June book previews: Lot Stories by Bryan Washington and Miracle Creek by Angie Kim

Here are two books that have settled into a place on my coffee table. They have been patiently calling to me and I am determined to read them in June.


Lot Stories by Bryan Washington

A collection of 13 short stories set in the city of Houston, Texas. Told mainly by the son of a black mother and a Latino father, a young man who is just beginning to figure out who he is. “Bryan Washington’s brilliant, viscerally drawn world vibrates with energy, wit, and the infinite longing of people searching for home.” Because I like short fiction, I’m already drawn to this collection. I like that the stories are integrated and think I will enjoy this debut.


Miracle Creek by Angie Kim

I don’t know how best to describe this debut novel except to share parts of the inside jacket description:

“A literary courtroom thriller about an immigrant family and a young single mother accused of killing her autistic son…”

The book takes place in rural Miracle Creek, Virginia and is about “an experimental medical treatment device called the Miracle Submarine. A pressurized oxygen chamber that patients enter for therapeutic ‘dives,’ it’s also a repository of hopes and dreams…” During treatment, the oxygen chamber explodes and kills two people and these events lead to a murder trial.

I haven’t read a courtroom thriller in a long time, so I’m looking forward to what sounds like a unique story!

Do these books interest you? What is next on your list?

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Who’s That Indie Author? Frank Prem

Author name:  Frank Prem

Genre:  Free Verse Poetry/Memoir

Books:  Devil In The Wind (2019); Small Town Kid (2018)

What’s your story and how did you become a writer?  I’ve been a prolific free verse poet for over 40 years now. Mainly keeping my work low key and developing skills and a kind of back catalogue of completed work. I’ve started to draw on that work now as I move in to presenting myself to the public in book form.

My professional career has been as a Psychiatric Nurse, which I’ve also been doing for 40 odd years, now. In that role, I have spanned the days of the old mental asylum, which I grew up with in my town, through student nursing for three years and a range of clinical experiences at different facilities around my state (Victoria, Australia). My current plan is to have a third memoir style collection of poems focusing on my experience of psychiatry in book form by the end of 2019, or early in 2020.

I started writing way back, when I was in high school. I discovered then that my teacher was so impressed that a student had attempted poetry that I was given credit even though my essay submission was a few hundred words short of requirements. I figured there was something very ‘right’ about that, and I’ve been a poet ever since.

How do you balance your work with other demands?  I’m not entirely sure that I do achieve balance in this respect. In my professional career I was always charging at my next objective as though NOW was the only possible moment in universal history to achieve it.

I am like that with my writing as well. I chase my fads with a singlemindedness that leaves other routine or mundane considerations behind.

It’s not necessarily a great trait to have and I need to constantly remind myself (or have others do it for me) to give attention to the other important things in my life that aren’t the passion of the moment.

Name one of the happiest moments in your life:  There are a few big moments across a life such as I’ve had, but the memory that comes to mind is from about 15 years ago. At the time I was courting a lady considerably younger than myself and had all the doubts that you might expect an old-ster (as I saw myself) having.

The memory is of the lady in question – a talented singer/songwriter – turning up to one of our earliest get togethers bearing a cassette tape, on which she had taped herself playing and singing a song that she’d created from one of my poems.

That was a very big moment.

What’s your approach to writing? Are you a “pantser” or a planner?  I am a ‘pantser,’ in every respect.

Why plan, when you can write? Why trouble to create a story arc and plot, when the next thing you write is the next thing in the sequence?

Creatively delightful, but tricky as I’ve had to transmogrify myself from simple writer into author, editor, publisher and self-publicist.

Very tricky.

Can or could you write in a café with people around?  Yes I can.

The likelihood is that the people in the café will become the subjects that I write about.

In all seriousness, I find I can tune out most distractions when I have something to write, and on occasion, at least, the atmosphere in a busy café is positively stimulating.

Have you ever written dialogue in a second language? If so, how did you do it?  I have indeed, and have even had the privilege of being published in another country (that being the USA) with a poem using that ‘voice.’

