New Novels and Sleep Deprivation

Some writers I know tell me they can’t read fiction while they’re writing it. They feel it affects their voice. I sort of understand this. There are certain authors I can’t read while I’m in the middle of writing either. Tom Robbins is one. I love his quirky, off-beat style, but it does leech into my own and creates a mess at re-write time. So I save his stuff for the gaps between writing my own books. Janet Evanovich is another. It’s like when I’m around someone with a southern accent…I don’t mean to, but I start talking that way, too. Well, my protagonist starts talking with Stephanie Plum’s accent when I read Janet while working.

But there are oh-so-many wonderful books and authors out there that serve to feed my strengths when I read them. Three of my absolute favorites have new books out now. I already have my signed copy of Nancy Martin’s A Crazy Little Thing Called Death although I missed her launch party this year. It fell on a night I’m currently teaching yoga. Nancy has been a guiding light in my writing career for several years now. We are fellow Sisters in Crime in the Pittsburgh area and I’m honored to consider her a friend. It’s at the top of my to-be-read pile.

My two other favorite authors are going to be in town within the next couple weeks, as well. On days when I’m NOT teaching yoga. Yay!

Laura Lippman comes to Mystery Lovers Bookshop on Sunday, April first. No foolin’. I love Laura’s writing and she’s lots of fun at her author events. Her latest novel is a stand alone titled What the Dead Know. I hear it’s incredible and I don’t doubt it.

Tonight I will at Mystery Lovers for Lisa Scottoline’s booksigning. I have a special place in my heart for Lisa. I met her for the first time last year when Dirty Blonde came out. While Lisa was signing my copy for me, I mentioned that I was a fellow crime writer and had a completed manuscript. She asked if I would like her agent to take a look at it. Duh. Yeah. I never expected that. She followed through by emailing his contact information to me. While he opted NOT to take me on as a client, he did sent me a lovely, personal rejection letter. But Lisa’s warmth and support for up-and-coming writers has earned her a huge fan in me. And her novels keep me up at night and are responsible for regular bouts of sleep deprivation. Somehow, I suspect that her latest, Daddy’s Girl, will be no exception.

These three books will go to the top of my to-be-read pile and will keep me busy for a while. Three nights at least. Fair warning to Starbucks: keep the coffee brewing. I will in desperate need of caffeine!

Comments

Judy Schneider said…
Great post, Annette! I agree with you that another writer's voice can creep into your own.

I remember when I was in grad school and many of my colleagues were from India. As I spent countless hours in the lab with my new friends, I began to learn more about their beautifully rich culture. I tried new foods and read fresh stories. But I also began to dream with an Indian accent, no kidding.

I had a similar experience to yours when reading Fanny Flagg's Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, a book I reread every year or so. Flagg's style is so different from mine, I can't read it when I write. Otherwise, I end up getting folksy!

I think it is such a positive result when we are influenced by others. It means were are completely open to letting them in.

Thanks for your insightful post, Annette!

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