My book group met Monday night, and I nearly didn’t go. I’m not big on war books, and Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbroken is that. Honestly? I wasn’t planning to read it. I don’t read much anyway when I’m deep into the writing of a book, and I’m about as deep into Sweet Salt Air as I can get. I didn’t want to be distracted – or grossed out – or dizzied by descriptions of B-24s.
Type my name into Amazon, then sort by publication date, and you’ll find books of mine that you’ve never heard of. Take First, Best and Only. Originally published in 1986, a first-ever hardcover edition is coming in March. I didn’t know this until I checked the Amazon list myself, which is often the only way I can find out when my early books are being reissued. Once I sell pub rights to a publisher (as I did First, Best and Only to Harlequin), they don’t have to ask my permission. They don’t even have to let me know.
I’ve written sex scenes, oh have I written sex scenes. I’ve written twelve-page ones, six-page ones, one-page ones. I’ve also written two-paragraph sex scenes, and they’re just as special as the longest of the long. The reason? It’s all about the feeling behind the sex.
My dictionary defines a stash as “a secret store of something,” and when it comes to yarn, that’s pretty accurate. Knitters hoard. They buy yarn they have no business buying, then they bring it home and put it in a place where no one will see it. They have paper bags stuffed with yarn, closets stuffed with yarn, trunks stuffed with yarn. Me, I have bins in my basement, neatly stacked and out of my husband’s keen sight. Other yarn I store in the open in huge (two gallon) glass jars. Since these are for decoration, no one questions them. I stuff in another skein, then another until the lids won’t close.
So I started 2012 by rereading the first 125 pages of Sweet Salt Air. And it wasn’t only that I wanted a sure bet. To the contrary. I wanted to make sure it was a sure bet! One of the most embarrassing things is when you write something on, say, page 110 that contradicts what you wrote on page 50. Or when you inadvertently change a character’s name. Or when you make a big deal about revealing a “secret” after it’s already been revealed.