The Times meanwhile, has helpfully put up an article telling us the Top Ten things we need to know about Murakami, for those who haven't already.
MG Harris, owes her published book to reading Haruki Murakami...and is now all fangirl about him:
...I do know what reading Murakami did for me and it’s nothing less than this: it enabled me to write a publishable novel.
I’ve written before about the day I met several publishers who were interested in acquiring ‘The Joshua Files’. And one of them commented “We can’t believe this is your first novel!” to which I replied (laughing) - “Well it’s not - it’s my first publishable novel. I’ve written three before this.” “So what happened,” they asked, “between writing the other three and writing Joshua Files?”
So I told them the truth. In the meantime I’d read almost all of the works of Haruki Murakami.
Backtrack a little. There I was with two manuscripts written in 6 months and both getting essentially rejected by agents. Actually the second ms was getting some interest but it wasn’t quite making the grade. And I understood this: without a quantum leap, my writing was not going to be good enough to be published. Something had to change; something major. I had maybe 50% of what was needed. The rest of the 50% was going to have to come with hard study, graft and experience. Or a bolt from the blue.
I couldn’t be bothered to do it the hard way. Crumbs, I was almost 40 years old! I didn’t have too much time left to get a writing career off the ground whilst I was still young enough to enjoy it (both my parents died aged 46 - that gives you a sense of urgency…).
So I began actively to search for the bolt from the blue.
I read a book on how to structure stories for screenplays, even wrote a screenplay for practice. And meantime, I read all the works of an author until then unknown to me - Haruki Murakami.