Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Magical Storytelling

I was a reader long before I ever became a writer.  I had my favourite writers.  The ones who wrote books I could never put down.  The ones I would never give away but re-read at least once a year.

I've always been in love with 'magical storytelling'.  This is a phrase I use to describe a novel or short story that whisks me away from myself, takes me to another place, a place where I lose myself in the story.  A place that evokes strong emotions.  A place where I shut out family and friends as much as I love them. 

When I've discovered a new writer who has this gift, I am thrilled, pleased beyond reason.  I squirrel the treasure away until I am able to crack it open and read without interruptions.  And I'm selfish with it, I don't share it (other than verbally or e-mail  with the writer if possible, with my friends, and other writers, but I never, never part with it. 

Over the years, there have been surprises.  I never had read any Stephen King as I do not care for the genre however I did begin his new book, 11/22/63, on the weekend and I was instantly hooked.  The man can write; he's up there with those magical storytellers.  This is probably no surprise to most of you but it was a delightful one to me.  He has fun, he plays fair with the writer, he is a master of plotting, his characters are real.  And on, and on, and on. 

So to those genuis's of writing, I say:  keeping on writing, please.  And for those writers like myself, who love the craft and are committed to developing their talent, I say:  keeping on writing, please and who knows, someday, we, like them, may enter the realm of magical storytelling.

Who is your favourite writer, who do you believe reaches the magical summit?

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Choosing Your Poison

Whether you're a reader or a writer, I think we can agree on this.  It's darn difficult these days to find those books that make our hearts pump, keep us reading late at night even though we have an important breakfast meeting (or whatever) keeps us chatting about its merits to whoever will listen, and posting our accolades on Twitter, FaceBook, Goodreads, and e-mail.  And we do all these things in good faith.  We are thrilled to discover a new author, or the new chapter in an ongoing series, or a genre we never thought would ever appeal to us.

Its not becuase we don't have writers today who are capable of shaking our reading cores. The authors are out there.  The problem is finding them in the gazillions books on offer.  Now my favourite poisons are murder mysteries, historical mysteries, biographies, thriller chillers, Sci Fi, Fantasy - you get the idea - I love stories, well told stories, no matter the genre.  And I will follow an author who can write these stories to the ends of the earth.

Now if we google the newest releases, or go to Kindle, Smashwords, or browse our favourite bookstore, our reader senses become quickly overwhelmed.  Yes, we read the blurbs, the synopsis, the first page and we buy with one click, our Visa, or old fashioned bills and coins.  Most times we hit paydirt; the other times not.

So my question this morning to all you readers and writers out there:  how do you discover your favourite poison among all the deadly offerings out there?