There are few things in life as satisfying as a book you just can't put down. I'm hearing from readers who say they like that about The Frontiersman's Daughter and it makes me glad. I felt the same way while writing it! Of course these folks are always tempered by the ones who can't pick the book up in the first place! People are asking about a sequel. I posted about writing that particular book some time ago. If you're curious, please go into the archives above left, and find the September 10, 2008 post, "characters and other novelties," and you'll see a girl in a bonnet and find out what happened when I wrote the sequel. You may be as surprised as I was!
As a writer, you may think you're in control of your characters and what happens to them in the course of a novel, but truly, "the book is the boss," as one author succinctly said. You are really just a conduit, the physical hand that writes it down. Often characters surprise you:) That's one of the joys of writing.
A lady recently asked me, "How do you write a book?" I felt decidedly un-eloquent when I said, "I can't tell you how it's done and I'm glad, because if I could explain it, I could take credit for it. I can only tell you it's a gift. I just do it." There are many gifted writing instructors who teach about the craft and I'm not one of them. Like my violin-playing son, I think I write "by ear" like he plays by ear. I don't think a lot about craft while I'm doing it. I just write from the heart. There's magic in that and I'll leave it at that!
What makes a book hard to put down for you? Have you read any books that have this wonderful quality? Bet they have a permanent home on your bookshelf:)
My test of a good novel is dreading to read the last chapter. Anonymous
Books may well be the only true magic. Alice Hoffman