It’s a Touch Undercooked
Writers will tell you that finding someone who has an eye for your work, X-Ray vision to see down to the bones, is an immense gift. When I signed with my new agent, I was bequeathed a whole team of such someones, including an editor whose way of working has been transformative for my new book—and for me.
I’ll introduce them more in a letter-to-come, because I am now headed back to my writer’s cave for one last spelunk into this book. Because when one of the most legendary agents in the biz thinks you have a character who is worthy of such a dive—a character who has never been seen before—well, you want to do him justice.
To be clear, this book has been polished and polished again. The plot twists snap your neck around; the dialog sings—or so I am told. Now we're digging deep to places I've never gone as an author.
It’s a point-of-view challenge, almost like method acting, but it’s also a psychological mining of a condition, a mental state, that there is no research about, that I’ve never even heard of. And I worked as a psychotherapist for years!
Do I sound intimidated? I am. I’m scared of this character that I myself created. But I also love him, and I want to bring him into full blush on the page, so that you can love and loathe him as much as I do. Please wish me luck.
The Funny Thing About Sending Food Back
I never do. I think of those hard-working folks, slugging it out in a restaurant kitchen—ever watch Top Chef? Or work as a waitress? I have, both—and I either choke down a few bites or subtly shift the plate aside.
But we have a running joke in my family about a beloved member who once sent back a piece of pie, telling the waiter, “This is awful.” We’ll use this tag phrase at all sorts of opportune moments, like when we don’t like the movie one of us selected, or when we’re out taking a walk and it’s way too cold. You can imagine the possibilities.
To be fair, that piece of pie really was awful. Green, gelatinous muck that resembled alien goo.
I’m glad my agent has asked me to go this deep, has seen the potential for this character to walk completely uncharted ground. Scared about getting there with him, but if I do, it seems like it's going to be one heck of a pie.
A Return to Live Events!
Tomorrow night, Thursday, March 31st, at 7 pm I will be in conversation with eco-thriller writer Erica Ferencik at the beautiful Wellesley Books, talking about her brand new novel.
If you’re in the Boston area, please join us!
It is hard to convey—even as a writer—how excited I am to see faces in an audience again after a pandemic-long hiatus.
Of Course I Can’t Leave You Without a Gift
Reply to this letter and you might win a gorgeous hardcover copy of Girl In Ice! Wait till you see what the publisher did with speckles on the cover—you can almost feel the cold. I’d love to hear from you and enter you to win.
The next time I write, I hope my book is a perfect, rosy medium-rare.
And I’ll be eating a slice of well-earned pie.
Love from the Hills of Wedeskyull,