My family was originally from Croatia in what was then Yugoslavia. I grew up with the Croatian language all around me and for a period in my writing evolution I wrote in pidgin language that is half Australian English and half Croatian.

This may sound a little arty-odd, but when I’m writing I have made it my practice to allow the idea I’m pursuing or the image I am contemplating to find its own voice and tell its own story. My job is to steer it so that it remains coherent and meaningful for a reader. In the case of the Croatian voice, I had enough familiarity with the idiom and vernacular and with the way this particular migrant population was likely to think to be able to shape poems in a reasonably accurate representation.

Quite a task, and not always successful, but completely unique when it worked.

What’s your favorite book and what are you reading now?  For a favorite book, I draw on my ‘go to’ library here at home, which includes Tolkien, Le Guin, Robin Hobb, and Mathew Reilly, to name a few.

I’m currently re-reading a Mather Reilly book – Ice Station, but I’d probably have to nominate Tolkien and Lord of the Rings as my favorite because of the inspiration and pleasure they have given me over the journey.

What’s your favorite way to read a book: hardcover, paperback, eReader?  Paperback, for me. Hard cover is fine, too, but I really struggle with the electronic book forms. I think it may be because I sweat over the keyboard for as much as 12 hours a day, and the idea of reading for pleasure electronically just doesn’t feel right.

Do you think print books will always be around?  I’m a print book guy who is only now discovering electronic forms with any purpose, so I say yes.

If you ask me in a few years’ time, when I’m perhaps scratching a living out an e-book readership, I may give a different response.

Would you ever read a book on your phone?  Yes. I do that now, when I need to, and reluctantly. I don’t own an e-reader.

What’s your go-to device? iPhone, Android or something else?  I have an Android device. The first I have owned and I fell in love with its picture taking capacities long before I began using it as a phone.

I have begun to make something of an art out of writing to the image and letting the image communicate its own story without too much control from myself. The Android device has been quite material in allowing me to develop a new capacity within my writing skillset.

How long could you go without checking your phone?  I check it frequently. Not for the phone, but for the email and the social media that I might be working with. Looking for responses to my latest posting of a poem on my blog.

I’ve become a bit of a junkie in that respect.

Do you listen to audiobooks? If you do, what do you do while you’re listening?  I have listened to audio books when traveling. Usually something from The Great Course range of educational materials, rather than novels.

I am very interested in perhaps creating my own audio books in future and have done a number of amateur audio recordings and podcasts and radio interviews, all of which are accessible from my Author page on the web.

I enjoy reading to live audiences very much.

Do you like using social media to promote yourself and your book? If so, what’s your favorite platform?  The only reason I use Social media is to pursue connections regarding writing and publishing and promotion of my work. It is a critical element in the pursuit of free publicity and promotion of new works.

The tricky bit is how to make contact with an audience that isn’t myself in disguise i.e. another author, pursuing the same goals and objectives that I am (only maybe better and smarter than me).

What I enjoy most is contact with genuine readers who might be curious about what I’ve done, why and how and so on.

That, I enjoy very much.

Website and social media links:
Website: frankprem.com
Daily Poetry Blog: frankprem.wordpress.com
Facebook: FrankPrem11 and @frankprem2
Twitter: @frank_prem

Awards/special recognition:  No Awards for a number of years – I stopped seeking them a long time back. Book reviews at Goodreads are worth a look, though. Try these: Small Town Kid and Devil In The Wind.


Are you an indie author?  Do you want to build your indie author network? Get your name out on Who’s That Indie Author!

Email bvitelli2009@gmail.com for a bio template and other details.

