Sunday, October 16, 2011

Wanted: More Time to Read!

I don't think I'm going out on a limb by saying that all of us who are authors write because somewhere along the line we fell in love with the magic of words. Others may be in love with numbers and math does have its own attraction. But words and the worlds they create are what we live for.

I tell young people that reading is the only way we can escape the loneliness of being trapped in our own minds. When I read another author's words I am, for a short time, thinking his or her thoughts, or being entertained by the characters who once lived only in the author's imagination. As an author I'm often amused by how loudly the characters in my head demand attention, insisting I need to write their stories so they can have existence in minds other than mine. And to be able to experience life as someone did hundreds of years ago is a potent magical experience for me.

Unfortunately, due to having 3 kids in college this year, I'm working multiple jobs. I try to squeeze in some blogging at the end of my long days, but often the need for sleep is too overwhelming. My own writing has had to move to a back burner, so the characters in my head alternately sulk in silence, or yell loudly at me to get my attention--often they resort to showing me in dreams what they want me to write.

But this means that I have little to no time to indulge my love for experiencing the magic of another author's words. That is, until it is time for the yearly book contest run by EPIC--The Electronic Publishing Internet Coalition. I volunteer to judge each year because I feel a need to contribute to an organization that has given me so much: contacts and insight into the world of e-publishing, as well as a feeling of belonging here...almost as if I'm a "real" author!

I usually try to read the books I'm judging in one sitting; telling myself that I need to read for a couple of hours allows me to not feel guilty about the other things I also need to do. Last night I read a book that was so well-written that I was disappointed when it was done because though the story arc was done, I wanted it to go on. Then I looked at the time and realized I'd only get a few hours of sleep, and I reluctantly crawled to bed, only to replay favorite scenes in my mind.

The mark of a truly good book is that I feel enriched for having read it. Typically I also feel insecure, questioning my own abilities as a writer, wondering if any reader will ever feel so moved by any of my books. I can only hope...and keep writing what the voices in my head tell me to write.
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My latest book, Undercover Lovers, is the sequel to Secret Love, the first book about people who work for a shadowy spy agency, who hope they are doing more good than bad as they attempt to influence world events. I was truly excited to get a 5 star review for this book less than a week after it was published! Usually it takes months to even hear back from the review sites.

Ameena has never been able to forget what she endured on her last assignment before she left the agency. She was the only female agent to live through what The Executioner did to his victims, but she still bears the scars, both physical and psychological. When he escapes from his prison cell, her ex-handler brings two agents with him to tell her that one or the other will be her shadow until her torturer is caught again...only this time he will allow her to kill him. Having kept herself too busy for romance, she is caught off-guard by the sudden insertion into her life of two gorgeous men, one who actively pursues her and one whom she finds more attractive for his shyness. Will she live long enough to make a choice? And is that the end of the story...or the beginning?

Learn more at my website: www.fionamcgier.com
Buy link for Undercover Lovers:http://www.whiskeycreekpress.com/torrid/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=8&products_id=608


Tina Donahue said...

Wow - three jobs - and I thought my schedule was hectic. Great post, Fiona. Congrats on your 5-star review for Undercover Lovers. That's awesome and well deserved! :)

Fiona McGier said...

The IRS doesn't consider my writing to be a job because I spend more on promotions than I make in royalties! But I guess you could call it a "job"...since I don't really enjoy either of my jobs, I'd rather call it the only part of my day that I truly look forward to!

Fiona McGier said...

And thanks for your kind words, Tina. I've been meaning to visit all of the blogs you're visiting to publicize your new books, but at least now you know why I haven't yet!