I just closed The Night Circus. I loved it, and I think you should go out and buy it. Yes, you. I got my copy from the library, but I will be buying it. It’s a book to savor, with so much beautiful imagery you will want to read it again and again. And then read it to your kids.
When they are children, Celia and Marco are bound to a challenge that neither of them understands. Their teachers give no information, only that they will know when it has begun. It is a test of endurance and understanding of manipulating reality and disguising it as magic. The venue is Le Cirque des Rêves, an intricate dream world of tents and performers traveling and appearing if by magic, and only open at night.
I was able to catch a reading by Erin Morgenstern when she was in Nashville a few months ago, but wasn’t able to fully appreciate the discussion of the book as I hadn’t read it yet. Erin is an artist first, writing was something she tried on the side. She said that when she writes she sees the scenes like movies in her head and tries to capture that on paper. She did an excellent job.
This book took me a long time to read– a few weeks. Normally, I read books in matter of days. But her prose is beautiful, filled with just the right amount of flourishes that I had to slow down and let it fully sink in, but it never pulled me out of the story.
Yesterday, I finished a fantastic book by a fantastic author. The Survivors, the first in a new series by Amanda Havard, is YA paranormal, but it’s not just another Twilight knockoff.
Sadie is a descendent of a group of kids who were exiled rather than executed during the Salem witch trials. They were left for dead somewhere in the midwest in the dead of winter, but they survived, and continued to survive, century after century in their Montana commune. No one had left until Sadie, enthralled by the world she had only read about in books, ran away. She had grown up being taught that there were no other beings like her and her family: immortal with super human strength and other-worldly powers, but learns quickly that is just one of many lies. Now her family is threatened, and she must decide how to deal with her hunger for the truth and her love for her family.
The thing that sets The Survivors apart from everything else on the YA paranormal shelves is the blend of true facts with incredible fantasy. Amanda weaves real history and legend with fiction seamlessly and beautifully. Sadie’s experiences are at once familiar and unique, and sometimes it’s hard to remember that you’re reading the story and not living it. Sadie has stayed with me since I finished the last page. The second book in this series, Point of Origin is set to release this summer, and I can’t wait.
I’m supposed to be writing right now. It’s my time out of the house to get some writing done, but it’s slow going. Everything I try to write about today is coming out too personal. It’s fiction, but based on truth, and I’m afraid if I write it someone is going to think that I don’t love my family or that I’m going to leave my husband or fill in the blank.
It’s a bit psycho, I know. But I wonder- when Agatha Christie was working on her first book, did anyone wonder if she had really killed someone at some point? I mean, if you’re supposed to write what you know…
Actually, Stephen King talks about this in On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft I can’t remember what exactly he says, but it’s something along the lines of the fact that he didn’t have to kill people to write horror stories.
So…my conclusion is that I should get over it and write. Right?