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The Beneficiary – Fortune, Misfortune, and the Story of my Father by Janny Scott

The Beneficiary
Fortune, Misfortune, and the Story of my Father
by
Janny Scott

Rating:

Here’s an interesting biography of Robert Montgomery Scott, written by his daughter Janny Scott. It’s actually a family history, spanning four generations of a wealthy family that settled on what’s called the Main Line outside of Philadelphia. In the early 1900s, Janny Scott’s great grandfather acquired over 800 acres of rolling land in Radnor, Pennsylvania, named it Ardrossan, and built a stone mansion, plus many other luxurious homes, farm buildings and cottages to house his family and the people who worked for him. Most of the first three generations lived in various homes on Ardrossan, including cousins and sometimes less than enthusiastic in-laws.

Locals will recognize the family names and their roles in business and law, especially the financial services firm, Janney Montgomery Scott. Robert Montgomery Scott was also a longtime president of the Philadelphia Museum and the family had a strong presence in business and among the wealthy.

A playwright named Philip Barry met Janny Scott’s grandfather at Harvard and wrote The Philadelphia Story. The Broadway play was produced in 1939 and starred Katherine Hepburn. Her character was based on Edgar Scott’s wife, Helen Hope Montgomery. The movie of the same name hit the theaters in 1940 and starred Hepburn, Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart.

Although united by wealth, there were plenty of divisions and a great deal of power struggles, plus a debilitating history of alcoholism in the family. Robert Montgomery Scott, who died in 2005, was a charmer and a schmoozer, but his later years were marked by this disease.

Janny Scott wrote this book in order to know her father a little better. A prolific writer, he left a lifetime of personal journals to her, which were both painful and insightful to read.

I enjoyed this biography because of its local interest and also because I like reading about mansions and their history. What strikes me most is how stunted many of these family members were and also how out of touch they were with the rest of the world. Interestingly, the author’s generation branched out and became independent in their lives and careers.

I recommend The Beneficiary to readers who like biographies and studies of family history.

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Who’s That Indie Author? Lucia N. Davis

Author name:  Lucia N. Davis

Mini bio: I live in Michigan with my husband and our three children. I love to travel and explore the world, whether it is hiking in desolate places with beautiful nature, or sniffing up culture in old (and newer) cities. Having young children makes all of this a bit harder to accomplish, but it’s never too early to expose them.

Genre:  Mystery/Suspense

Books: The Dunnhill Mysteries: The Baby on the Back Porch (#1), The Charm of Lost Chances (#2) and The Secrets of Sinclair Lodge (#3). The main character, Sara Eriksson, moves from San Francisco to a small mountain town in the Northern Cascades, to find some peace and quiet. The old village has been a silent witness to mysterious events long forgotten. But sometimes the past has a way of resurfacing…

Each book can be read as a stand-alone mystery, but some character threads run throughout the series. All books have a paranormal component and a hint of romance.

When did you begin your writing career?  I was always making up stories, and at some point I started writing them down. I published my first story in 2016.

What’s your approach to writing? Are you a “pantser” or a planner?  A bit of both, more like a plantser. I usually start with an outline, just so I have something to focus on when I write, but many things just happen as I go. I like having the freedom of exploring random ideas as they pop up.

What’s your working style – morning or late-night writer?  I write whenever I have a chunk of time available. I have three young children, so free time is not something I have an abundance of. I prefer mornings, since my brain is just more awake, but I’ll write in the evenings as well if I need to.

Do you work at a computer or write long-hand?  Laptop. Writing would give me serious hand cramps!

What gets those words flowing, coffee or tea?  Coffee. No competition.

Favorite book:  Pride and Prejudice. Jane Austen was so talented in describing her contemporaries. It’s surprising how many of her observations would still work today.

Favorite movie: That’s a hard one. I don’t have one I’m afraid. There are so many excellent movies to choose from. I don’t get to go to the movies very often, so I always run behind. Nowadays, most of what I watch has to qualify for a kids’ movie night. I just watched the first Harry Potter with my eldest, which was great. And the other day I watched Coco with my seven-year old, and towards the end we were both crying. Also a very good one!

Favorite musician: I don’t have one of those either! It depends on what I do and how I feel. I love so many different kinds of music, ranging from Mozart to Imagine Dragons. I have playlists for different moods, or activities like driving my car and working out.

