When I first began writing, I argued with myself over writing conferences. Do I spend both money and time to attend, or am I better off writing instead? All these years later, I know that the first option is the right one. Why?
Everything taught at those conferences comes down to two things that make it entirely worthwhile. Writing seminars make me a better writer and they teach me to make better use of my writing hours.
My nightstand is part traveling exhibition, part permanent collection. When I was younger, I used to daydream about going to bed with a copy of a book that I’d written sitting on my nightstand. It’s silly, but so few dreams actually come true that I keep a copy of the books that I’ve written right where I can see them in the middle of the night. They are part of the slightly dusty permanent collection, sandwiched between two books I wish I’d written:
What’s on my nightstand? Lots.
Like many people, I have a shelf full of good intentions. Some books I’ve purchased and never found the time for. Others I had every intention of reading, but can’t find the time.
If a book makes it from the shelf to the side of the bed, there’s a good chance I’ll get to it at some point. Of course, the invention of e-readers has made this even more difficult!
Luckily, I tend to knock over the bulk of my pile over summer. Less sport to watch, more food comas to recover from, you know how it is.
So a few titles I’m eyeing off for the (Australian) summer:
To promote her latest mystery Double Strike, Gretchen Archer’s daughters convinced her to try something different. Here’s what happened…
The problem isn’t contests or freebies—I love a good contest and I’m happy to donate books—the problem is my daughters. I want normal contests. I want to pick a random commenter and send them a signed book. This summer I was in the dead space between book releases, when (I should have been writing) my daughters (grown, both out of college and navigating their mid-20s) decided I needed to stir it up, no resting for Mom, and presented me with their dream contest, Burnt by Davis. My main character, Davis Way, can’t cook. She’s good with bad guys, computers, and disguises, but she can’t boil water. Thus, a recipe contest.
Our motto is back to school, back to books! But it’s even better knowing that we’re reading for fun. Here are the new titles we’ll be checking out this week.
Virtue Falls by Christina Dodd
Virtue Falls is the small town in Washington where four-year-old Elizabeth Banner witnessed the murder of her mother. After her father is convicted of the crime, Elizabeth is raised by relatives and eventually grows into a smart, beautiful young woman.
Catherine Bell, the winner of the 2014 Washington Writers’ Publishing House Fiction Prize, is bursting into the literary world with her debut novel in October. Rush of Shadows is a deeply emotional story about two women, one white and one Native American, who form an unlikely friendship in 19th century California when tensions were flaring between the two cultures. To tide us over until pub, Catherine shares the books she’s currently reading.