Tuesday, March 09, 2010

What is Lynda Simmons reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Lynda Simmons, author of Getting Rid of Rosie.

Her entry begins:
Because I teach a novel writing class, I try to practice what I preach and read, read, read, because honestly, I don’t think you can write well if you don’t. So with my latest manuscript finally out the door, it was time at last to dip into the stack of books that I received for Christmas – some by authors I was trying for the first time, and a few by authors I always enjoy.

Where to begin was the problem. When I pick up a book, I’m looking to be engaged from the opening line. I want the writer to reach out, grab me by the throat and hold on until the very end. But beyond a compelling plot, I also hope the characters will be memorable, that they’ll linger in my heart and mind, drawing me back again and again. Characters like Lilah Kemp in Timothy Findlay’s Headhunter, who believes she has freed Kurtz from page 92 of Heart of Darkness and now must find her own Marlow to help get him back. Or the dog in Stephen King’s Gerald’s Game, who is torn between survival and being a ‘good dog’ – fabulous bit of characterization there.

So as I started in on my stack of books, I was hoping to find at least one with staying power, one that would stick with me long after I’d closed the cover and set the book back on the shelf. And I was delighted to discover that Claudia Dey’s Stunt definitely sticks.

The main character, Eugenia is nine years old, wise beyond her years and desperate for her father to love her. When he disappears, leaving behind a note of apology addressed only to her mother and sister, Eugenia is convinced he’s coming back for her. That her name was left out, not because he forgot to include her, but because he has no intention of leaving her behind. Now picture a nine year old girl sitting on the front stairs in a corduroy dress. “Teeth brushed. Hair brushed.” With provisions sewn into the hem of that dress. Things a little girl believes they will need. “. . .nuts, a handkerchief, rope, a pen and paper and a knife. I will move with you as seamlessly as you move through the world. I will be your shadow.” Heart...[read on]
Among the praise for Getting Rid of Rosie:
"Lynda Simmons pens a novel that is full of angst, laughter and love...excellent dialogue and character studies that show how relationships can be built or destroyed ...a believable and memorable tale of friendship and love... sure to keep anyone's attention from first page to last!"
--Dee Dailey

"Hold onto your socks because this book won't let you put it down until the very last page. Every single character is perfect in their own way, each detail painting a picture that you can almost see and hear. GETTING RID OF ROSIE is so good you'll want to read it over and over."
--LaNea Hartless

"A bright, crisp, funny tale... she has a delicious way with dialogue."
--Rebecca Wigod, Vancouver Sun
Visit Lynda Simmons' website.

Writers Read: Lynda Simmons.

--Marshal Zeringue