Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Winners of the Key Book Clubs from Coast to Coast...


Congratulations to the Keller book club!
 


Out of twenty-three (that I knew about) groups who met to discuss The Disappearing Key, over the course of this past year, this is the winning group. Each member will receive an individual key-related gift from me.

Here’s a glimpse at the basket of goodies…
 

 As I’ve stated before, visiting book clubs in person and via Skype has been a true highlight of my publishing career. There’s just nothing like engaging in dialogue about characters that I brought to life. I appreciate every single group who has chosen one or both of my books to discuss.
 
And again, Congratulations to the winning crew!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Dresser Project

I had a blast taking on this beauty recently. I bought it for five bucks at a yard sale.
 
 
I sanded it down and slapped on two coats of Annie Sloan Old White paint, after staining the top Ebony and coating it with a clear glossy wax.
(Streaks of pink kept bleeding through in small areas, which I learned often happens with furniture from the 30s & 40s. I coated those areas with clear wax & then painted over it as soon as it dried.)
 
 
Then I got down to business distressing. I sanded the edges and worked it over good. In certain areas I used a pencil eraser to add in a darker stain (the same Ebony stain as I used for the top).
 
And here's the end result...
 


And one with a very curious dog...

 
 
  
 
Many of you know me as a writer and a mom. But this is a whole other side of me.
I love working with furniture.
 
Do you have a hobby not many people know about?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Delighting in the Imaginary


 
I’m reading Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend by Matthew Dicks. It’s books like this that make me insanely appreciative that I’m able to read. And it’s books like this that bring me back to Laura and Gin Gin—my pretend friends from childhood. A witch and a ghost respectively. (I was born on Halloween.) Even though I had three older sisters, I still delighted in and sought out the company of Laura and Gin Gin.

Imagination was encouraged in our house growing up. I hope to pass this love of the possible on to my girls. There’s something electric, beautiful, and freeing when the mind is uncaged. Potential has a heartbeat of its own. I want to hear the pulse of that beat in my house always.

The imaginary keeps finding a way to reinvent itself in my life. To the point it often hopes to be mistaken for what’s real. I’m now referring to my characters. They can be feisty and stubbornly present. They interrupt during conversations, set up camp in my yard, and infiltrate my dreams. But I admit this with a smile on my face. Because stirred up from the dust are electric and beautiful beings my mind has figured out how to free.

So whether I’m daydreaming about shapes in the clouds with my children, characters on a mission in my WIP, or skipping amidst questions that begin with the infamous “what if,” I say long live it all. Long live the imaginary.


“It's true that writing is a solitary occupation, but you would be surprised at how much companionship a group of imaginary characters can offer once you get to know them.” Anne Tyler

Did you have pretend friends growing up? Do your children?

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

What Is It about Book Clubs . . .

that I love so much?

I won’t be bashful. I’ll come right out and give you ten things that get me jazzed about book clubs.

1.       They’re breeding grounds for laughter.

2.       Book clubs provide mental stimulation. It’s like Lumosity for literature lovers (say that 10 times fast).

3.       I’m able to reflect upon a book once I’ve read it, exploring concepts and characters at a more felt level.

4.       I discuss topics and characters in ways I’d never have the opportunity to do in other circumstances.

5.       When I’m visiting a group that’s read one of my books, I’m always amazed what readers teach me about my characters and stories. It’s insanely rewarding to hear the takeaways.

6.       Book clubs conjure an appreciation for literature and books that have rocked my world in the past. There’s this magical invisible weave that strings from one mind-blowing book to the next.

7.       Book groups are wonderful settings to receive and sift through diverse opinions.

8.       They make me feel less alone, as women come together and open up in refreshingly honest conversations.

9.       They introduce me to new authors.

10.   Okay I’ll admit it, I’m a sucker for the food & wine, too.

 

If your book club is interested in reading THE DISAPPEARING KEY or THE FLOWER GIRLS, I’d love know. Please send me an email with the details. If you’re local, I’ll make the effort to visit in person. I’ve also Skyped and spoken on the phone with clubs before, too.

 

 

& Happy Book Birthday to THE DISAPPEARING KEY!

A Book Is Born—THE AFTER GLIMPSE

At book clubs I’m often asked where my ideas come from. The concept for THE AFTER GLIMPSE (available now) was first sparked in an ice c...