One fan e-mail stands out today. . . from Andi: “Do you have a favorite book of yours?”
That question’s asked a lot. My favorite is most often the one I’m writing today, because it’s in my head right now. If she’d asked me last week, wife Janet and I did the final edits and sent to the editor Throw The Devil Off The Train. That novel will be released next March 2011. I’ve been full of the scenes of the adventures on the very long train ride from Omaha to Sacramento in 1880.
I can still hear that poignant, romantic discourse when Catherine Goodwin says to Race Hillyard:
"You know, yesterday I held you in deep disgust."
"Has that changed?"
"Yes, today I hold you in mediocre disdain."
|Stuart Brannon's 1st book|
But this week. . .ah, I’m writing a proposal for a final story featuring my favorite and most prominent character, Stuart Brannon (a cameo reference appears in most every novel I write, no matter whether it’s historical or contemporary). Instead of riding the range, Brannon will be driving a fairway. Yep, old cowboy Stuart will be on a golf course in 1906. . .and hating every minute of it. But I’ll love writing his story. . .and playing golf during breaks. That’s where Stuart and I differ. Maybe I’ll call it Stuart Brannon’s Last Shot.
To tell you the truth, I never wrote a boring book. Every plot and quirky character who pops up has made the writing trail fun, exciting, packed with action and heart. Each release has been a thrill. All the 104 books are great. . .to me, that is. They’re like my children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren. They’re my heritage, the only inheritance I’ll leave.
I realize not every reader’s as enthused as I am. That’s okay. But each writer must be convinced of the quality of his or her own work. We strive to do our best, at that moment, that phase of creation and development. If I think a scene’s boring, I delete it. If a character’s not working, not moving the story along, out she goes. Only what I consider the best stuff survives. Then, I draw upon courage and take the incredible risk that someone else out there in the wild blue yonder will think so too. Enough to buy the book. And pass the word around.
How do you determine your favorite book?