Links: Website: luciadavis.com
Facebook: @LuciaN.DavisAuthor
Twitter: @LNDavisAuthor
Goodreads: LuciaNDavis


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Lab Girl by Hope Jahren

Lab Girl
by
Hope Jahren

Rating:

Here’s a book I resisted reading for two reasons. First, there was so much hype about Lab Girl that I took a step back. When everyone gushes about a book, I feel as if the decision is already made that I have to like it. Stubborn as I am, I like to make my own decisions.

I also avoided Lab Girl because I am not a science person. I fulfilled my lab science in college (barely) and then moved on to English. Years later, I wasn’t sure I wanted to read a book about a scientist.

But then my book club friend chose Lab Girl and I committed to reading it.

So, wow. This book was excellent. Jahren writes beautifully about her lonely childhood in Minnesota, college life and early years trying to make it as a scientist.

Being a female scientist is not easy. Applying for grants and university pressures make financial stability a long-distant goal. She describes how she built her first lab out of a neglected basement classroom and how she and her lab partner, Bill, made do and scrounged for used equipment.

Jahren’s field is plants, especially trees, and her interest in them is contagious. She explains the fascinating way in which they grow, reproduce and adapt, making me think I probably would have liked this kind of science. She is perpetually curious and awestruck by the way nature works. I learned how seeds can lay dormant for years, waiting for the opportunity and courage to take a chance on growing. I like how she applies this to human life.

In the right place, under the right conditions, you can finally stretch out into what you’re supposed to be.

Lab Girl is a memoir more than it is a science book. Jahren’s father taught science at a community college and it was in his lab where she developed a love for learning. But her parents were cold and distant and she craved a nurturing existence. She also describes her personal struggles with bipolar disorder, a condition which reveals itself in her young adult years. Equally important to Jahren is her relationship with Bill, to whom she gives ample credit for their successes. Their connection, while not romantic, is like a marriage.

The lengths scientists go to satisfy their obsessive curiosity is what makes them successful at their jobs, even when the way they go about achieving their goals runs counter to how the rest of us live. All-nighters in the lab, eating junk food, cross-country road trips without a map, spontaneous overseas trips to study soil: these are normal times for Jahren, Bill and her students. I’m glad there are people like Jahren because they give us the gift of their knowledge. Jahren’s delivery is beautiful.

Lab Girl deserves all the hype and recognition it has received and I recommend it to all readers.

Jahren is an American geobiologist and geochemist and has won many prestigious awards. She currently works at the University of Oslo in Norway.

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A Duty to the Dead by Charles Todd

A Duty to the Dead
by
Charles Todd

Rating:

If you’re looking for an entertaining historical mystery, you’ll enjoy A Duty to the Dead, a story set in England during World War I. This is the first book of the Bess Crawford Mysteries, written by a mother-son duo, who introduce Bess as a highly skilled young nurse aboard the doomed HMHS Britannic. Bess narrowly escapes death when the ship hits a mine and soon an unfulfilled promise to a soldier on an earlier ship assignment nags her. Arthur Graham, a dying English soldier, begged her to deliver a curious message: “Tell Jonathan that I lied. I did it for Mother’s sake. But it has to be set right.”

Bess knows it would have been her failure if she had died before trying to reach Arthur’s brother. And although her father, the retired Colonel Richard Crawford, is grateful she’s alive, he advises her, “But you have a responsibility not to put it off again. A duty to the dead is sacred. I needn’t tell you that.”

When Bess delivers the message, Jonathan Graham acts strangely. She’s fulfilled her duty, but she can’t let go. A medical emergency delays her departure and soon Bess is caught up in the Graham family affairs. Her nursing skills prove helpful, but her curiosity leads to hints of a chilling family secret. There’s only one person who can explain, but he’s locked in an asylum.

I enjoyed this mystery as much for the story as for its cast of characters. The Graham family has a lot to hide and although the people in the small town of Owlhurst can’t figure things out for themselves, they help Bess put the pieces together. And it becomes clear that her duty to the dead extends way beyond her promise to Arthur Graham. Interesting side stories enhance this mystery as the reader sorts out facts and events.

