BOOK & BLOG
September 15, 2009
Books of the Week:
I’ve enjoyed Karen MacInerney’s Sophie Garou books. In this installment, LEADER OF THE PACK, Sophie has become more used to the idea of getting into her inner werewolf. She’s revealed her “secret identity” to a few more people, and her mysterious father pops back into her life. Disconcertingly, he looks only ten years older than Sophie. Sophie’s flakey and irritating mother turns out to be right sometimes (surprise!). Sophie’s life takes a turn in the direction I always hoped it would take, and the man I suspected was a villain is finally revealed to be just that -- both satisfying plot developments.
Patricia Briggs is one of my “must-reads,” so I’m always glad to open a new book by her. HUNTING GROUND is about the Omega wolf Anna, now mate to Charles Cornick, pack enforcer. Anna is a curious character, and it’s taking me a while to comprehend her particular talent. She’s a peacemaker. As an Omega, she brings out the best in everyone, as I understand it. Yet she was brutalized by her former pack to the point of death. I think I missed a page somewhere on that, and I’ll go back to re-read Anna’s history. Briggs is always a great read, and this book has suspenseful passages galore and a slam-bang ending.
DEXTER BY DESIGN is Jeff Lindsay’s new book, continuing the adventures of his ghastly and fascinating protagonist, Dexter the serial killer, whose public identity is that of a crime lab blood specialist. If you haven’t read the Dexter books, you’re in for a rare treat. Dexter has gotten completely ensnared in his own cover story. He’s been dating Rita, former battered wife and mother of two kids who’ve developed their own pathology. Now, much to Dexter’s surprise, he’s married to Rita and they’ve gone to France for their honeymoon. Dexter endures this incredibly boring interlude with the promise that he’ll have some fun when they return to Miami, but when Dexter goes back to work nothing quite falls out as he’d planned. Miami, as Lindsay writes it, is the capital of bizarre crimes.
Now that the second season of “True Blood” has come to a close, it’s possible my life will get back to normal, whatever normal is these days. With the fame the increasing book sales have brought, there’s been a certain amount of downside. Of course, this is what every writer wants, the problems brought by fame and fortune!
Here’s the catch. With all the interviews, long trips, extra correspondence, and the highly increased demands for things that use up time, it’s hard to find the peace to do the writing that created the fame and fortune in the first place. I know now why some writers go on vacation to work; so no one can find them.
I’ve remarked on this conundrum before. I keep expecting some magic trick to turn up that will make it all easy, or for some public satiation with my ideas. Surely sooner or later, no one will want a quote from me about why vampires are popular now, or how I like the casting of “True Blood,” or what vampires symbolize in the world of my books.
I know, you’re thinking, “Oh, whine, whine, whine, all the way to the bank.” And there’s a certain amount of truth in that thought. But the fact remains that I became a writer because I love the act of writing, though for over twenty years, that writing paid me diddly-squat. (And THAT having been said, I do realize that most aspiring writers would give their eyeteeth to have been in THAT position, earning money or not. Being constantly published is hard enough to achieve.)
So here I am in the Greta Garbo role, making fun of myself but seeing the kernel of truth in the picture of me moaning, “I vant to be left alone.”
I’ll work this out somehow, and I’ll get all the projects written that need to be written. And I truly am thankful for my good fortune. Believe me, every day I pinch myself. Happy problems, happy problems . . .
© 2009 Charlaine Harris