Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Murder By the Book



Murder By the Book in Houston is one of those wonderful independent bookstores where the magic of words and the love of books seem to wrap you in a warm, embracing glow the instant you step through its welcoming doors. At my signing last Saturday, I talked about early nineteenth-century England and writing historical mysteries with a group of friendly, knowledgeable, and enthusiastic readers. The staff was wonderful, and I had an all-around great time. I also made a nice discovery: travel is sooo much easier when a publicist takes care of every little detail for you!

On a side note, check out Shauna Roberts' interview with me at Love of Words. Also, thanks to the trip I finally finished Martin Cruz Smith’s STALLION GATE. I’ve been reading it forever, in between nonfiction research books, so it was nice to be able to focus on it and enjoy. Not a mystery exactly, but still an incredible read. I now have only two of his books left, and I think I’m going to ration them and force myself to pick something else from my towering TBR pile. Unfortunately, it’s more a Books I Feel I Must Read for Market Research pile than a simple To Be Read pile, so it’s hard to summon up much enthusiasm. That’s one of the hazards of being a writer—all too often, reading becomes work rather than pleasure.

12 comments:

Charles Gramlich said...

I was glad to hear your story of "Murder by the Book" first hand. Sounds like it was fun.

Kate S said...

Great photo - glad you had such a nice time. :)

As for reading as work vs pleasure, I find I often can't get out of editor mode long enough to enjoy the wrting. Of course, sometimes that's for good reason.

Just last night I was reading a book where a man picks up an apple and takes a big bite, a few paragraphs later (after he's been scolded for taking food from children) it says he put the apple down on the table "intact", then on the very next page, he's holding the apple core. I nearly threw the book across the room.

As a writer, I understand the author was probably interrupted between paragraphs, came back to it, and still had this scene in her head of the man eating the apple. But WTF? Was there no editor involved? Did she not reread the darn thing herself at least once?

Sigh...

Farrah Rochon said...

Sounds like a great signing!

Steve Malley said...

'Market Research' reading:

Life is short. Books are many.

Be prepared to drop what doesn't engage you. Even if it's 'in your genre'. Maybe especially.

What are your reading goals with 'homework'? A sense of what's selling? Of cliches and cliches-soon-to-be? In these cases, skimskimskimskim...

Who knows, one in that stack may be another Martin Cruz Smith!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Lana said...

Congrats on the signing & the interview! Hope you had a great Thanksgiving. :)

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