Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Your latest find

There are two feelings in the world I adore. Okay, there are a lot more than just two! But when it comes to romance fiction, there are two sensations that are absolutely priceless, to me.

One is that thrill that comes when I'm working on a story, and suddenly something clicks. Something that I didn't expect -- a scene I would never have imagined… until it happened. That point when the characters come fully to life and start surprising me. From an author's standpoint, that's the best.

As a reader, the most thrilling moment is that little shiver I get when I pick up a new author -- and they catch me. Just a turn of phrase at first, maybe, or a particularly deft description. There's a tiny jolt of electricity, a sudden flare of excitement… Is it? Can it be? Have I found a new favorite author?

Hardly daring to let the hope take shape in my mind for fear of jinxing it, I turn the page, eager to let the author lead me further into her story. Like a spectator at an equestrian event, I hold my breath, watching -- will she clear the next hurdle? Canter easily into the backstory? Will she carry me safely across the fence I can see looming just up ahead?

Yep, I used to ride. I miss it. I miss Klondike Kid, who was this huge, rawboned, dirty white horse I got to ride at the stable where I worked. Ugly as sin, but boy could he jump! And there was nothing like sailing through the air, borne aloft by his strength and speed… except maybe the feeling of being swept up and borne aloft by a really, really good story.

When that happens, when I find a new-to-me-author, I feel rich as Midas. Some people love their books, which for them means taking very good care of them. I love my books to death. I sleep with them. I carry them with me everywhere. If I really, really love a book, I reread it and reread it till the binding is shot and the pages are falling out… and then I buy a new copy. 

One recent find for me was Red Garnier who (full disclosure time!) has since become a very good friend. I remember the exact moment when I felt that little thrill down my spine, that excitement which tells me I've found a new favorite author -- it was while reading Spin Devil, her first Ellora's Cave release. At that time, I didn't know Red at all, and I was enjoying the story just fine -- it was well-written, well-paced, very readable…

Then I got to the flashback scene (for those of you who've read Spin Devil, you'll know the one I mean). Having carried me well into the story, Red transitioned into a memory of the hero and heroine at a dance -- and did such an incredibly deft job of conveying the entire history of their relationship and the conflict between them that I was left absolutely speechless. And that was the moment in which I became a true-blue, dyed in the wool Red Garnier fan.

How about you? Who was your latest find? What was the scene or moment that made you really sit up and take notice?

-- Sierra Dafoe

BUILT TO LAST -- just released from Ellora's Cave!


Nicole Austin said...

I love those moments! Finding a new-to-me author whose work resinates with me is priceless. I just wish I had more time to read, but I do go to sleep with my books too. Thankfully, my Ebookwise shuts itself off and saves my place. *g*

Sierra Dafoe said...

LOL, Nicole! It's comforting to know it's not just me. Hubby routinely has to scoop a book or two off the bed when he retires for the night.

And boy do I hear you about time to read! That was definitely one sacrifice I never expected to have to make for a writing career -- but it's like pulling teeth to snag an hour or two to curl up with a book!

-- Sierra


N.J.Walters said...

I love finding new authors!

Just today, I mentioned JR Ward to my husband. I read the blurb of her first book, but didn't bother with it. Truthfully, it didn't hook me.

But I heard such great word-of-mouth that I finally read it. I immediately bought book 2, which was already out, and began waiting impatiently for book 3. LOL Now I wouldn't miss an installment of the Black Dagger Brotherhood books.

Like Nic, I wish I had more time to read.

Sierra Dafoe said...

NJ, that's exactly how I found JR, too! People kept recommending her and recommending her, and yep -- again, I can remember the exact moment she caught me. Page 3 -- "And that wave of menace rolling ahead of him was one hell of a calling card." That was it -- all she had to do from there, for me, was not drop the ball. So far (only on book 3, here) she hasn't.

-- Sierra