I started reading Europe-A History, by Norman Davies, a few years ago. The bloody thing is almost 1300 pages long and filled with details. I dip in, absorb as much as I can, and leave it for awhile. Not unlike with sunbathing, too much exposure can be harmful.
I am currently into the 19th century, when much happened. Today I found two interesting sentences.
The first: "The camera, like the historian, always lies." This came up, because photography was invented in that century. Of course, I was aware of camera deception, where composition, angle, and cropping can tell only part of the story. No one ever sees what is behind the photographer, for example. Think of travel brochures, with their selective motifs and careful cropping to hide true size of the property, unsightly neighbors, etc.
The second sentence dealt with cultural changes in that century. "Mass literacy, however, opened the way for new forms of mass culture: popular magazines, trash novels, romance and whodunits, comics, self-help almanacs, family reference works."
Thanks to Mr. Davies, I have finally found the best description for my books: trash novel. I have never sought or claimed status as literature (despite calling them the best-kept secrets of American literature). Of course, all of the examples listed above had mass audiences and volume sales…something I have yet to achieve. And, one man's trash can be another man's treasure. The corollary of this works for me: I like my trash novels.
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.