There are some stages in the process of publishing a book when authors need cold reads - someone who is a writer, but who hasn't seen your manuscript before - to read cold and give feedback. I asked for cold reads right before HOURGLASS went on sub, after my first round of edits for my publisher, after my copy edits for my publisher, and after page proofs. Yes, for my publisher. (I'm drafting book two. Apparently redundancy is an issue.)
I was lucky enough to do a cold read for Saundra Mitchell for THE VESPERTINE last fall.
I read it in two hours while my children destroyed my house around me. I can honestly say I didn't look up.
When I finished, I went out on my front porch and stared down at the mulch in my flower bed, torn between wanting to hang the whole writing thing up because I'd never be that good, and running inside to start writing something, anything, because I was so inspired.
Much like she did with SHADOWED SUMMER, Saundra found a way to steep THE VESPERTINE in a setting so real you'd swear she'd lived in it her whole life. Unless she's a vampire (and I've seen her in sunlight, no sparkle is visible), Saundra wasn't alive in the time period THE VESPERTINE takes place. She still tells a story with the least amount of words possible, making every single one count. It's sparse but rich at the same time. I don't know how she does this. I wish I knew how she does this!
You can read the description of the story here, and go ahead and click order while you're at it. If you enjoy historicals and antiquated cultures, you'll love THE VESPERTINE. If you enjoy epic, sweeping, bittersweet love stories, you'll love THE VESPERTINE.
If you want to completely lose yourself in a story, you're really going to want to pick up THE VESPERTINE. (We've already addressed my redundancy problem, but it doesn't make the facts any less true.)
I know for a fact - because I emailed the second I figured it out - that one of the characters in THE VESPERTINE is kinda based on one Mister Chuck Bass I Mean Ed Westwick.
So to celebrate the release of THE VESPERTINE, I will include this picture.
And then I will promptly take it down, because I'll start getting nothing but Ed Westwick hits on the blog.