Thumbs Up to the Book Reviewers

As a writer, there are a few dates that stand out as memorable ones to me.  The first one is the day I sat down and started writing my first novel (getting started is always the hardest part).  The second date was when I published it and saw my book listed on Amazon and Barnes and Nobles with my name on the cover! (I still can’t get over that one.  It still seems so surreal to me).  The third date is when I received my first positive book review. I can’t describe the thrill I felt reading the wonderful comments from someone who actually enjoyed my book because, up until then, although you love your story, your family and friends love it, there is still that dread that follows you around.  What if no one else likes what you wrote?  What if they think it’s crap?  Where do I go from there? Hide under a rock? Change my name and move to Antarctica?

But then I received my first good review and as I was reading each sentence, I felt myself actually floating on air.  I kept rereading it, waiting for someone to tell me it was but some practical joke.  But it wasn’t.  Someone really liked my book!  Yay! I didn’t have to move to Antarctica or hide under a rock in shame.  I could hold my head up high, knowing that someone actually did like what I was doing.  I was on such a high that entire day; and it lasted well into the evening (I don’t think I touched ground).  Nothing could bring me down, not even that ticket I got for running yet another stop sign nor the long, never ending line at the supermarket held back by the notorious little old lady who, once again, had misplaced her charge card deep into the secret pockets of her bottomless tote. I woke up the next morning still in a happy mood (even before having that first cup of coffee-which, for me, is saying a lot).  I guess you can say I was relishing in the moment.

Since then, I have met some pretty wonderful people who have taken the time to read my novels in exchange for their honest reviews.  Many of them have lives outside of the wonderful world of literature we are all lucky to be a part of.  Many of them work full-time jobs and have families.  Some are planning major events such as weddings and vacations.  Yet, they somehow find the time and energy to pick up my book (and many others), read it and then write about it.   I’m amazed by their dedication and commitment and I appreciate their constructive feedback.  They’ve given me so much to take with me into my next story.

So, with no further delay, I would like to dedicate this blog to the book reviewers. The fastest readers I know!  A special group of people who love reading good stories as much as I do.  I so appreciate what you do for me and for so many other authors out there.  Keep the reviews coming.


Why I Love Lucy

I’m not sure whether it’s the flaming red hair, the stylish dress suits with the cute little hat/glove combo or the whining cry that pierces your ears whenever her plans to get into her husband’s show are foiled, but I find Lucy Ricardo (or rather the brilliant actress who played her, Lucille Ball) fascinating and a true inspiration for my novels.  In fact, I believe chick lit was born with her and the I Love Lucy show because it gave writers like myself the green light to have fun with our female characters and show off their quirky personalities.  I love putting my characters into outrageous situations that make my readers laugh out loud and I owe it all to her!

To this day, I watch reruns of the I Love Lucy show whenever they’re on and belly laugh my way through all of Lucy’s screwball schemes, all the while thinking to myself that I could really hang out with this very cool yet occasionally goofy chick. I picture myself stomping grapes with her in Italy or drinking the Vitameatavegamin tonic until I too slur my words and bat my heavily mascaraed eyes, flirting horribly with the closest guy next to me.

In fact, I would go as far as to say that Lucy is my hero because she wasn’t afraid to take risks.  She put her heart and her ambitions out on the line and took the consequences no matter what.  She schemed. She jumped before she looked.  She embarrassed herself many, many times.  But in the end, she always got to go home with the hot-looking Cuban lounge singer who adored her.

She was entertaining and she gave me a newfound appreciation for a leading female character who is strong, stubborn, loveable and most importantly, funny.  And let’s not forget Ethel who I believe is the First Lady of hysterical female sidekicks.  Forget Thelma and Louise, Lucy and Ethel are the real deal!  She would follow Lucy to the ends of the earth on her adventures, driving the car as they drove over the cliff.

Most importantly, Lucy showed me that it’s fine to go through life laughing at yourself.  I think all of my characters have a little bit of Lucy in them and thank goodness for that because if not, they’d be so boring.

Luuuucccccy! What did you do?