This week, most of my "writing" time has been spent reading--proofing the galleys for the upcoming of three of my books, called Colorado Melodies.
I almost never read one of my books after it's published. I'm afraid of what I find. Isn't that strange?
I know that if I wrote my first published book, Romanian Rhapsody, today, I would write a very different story. It's not a typical romance in many ways. I would have discouraged me from attempting to market it. As I read it, a powerful, emotional, story of grief and love and change, I love it. I would count it among my best books, better than the two books that complete the trilogy. It's also the most "autobiographical," in that the heroine was a young, rather naïve, woman, with equal interests in music and teaching children.
The biggest problem with Romanian Rhapsody, is that it was written 20 years ago and published 10 years ago. This "timeless" contemporary is clearly dated on a number of levels.
Plainsong picks up with Carrie's best friend from Romania. Although I wrote it after completing Romanian Rhapsody, it wasn't published for several years later. That experience taught me not to try to sell old books. The editorial rewrite was excruciating. The third book in the trilogy, Knight Music, combined a note of Colorado, my favorite place on earth, with the most opposite of hero and heroines, and a mystery to solve.
Aside from reading my repack, I also started reading a book called The Dante Connection. The heroine is unique, I enjoy the clues-from-paintings mystery, but . . . I still haven't quite figured out why this story matters to everyone involved. It reads like book 2 of a series, which doesn't quite make sense. The concept was good, the execution, only so-so.
Seven devotionals left to write and one-third of Runaway Love. Time to get busy. The devotionals take more from me than I expected. To learn enough about a women who is only mentioned as "so-and-so-s daughter" to write a devotional? I discovered a reference to "Bat Asher" and jumped into a too-much-neglected resource, Jewish understanding of the Old Testament. They believe she lived even longer than Methuselah!
As the mother of a child who came to a violent end, writing about a mother whose son was stoned for blaspheming God came very hard.
Looking at the midwives who took care of Hebrew women as forerunners of civil disobedience--that was more fun. Writing it without pointing to current political issues we may believe we should fight, that came hard.
So this week I stare down the page at Tamar, Judah's daughter-in-law, and Tamar, David's daughter,
the slave girl freed from demons by Paul--and several others whose names you may not recognize. I didn't.