Does the ending suit you?

I’ve done a lot of reading this summer. I’ve also spent a lot of time studying reader reviews on Amazon, as well as taking part in discussion groups on Goodreads. Two of the books I’ve read, in particular – Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman and Lisa Genova’s Inside the O’Briens – had endings with which readers took issue. And I don’t just mean readers saying they didn’t like the ending. I mean readers saying that the ending “stank,” that the author “blew it,” that the ending “ruined” the book. We’re talking over-the-top stridency.

Do you believe in love at first sight?

Side view of a couple flirting and looking each other in front a fireplace

I do. I admit it. I’m a hopeless romantic who, yes, does believe in love at first sight. I’m not saying it’s the only way love happens. But – skeptics be damned – I’ve known too many couples who were partners from the start. They felt an instant connection, and it wasn’t only physical, but emotional and intellectual as well.

If the attraction is only physical, that would be lust at first sight. I’ve known couples like that, too – couples who lay eyes on each other for the very first time and feel a powerful chemical attraction, if little else. In instances where chemical attraction evolves into emotion, love may follow. Otherwise, the prognosis is not good. If something happens to the physical – illness, accident, wanderlust – and there’s nothing else, what’s left?

I won’t grow up!

Peter Pan had it right. If growing up means no more fun and adventure, I don’t want to grow up either. I like fun and adventure – like doing new things – like challenging myself. I like doing something I never imagined myself doing. Oh yeah, sometime it’s daunting. I have a comfort zone, just like you all.

But life is about growing. Have you done anything new in the last year? Taken a new job? Signed up for a new course? Tried a new diet? Taken up a new sport? Befriended someone new?

How we got a cover for BLUEPRINTS

 

BLUEPRINTS by Barbara Delinsky

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?

I have a title!

Blueprints

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.

When I write about home construction

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.

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.

Help Barbara understand All Is Lost

All Is Lost

Please note:  This blog contains spoilers.  If that doesn’t bother you, read on.

I’m talking, of course, about the new Robert Redford movie, All Is Lost.  Which I loved.  But then, I’ve always loved Redford.  I loved him with Jane Fonda in Barefoot In The Park and loved him with Barbra Streisand in The Way We Were.  I loved him with Newman in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, loved The Sting, loved All the President’s Men.  I could go on, but you get my drift.

I hear you!

The notes you send have a huge impact on me.  The most  obvious instance occurred in June, soon after Sweet Salt Air came out.  One reader said she thought the book started too slowly.  I promptly turned to my work-in-progress, reread the opening with a critical eye, then switched Chapters 1 and 2 so that the reader learns the opening plot twist sooner.  It wouldn’t have worked for Sweet Salt Air.  But it did work here.