I have a shameless love affair with the written word. It’s a stress coping mechanism, a happy place, and alternate reality I can lose myself in for a few hours and forget the rest of the world, in all its horrifying splendor, exists. Even when it doesn’t all end with a ride into the sunset.
I am the Hermione Granger of my circle of friends. I’ll pick up technical manuals of thousands of pages for “a bit of light reading”. I’ll also stretch out under a tree with a regency bodice ripper when the mood strikes. If it has words, bring it on. I absorb pages; give me a few minutes and I can flip through the volumes in my memory and tell you exactly what occurred, and when, in nearly everything I’ve ever read. This has been an enormous benefit in both my personal and professional life. And makes for interesting rounds of Trivia Wednesday at Sharkey’s over all-you-care-to-consume wings and pitchers of cold microbrews. It’s also put me in the Top Five picks for Zombie Apocalypse Team members with everyone I know. “How you you know that?” they ask, looks of wonder on their faces. It just sticks with me.
I write columns for The Dog Press, contribute to various other publications and on occasion, proofread for a select group of authors. The work is rewarding; I get to wrap my greedy little paws around a body of work that few others have yet seen. Bwaaahahahahaha! I reel in the power that affords me, drunk on the feeling of positive energy. I have been entrusted with the care and feeding of someone’s baby, the lovely, turbulent mass of ideas they’ve managed to put into words. I wield the Red Pen. It’s practically indescribable. And I get BOOKS! Yahoo!
Like many other dedicated readers, I have my favorites. Preston & Child as collaborators, and their independent works. I adore their use of historic events wrapped neatly in a blanket of plausible fiction. And who couldn’t love the enigmatic very Special Agent A.X.L Pendergast? Though I admit that an unrelated novel, Riptide, is my favorite.
Vince Flynn; wherever his spirit may be. Taken from the world much too soon, his work lives on. My sweet, wonderful Flynn, an American Akita and stalwart guardian, is named in his honor (CH Orients Pride Transfer of Power at BK). His premier character Mitch Rapp is a man I can respect and admire. And how many people can say they become so emotionally involved with a character? The talent it takes to manage such a marvel is tremendous.
But oh, my darling, my sweetheart, my bedside companion on so many nights and couch companion on more days than I care to admit- Repairman Jack. The character construct of F. Paul Wilson (that’s Dr. Wilson to you- no it’s not- Paul just isn’t that formal). I came across Jack years back in a worn out paperback copy of The Tomb. I just couldn’t put it down. Over many years, I’d lend a copy to a friend, never to see it again, and hunt for another, eventually locating one with dog eared and much worn pages. When I learned that, due to popular demand, Jack had returned with a stand alone series of books, I couldn’t resist. Instant addiction ensued. As it turned out, Paul has an online forum where fans discuss the topics of the books, plot lines, upcoming appearances and even day to day meanderings of their lives. The author, in atypical fashion, contributes and keeps a running dialogue with the forum users. In current parlance, how cool is that?
And that, boys and girls, is how Paul and I began to talk with one another. He noticed I had a knack for catching continuity errors. It’s also how I began being offered the opportunity to proofread his work, and before you can say Barnes & Noble, I received the first electronic copy of an upcoming novel. I’m happy to say I’ve received many since then, and had the chance to discus WWJD (What Would Jack Do?) in numerous situations. It’s a heady feeling to be granted inside access and have your voice heard 🙂
Being able to hang out personally with him and other extremely talented people has been a wonderful experience 🙂 I’ve begun proofing for a few of them too, entering the worlds of Thomas Monteleone through his personal work and collaborations,(you still owe me a drink- but the signed copy of Submerged will do til we meet again!) Tracy Carbone (loved The Proteus Cure and Hope House) and Susan Pinborough (I can’t recommend A Necessary End highly enough). Paul introduced me to another long time favorite, David Morrell at a writer’s event in Manhattan two years ago; Brotherhood of the Rose remains one of my all time favorite reads. Of course, Paul had to photobomb the picture! 🙂 It was an honor to meet someone whose work I always admired.
My latest read, Panacea, is going to be worth waiting for in print (expected release July 2016), I won’t share any spoilers, but for those of you who are feeling a bit empty since the RJ series came to a stunning conclusion, you’re going to adore Rick Hayden.
Enough writing for me. Bring me a book!