Monday, July 9, 2007


Alex Hutchinson in an award winning poet and novelist. He is the creator of Suburban Fiction, a new genre for writers who fictionalize parts of their lives into Bio-Thrillers. Alex has six books in print and they are all available at
(from his about box)

New genre. Bio-Thrillers. It's an interesting idea. I'm not sure exactly how this benefits the reader however, because to them no matter what it's still a story. In a sense it's admitting lying to your readers from the outset and telling them, "Hey, this started out true but here's what I wish would have happened." Or what could have happened I suppose.

Now, to be fair I haven't read any of them but I get the sense that they're literary daydreams, which is fine. It's a journal of lies in a way. It's saying, "Here's what my life could have been like, had this happened, had this path been taken." I'm not against it, I'm not against even calling it a new genre, I just question how it's different to the reader, to the average Joe or Jane in a bookstore who picks up the book from them picking up a novel of complete fiction. It's like buying a lightbulb and not caring if it was made in the USA or's still a lightbulb...they're still novels largely comprised of fiction. I question whether it's new as well.

It immediately reminded of the un-produced screenplay based on Bob Lazar's life where it delves into his (allegedly true) UFO reverse engineering experience in the desert of Nevada but ends up with him being chased by the government while he clutches a gun and runs through speeding traffic, something he never claimed happened. Likewise, Bio-Thrillers just seem to me -without having actually read one- to be Hollywood-ising one's life. Great if that knocks your hair back and gets you writing but I fail to see the benefit or attraction to the faceless reader over the Bio-Thriller author's shoulders.

What's interesting is that Hutchinson uses iUniverse to self-publish his novels. I have nothing against self-publishing other than I wish there were some logo or medallion on a book's outer jacket -front or back- that indicated that it was indeed self-published. Unless you know names such as iUniverse or Lulu you're likely to never know and wonder why (occasionally) there are spelling mistakes or glaring grammatical errors in your copy of whatever you just ordered from

Still you gotta give Hutchinson credit since he's getting his writing out there. Kudos to that.

Self-publishing is great to make your book look like a real book but it does not guarantee that it's been professionally vetted and scrutinized by unbiased eyes before being printed.

Btw, Author House is another self-publishing company.

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