Every year around this time, I read or hear someone declare: “I never make New Year’s resolutions.” I have no idea what that would be like. Even as a kid, I relished the chance to reflect and ruminate on ways to make the coming year a little better.
In these last few days of 2015, I want to take a moment to say an entirely heartfelt thank you to my readers and supporters.
Writing is a notoriously solitary occupation, and there are times when sitting in a room alone with my laptop and making up stories starts to feel just a little crazy. It’s the realization that a human heart and mind is on the other side of the page that keeps me going.
Even after publishing, there is no guarantee that anyone will read a book. It’s a little like putting a note in a bottle and tossing it into the deep blue sea, hoping someone will connect.
And you did! It’s in the light of your mind and imagination that a book becomes more than words on a page. Ya Zhen, Rose Allen, Bai Lum, and all the other characters in Chasing Down the Moon truly came to life when you decided to read.
Your personal notes of encouragement, your reader reviews, and the word-of-mouth recommendations you’ve made have been amazing. That support means more than you can possibly know.
So thank you from the bottom of my heart for making 2015 such a good year!
I have a couple of projects simmering for 2016, and I'll post more about them as they get closer to completion:
Wishing each and every one of you a new year of happiness and discovery.
I love Stephen King. LOVE.
I've been a fan of scary stuff as long as I can remember. Vampires? Check. Haunted houses? I'm in. Zombies? "They're coming to get you, Barbara..." (If you don't get the reference, you may not be a zombie fan.)
SK and I are an excellent fit.
So when I saw a contest to win opening night tickets to MISERY on Broadway with Bruce Willis and Laurie Metcalf, I happily entered--not because I thought I would win, but because the contest was to re-write the end of the "book" Misery's Child so that Annie Wilkes would like it. Three sentences.
So I did, giggling madly.
Then I won the grand prize. What??
Yep. Two tickets to the opening night of Misery on Broadway, dinner for two at a New York steakhouse, and my picture up on the electronic billboard at the Broadhurst Theater on opening day.
I'd never been to New York City, and I live darned near as far from there as you can and still be in the continental United States. Suddenly I had an offer to up and fly to New York for the weekend. What??
So we did. It was great. :) The city is pretty wonderful. We stayed with our youngest son, who's a musical theater student at the Manhattan School of Music. He shepherded us onto the subway for the first time, let us crash at his apartment in Harlem, and squired us around Times Square and the theater district so we'd know how to get to the play.
Our dinner was delicious, New York was having glorious late fall weather, and the play was amazing. (If you can go--GO! Bruce Willis and Laurie Metcalf nailed it!)
(Thanks to Broadway World for the wonderful treat!)
One of the biggest challenges for me as a fiction writer is creating characters I truly love, then heaping trouble on their shoulders.
The very first scene I wrote for Chasing Down the Moon had a single person in it--young Ya Zhen in a quiet moment, navigating the deep difficulties of her life. I couldn't manage to leap directly into the dark part at first meeting.
Troubles, though, are what make a story ring true. And the afflictions in a fictional life are just reflections of the struggles that real people face in everyday life
In his book Gunfighters, Highwaymen & Vigilantes: Violence of the Frontier, former UCLA history professor Roger D. McGrath writes: “During the 1870s and 1880s… prostitutes were slaves in all but name. They did not enter the trade willingly. In China young women were sold into indentured servitude by impoverished parents, kidnapped, captured by pirates or raiding bands, or won as the spoils of a feudal war. When they reached the United States these women were usually sold or contracted to Chinese brothel-keepers or merchants. Some women were sold and resold again and again. Few escaped” (131).
Few escaped. But someone, somewhere, did.
We read to know we're not alone in the turmoils of life. But we also read to rest assured that there are real moments of respite, actual lights at the end of truly dark tunnels.
Chasing Down the Moon is a perfect reading escape for you or someone you love during the chilly days of the holiday season, and is on sale for just $0.99 from 12/8 through 12/14.