Monday, August 27, 2012

Do authors have favorites among their own books?

The standard response to this is usually, "The book I'm writing now." That's true for me. I always love what I'm working on at the moment. But as I look back on the books I've published there are two that stand out in my mind, maybe because they have lived within me for a very long time.

Whenever I think about A Caribbean Summer written under my romance pen name Tricia Lee, I immediately wonder just where in the story my two protagonists are at the moment. Of course, I know how they end up but I spent so much time thinking and writing this book that certain scenes pop into my mind and I get homesick for them at times. Crazy? More than likely. I love the characters. I love the setting. Sometimes I wish I were still writing it. Okay, still writing it is not quite true. I wish I could be there with them again in that time and space when certain scenes were created. The book itself gives me great joy.

The Chameleon Chase, written under my mystery pen name Lea Chan, was not meant to be a dark comedy like my other Lea Chan novels. From my point of view it isn't a comedy but if readers think that it is, that's fine with me. I conceived it long before I wrote the others. After I had written it and left it for many years, I came back to reread it and couldn't believe I had written something like that. One scene in the book surprised even me although I knew it was coming. The inspiration for the novel came after watching an old Barnaby Jones episode in the 1980s featuring actress Mariette Hartley. But as my fantasy evolved, it had nothing to do with that storyline. I fantasized so much about it until when I finally started writing it in the 1990s, my original ideas had dissipated. The novel also has scenes on my fictional island of Palmaltas with a romantic subplot. Palmaltas is a magical place for me.

I wonder--do other writers have favorites among the books and stories they have written?

14 comments:

Marilyn Levinson said...

I DO like whichever book I'm writing. If I didn't, I'd get bored and find reasons not to finish it. And I do love all my protagonists. Looking over the books I've written, I think GIVING UP THE GHOST is a favorite because I'm so fond of Cam, my likable scoundrel of a ghost. Another favorite is a children's book I'm determined to put up myself before the year is over. It's called GETTING BACK TO NORMAL. Vanessa's mother has died, and her father has taken her and her brother to live in a musty cottage on the grounds of the arboretum where he works. There's another charming ghost in this book, too.

Palmaltas said...

I loved GIVING UP THE GHOST also, Marilyn, but my favorite of yours is COME HOME TO DEATH. GETTING BACK TO NORMAL sounds intriguing--nothing like a charming ghost.

Sunny Frazier said...

I WISH I loved my books, but I get so sick of them! However, I've got some prize winning short stories in my past that I'm incredibly proud of. One is "Plateau 30" about bipolar people used by the government in the future. Another is "Sayonara, Mr. Chips" about a sumo wrestler turned detective. And "Fiesta de los Muertos" about discrimination in the sheriff's dept. in the 50's. It won 3rd place in the Writers' Digest contest out of 1,400 entries. SWEET!

Palmaltas said...

Oh, I get sick of my books also, Sunny, especially when I finally publish them. But after a few years have gone by, I look back at them fondly. Your short stories sound like something I would like to read. Are they published together or separately? And congrats on the 3rd place win!

marja said...

I enjoyed both of the books you mentioned, but my favorite (of yours) is probably Who'll Kill Agnes? It reminded me of a Hitchcock story. I've noticed that even when you write a serious story, somehow you manage to include little touches of humor here and there, whether you mean to or not. I appreciate that.

Sunny Frazier said...

All but the Plateau 30 are in a book called "Valley Fever: Where Murder Is Contagious." It contains some of my best short stories. Do you want me to send you a copy? Give me an address.

I'll see if I can find Plateau 30 in my archieves.

Palmaltas said...

Marja, thank you for the kind comments regarding Agnes and my "humor". But do you have a favorite among your books? OLD MURDERS NEVER DIE is my favorite among yours.

Palmaltas said...

Thank you, Sunny. VALLEY FEVER:WHERE MURDER IS CONTAGIOUS sounds like my kind of reading.

Marie-Nicole Ryan said...

My favorite is always the first one I wrote because it was the book of my heart, SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS.

Palmaltas said...

It's one of my favorites also, Marie-Nicole.

Jean said...

I love A Caribbean Summer, Pat. I still think of it even though I've read it quite a while ago. Do I have a favorite? Yes, the one I'm writing. I think of each one as a child of mine and there's something different about each that attracts me. I love all my heroes and heroines. Sometimes I think I'd like to run away with one or two. Then I get back to writing and find that I have!! Guess Now and Forever 2, the Book of Danny is a favorite as it is a darker book. And the military romance coming out soon, Love, Lost & Found, too. Don't tell the others, I don't want them to be jealous!! LOL.

Palmaltas said...

I've read many of your stories, Jean, and can see the love you put into them.

Joan Hall Hovey said...

I think it's always the one I'm presently working on, because that's the one I'm having the love/hate relationship with, and all my passion is going into that one. But books already written belong to the readers now, and seem as if they were written by someone else. I like to think I get better with each one.
http://amzn.to/M7mVAR

Palmaltas said...

Joan, I can relate to your "love/hate relationship" comment. I imagine all authors feel that way about the book they are currently writing. And I love the idea that "books already written belong to the readers". Beautifully put.