Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Transport Me... Please!

My friend Kate Flora wrote recently for our Maine Crime Writers Blog about the joys of well-written fiction. She described reading stacks of books as a child, and said: "What fascinated me then, and continues to fascinate me now, is how a writer can tell a story so well, and create such a compelling world, that I get completely lost there and have a hard time coming back to reality. It was a magical experience then, and it’s one that I still want. I want writers to capture me, carry me off, and hold me hostage until I reach the words: The End."

My water bottle is gone... instead I have a pina colada...
I couldn't agree with Kate more. I remember the winter when I chose to read a few of Jimmy Buffett's books. One night I was at the Y while the snow swirled outside, reading and working up a sweat on the elipitcal. One minute I was saying hello to a neighbor and starting the machine, and the next... I'd been magically lifted from Maine to Margaritaville, where tropical breezes blew and drinks with little umbrellas appeared at my side.

Or when I read each of JK Rowling's books. I could barely pull myself out of the world of Harry, Hermione, and Hogwarts.
To me,  this experience is the reason why I read fiction. Like Kate, I want to be transported.

And what about as a writer?  If I can do one thing in this career of mine, it would be to give my readers this same gift. I hope they'll find themselves enmeshed in Darby Farr's world of beautiful homes and bad guys, wondering what happens next, getting goosebumps along with her as she encounters dangerous situations and uses her wits (and amazing Aikido skills) to survive.

This is the reason I wrapped and gave my son Nathan my well-worn copy of Lawrence Block's Writing the Novel From Plot to Print. Nate just came back from four months in Shanghai, living with a family attending university, studying Mandarin, and -- as if that weren't enough -- working with an American company in an internship. After our family ushered at the Christmas Eve service (where more than 40 children participated in the pageant) Nate showed us photos of his experiences. Talk about a parallel universe! I couldn't help but tell him to write a mystery set in that incredible city of 30 million people.

It's all about creating that world. This is very much on my mind as the New Year approaches and I think about writing the very best books I possibly can. For me, that means transporting my readers off their elipticals, out of the house, and into Darby's world.

Top producing Realtor Vicki Doudera uses high-stakes, luxury real estate as the setting for a suspenseful mystery series starring crime-solving, deal-making agent Darby Farr. A broker with a busy coastal firm since 2003 and former Realtor of the Year, Vicki’s next mystery, DEADLY OFFER, takes Darby to a winery where murder, mayhem, and Merlot all mingle. As in the popular KILLER LISTING and A HOUSE TO DIE FOR, Darby discovers a dangerous truth: real estate means real trouble. Read more about the Darby Farr Mystery Series and Vicki at her website, www.vickidoudera.com.


Darrell James said...

Vicki- I can still recall the magical feel of reading Mysterious Island in my teens. Thyat was a long time ago, but the mystical-magical fantasy of it still lives with me today.

Beth Groundwater said...

Great post, Vicki, and I looove your new cover. Very creepy. :) I hope your son does get the writing bug (and genes from you) and writes that novel set in Shanghai.

Robin Allen said...

Lately, I've come across very few transport-me-out-of-my-life books, so I end up rereading my favorites. I think I'm just impatient, though. I prefer story to description, so that's how I write my books.

I second Beth that the cover of your new book is great!

Vicki Doudera said...

Thanks Darrell, Beth and Robin... appreciate the comments. Wish we could discuss this in a bar together!

Vicki Doudera said...

BTW, Robin, the cover of "Stick a Fork.." is terrific, too.

Definitely has the sizzle!

Robin Allen said...

Thanks, Vicki! MI does good covers.