I've tried stitching short stories together to make a novel. I've tried starting from the beginning and keeping going til I reach the end. I've tried writing character sketches and listing the high points of the plot. This time I'm trying a mixture of them all. The one thing all my attempts at novels have in common is I can't write anything more than the first few chapters till I've spent time chatting with the characters. The trouble is, my characters seem to share my memory traits, fixating on details that might not be important, forgetting stuff that will tie their version of events into somebody else's, and even, sometimes, shock horror, making things up. But we walk around the green together. I mutter to the blossom falling from the trees (and wish I still had a dog--so much more responsive to mutter to). Then slowly I realize, okay, this is how it came about and I settle down to write.
Tom still hasn't met Anne. He still thinks that photo on the company website really describes what she looks like. He's still believes he's in love with his best friend's fiancee. But things will change...
Meanwhile, of course, I keep reading. Too much time spent with my characters would surely make them and me dull. So here are some books to enjoy with your coffee this morning.
Divide, by Alexandra Lanc, is the perfect length for a single cup of coffee. Like a sci-fi Charles Dickens, the author creates a disturbing world where the "ghost" of past present and future reveals the truth in a protagonist's heart. Enjoy this with short sharp cup of 5-star bold intense coffee.
Apart from Love, by Uvi Poznansky, is more of a four-course meal. A full-length novel with character, shape and form, it tells of a young man whose mother was a musician, his father who deeply loved the mother, and the father's new young bride who looks remarkably like the absent mother. Full of vivid visual images and sensory reflections, the novel explores this triangle of loves through the eyes of the two younger protagonists, truth and falsehood reflected in their eyes and in their words. Enjoy a 4-star coffee with this rich, elegant, complex tale.
Sting of the Scorpio, by Monique Domovitch, is another tale of wounded love. Following on from Scorpio Rising, it follows the newlyweds from their arrival in New York, through years of struggle to that time when only one can succeed while the other supports. Corporate machinations, art and friendships intertwine in this tale--a novel that's hard to put down, for all that it feels like watching the world fall apart, and one that rewards the reader with a surprisingly pleasing resolution. Enjoy with a 3-star well-balanced coffee.
Flat Spin, by David Freed, keeps wounded love as a powerful defining detail in the character of Cordell Logan, Buddhist flight instructor turned investigator with a secret past as government assassin. He's a great character, easily able to support a series. If you like your mysteries to have style, humor, and authenticity, this is definitely one to enjoy with that 4-star elegant complex coffee.
And finally, I just had to slot this one into my reading list. On Dark Shores 2: the other Nereia, by J.A. Clement, extends the story begun in On Dark Shores 1, and continues to build an amazingly vivid fantasy world, filled with fascinating characters, complex motivations, intriguing mystery, and the threat of war. It doesn't finish the story by any means, but it finishes one part and certainly has this reader eager for more. Enjoy with a 5-star dark intense coffee.