With Blueprints going on sale in paperback this week, I just reread it to refresh my memory. Does it surprise you that I would need to do that? But consider this. I’ve written and published more than 80 books. No human mind can keep straight all the details of 80 books. Moreover, it’s been two years since I finished writing Blueprints, and since then, I’ve been immersed in writing The Make Up Artist. I’ve often made the analogy that moving from book to book is like cramming for final exams. You jam as much as you possibly can into your mind, take the exam, then push it all out to make room for the next subject.
I have a childhood friend, living far away now, who swears she knows what’s going on in my life from my newest book. She is certainly right where Blueprints is concerned. During the early months of the writing, in real life I was gutting and redoing the bathroom off my bedroom – totally fitting when the main characters of the book specialize in gut-and-redos.
Did one bring the other about? Not really. My husband and I were planning on redoing our bathroom, and the timing just matched. Not that I minded. Not that I mightn’t have even given it a push. When I’m in writing mode, which is a round-the-clock thing, overlap is good.
I had a heart-to-heart once with the guy who does my hair. He’d been doing it for a long time, but we were increasingly at odds about style, cut, and color, with him urging me in one direction and my urging him in another. Finally, seeming exasperated, he said, “Barbara, you need to get out of your comfort zone.” I went home and thought about that – and realized that I had been asking him to do my hair differently for months, so that, in fact, he was the one who needed to get out of his comfort zone.
If you’re reading this blog, you’re currently looking at the cover of my new book, BLUEPRINTS, which debuts this coming June. What do you think? Does the cover draw you in?
This isn’t an idle question. It’s one that my publisher and I have been asking ourselves since this cover became “the one.” We think it works. But then, we’ve already read the book. You all won’t have read it when you spot the book on sale next June. So will this cover lure you to buy?
Book titles arrive different ways. Some crop up at the get-go, even before I start writing a book. Others come when my publisher reads the opening of the book and a word or phrase pops up that is perfect. Others take longer to find.
My preference? I like having a title early on. It helps me focus.
Does life imitate art? Not for me. For me, it’s the other way around. When life happens, I write about it. For instance, after my husband and I built our house, I wrote about home construction in the Crosslyn Rise Trilogy. When we began spending time in small New Hampshire towns, I wrote Lake News. When my aunt developed Alzheimer’s disease, I wrote Shades of Grace. When I felt overwhelmed by life’s demands, I wrote Escape.
Young 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.