I am in awe of what book bloggers manage to read in one week. I’m lucky to read two or three books in a good week. Sometimes, like this week gone past, I manage only one.
At the beginning of the week I was busy trying to get my work-in-progress finished – only to receive feedback that my hero is fine but my heroine could have a little more depth. Back to brainstorming, adding complexity, layering and redrafting. Then on Wednesday I received the final edits for my romance novel, Snowy Mountain Man, which is due out with Escape on February 1st, 2015. Snowy Mountain Man is my debut novel and I was pleasantly surprised the edits weren’t too daunting. The process, back and forth with the editor, took a couple of days of intensive work and it was done. Now I’m waiting to see the cover.
While I’m busy writing, I tend to read short things – blog posts, online articles – or I listen to radio podcasts. The podcasts are especially good when I wake in the small hours and don’t want to switch on the light. I’m a big fan of ABC’s Radio National, including Late Night Live, Law Report, Conversations with Richard Fidler, All in the Mind, Philosopher’s Zone, Religion and Ethics Report and more. I also love the BBC’s In Our Time with Melvyn Bragg. This week it featured a discussion of Hatshepsut, the female pharaoh who ruled Egypt in the 15th century BCE. Hatshepsut was one of the most successful and influential of the pharaohs but after her death her name was erased from records. (Good job there are tenacious scholars out there eager to reclaim her history.)
Yesterday I went up to Katoomba library (which, incidentally, must have one of the world’s best views for a library). Having returned one book, I found another by an author who has been on my radar for ages, Louise Doughty, whose Apple Tree Yard has been highly recommended by friends in my fans of Nicci French Facebook group. Apple Tree Yard was out, so I borrowed Whatever You Love instead. So far, it hasn’t disappointed.
Whatever You Love begins with an event that is every parent’s worst nightmare and gets progressively worse. It flips back and forward in time, revealing the context for an event that threatens to destroy the first-person narrator, Laura, an ordinary single mum from a working class coastal town in the UK who is trying to cope with extraordinary and deeply painful circumstances. Doughty is masterful at depicting the minutiae of ordinary life while at the same time building an atmosphere of suspense and menace. It isn’t often that suspense novels make me cry, but this book did (and I haven’t even got to the end). It certainly won’t be the last of Doughty’s I’ll be reading.