One just needs to walk outside up here at the top of the mitt to feel the energy of the emergence of spring. It seems like the trees are competing for space in the sky. I took a drive south this weekend, and even though it was raining, I could see a different kind of color change as I returned. The light vibrant greens of the birches, the red hues of the oaks and the deep green of the maples were a beautiful backdrop for the flowering trees. Yes, the cherry trees aren’t the only ones displaying beautiful blooms. White, light and deep pinks dominate the fruit trees. Add in the shrubs and new grasses, and I think it’s every bit as beautiful as the autumn display.
Spring brings with it new lambs, calves, and foals. Baby bison are hobbling on stiff legs and resemble me early in the morning lurching around until my knees warm up. The rivers are high as they move the excess spring rain along. When the sun breaks free from the clouds, its light seems to dance upon the surface of the lakes and ponds.
Handing over Book of Souls (Book 24) to my editor (estimated delivery mid-July) was a tough one. The characters aren’t finished with me yet. I will be starting on the next book soon. The ideas have already surfaced, and the only thing stopping me is a chore list longer than some of the tales I tell.
I’d like to take a moment and thank all of you for your responses to The Candle (Book 23). I really loved writing that book. It renewed me when the world outside Ravens’ Rook was so hard to bear. I don’t understand where common decency has gone – I have my suspicions, but I won’t get political here.
Reading has always been a great way to escape and sometimes learn something new. Through books, I travel the world and learn bits and pieces about history, gently ladled out to me, from writers like Margaret Callow and Ian Roberts. I’ve been pulled in by Martha Grimes’s Richard Jury Series and sat next to her character Melrose Plant and watched him as he was bullied by young children and Richard Jury, all to solve a crime, or just to get away from being Lord Ardry for a while. I’ve been frightened by Koontz and King, charmed by Rowling and tickled by Hiaasen. Books take you so much further than television and movies can. They rely on your imagination.
I was at a book reading answering questions last summer. One person mentioned that they had no imagination and wouldn’t be able to write a book. I disagreed about the imagination part. You need imagination to read. I don’t overwrite my descriptions of my characters deliberately because I want you to see them the way you want them to be. Stephen Murphy is a lot younger looking that he started off in my mind’s eye. Don’t worry, he approves. If I spoon-fed my readers descriptions right down to the color of stubble on a hastily shaved face, the book would not move, and I don’t know about you, but I’d be setting it down and turning on the television.
Enjoy the spring and all the wonderful books that will soon be arriving for the summer reading season. I’m catching up on a few before I research my next book. Once I start writing, the stack I’ve accumulated is forgotten, and Murphy rules my days and haunts my nights. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.