Thursday, June 24, 2010

Helter Skelter and then some

How lame am I?!? It's been way too long since I posted something. I hoped summer would provide some long-needed relaxing days, but so far, we run just as hard as we did during the school year. UGH!

I have had more reading time, though, I must admit. And, even more importantly, more time to focus on finally wrapping up Depression Cookies (officially ten years since starting it now!). Reading first. Since my last posting, I have read American Gods by Neil Gaiman, Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers, Voyager by Diana Gabaldon (third book in the Outlander series) and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer. Don't try to find a common theme with what I read... there isn't any.

Both American Gods and Potato Peel were book club choices. I love book clubs, because truly I will read anything and it forces all kinds of literature on me. One of the reasons I felt strongly that a good portion of people would like my novel, Depression Cookies, is going to book clubs. No matter how horrible I thought a book was, someone always liked it (same in reverse). Some critical masterpieces sucked in my mind and needed a lot more editing, giving first-time novelists like me a small feeling of security. Then again, I know there will be plenty haters, too.

Redeeming Love was given to me by a wonderful friend and Voyager was my obsessive third go-round in a series I initially didn't even like. Reedeming Love is actually written by a Christian author and was so powerful, equal parts heart-ripping and life affirming. Voyager brought the sultry Jamie and Claire back into my life. What made it sweeter was they were past middle-aged for this go round and were still sexy. Love that. Too many "romances" give us a teenage girl. I like real women who've had time to figure out what they want, especially if I'm to believe they have accessed their inner passion.
I wanted to love Potato Peel society after hearing so much about it, but I didn't. Liked it, sure. I wanted more. I find that's my biggest problem with books sometimes... expectations. The book I randomly pick up from Borders on a sales shelf will often impress me so much more than the book I've seen on the bestseller list for weeks. I'm a brat, this I know! I found the letter format distracting, and often couldn't find a real voice to the piece. Several of the ladies at the book club who listened to it on tape seemed to like it more. A good novel shouldn't need that. So easy for me to be a critic, so terrified to have this done to my novel.

American Gods was in a class by itself, thanks Joy!!! Would I recommend it to others? No, not unless I knew them well enough to know he/she had a sense of the absurd and could embrace it . If you let it, this book could challenge so much of what you believe. I didn't let it, but found the author's mind very interesting. Remember... this is the same guy that wrote Coraline. There are some authors whose minds must be on overload all the time. Gaiman now joins Stephen King in this respect. Not to mention whoever wrote Shutter Island. Eek!
I will be better about blog posts. They will still be mainly about the novels I read and the one that is now in the hands of the final three editors before Mom and I get this baby off to the publisher. In so many ways, this novel is my baby. No matter what others might think of it once its released on the world, I will be proud to have given it life.

I have so much to learn about that process and will share every painful step. It seems the importance of e-publishing will drive me mad, but Mom and I are going to do it! Wish us luck... on so many levels.


Joy said...

I'm glad you liked American Gods. I think you are right for not suggesting it to everyone you know though. I, on the other hand, have placed myself in the Joy has weird book choices category and can suggest away!