Wow. That about sums it up folks. Thank you Beth for your recommendation!!
Okay, so my first novel is finished…at least in rough draft form. I still have LOTS of work to do, but I’m ready to start. I picked up a 3″ book from the library full of agent names, publishing houses and contests to help get me in the right direction. I found a common theme amongst agents and publishers: KNOW OUR WORK!! With this in mind, I began researching (while I let my book “rest” for a while…I need a clear mind).
I picked up a book by Janet Evanovich (Metro Girl) and flew right through it. Definitely an R-rated book, but a quick, easy read and highly entertaining. I decided to check out some of the other Evanovich books. Hey – she’s a New York Times best-setlling author…I could learn some things! I picked up book one in her Stephanie Plum series two weeks ago…I finished the 13th book yesterday. Yep…I read all thirteen books in fourteen days (and it wouldn’t have taken me so long if I hadn’t been at the Univera convention for three days). Would you mind if I shared? Fabulous…you have no say in the matter…
I’ve been reading FOREVER (just ask my mom…Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew, I love you). As soon as I could hold a pencil I started writing. I have boxes of half-finished junior high manuscripts (which I hope to find someday). I was a little nervous to actually try writing a REAL book, but when I told my family they surprised me with, “It’s about time.” Now, being a Christian I went straight for the Christian Lit section of my “bookstore” (my pastor’s wife…she’s a junkie too). I borrowed dozens of books: romance, mystery, action/adventure. I figured I’d try a romance novel. I don’t know a lot about much else, so this seemed the way to go. So I wrote a romance. Then I read some more romances, adventure novels…all VERY entertaining (to me), yet lacking…
Though enjoyable and well-written, I discovered I was reading very serious, purpose-driven literature. Lots of tears…lots of struggles…too much drama. Then I looked at my movie collection…not a lot of tears…a few struggles…shoot me if I ever buy a drama. Action. Adventure. Comedies. I don’t live an exciting life, but I know humor. I decided to find something humorous to read….
I hopped out of the Christian romance section and went to the Christian humor books. [DISCLAIMER: I am NOT slamming the inclusion of Christian themes within novels – share Christ when you can!!] Sigh. I only got one book. I barely laughed. Discouragement set in. Maybe books just aren’t as funny as movies??
I needed a new outlet, so I moved across the real bookstore and stepped into the paperback best-sellers…and picked up Janet. Beth recommended her. I lived with Beth for a semester…we have lots in common, lots NOT in common, but I trust her. I picked up One for the Money. Three hours later I closed the book and started looking for the second book. I was FINALLY laughing. While I’ve been reading and writing since I developed those skills, I’ve been making people laugh (not usually on purpose) since I popped out. Not only that, but I gravitate to those people who make ME laugh. And that person is Ms. Evanovich…
My definition of a TRULY funny movie/TV show/book is one that makes you laugh when no one else is around. In the past two weeks I’ve been shushed at the bookstore, the library and the airport for the snorts and shakes I’ve stifled while tears flowed down my cheeks as I read about Stephanie, Grandma and Lula and their entertaining lives. After about the fourth book I became obsessed. It wasn’t just needing to know how everything would evolve…I found myself NEEDING to know how she does it! How does a woman write with such humor and captivation?? If I could do ONE thing with my writing it would be to entertain with humor.
And then…I read How I Write, the Evanovich “how-to” on writing. For the first time since I began this caper I feel encouraged. It encourages me as to the commonalitites between us (she’s a hockey fan…pantyhose are of the devil…less is more). It ecourages me that she spent years but kept going, going, going. It encourages me that … it just encourages me!
I don’t think this lil’ blurb is very coherent, but it makes me feel better. I don’t think Janet Evanovich is for everyone (she’s a Jersey girl…I worked with sailors for five years), but if you don’t mind a lil’ swearing (watch out for Sally Sweet…then there’s a LOT of swearing), a lil’ raciness and embarassing yourself by laughing your bum off, then I’d pick up the Alex Barnaby or Stephanie Plum series of books. Maybe some day I’ll be able to post a picture here when I get to meet Janet Evanovich 🙂