Well-established authors, and those lucky enough to have an agent or someone to help with their publicity, don’t have to think of such things. But most self-published authors, and in this case editor, have to compose the blurb to accompany the book’s outing themselves. The blurb is very important as it should catch the passing reader's attention enough for them to stop and consider buying the book. The key part of the blurb is the first sentence, and this is where I felt, in the case of According to Adam, inspiration was lacking. Instead of highlighting the book’s international character at the beginning, this quality was buried further down in the text. Fortunately, unlike in printed matter, you can edit material online, and of course, I did change the promotional text, but belatedly.
I had come up with the phrase “international potpourri.” The book is indeed a potpourri because it contains stories of various genres: romance, fantasy, horror, mystery, adventure, realism, biography, as well as of various lengths, from brief vignettes to full-length pieces. And it is international because it includes stories from many parts of the world: India, Kurdistan, Egypt, Israel, Australia, Ireland, Canada, the USA, and more.
Despite the different backgrounds of the writers, they are all passionate about writing and all have a story to tell. Here are some examples: Declan O’Leary, who is originally from Ireland but now lives in Germany, opens the book – and the first section – with Adam’s version of his and Eve’s expulsion from the Garden of Eden. Also included in this part is a fantastical tale from India, by Sowmeni Menon, which is related by, of all things, a crow.
In the second section, Chilean-born Leon Zeldis, who now lives in Israel, tells the story of a man whose body was frozen before he died and awakens, decades or centuries later, to a reality so horrific that he probably regrets he returned to life at all. Polish-Australian Christina Jablonski’s story is set in the mountains of northern Italy where strange things happen on the night of the summer solstice.
On a more realistic note, Abeer Elgamal, from Egypt, takes us on nightmare trips on Cairo’s roads while a woman drives her children to their various activities, while Peter Hepenstall tells the sad tale of a boy on a station (or farm) in his native Australia, whose family suffers the consequences of a severe drought.
All these, and many more stories make up this international potpourri. What an evocative word “potpourri,” and how international the book is! And what a pity I didn't think of the phrase before posting the original blurb.