Wednesday, June 30, 2010

In the beginning, there was Marjorie Morningstar

Whenever I consider the state of publishing and how challenging it is to be a writer, I look back at what inspired me to write in the first place, what made me feel passionate about books. I always return to the first time I read Marjorie Morningstar by Herman Wouk.

I remember how compelled I felt to devour every word of that huge novel. How I traveled with Marjorie as she plunged into a love affair with the illusive Noel Airman, a character who delivered passion, romance, and an endless challenge. A man Marjorie believed would give her everything she needed if only she could capture his heart and bring him to the altar. Her journey was my journey. Marjorie Morningstar was my fantasy and the fantasy of many other female writers who have confessed their passion for this novel.

Herman Wouk was and still is a storyteller. He followed no formula. His book was a love story set in the New York of the 1930s. Marjorie stood for every beautiful young woman who believes with all her heart that she is destined to be a great Broadway actress and the wife of her dashing ideal, in this case the handsome but flawed Noel Airman.

Wouk wrote masterfully for many years. He managed to surprise us over and over with not only Marjorie Morningstar but also The Caine Mutiny for which he won a Pulitzer. He also penned Winds of War and War and Remembrance. I met him once at UCSD. It was thrilling because I'd read almost everything he'd ever written. I believe he now lives in Palm Springs where he is still writing.

I long for Wouk's brand of storytelling. He was clever and unpredictable. He did not follow a modern paradigm of how you do it. So whenever I doubt my role in this universe, I return to my favorite novel, Marjorie Morningstar, to rediscover what it was that sent me on this journey in the first place.

Monday, June 28, 2010

New interview on "Hot Books, Great Authors"

You can now listen to my interview on "Hot Books, Great Authors" with Valerie Connelly. Click here to listen!

In this interview, Valerie and I speak about 1930's, Night Glitter's sexy Franky Wyatt, writing, and a whole lot more. Visit the website and listen to the interview here (I'm featured in the second half of the interview). And let me know what you think!

Thanks, Valerie!

Monday, June 21, 2010

What Americans Enjoy Reading

Another newspaper has just cut out book reviews. While this may hurt many well-read Americans, most Americans won't notice. To me, too many esoteric books with little appeal to the average reader received most of the reviews. So while it's a shame, I'm not sure the impact will be felt that far or wide. To me it's a matter of who is reading what. If you grow up hating everything from Beowulf to The Sound and The Fury because you were forced to read this "fine" literature in school, you may have missed out on all the fun of reading. And you may never willingly pick up another book again. So if English teachers and book reviewers have hurt your love for books and what they have to offer, remember, bookstores on and offline, have a lot out there which you might enjoy. It's like those Harry Potter books. Because they were fun and exciting, children fell in love with them and read them as fast as they were printed. Reading doesn't have to feel like you're drinking a laxative before a colonoscopy. There are mysteries, romances, biographies, and everything else under the sun to fall in love with. So take a chance. If the book reviewers at major newspapers had done so, they might still be in demand.

Monday, June 7, 2010

New reviews for NIGHT JAZZ and NIGHT GLITTER

What a day it has been for my Night books!

First of all, a lovely review of Night Jazz was posted at Romance Junkies and at Joanne's blog Just Me Joanne

Click here to check out Joanne's thoughts on Night Jazz at Romance Junkies.

Secondly, Night Glitter has been reviewed by Book Junkie, a fabulous book blogger.

Click here to read the review of Night Glitter at Book Junkie.

I know I've said it before, but it cannot be said enough: I am so pleased to be a part of the amazing book community and romance community online. Check out the blogs above--they are full of great reviews, inspired thoughts, and wonderful writing.

Thank you, Joanne and Book Junkie!