Because I’m a senior and I cannot drive, I’ve had to find other ways to get out. I watch a lot of television, and in the last few years, I’ve done most of my shopping with QVC. I don’t mean to be a commercial, but I must say I am very happy with most of what I get; once in a while I send something back, but the quality of their goods has been excellent. As with any kind of shopping, I have lots of days when I can force myself to be practical and not give in to the many temptations I see. Then there are those days I like everything I see and finally give in and purchase something. That’s the kind of day I’m having today. I vowed I wouldn’t spend any money unless I found a Christmas present; but I gave in and bought something for myself! It’s practical and something I will really use, but I spent some money when I vowed I wouldn’t. Such is the life of those who love to shop. Everything looks so good on the models, even the larger ones. Shopping is a way we use our imagination, put those clothes on us and dream.
We do the same thing when we shop for a good book. We look for the color (which is the cover); we notice the style (the print of the book) and we often seek out the design company or the designer (the author).
When you come across the books Genilee and I have written, you’ll see vivid covers, not bright or gaudy, but rich in color and hinting at what is in the book (the way lace might hint at what’s beneath); the style of our books is appealing (Spectacle has chosen easy to read and large type). As for the designers (us), we are still getting to the point where you might recognize us by name. We hope what you’ll learn to associate with that name is entertaining reading. In no way do we consider what we do coming up with deep, provoking or controversial literature. We see ourselves as writers of “moments of escape,” which we both have shopped for when we read. Our books are the kind you love to curl up with in a chair in front of the fireplace to lose yourself fully for a few hours in someone else’s life.
Genilee is working hard at getting the third book polished for the publisher’s last reading, while I am trying to produce book four in the Sam Osborne series. The book Genilee’s immersed in—Fate of the Violet Eyes—sees Sam, our detective, falling in love. I hope you become as absorbed in the characters of the kidnapper and his victim as I was in writing this book. Meanwhile, I am almost done writing book four, which includes some suggestions made by audiences in a series of book talks we held at various communities. I already wrote a fifth book, but I put it aside for a while because it doesn’t satisfy me. Sometimes you just have to put aside something that bothers you—like that dress or that shirt that’s almost good enough. And when you’re shopping QVC, sometimes you have to send it back for a different one or one that fits better.
We hope, of course, that you come across our engaging Fate series in your shopping and decide to try us on. But in the meantime, let me give you a little exercise we do in our book talks (the same exercise that has resulted in including details from communities where we talk into book four).
I often start a book with just a name, then I begin visualizing details for the character and go on to what actions the person might take and end up formulating plots around those details. I thought I’d give you a new name and see what you come up with. I’m looking for things such as age, appearance, personality, job, desires, motivation—give me anything that comes to mind. If we get some replies as comments, I’ll share with you what I have come up with myself.
Here goes, close your eyes and visualize this person: CHRISTELLA CORTEZ
Have some fun with it!
F. Sharon Swope