I just got home from attending Laurie R. King's book talk at a nearby town's library. Yes, I survived. I even asked questions after she did her reading! Two questions I'd thought up in advance so as to have a chance of sounding at least somewhat intelligent, which I think I managed to do. She answered both of them as if I was intelligent, at any rate. I asked her how she approaches writing from a male character's point of view versus a female character's, and how much research she does for her books. Which are both things involved with my own writing, since I write from a male POV so often (particularly in my fanfiction), and I write so much historical fiction and have to do research for it sometimes (also mostly for my fanfic).
After the talk and Q&A period, Ms. King signed books. She signed a copy of The Beekeeper's Apprentice for me, which I bought with some birthday money a couple days ago. And I bought a copy of her new book, The Language of Bees, there at the book talk, which she signed for my college advisor & lit prof, Ramona Czer. As Professor Czer doesn't read my blog (as far as I know), this will be a surprise gift, which I may send to her right away, or I may hang onto and give to her in person in September when Larry and I visit our alma mater. I learned today that one should buy a copy of the author's book before the talk starts (which I did), because they may run out (which they did).
The library is going to podcast this in a week or so, and I'll link to that from here then so you can get to hear Ms. King's insights into the craft of writing (and my little chipmunk voice asking questions) for yourself. Meanwhile, if you've never read one of her books, but like mysteries or mysterious fiction, I strongly suggest them. The Beekeeper's Apprentice is my favorite of the 8 of her books I've read so far, and I also loved Keeping Watch, which is a sequel to Folly. She has two series, the Sherlock Holmes/Mary Russell books (Beekeeper is the first) and her Kate Martinelli mysteries that are set in modern San Francisco. I've got a permanent link to her website, www.laurierking.com, in my sidebar here if you want to learn more.
So what did I personally gain from this afternoon, other than a couple of autographs? A renewed enthusiasm for writing. I hereby vow to stop using what should be Writing Time to work on things for my craft store or take little quizzes on Facebook or surf around online finding new pictures of Hugh Jackman. I will take my writing seriously again, and I will do my very best to finish writing the first draft of Salem before the end of the year. And I will also work at finding new ways to enjoy writing again, since it's become something of a chore these past few months. This afternoon was the first step toward that renewed joy, of that I'm certain.