Are you a matchmaker?

Have you ever played matchmaker and fixed up at friend?  Ever been fixed up yourself, as in, agreed to a totally blind date on the say-so of someone else playing matchmaker?

Matchmaking fascinates me.  No, I’ve never done it – have never known two people who are available at the same time and might actually like each other – but I do love stories of weddings from fix-ups and the pride that the matchmaker feels.

How many tweets make up a book?

 

texting all the time

What are people doing with their noses in smartphones all the time?  The writer in me wonders this a lot.  What are they reading?  Texts from friends?  Facebook posts?  Work email?  Is it possible, in this golden era of social media, that not being ‘social’ – as in, waiting in line at Starbucks without monitoring a device – is so uncomfortable for some people that they pretend to be communicating with the world to make themselves feel loved?

My Valentine’s Day Trifecta

Three Hearts (sm)

Valentine’s Day is my kind of day.  I was a romantic before I ever wrote a single romance, and once I did that – and discovered that people loved reading what I wrote – there was no end to my hearts-and-flowers imagination.  All told, I wrote fifty romances, sometimes eight a year, I was that into it.  But being a romance writer wasn’t, in fact, entirely hearts and flowers.  There were friends who politely told me that they didn’t read “that kind of book.”  Worse, there was the family member who actually told me she didn’t read “that kind of trash.”  There were booksellers who hid me in a back corner when I came for a signing, rather than up front, where other visiting authors sat.  And then there were people (male, usually, like the one selling me my first computer) who blithely said, “So now all you have to do is cut-and-paste different names, and you have a new book.”

What’s coming for Barbara in 2014

Couture Fashion ModelYoung chick, old boots.  That’s my theme here.  As 2013 fades to 2014, it’s only natural to think about ending the old and beginning the new.  But is that what really happens?

Not in my book.  And I mean that both literally and figuratively.  I don’t see that we end and begin.  Life is a continuum.  What we do today is colored by what we did yesterday. We appreciate what’s in front of us all the more for what’s behind.  We are the sum of our parts.

Which brings me to the newest Barbara Delinsky book, my work-in-progress.

What’s with the happy ending?

Life beginning on wasteland

I’ve always written them.  There are lots of reasons for that, many of which are listed below. On impulse, I even focused a recent SPEEDY BD SURVEY on whether my readers like their books to have them.  The response was overwhelmingly positive.  But then, that’s the nature of the women (and men) who like my books, and, let’s face it, my Facebook fans do or they wouldn’t be on my page.

Why do we like happy endings so much?

Because we’re optimists?  Because we’re dreamers?  Because we’re realists who know that life is filled with challenges, some of which succeed and some not, but we want our fiction to be filled with hope?

Snapshots of SWEET SALT AIR

Last week’s blog talked about which character in this book is my favorite, but I have other favorites here.  Since Sweet Salt Air is a highly sensual book, I’m thinking see, smell, feel, hear, and taste.  I’m calling them snapshots, because they’re just quick little moments from the book.  I guess that makes this blog an album.

Favorite sight?     A ghost ship on the ocean in the early morning mist, as seen from Charlotte’s bedroom window.

Favorite smell?     Lavender.  Sooooothing.

Favorite touch?     Sand.  Around and about the toes.

the touch of sand reminiscent the senses in Sweet Salt Air

My favorite character in SWEET SALT AIR

 

Do I play favorites when it comes to my characters?  That depends on how you define playing favorites.

For starters, I couldn’t spend a year writing a book about people I didn’t like.  That said, if each of them is totally loveable, the book is boring.  Also, I like to see growth in my characters, which means they have to start off being not-so-great in some part of their lives, right?

Where SWEET SALT AIR came from

Most of my books are inspired by things I read about in the newspaper. The inspiration for Sweet Salt Air was much more personal.  I have three sons, all of whom have recently had children, and when each of those babies was born, its umbilical cord blood was harvested, frozen, and stored. The premise is that cutting edge medicine is starting to use the stem cells harvested from such blood, and the closer those stem cells match to the DNA of the recipient, the better.

Two more book recommendations

What kinds of books do you like?  Do you switch between genres or stick to one?   Me, I usually avoid non-fiction.  Since I read the newspaper daily, I don’t want more of the same in my free time.  Likewise blood and gore; the real world has plenty.  No, fiction is definitely my thing, but, within that, I’m eclectic.  I’ll read anything that’s highly recommended and well written, though recommended or not, well written or not, if a book is boring fifty pages in, I’m done.  Likewise if a book is so dense that I have to struggle to understand it.  I’m past school.  The reading I do now isn’t for making honor roll.  It’s for intellectual stimulation, emotional gratification, and/or pure enjoyment.

Naming the characters in my next book

DennisLehane'sdog

You’ve heard of Dennis Lehane, right?  Since he’s a home town boy, my local press is all over him.  So I wasn’t surprised to hear tv reports that his dog, Tessa (yup, that’s her pictured above), had disappeared on Christmas Eve and that he was offering to name a character in his next book after whoever gave him information leading to its return.

This isn’t a new concept.  I’ve often auctioned off naming rights to the highest bidder at charity auctions.  But that isn’t how I choose most of my names.