Guest blog by Michelle Richmond
Michelle can be found online at michellerichmond.com
In the past year, I've visited many book clubs for The Year of Fog. One of the things I've learned from this experience is how deeply books live inside the minds of their readers: once a reader opens a book, the story is never exactly what the author intended it to be. It takes on a new life, a life informed by the very unique perspective of each reader. The reader is not simply a separate being in a chair, holding a book in her hands. The reader is always part of the story.
My book-loving friend Martin and I have a recurring
conversation that usually starts with, "I'm going on vacation and can't figure
out which book to take." It's an interesting conundrum, and for us book
addicts, a critically important decision that we begin pondering weeks before we
actually leave town.
I suppose it partially depends on the type of vacation on which you're taking this treasured companion (and by that I'm referring to your book and not your spouse). If your intent is a relaxing week at the beach, for example, you might pick something light and fun, perhaps romantic; the latest from Ann Brashares or Jude Devereaux might be your choice. Those seeking to rekindle that special spark (and this time, I am talking about your spouse) might look for a steamier option, like Anne Rice's Beauty series or something by Jamie Denton (or perhaps no book at all!). Still others may prefer perusing a longer or more complex book while on vacation, since it's rare for them to have a large block of time in which to read.
Guest blog by Meg Waite Clayton, author of
The Wednesday Sisters
Meg can be found online at megwaiteclayton.com
The history of my writing starts with a brown paper lunch bag. Like Linda does in my novel, The Wednesday Sisters, my first writing teacher dumped a collection of "interesting things" onto a table and told us to write about anything that spilled. She swore we wouldn't have to read. Then she called time after five minutes, and called on me to read first.
Which is the good news: If she hadn't, I'd have ducked out before she could call on me second. It had taken all the nerve I had just to get to that class, to admit that, yes, I dreamed of writing novels. I thought writers leaped tall buildings in single literary bounds, and that's not me.