I enjoy writing mysteries more than anything I’ve ever done before. Initially people called it my “hobby,” and I smiled politely while trying not to voice my thoughts. However, after about the time my fifth book came out, those who knew me decided it wasn’t a hobby after all. (It’s nice to feel understood.)
However, I’m also an avid reader, or at least I was until I started writing. Now I don’t have enough time to read everything I’d like to. For purposes of this post, though, I’m going to remain a reader.
Beginning with my mother’s Honey Bunch books, and moving on to the Oz books, Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys books, and finally real honest-to-goodness adult books, I’ve enjoyed the freedom to go places and do things vicariously through the characters and the stories.
All of that reading and all of those characters and storylines (along with a gentle push from a friend) are what prompted me to write mysteries. Some of the ideas of other writers are so unique that when I finish reading a book I sit back and wish I’d written it. As a reader, have you ever felt that way?
When To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee came out, even though I’d never given a thought to writing a novel, I read the last page and wished I’d written that book. The characters were so real to me – Atticus, Jem and Scout. The storyline reminded me of what times and people were like in the thirties. (Although I wasn’t even a sparkle in my mother’s eyes in the thirties, I’ve heard things.) And Boo Radley – oh, what a guy. I think every small town has had someone whom people talked about and who was highly misunderstood. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, read the book. You’ll be glad you did.
I still think about Marley & Me by John Grogan. The book made me laugh aloud, and then the story made me cry. I wished I’d written it because it was so entertaining. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t quite believe the story and ended up with two yellow Labrador Retrievers, Sugar and Murphy. Believe me, Grogan’s story hit the mark. These dogs have a bit of screwy mixed in with intelligence, and sometimes… Well, you’d have to live with a Lab to understand.
Sometimes I read one simple idea in a story – and wish I’d thought of it first. Oh,well… I do my best.
I could tell you about my books, but that would take too much time. There are now nineteen, with Number Twenty in the works. Maybe one day someone will read one of my books and say, “I wish I’d written that.” One can always hope.
Think of a book you wish you’d written, or that contained an idea you wish you’d thought of first. Maybe you’ll provide me with some new books to read.
Until next time, I hope you read a book that leaves you in awe of the story – a book that will live forever in your memory.
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