Writer’s Quote Wednesday–Ernest Hemingway

Brit at Maple Ridge Dike - with Hemingway quote

This picture combines two things I love – my beautiful granddaughter, Britney (carrying my book)  and the inspiring words of Ernest Hemingway. Some truths are better expressed in fiction – right? And who among us won’t sink so low as to use a cute child to promote our own work?

For this week’s Writer’s Quote Wednesday, (that amazing blog brainchild of Colleen over at Silver Threading) I have to go with Hemingway. I’ve just finished reading an excellent novel that features the often enigmatic author – Crook Factory by Dan Simmons. The book plunges the reader back in time to 1942 Cuba as Hemingway sets up an amateur espionage ring to ferret out information on Nazi spies and makes use of his own boat, the Pilar, to search for German submarines. Enter FBI Special Agent, Joe Lucas who has been sent to keep an eye on the aging author. Through twists and turns and endless intrigue, Joe and Hemingway develop a unique relationship and Joe is the recipient of more than a few tidbits of life advice – Hemingway style.


This photo comes from a trip Bruce and I took back in 2010 – before I wisely succumbed to the newest wisdom that states grey is the new blonde. We ended up, by fluke, staying at a place in Idaho where Hemingway had often taken up residence during hunting and fishing trips.

If you are a fan of Hemingway, the war years, 1940’s Cuba, or the in-fighting between what would become the CIA and J.Edgar Hoover’s FBI, you might love this novel. I sure did.

Crook Factory Cover

Just a final note on author inspiration. It is said of Hemingway that he read all the time – newspapers, magazines, novels, nonfiction, draft works of other authors, letters. Stephen King has emphasized that if you don’t have time to read, you don’t have time to write. Naturally one should want to read Hemingway. But do read Dan Simmons. I would rate his book, Terror (all about the Franklin Expedition) among the top ten books I’ve ever read when it comes to a satisfying ending. Simmons tromps across genre boundaries as if the very idea of such divisions are ludicrous. He has written sci-fi, horror, hard-boiled crime and my personal favourite – the artfully blended, historical fact and fiction novel. He plays it loose when it comes to various writing conventions, making up the rules as he goes. I don’t always approve but I love to be along for the ride.

21 comments on “Writer’s Quote Wednesday–Ernest Hemingway

  1. ksbeth says:

    i love this and the wonderful pic of your granddaughter. – beth

  2. What a great quote and such an expressive photo of your granddaughter, Fran. I completely agree with King. If you don’t have time to read, you’ll never find the time to write. A writer will always make the time for both.

  3. noelleg44 says:

    Inventive book! I have a remote relationship to Hemmingway – I was born on the day he “liberated” the bar at the Ritz Hotel in Paris after WW II. I think it is still called the Hemingway Bar.

    • My next reading project (or book to try and obtain) will be a selection of Hemingway’s letters. I’ve read compilations of correspondence for a couple of authors and found them very informative. There is something about that personal voice in letter writing that reveals much. Maybe he wrote about that day, liberating the Ritz Hotel. There’s a bar in Cuba that keeps a stool always open for ‘Papa”.

  4. Roy McCarthy says:

    Boo no Kindle option otherwise I just might have. I read ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls’ many years ago and, though I remember enjoying it, never picked up another Hemingway.

    • I just went on the Amazon UK site and was really surprised to see that Crook Factory was not offered for Kindle. That is how I got my copy in Canada. I had wanted to read this book two or three years ago and it was out of print. The ebook feature is a new option in North America. Hopefully coming to the UK soon. For me, Hemingway really shone in the short story genre. That is where I honour him.

  5. Sweet picture of your granddaughter, Fran. Like the quote, too and the King’s note about reading and writing. Did you feel Hemingway’s presence when you stayed in Idaho? 🙂

    • Like so many of our trips – we only discovered how significant the area after the fact. I’ve also had this experience with parenting – LOL. But we really did enjoy Idaho and the Sawtooth Mountains were spectacular.

  6. diannegray says:

    I just love that photo of your granddaughter, Francis – she’s such a cutie 😀
    The Crook Factory sounds great. Anything with life advice Hemingway style is a must for any reader 😉

    • I find I am more intrigued by Hemingway – the writer than I am by the writing of Hemingway. Does that make sense? He’s an archetype of something definitely American and male that personifies a certain era but at the same time he is so much more.

  7. “All good books have one thing in common – they are truer than if they had really happened.” What a wonderful quote! And I can’t let this opportunity pass without letting you know that your books are like this. I am in the middle of Chasing Down the Night. All 3 books in the Crater Lake series are as real as real can be. I often feel as if I am reading a true story. Great writing!

  8. Enjoyed your post, Fran. There has always been something mysteriously alluring to Hemingway the man/writer for me. Perhaps it is his continuous theme of standing up to face trouble–face-to-face–when that’s the last thing we really would like to do, and taking responsibility for our actions.

  9. jackiemallon says:

    Great post but particularly love your studious grand daughter sneaking off for a reading binge with your novel. Too cute.

  10. Silver Threading says:

    This is absolutely moving and beautiful. Your granddaughter is adorable and I love that she has your book!!!! Thanks again for sharing such a meaningful quote and post! ❤

  11. Hi Francis! The quote is great and I love your granddaughter’s picture too! Ha, ha! The Crook Factory reads intriguing. Thanks for introducing me to it and Dan Simmons. 🙂

  12. P. C. Zick says:

    Love the photo and the recommendation.

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