In the writing room right now ...

In the writing room right now ... I have taken down the brown "butcher" paper that held ideas, photos, drawings, and my hand-drawn maps and plot outlines for the past five or six books. I've placed all those items into three-ring binders, and cleared the deck for paintings and photographs that involve courage, as I move forward in GHOSTKEEPER, the new novel set in Lyndonville, Vermont. My 1850 Vermont adventure THE LONG SHADOW is under contract with Five Star/Cengage -- I will give you a publication date as soon as I know! Scribbling lots of poems, too. And there's a possible route to publication of the "Vermont Nancy Drew" novel I built on Wattpad (see right-hand column). Yes, I guess I do like multi-tasking! How about you?

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Authors Making Hard Choices: CODE NAME VERITY by Elizabeth Wein and More

Prize-winning World War II espionage from the point of view of a young woman working for the Allies and "accidentally" taken prisoner in France, CODE NAME VERITY (2012) is a "young adult" bestseller. It's also one of the most recommended mysteries for adults to read in this genre. I enjoyed it very much and appreciated Elizabeth Wein's care with the history as well as with the emotion veracity of the fiction. Research and writing work together to give a vivid and, I think, trustworthy image of the time.

By coincidence, the same month I got around to reading it, I also read Fannie Flagg's newest novel, The All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion -- not in my usual genres, but the very local book group was reading it and invited me to share the process. To my delight, I found it overlapped the historical ground of Elizabeth Wein's book, just on the other side of the Atlantic.  If you're interested in how women slowly but surely moved into flying planes during that war, read both.

Best of all, for those of us wrestling on a daily basis with writing -- or evaluating -- mysteries that rely on other times and other cultures, here's a wonderful piece from Wein on "Authority and Authenticity." Her final line still gives me shivers: "Tell the world. For all the faults and flaws of my telling, I have no choice but to tell this story as best I can."