A Duty to the Dead is a fast and light read, but it also includes serious themes such as the damaging effects of war on both soldiers and families left behind, as well as the young men deemed unfit to serve. In addition, the author challenges the reader to think about responsibility for a crime. Does the blame lay on just one person, or do conspiracy and complicity make others just as guilty?

I liked how the author used this time period to show what people do during wartime and how their perceptions of danger change. Bess Crawford, barely out of her teens, has developed a courageous, confident and independent character, which serves her well as both a nurse and an amateur detective. I expect she will handle many challenges in the next books with the skills she shows in her first adventure. A Duty to the Dead was published in 2009 and there are eleven more for fans to enjoy. You can see the full list here.

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On Mothers Day and every day-the 2:00 pm call

The 2 pm call

It was 2:00 pm and I was just getting back from class. I heard the phone ring as I walked into my apartment on College Street. “Hello?”

I walked down the hall and saw the red light blinking on my desk phone at work, waiting for me to pick up. “You have a call, Barb.” I looked at my watch. It was 2:00 pm.

I lowered my son into his crib, carefully slid my hands out from under his little body, and slowly backed out of his room. I tiptoed downstairs and into the kitchen. The phone rang. I looked at the clock. It was 2:00 pm.

The boys were in their swings under the deck and I took turns pushing them from the back, first one, then the other, with the baby tucked in the crook of my arm. It was hot that day, but cool under the deck and I knew they would be happy swinging for a while. I heard the phone ringing from inside the house. “I’ll be right back boys. Sit tight!” I held onto the baby and I ran up the deck steps, through the sliding door and grabbed the phone so I could bring it outside while we talked. It was 2:00 pm.

The newest little guy sat on the couch. We had just popped a tape into the VCR and he was already settled. Too old for a nap, he still needed his quiet time before the older boys came home from school. I looked at the clock. “Perfect, I thought.” It was 2:00 pm and the phone rang right on time.

Mom’s show, All My Children, used to drive the timing of her calls. Every day at 1:00 pm Mom took a break from her day and watched. And when the hour was up, she called. The years passed. My life changed. My family grew. Through college, work, marriage, children. Schedules changed, calendars filled. But there was one thing that stayed the same. The 2:00 pm call. Two people connected through one simple, consistent and repeating moment in time. A time when mother and daughter could exchange “What’s new?” between this time and the last, talk and listen and laugh.

All My Children ended its forty-one year run a few years back and when it did I felt a twinge of anxiety, the kind that comes before a change.  I liked knowing. I liked the certainty. I liked our routine. The anchor of a simple TV show was gone.

But now we have something new. I call. She calls. It’s 10:00 am or it’s 5:15 pm. Sometimes earlier or sometimes later. We take our chances and catch each other or we leave messages. It’s a fluid, changing system and when I press the numbers and Mom answers and I hear, “Oh, hi Barb, I was just thinking about you!” Then I know our new system is working! And I love it because the rest, the words and laughter and the love. Well that is just the same!

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Look what Barbie’s wearing! Barbie Fashion 1959-1967 by Sarah Sink Eames

Barbie Fashion – the complete history of the wardrobes
of Barbie doll, her friends and her family

Vol. I, 1959-1967
by
Sarah Sink Eames

Part two of three in a series celebrating Barbie’s 60th Anniversary

Just like in the real fashion world, Barbie’s styles have changed over the years and, while many of her outfits have included the latest fun trends, her timeless fashions from the 1960s are my favorites.

My work friend M. let me borrow this fantastic book detailing all of Barbie’s fashions from 1959–1967. I’ll show you Volume II (1968-1974) in a future Barbie post. This book is great for collectors. I was able to find many of the outfits I already owned and it was fun to sort them all out and see what years they came out and what accessories came with them. As you can tell, I’m a little obsessed.

