Authors, Novelists, Norm Green, Norman Green, Shooting Dr Jack, Angel of Montague Street, Edgar Award, Shamus Award, Brian DeFiore, Mystery Writers of America, Brooklyn, Alexandra Martillo,Tommy Bagadonuts, American Writers

‘Never Too Late,’ by Claire Cook


Claire Cook is the author of ‘Must Love Dogs,’ and ‘Never Too Late’ is her first non-fiction book. I am not really in Cook’s target demographic because I do not possess a vagina, but I liked the book anyway. I could complain about the proliferation of exclamation marks! Or the abundance of cat stories, but I won’t. What Cook is really writing about here is transformation. You might be great at your job, but that does not mean that you are predestined to stay in it forever. And if you have a dream…

One of the problems with dreamers is that they tend to be great at beginnings, less great at those long middle passages where the dream runs into the cold reality of ditches waiting to be dug. It’s true that you can dream your way into something, but if you are not pragmatic about taking care of business, you can dream your way right back out. Cook transformed herself into a writer when she was in her early forties and she uses her story to map the process for you. I did essentially the same thing but Cook is much better at the nuts and bolts of the thing than I ever was. On the topic of social media, for example, my approach has always been, ‘social what?’ whereas Cook digs in and gets to work, because even if it’s not something that she really loves doing, it’s a necessary part of the process, so why don’t you quit whining and start shoveling?

The first two-thirds of ‘Never Too Late’ was an easy ride for me because I’d already done most of the work, and I could pat myself on the back. The last third was quite a bit rockier, and I began having conversations with myself. ‘Yeah, I should do that.’ ‘So? Why aren’t you doing it?’ ‘I don’t want to.’ ‘That wasn’t the question. Do you want this to amount to something or not?’

And so on.

Thank you, Ms. Cook, not only for pointing out my deficiencies, but also for illuminating the way forward.

Leave a Comment.