Twitter seems to be down at the moment which is a little surprising. It never crossed my mind that social media sites would need to go "offline" from time to time for maintenance since they're like old friends - always there for you.
My latest read has been Araminta Hall's "Everything and Nothing". I took it with me to Cuba and devoured it in the two days we lay on the beach in Varadero. The new genre "nanny chiller" written about in the reviews had me intrigued, but I originally bought the book because it's essentially about a family in meltdown. I wanted to see how other authors portray broken relationships and damaged individuals, and how all that gets captured into a compelling storyline evoking empathy for the main characters. To make yourself a better writer, the simple truth is you must study the pros. Araminta's debut is the first of three books I've selected to explore the themes running through my own trilogy. The other two on my list are Elizabeth Haynes's debut "Into the Darkest Corner" and A.D. Miller's debut "Snowdrops". I picked Haynes because her story deals with obsession and abuse, and I picked Miller's because weather is used throughout the story to depict mood, setting and drama.
Coming back to "Everything and Nothing", what makes the book great is the fact most people can relate to it, which makes the characters believable. I don't have a husband and two kids, but I can understand the frustration depicted excellently throughout of working so hard you feel like everything else in your life is out of control. And that's ok for a while because you ride on the wave of euphoria your job brings you (hopefully, as long as you're doing something you like!) but pretty soon the cracks start to show. You miss an event. You forget a birthday, or an anniversary. You have to cancel a holiday because you're just too busy... In essence, you start sacrificing the bits of your life that are real and tangible, yet you have no time to step back and take a long, hard look at yourself from the outside looking in. Reminds me of the Adam Sandler movie "Click". Also the dilemma every working woman faces when they've had a child - to go back to work or not. The guilt, the shame, the unknown. The visions not matching the reality - whichever decision you make. What else? How two people can be in love one minute and then drift so far apart the next. The book takes on both perspectives - male and female - and does a fine job of getting to the heart of both. You want to hate Christian for having an affair whilst Ruth is pregnant, but you can't. Because he's stumbling around for answers as much as she is. Without giving too much away, rarely do you imagine the male species having an epiphany, and from a female perspective - how the hell does it happen and what goes through their mind??? If you want to know, all I can say is read the book...
So, besides all that meltdown stuff going on, you have indeed got a new genre - the nanny chiller - which in itself is a marvelous concept. For me this was a refreshing read, old and new themes mixed together to create something totally unique.
And that's what makes a great story!
Blogging is an amazing concept so here I am giving it a whirl. You'll get words. You'll get pics. Sometimes a vid or two. You'll get tongue in cheek, the odd humble opinion and an honest insight into my travels and writing life. Maybe even a few gems along the way. I'll be musing on home turf as I see more and more of the UK and sharing my experiences further afield on holidays and adventurous trips across the globe.