Mark Terry

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

What I'm Reading--This Is Ridiculous

September 5, 2006
I'm reading four books at a time. This is insane. I'll explain:

BAG OF BONES by Stephen King.
One of my favorite novels. Sort of a comfort book. I also have the audiobook, but I never seem to find time to listen to it because I'm not in the car enough any more. Best selling romantic suspense novelist Mike Noonan gets a pathological case of writer's block after the death of his young wife. 4 years later he returns to his summer cottage, which appears to be haunted--by his wife or by something much more dangerous? He also gets caught up in a custody battle between a lovely young woman and the crazy old multi-millionaire father-in-law, who may or may not be possessed by a ghost. I hadn't read or listened to it in a couple years, but got the urge to. Unfortunately, I keep setting it aside to read:

PRIVATE WARS by Greg Rucka.
An espionage novel involving the British and US governments trying to influence the secession plans in Uzbekistan, which is a major staging area for the War on Terror in Afghanistan. I was having a lot of problems getting into this book, but I'm not pretty engrossed. Some of my problems have to do with the acronyms he uses, which are numerous, for various government agencies in at least three countries. Also the politics are difficult, the plot byzantine, the characters numerous... but once you get the hang of it it's pretty amazing.

CRYSTAL RAIN by Tobias S. Buckell.
Sci-Fi of a variety I'm not very familiar with. Takes place on a distant planet populated by people of Caribbean descent. Then the worm holes were destroyed and slowly they lost their technology as they were isolated. There are evil aliens masquerading as gods, and there are the supposed good guys, the Nanagadans (I think) and the bad guys on the other side of the Wicked High Mountainsi (Aztecans) and local militias (ragamuffins) and politics, and the main character, John, is probably from a different planet, but has no memory from prior to being pulled from the ocean. I'm nibbling at this. My brother, a friend of Toby's, gave me the book. I don't read much SF, but reading this makes me wonder why. It's quite challenging in a way that's different from other books I typically read.

Yeah, I'm reading this to proof it for potential reprint changes (fingers crossed). As any author will tell you, it's not that easy to read your own work for the 20th time.

Mark Terry


Anonymous Eric Mayer said...

I can't stand rereading my stuff. Mary does the proofing of our books, luckily for me! So I've never reread more than a page of any of them once they've gone as far as the arc.

I just read Harlan Coben's Tell No One and I'm not sure what I think. It's pretty amazing and gripping but on the other hand -- perhaps odd to say -- I probably look to books more for ideas than visceral thrills. Some people enjoy being scared on roller coasters. I don't. Also, I wonder...with your twists and turns and there a point where it's too much? Still, an amazing book.

5:58 AM  
Blogger Mark said...

Tell No One. As I recall, there's one twist too many. I moderated a panel of book reviewers at last year's Magna cum Murder and two of the reviewers (a married couple who run a bookstore in Colorado, but also review for one of the big papers out there) commented that their review of Tell No One went something along the lines of, "A fantastic 335 page thriller. Unfortunately, the book lasted 336 pages." I pretty much agreed.

I'm not a big fan of re-reading my stuff either. At least until a number of years go by. I have a bound galley of Blood Secrets, aka The One That Got Away, what was to be my first novel published by Write Way back in about 2001 or something like that, and I've picked it up and read it from beginning to end and there was enough distance from the actual writing of it that I was able to say, "Gee, that Mark Terry guy's a pretty good writer."

I'm just close enough to Pitchfork at the moment to see all the things I want to change, rather than all the things I did right.

6:40 AM  
Anonymous Eric Mayer said...

"One twist too many." Exactly. So I'm not alone in thinking that. I don't want to say anything that'd ruin the book for anyone but that reviewer was right -- my impression would've been better without the last page.

9:21 AM  
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