It was a pretty quiet week here at the blog.
The blog post that garnered the most comments (generally how I measure interest) was this on fonts for backstory.
I thought Colin Smith's comment synthesized what I was trying to say a lot better than I did:
If I understand you correctly, you're saying that the manuscript FONT needs to be in either TNR or Courier New throughout. The font STYLE can be italicized for brief sections (e.g., a few lines of inner dialog, notes passed under the table, IM texts, etc.). But italics should not be used for extended chunks of text (e.g., back story). For those portions the writer should use a date or a section break rather than have paragraphs of italics.
As a general observation, it seems to me a bit reckless to take one's manuscript formatting tips from published novels. That's like trying to make an egg look like a chicken.
For some reason "sentient penises" were a continuing element in the comments. I'm not sure how this happened ...and I'm not sure I really want to ask. Tawna Fenske novels are about as racy as I want to get!
There was a great deal of good information on how to get over the fear of having your work read by other people, as I predicted all of it from the comments on the post!
The comments on the week's earlier posts demonstrate we're all getting to know each other's pets. (one very hilarious benefit of posting cat/dog pictures here.)
This week I also managed to get a nice break between Christmas and New Year. Took a total shark dive on to the couch and read my face off!
For those of you interested in what I read when I'm not reading requested fulls, or client revisions, I keep a list at Library Thing (I prefer LT to GoodReads.)
This week's highlights:
The Bishop's Wife by Mette Ivie Harrison. I heard about this when Mette's editor Juliet Grames posted the NYT review on Facebook. I instantly ordered it, got it on Friday, and read it that day.
I was NOT disappointed. Expect to be hearing me talk about this more in the coming weeks.
Neverhome by Laird Hunt. This was a book buzz panel choice at BEA last year. I meant to read it right after BEA but got sidetracked. (The story of my reading life!) I picked it up because I was intrigued by the idea of women going to battle back in the Civil War days. It's a haunting, lyrical novel. The writing is exquisite. I think I've got a new reading rule after picking this up: the shorter the novel, the slower you need to read. My eye is geared toward "page turning commercial fiction" and I really had to remind myself to slow down and savor this.
Ordinary Thunderstorms by William Boyd. I've had this kicking around for awhile but re-started and finished this week. I loved it. And the author is now going to be doing the James Bond books, so I may start reading those again. I'm sort of a purist on Bond. The Fleming novels were great, but I never really took a shine to the ones written by other people. I'm willing to give this guy a try though.
Show Me the Murder by Carolyn Mulford. I heard this author on a panel at ThrillerFest and she was terrific so I bought the book. It's been here waiting for me to have some free reading time for a while. I really enjoyed how the author uses dialogue here to convey the sense of place and character. I hate the cover of the book a lot and for about 150 pages I was sneering at whoever designed it because there was NO DOG in the book...and yet there's a dog on the cover. (Clearly just to boost sales I thought meanly) Of course the dog shows up right after page 150 and I had to take back all my churlish thoughts.
This book isn't going to get anywhere near the attention it deserves so if you're looking for something good to read this is one I'd say to get.
We're back to work on Monday! I'm very much looking forward to it since I have a couple really terrific projects to talk to editors about, and my treasured minion returns from vacation (I HOPE!)