Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Taking a Break

I'm taking a break from the blog for awhile, as I deal with a few projects.  I'll catch up with you soon.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

It's Wednesday - Have an Interview

Head on over to Mysteries and My Musings for an interview with moi.  Ariel asked some great questions and I attempted to answer them.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Interesting Lives

Years ago I heard Garrison Keillor bemoaning the banality of American life.  "All you need to know about someone is that they live down the street from a Blockbuster's, eat at McDonald's and watch the Super Bowl."  At least it went something like that.  To be truthful, all I can remember is the part about Blockbuster's, which is amusing since that commercial enterprise is now just a memory.  In a way, I admire people who are satisfied staying in the same job for three decades or the same town for their entire lives.  That's just not me.  I suppose I get bored too easily.  I like change and travel and new hobbies.  I'm fascinated by people who stepped up to the plate and swung for the fence, whether they struck out or hit a homer.  Here's an obit for Barney Conrad, described as "novelist, diplomat, club owner who hung out with Sinatra and was gored by a bull in Spain."  What a life!

And yes, I do read a lot of obituaries.  I don't think it's unhealthy.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Enthused, But Depressed

The disadvantage to writing is that frequently you stumble upon a writer so good you want to buy back all the copies of your own books and burn them.  I just read Gillian Flynn's first novel, Sharp Objects, and could not believe the confidence and skill she exhibits.

It's a creepy novel which gives new meaning to the phrase "dysfunctional family," and it may not be everyone's cup of tea. I could quibble about a few plot points, but gosh, what a riveting, searing read it is.  And isn't it odd that you can always spot the flaws in other people's work but not your own? Anyway, the writing is the thing here, and it's superb.

I picked up the book because Flynn is getting lots of buzz (her third and latest novel, Gone Girl, has been optioned by 20th Century Fox) and because she's a Missouri girl, though she's deserted us for Chicago.

Check out her work, if you don't mind reading with your stomach clenched in a knot and an overwhelming sense of dread.  Here's a link to her website.

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Last Angel

Mildred Manning, the last angel, has died at age 98. 

She was believed to be the remaining survivor of a group of 77 military nurses captured by the Japanese when the Philippine fortress of Corregidor fell in May, 1942.  She spent the remainder of the war in a Japanese POW camp, under appalling conditions.  She and her fellow nurses were the subjects of a book by Elizabeth M. Norman, entitled We Band of Angels.  Mrs Manning was another extraordinary woman.  May she rest in peace.  Her picture and the obituary are from the The New York Times.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Thick Ed

I love getting feedback from readers, and learning what they like and dislike about my novels.  In this case, it's one of the minor characters from Shadows of Anarchy, an anarchist named Thick Ed.  I'm partial to Ed, which may sound odd.  Surely a writer likes all her characters?  Not true.  I like some, I'm ambivalent about others, and some I love.  I'm always interested in knowing which characters strike a chord with readers.  Anyway, here's a link to the review, which is very complimentary and thus made my day.

Monday, March 4, 2013

The Tease

My thanks to Kimberlee over at Girl Lost in a Book for such a positive review of Shadows of Anarchy, which you can read here.  Also, Freda had nice things to say, although she's ready for the tease to be over.  What's the tease?  The sexual tension between French and India.  I talked about how difficult it is to know when to stop teasing and have the characters get down to business in this guest post.  Now I know what Freda thinks!  The rest of you are free to chime in with your thoughts.  All feedback welcome.