Thank you, thank you, thank you to all who attended my reading last Friday of The Moon Tells Secrets, my new paranormal romance. Writing is a lonely activity and to read aloud what one has written is unbelievably gratifying. The support of folks who took the time to come makes me determined to go back to my desk and do the best writing I can possibly do—in this case on my mystery. People often ask if finally seeing a published book is like giving birth. Actually it’s more like preparing someone to go out in the world and make her way. And that first reading is the graduation party. Here are some photos from the reading - enjoy!
As always, I’m excited about the first reading tomorrow of my new paranormal romance The Moon Tells Secrets at the Watchung Booksellers, one of my favorite bookstores. As always, I have my usual case of first-book-read jitters. You’d think I’d be over them by now, but the same fears always surface. Will people throw things when they realize it’s not a new mystery? Will I stammer, stutter and lose my place? Will folks sit in stupefied silence when it’s over? Will anybody show up? My close friends and husband are duty bound, but I’ve certainly had my share of signings when it’s just me jabbering incessantly to an embarrassed owner. Hope folks come tomorrow--and save the owner of this great little bookstore from meaningless chatter…
Every writer who creates a series character fortunate enough to survive eight books (thank you loyal readers! xo xo) runs into the problem. How do you age your character? Should you bother? I’ve decided “yes” because only the boring stays the same. When I wrote my first Tamara Hayle Mystery, my girl Tam was in her thirties, reasonably close to my own age. Now? Forget about it! I’ve aged and so has she but much, much, much slower; she's closer to my daughters’ age than mine. I absolutely love working on this yet-to-be-named mystery, but I’ve had to come to terms with the six years that have passed since Of Blood and Sorrow—the one with the strange umbrella on the cover…
For one thing, I need to reintroduce all the characters for readers new to the series. I also need to reacquaint folks who may have forgotten stuff—like me. (So what the heck did I name Jake’s crazy wife?) A number of years ago, a generous friend made a “bible” with all the pertinent information I needed. I continue to search for it, not having the nerve to tell him I misplaced it.
Yet there’s fun in bringing the new from the old. My visual artist friends will paint over a canvas or cut it up and rework it into a collage—literally reinventing their work. That sense of limitless creation and possibility is one of the things I l admire about them. They can see within their art a new direction that will go to a different place. I guess that’s what I’m trying to do, too. The truth is, the older I get the more I know about life, love and how to know when somebody is lying. Insight, often called wisdom, does come to some folks with age—hopefully, to me and my girl!
Every now and then, I become my own personal scold. I should write books that really matter, I tell myself, ones that make a difference, bring joy and insight to those who seek it. Genre writers are generally disrespected in the world of books—like the cousin with promise who can only panhandle—and that can be a downer. I’ve written other things and will continue to, yet I’m always drawn back to mysteries and the mysterious. The truth is, I simply love to write, and even at my age, I’m a daredevil and will try just about anything. I love creating characters and discovering where they lead me because they always go somewhere that I don't expect. Tamara Hayle comments on politics, crime and the way it impacts women’s live at a specific point in time—and writing about her again is a real pleasure.
I'm researching a non-fiction book for kids with another writer that is inspired by my young grandson. I know that will take me places I look forward to going.
“Savanna Welles” offers me the chance to dress as somebody else and play in a different universe. In a million years, I never thought I’d be writing about a young woman like Raine and the terror that haunts her in my latest paranormal THE MOON TELLS SECRETS. (if you're interested, it just went on sale!)
For this writer anyway, the weather can determine my page output--or lack thereof. Saturday was a great day for me. I got up in the morning, gulped my coffee, headed for my computer and worked like a madwoman--words flying on to the page from every direction. Today, Monday, not so good. The clouds have slowed me down. Like the sun, I’m neither here nor there, unable to form a thought or sentence. At least the snow, now gray and slushy, is disappearing. And if I look hard at the branches of the tree outside my window, there’s a hint of buds.
Written under the penname Savanna Welles, critically acclaimed author Valerie Wilson Wesley has just released "The Moon Tells Secrets," her 2nd paranormal romance. Come and hear an excerpt from her new release and meet the author!
FRIDAY, MARCH 27, 2015 - 7PM
54 Fairfield St
Montclair, NJ 07042
Here I am yet again, sitting by my window looking at yet another snow storm--putting off writing as usual. I've got to get it together and finish up a proposal for YA (haven't written one of those in awhile) and, of course, get back to work on my mystery, which is perking along. Maybe at the end of the day if I get in my page qupta, I'll reward myself with my dear, late father's remedy for snowbound days--pour some rum, honey,lemon juice and cinnamon stick into a mug and add hot water...
Anger over Ferguson and those heart-wrenching scenes of the beatings at Selma have sent me back to the classics. It’s been years since I’d read THE SOULS OF BLACK FOLKS and the MIS-EDUCATION OF THE NEGRO and re-reading them now has definitely put things in perspective. Sadly, the battles we waged then and fight now have the same origins—and the words of DuBois and Woodson remind me that our struggle goes on. Both classics are Kindle editions and cost practically nothing. Shortly after Maya Angelou’s death I re-read I KNOW WHY THE CAGED BIRD SINGS and discovered yet again what a truly splendid writer she was. I was chuckling, weeping then laughing out loud sometimes within the same page. These books are definitely cures for whatever political bad news ails you.
My little grandson announced this morning that he had "beef" with Punxcstawney Phil, that furry little creature who predicts a change of seasons. I was shocked that he would have "beef" with anyone at his age, but I had to agree. Yet these days are conducive to writing—and those of us who procrastinate have no excuse…