Friday, December 19, 2014

All I Want for Christmas is...

A book.  Or two.  Or ten.  Seriously, what’s better than getting a book for Christmas?

I thought I’d make a list of book suggestions for Christmas gifts.  Books written by friends.  (In addition to suggesting my own book, Expecting, a sometimes sad, sometimes funny look at infertility.  Makes a perfect stocking stuffer.  Available on Amazon or at other fine retailers near you.)

Also available on Amazon:

City of Whores – Mark B. Perry.  If you like the film Sunset Boulevard, grab this one.  Intrigue, romance, sex, manipulation.  Life in Hollywood in the ‘50s. 

Jonny Bails Floatin and the Luck of the Bioluminescence – J. Lee Glassman.  A struggling musician in the Florida Keys... with a touch of sci-fi.  How can you resist a book with “bioluminescence” in the title?

No Such Thing as a Cherokee Princess – Barrie Miller Kirby.  Two characters fall in love - with complications along the way.  Set in North Carolina. 

The Big Hoot – R. L. McDaniel.  A YA novel (although grown-ups will like it too) about a high school boy and basketball and music and parenting. 

Crown of Ice – Vicki L. Weavil.  A retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen.

(Did I mention my book, Expecting?  I probably did already.)

Hollywood Digs – Ken LaZebnik.  Lesser known true stories from the film industry and tales of Ken’s own adventures in the business.  (Order from

Happy holidays and happy reading!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Stephen King of Pop Fiction

I think Stephen King is a genius.  When people put him down – “Oh, he can only write pop fiction, he’s a hack,” I want to go after them like Annie Wilkes (well, maybe not quite that far).  Sure, some popular fiction is dreck and feels written by a committee instead of a writer (no names please, except I’m thinking of someone whose name rhymes with Hatterson).  I’ve never understood the beating up on Stephen King.  Is it because he’s rich?  Writes “genre” books?  He’s a wonderful storyteller.  He loves writing – you can feel that coming at you through the pages.  He’s delighted to scare the crap out of people, get readers invested in his characters and then - boom - kill them off.   The way he writes about childhood is real and honest.
Right now I’m halfway through Revival.  I got it for my Kindle the day it came out.  It’s terrific.  And scary.
Sometimes I curse Stephen King for being so prolific.  But how can you curse someone who wrote On Writing?  If you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t read On Writing, go buy it.  King talks about his life as a writer and how to write – not from a “rising action” or “what is the character flaw” sort of way, but more common sense advice.  Like read a lot.  Have a writing schedule.  When people ask me the best books for beginning writers, On Writing is one of them.  (Another is Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott.)
My favorite Stephen King novel?  There are so many.  I like It very much.  If you have a fear of clowns – probably not the book for you.