This past month, I read two wonderful books, one non-fiction, and one fiction:
Second Sight, by Cheryl B. Klein, is a book for writers on the subject of writing. It’s a compilation of Ms. Klein’s talks, keynote speeches, workshop presentations, and blogs, over a seven year span from 2003 through 2010. Klein is a senior editor for children’s and young adult fiction at Arthur A. Levine Books, an imprint of Scholastic Inc. and worked on some of the Harry Potter books.
Now you might be asking, or at least wondering why an aspiring romance author would be reading a how to write book written by such an editor. Truth is, it is awesome, and writing is writing. All of Ms. Klein’s insights and revelations pertain to adult fiction as much as they do to children’s fiction: character development, emotion, pacing, plot, etc. Her discussions on books like The Hunger Games are in depth and extremely helpful. Her tips on revisions are excellent. Also, her voice is great, she’s easy to follow, and she is never patronizing. I would love to work with her as my editor. : )
At one point Ms. Klein says: “If a manuscript works for me, it is actually very much like falling in love, where I just want to spend all my time with this book and ignore all my responsibilities…”
I totally get that, because I’m an avid reader. And, I felt exactly that way when I eagerly opened the package to find Me Again, by Keith Cronin. It was afternoon, somewhere around 3pm. I’d been excited to get my hands on this book because Keith was a contributor on author, Jenny Crusie’s Forums, and I liked his take on publishing, being a debut author, and his knowledge of craft. I knew I wanted to read his book. I thought I’d like it. I figured I’d read a little, and then get back to work. I kept reading and finished it in the wee small hours. I loved this book.
Cronin is a musician, drummer, once a librarian, and now a novelist. His novel asks the story question: “If you lost everything from your current life, how much of it would you truly want back?”
The subject matter in Cronin’s book is, at first glance, something you might think you wouldn’t enjoy. I mean who really wants to read about stroke victims, right? Sounds like it could be depressing, doesn’t it? NOT. This is a very thoughtful, beautifully written story that is filled with humor and emotional insight into the human condition. The story follows the intertwined paths of a man and a woman who have suffered strokes, one was in a coma for six years, and it displays with passion their courage during recovery and rehabilitation as they try to put their lives back into working order. When they reach each new goal you find yourself silently applauding each victory, each new step. And the ending…well, it’s perfect.
Keiths website: www.keithcronin.com Check out the fabulous video.
My award system: 2, 3, 4, 5 stars. There is no such thing as a 1 star.
Second Sight: 5 stars. Me Again: 5 stars.