A few years ago, Norman Partridge saved my life.
OK, so that’s probably putting it a little strongly, but I was going through a rough spot in my writing when I first read The Man with the Barbed Wire Fists, and it did a lot to help rejuvenate me. Partridge has all the energy of the pulps and drive-in movies that inspired him, along with a tight handle on themes and characterization. But what mostly struck me was how in love with everything he seemed. There was enthusiasm dripping off every page, every sentence, every word.
Lesser Demons didn’t hit me quite as hard as The Man with the Barbed Wire Fists, but it’s still got that same enthusiasm, that same energy. In his afterword, Partridge says that he’s the kind of writer who doesn’t like writing but likes having written. From reading Lesser Demons (or any of his other work), though, I’ll say that you certainly can’t see it. Reading Norman Partridge feels like reading somebody who is completely in love with what he’s doing, and it always reminds me of why I fell in love with writing–and with this genre (whatever it might happen to be)–in the first place, and I hope that when people read my stuff they find at least a little bit of that same enthusiasm bleeding through.
Great to hear that MWTBWF put the charge to your battery, Orrin. My dad wasn’t much for giving advice, but he always told me, “Whatever you do, put your heart in it.” That’s always been a big part of my approach… and I always try to get the heartbeat of a story pumpin’, too.