Reading Writing Roundup

After the gallop to finish the rough draft of November’s novel, I’m slowly coming up for air. Amazing, the way a book can draw you in and hold you–as a reader, a writer, or both. I find myself sitting in conversations unable to concentrate on what the other person is saying because I’m thinking about that ‘other’ world, which, in a most peculiar way, seems eminently real. Books are magic.

I’m reading David Downing’s Looking for the King, which puts a pair of WWII-era academics hot on the trail of sniffing out what might be true from Arthurian legend. The conceit of the book is that these two interact with ‘the Inklings’–people like CS Lewis, Charles Williams and JRR Tolkien. Downing is a Lewis expert and so he’s trolled letters from ‘Jack’ and his compatriots to create dialog which moves the story along. It’s a fun way of entering the world of these old souls, and enjoying their banter, insights and encouragement (it’s a real world Downing fashions). We got to hear the author introduce the book last week, which is always a treat, and knowing a bit of what David is like, it’s great to watch his wit emerge in the story. Lots of intriguing history there, too.

A rough draft of November novel got finished; now I’m tweaking. I’m also trying to pay closer attention to what else is going on around me, like preparations for Christmas. It’s been a great ride, this attempt at a mystery/thriller, and I walk away with new respect for those who make such stories seem effortless. Still fooling with a title and cover (note the significant differences between Downing’s and this one…),  but liking the process so far. By the end of this week, it would be great to enlist some ‘first readers’, so if you’d be up for scanning a few chapters, drop me a note. Other eyes always see more, and I’d welcome the input!

Signed copies of Playa Perdida will be available at Messiah’s ‘Friends of Murray Library Christmas Sale’ which starts today. Messiah’s less than five hours from New York City (driving) and Denver (flying), so if you’re in the area, stop by. I’m also sending news about the novel out to planners of pastors’ conferences in the new year, trying to expand distribution. Any other ideas on this score? Call me…

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