Thursday, March 31, 2011

XLVI -April 2011

As some of you know, Herself, my esteemed editor, and I have been going round and round about what book I should write next. Of course, I could write anything I felt like and then hope that Ann, my esteemed agent, could sell it. But I keep hoping to tantalize Herself into offering me another contract. 

I want to write a kind of multi-generational story, set in Marshall County and beginning around the time of the Civil War --which was especially uncivil in these parts

Think Gone With the Wind    meets Cold Mountain.
Lots of romance, lots of lush scenery and period dialog, lots of fascinating characters.... I think it could be really good.

But in today's skittish publishing climate, They want something more, something that would really get people's attention. So...
So we make  some of the main characters vampires . . .

Working title -Vanished with the Wind on Blood Mountain
What day is it? Oh, yes, April 1.

A happy Spring to everyone! It's been too wet to plow here and we haven't done a thing in the garden, not even planted potatoes.  John is painting gates and mending fences and getting ready to build a permanent chicken house for our broiler raising operation. Justin is making butter and cheese with all the milk Marigold is producing now -- there's even talk of a second milk cow.

I am trying to tackle some painting and cleanup in the house, as well as settling down to begin the next book -- with or without a contract.  There will not be vampires. Or zombies.

And I've been asked to be part of a fun collaborative mystery novel -- Twelve writers, each writing a longish chapter....but that's all I can tell you at the moment.

One of my dearest friends writes: What is the matter with me...I HATED The Help, couldn't read past pg 50...all too obvious and certain to make the reader feel superior...UGH! But I'm the only one on the planet so I must be nuts...just read another book I think you will love: "The Year of the Hare", written in 1975 by a Scandinavian writer and has now been translated into over 20 languages...I GUARANTEE THIS ONE!
I haven't read THE HELP yet -- I know lots of you all loved it. Will have to take a look soon.

One Was A Soldier I really did love and carried on at length over on my daily blog. There's a drawing over there to win an advance reading copy so if you're interested, click on over.
I'm also very enthusiastic about a Young Adult book called The Blue Sword. 
I loved reading it and only wish I'd first encountered it when I was around ten.  A perfect gift for the young girls in your life.

Under the Skin is available for preorder now, though it won't be out till October 25. It is subtitled "A Full Circle Farm Mystery" which has confused more than one of you all, looking for the next Elizabeth Goodweather.  

Yes, it IS the next Elizabeth book. 

This new tag is from Random House marketing, who obviously hoped it would sell more books. We'll see; no one listened when I said I thought it was confusing.
A slide show of March -- click to biggify and read captions.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

XLV - March 2011

What I did in February...
I also watched turkeys courting and I read some good books and turned 68 and was given a Kindle by my sons along with some 'real' books from others. I've talked about them over on my daily blog... 

And I've had a lot of fun downloading free books to my Kindle from Project Gutenberg . . . Oz books, Edgar Rice Burroughs books, Wodehouse books. . .

A fun thing happened -- Roseanne Daryl Thomas, the author of Beeing, a book I mentioned here last month, as well as blogging about it on my other blog,  got in touch with me after reading my write up.  We've had a pleasant exchange of emails and discovered quite a lot of things that we have in common --including a love for P.G. Wodehouse.
Who's Reading What

Witch of Stitches said, "I just picked up a copy of India Black this afternoon - both you and someone else, can't remember who, mentioned it and I thought it looked interesting. Also picked up copies of Gaskell's Wives & Daughters and Cranford for my Gaskell challenge - all of this after picking up several books at the library! Of course, as always, there is a pile of books next to my chair waiting to be read."

Deana the Queena of the Hell or Highwater Book Club writes:  "This morning I finished "Dogs," by Abigail Dewitt, also a local writer, whose prose is like a polished gem. You can read about it on Amazon if you'd like a more complete explanation of the story. I'll just say that my tears continued to flow after I closed the last page, partly because it was sad, partly because the story was so easy to relate to, and partly because it was told so beautifully."

Deb A of Aliens and Alibis says, "I’ve gone back to the older authors lately.  A number of library books are looking at me with soulful eyes but somehow the old books are what comes to hand when I want a new book.  Right now I am reading Shadowy Horses by Susanna Kearsley – this is one I’ve read before but I read it more for the characters now.  I’ve also got some Mary Stewart on the shelf.  I have a couple of Barbara Michaels to read also – Into the Darkness and Die for Love which is by Elizabeth Peters.  (Note: As you may already know: Barbara Michaels and Elizabeth Peters are the pen names of Barbara Mertz.)  Not really old books but very satisfying.  Maybe it’s a sign of aging but these writers have the power to keep me glued to the pages without a serial killer, tons of blood and inventive torturers. 

Back to the final pages of Shadowy Horses."

 Pat in East TN tells me: "I have finished reading a couple of Jo-Ann Mapson's earlier books.  I like her writing and had never gotten into the earlier books.  About a year ago I read HALF BROKE HORSES by Jeannette Walls and really enjoyed it, so now I am reading her book THE GLASS CASTLE.  It's an account of her growing up and believe me, she had quite a life! "

Eleanor W "just finished a book I really like, "Enough About Love" by Herve Le Tellier...different, French-style...ooolala!"

Time to begin to think about the garden . . .
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