Monthly Archives: May 2009

Pick a Book, Any Book

After looking at my list of favorite books on the right, I realized what a widespread genre I enjoy. Sometimes I can’t find one shred of commonality between some of the themes I choose. It’s a far cry from a story of a young girl coming of age in South Carolina during the civil rights movement, in Sue Monk Kidd’s The Secret Life of Bees and the enticing saga of vampires and werewolves, romance and mystery in Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight.

And while we’re on the subject of vampires, even my most recent vamp-favorite, the can’t-put-it-down-series by Charlaine Harris, depicts yet a completely different, more humorous view on vamps in her Sookie Stackhouse novels. I will admit, I’ve always had a thing for vampires though. I’ll go on record as saying, yes, I was an avid viewer of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series.

Right now I’m hooked on an older series that I happened to run across about quirky New Jersey bounty hunter, Stephanie Plum, in the novels by Janet Evanovich.  Seems Ms. Evanovich has been writing this series since the 80’s and is still going with it.  It’s up over 15 books now.  I’ve almost caught up with her in reading now, so she’s going to have to start cranking out more, because I’m definitely not ready for the ending!

I used to be a huge Stephen King fan. I’ve read nearly all of his books, my favorite being Christine, of course. But, now something changed–maybe post kids–those seem to give me the willies too much to read them anymore. Maybe I’ll pick them up again someday.

As far as non-fiction, I immensely enjoyed the memoir, Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, in which the writer made a pilgrimage across Italy, India and Indonesia to find herself. But I wouldn’t say that memoirs, in general, are my cup of tea. I think maybe in the timing of reading that book, I was also looking for something and by experiencing with the author, I was able to find a piece of that. I just didn’t have to take time off work to do it!

After a search at our local bookstore when my hands had eagerly picked up The Friday Night Knitting Club, by Kate Jacobs, my husband had to laugh. “Knitting? Why in the world would you want to read about knitting?!” But it wasn’t the knitting that “wove” me into the book. It was the story of how all these different women, from all different walks of life, came together for the love of one thing. And they ended up sharing an unbreakable friendship. It was also set in Manhattan’s Upper West Side, a place I’ve always wanted to visit. So a piece of me was there.

Then it was on to The Pillars of the Earth. Definitely not my typical read, but Oprah recommended viewers to read it…so…And I’m so glad I did. This will be one that, when I’m in the mood to sink my teeth into something with a little more than just light reading required, I will pick up again, and again.

So, when people ask me what I like to read, I often find it difficult to answer. The truth is I could probably find something interesting on the back of a cereal box. I’ve learned there is more literal truth in the saying, “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” I’ve almost never met a book I didn’t like.

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No News Is Good News, Right?

Aside from another full manuscript request (VERY good news!) I haven’t heard any news from any of the potential agents who have requested to review my work.  But, no news is good news, right?  Isn’t that what they always say?

While the waiting is hard and I’m sent into heart palpitations every time I open my email, I have to believe that no news means they are still reviewing my manuscript or haven’t gotten to it yet.  Which means it’s still in realm of possibility.  At least I have the comfort of knowing it’s not in the dreaded slush pile.  <shudder>

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And the Search Continues…

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been busy submitting query letters to various agents for my new book, Autumn in Vermont. One really helpful site that I found by accident, called Agent Query, has turned into an invaluable source. I’m able to search by genre for a listing of agents who are looking for or specialize in my particular style of novel.

Overall, I’ve been happy with the responses I’ve received. Sure, I’ve gotten a few standard rejections, but I also have a few very promising leads and requests for additional excerpts as well as one asking for the entire manuscript of my book. I guess the fact that they haven’t came back immediately with a “no” means they’re still considering it. Now, for more waiting…and submitting…and hoping…and dreaming…

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