So many stories to be told

It’s a page turner, a quick read, I couldn’t put it down until the end. authors loved to get reviews like this,  but  since I’m feeling like the Monday Morning Curmudgeon, I’d just like to  ask . . .

What happened to getting lost in a book?  When you lose a sense of time, where you can put it down and come back to it with the pleasure of seeing an old friend. Or where time stops altogether, where successful, meaningful, poignant writing isn’t dependent on a race to the finish.

Why can’t we wander down the by ways? Linger with the characters? Revel in the richness of the story?

photo by Kirsti Nebeisiek

Everything is fast in life, drive through banking, twenty minute oil change, automatic delivery to your e reader, the only thing it seems we’re willing to wait for is a dinner reservation.

And at work, you have to deliver. . . .yesterday, always have a new idea, and a plan for implementing it.

We surf the net, television channels, dvr so we don’t have to wait through the commercials (Okay I’ll give us that one, who wants to listen to the hard sell while trying to keep focused on the plotline of what you’re watching.) But even without the commercials, we must we see what else is on?  Too restless to watch one thing.

 There’s microwave,  instagram, freeway, the mall.

And when you finally get to the end of your day, you sit in your favorite chair  and race through a book.

Whew.  I’m tired just thinking about it.

I think I’ll go read a non-page turning, overwritten story that meanders though a time other than my own.  Say Oliver Twist.

I may even turn off my e reader, neglecting my free download of Dickens’s novel, and pick up that old paperback off my shelf.  I know it must be there . . . somewhere.

I’ll turn on my reading lamp, put my feet up, and maybe even turn a page or two.

How do you enjoy reading?


Lois Winston, author of the Anastasia Pollack mystery series sent me these questions to answer about My Next Big Thing, which is of course my next novel.

My Next Little Thing, A Holiday two novella bundle.

But before I answer them, I want to mention my next little thing,  Holidays at Crescent Cove, a two novella bundle featuring the characters from Beach Colors will be available On December 11. Now on to the Next BIG thing.

Ten Interview Questions for the Next Big Thing:

1.What is your working title of your book?


2.Where did the idea come from for the book?

It sort of sprang from somewhere I didn’t expect. The idea of a town fighting for its life and at the mercy of nature and developers and how one person can turn the tide of the future.

3.What genre does your book fall under?

Women’s fiction

4.Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Carey Mulligan as Abbie

Terrence Stamp as Beau

Orlando Bloom as Cabot

5.What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

A traumatized documentarist flees to a small South Carolina beach town where she hopes to find sanctuary, but is changed forever by three septagenarian siblings, an old Gullah wisewoman and a man and his vintage carousel.

6.Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Agency, published by William Morrow

7.How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Three Months of long hours

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Beach Colors. I think  stores will appeal to the readers of Luanne Rice and Kate White.

9.Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I was in England a couple of years ago and visited Mousehole, a Cornwall town which is the setting of a favorite children’s book, The Mousehole Cat.  It’s about how one small insignificant person, (cat) or act can change the life of an entire town.  Later , I wanted to write about someone who comes to a place for a safe haven and becomes the igniting force behind a town’s recovery. And though my story takes place on the shores of South Carolina, I though the same loyalty and determination would be right at home there.

10.What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

I love vintage carousels; many have been dismantled and sold off piecemeal to collectors. A few have been saved by passionate carousel lovers.  One of the characters in my book gives up a lucrative career to restore a carousel from his childhood.

Check out these authors to find out about their Next Big Thing   Mayan Craving Christmas Bliss by A.S. Fenichel (Nov 29, 2012)  Assault With A Deadly Glue Gun, Revenge of the Craftsy Corpse by Lois Winston

florence fOIS In The City …  Dancin’ in the Dark , Kisses to Go by Irene Peterson

Message for the tagged authors and interested others:

Rules of the Next Big Thing
***Use this format for your post
***Answer the ten questions about your current WIP (work in progress)
***Tag five other writers/bloggers and add their links so we can hop over and meet them.
Ten Interview Questions for the Next Big Thing:
What is your working title of your book?
Where did the idea come from for the book?
What genre does your book fall under?
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?Include the link of who tagged you and this explanation for the people you have tagged.Be sure to line up your five people in advance.




Movies and Books

Gone With the Wind Script

I sometimes envy filmmakers, but not too often. First of all, film is a team effort.  The writers and rewriters can be numerous, not to mention actors, directors, producers, grips and gaffers and directors of photography.

The last film I worked on, I was brought onboard during the “salmon” rewrite, named for the color of the paper it was written on, which I figured meant they had already gone through the white, blue, beige, pink, yellow, who knows how many other colors of paper first.  Because really, who would start with salmon paper?

The Book

As I novelist, that makes me cringe.  It’d hard enough me to give my little darling to a beta reader, take edits from my agent, my editor, the copyeditor and proof reader.  When they want something changed, they give it to me to change instead of the guys hired to do the rewrites. (Which is another job that’s not as easy as it sounds.)


I love the movies, I’ve worked on movies, I love sitting in a dark theater, love watching and rewatching my favorites.


In movies you don’t have to worry too much about setting.  You can set up the place, the situation and the characters, their occupations, or loves and hates, during the opening credits. And you get to do it with scene edits and music. No wonder people have  a hard time reading several paragraphs of set up in a novel. So novelists find other ways  to do it, usually by painful experimentation.

In movies you don’t have to sneak in descriptions of character, worry if “long blonde hair” is too generic or “waist length curls the color of ripening wheat” is maybe just too, too much.

Do you ever tried to speed read through parts of a novel because they’re just too gruesome or scary?   It’s hard to do because you have to keep checking to see if the psychopath or iceberg is still there.  Then your eye catches something and you find yourself reading in spite of yourself?

At least in the movies, if something is too gruesome to watch, you close your eyes. Stick your fingers in your ears. IF things get too emotionally intense, and you don’t won’t your date to see you blubbering in the semi darkness, try counting the number of arm rests while waiting for the music to change or the light to brighten.  The movie goes on without you. When the music changes you  can safely assume it’s safe to watch again.

Let me say one more time and say it really loudly.


But I’m glad I’m a novelist.  And I loved to read a passage and reread without having to rewind.  I sometimes peak forward to see what’s going to happen next.  I rarely read a book from beginning to end without rifling through the pages, look back and forth between scenes.  Must be the writer in me.  Sometimes I just slow down to keep it from ending to soon. Or I have to push forward even when I can barely see the page through empathic tears.

A good movie draws you in, but you know it will go on without you, you can sing Dixie and it will still end after ninety minutes or so. And sometimes you miss something wonderful.  And then you either have to pay to see it all again, or wait until you can stream it to your television and cozy up with the remote button.

 How do you watch movies or read books?  And what about when a story is a book and a movie?