.  Try to find workshops with writers who are as good as you or better. 

7.  Open your mind to input from others – yes, you will get a lot of feedback that reflects a failure to get your work, or is just stupid, but you will also occasionally get input that you initially disagree with that gradually makes some sense to you (and you can only get this benefit if you allow for the possibility that you are wrong on the point concerned – always consider that possibitity).  A highly successful workshop will give you input, 10% of which is helpful; some workshops fall far short of that; be happy if you get a 10% workshop. 

8.  Learn your craft – all the little things good writers do to make their writing professional (e.g., learn POV rules, how to create a pause and add a telling a detail at the same time, learn about the aversion to adverbs and the aversion to “ing” words, learn what you can leave out – nothing is more amateurish than including words containing info a close reader would naturally supply for you. 

9.  Extremely unoriginal advice, but show don’t tell- let the reader see and hear things for themselves and form their own conclusions – e.g., don’t tell them someone is brave; show them being brave. 

10.  Understand that you will have to write in the face of tremendous self-doubt most of the time – you will regularly think your stuff is crap and that you are deluding yourself to think you can write a decent dramatic work.  Accept that tremendous self-doubt is part of the process, and don’t let it stop you, however close it comes to making you quit your efforts.  Do everything possible to preserve the tiniest flame of inspiration you have in the face of constant criticism from others and their lack of belief in you.  Very, very few people thought, based on my early efforts, that I could write a good book, but I continued to make a lot of effort to figure how to write well, and I got better, and I have written some very respectable works of fiction, and the best is currently in the works