So while this isn’t exactly a book review, it’s an example of the many ways books can bring happiness.

Here are the rewards of my efforts – I hope you enjoy this trip back in time!


I don’t have the original Barbie anymore, but I do have some of the outfits from this book. Here’s Barbie wearing one of my favorites from 1965-1966, “Golden Glory.” You may be wondering about this Barbie. When you’re a kid playing, sometimes things happen and you have to make do. The pull-string from my Talking Barbie broke, so for unexplained reasons, I transferred her head to this Twist and Turn Barbie.


Skipper was always one of my favorites and I loved her red velvet coat from 1964 – 1965. The coat and hat came with white gloves, white socks, white shoes and a red purse, long gone from my Barbie case. I also had the original Scooter doll, who hit the scene in 1963. Here Scooter is wearing one of Skipper’s outfits from 1967 called “Rolla Scoot.” It came with pink shoes and skates.

 


Casey had a great beach outfit and, despite many real trips to the beach with the doll, I was able to find most of it!


I don’t have the original Ken anymore either, but here’s Talking Ken wearing what’s left of one of the original outfits from 1964, called “The Casuals.” Anyone who had a newer Ken quickly discovered that the old Ken’s clothes didn’t fit. New Ken was bigger and more muscular and I had to squeeze him into this shirt!


I always liked Barbie’s other little sister, Tutti. Here she is wearing what’s left of the “Puddle Jumpers” outfit from 1966-1967. I added the hat for fun.


These are some great outfits, but the best clothes were the hand-sewn and hand-knitted ones that came from my grandmother. Aren’t these evening coats fantastic?


And look at this great sweater for Ken – too bad new Ken is too burly to fit into it!

 


Here are the full outfits, in order of appearance, taken from Barbie Fashion:


These are just a few of the outfits I have saved since I was a girl. I hope you’ve enjoyed taking a look. Do you still have some of your old toys or dolls?

To learn more about Carol Spencer, one of the most influential Barbie fashion designers: Dressing Barbie: A Celebration of the Clothes That Made America’s Favorite Doll and the Incredible Woman Behind Them – Carol Spencer

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Who’s That Indie Author? Richard Doiron

Photo: Patricia Eaton

Author name: Richard Doiron

Genre: Poetry

Books: Let There Be Peace; In The Spirit Of Gibran; Ancestors Dance (222 Sonnets)

What’s your story and how did you become a writer? Mozart was born to music; I was born to write.

How do you balance your work with other demands? Retired now, but even when holding two full-time jobs simultaneously, I still wrote two hours daily.

Name one of the happiest moments in your life: When my daughter was born, eyes open, fully alert.

What’s your approach to writing? Are you a “pantser” or a planner? I see myself as a channel, so some things would not apply; once a project is started, however, it would be seen to completion.

Could you write in a café with people around? I have written in every imaginable situation; once in a very loud bar, music blaring, I wrote a poem that will always stand out. Silence is good also.

Have you ever written dialogue in a second language? If so, how did you do it? I was taught in French, originally, and I have written some poems and song lyrics in French; not as easy nor as spontaneously, however.

What’s your favorite book and what are you reading now? I am not a reader of books, something that has always been a struggle for me and a puzzle for others. However, Kahlil Gibran I related to, and his The Prophet will always hold a special place in my being.

What’s your favorite way to read a book: hardcover, paperback, eReader? Because reading books has always been such a monumental task, I have no preferences in this regard. But what I have read has been hardcover.

Do you think print books will always be around? I do believe that print books will always have a special place in our world, though they may eventually be relegated to history; I would hope not. The thrill of holding your own book for the very first time is a feeling like few others.

Would you ever read a book on your phone? Frankly, I am very much inept technologically-speaking and using a cell phone to call in and receive calls is about as much as I can successfully do.

What’s your go-to device? iPhone, android or something else? I don’t want to sound out of touch with modern-day realities, but my old computer is my link to the outer world. I cannot relate to any of those things mentioned.

How long could you go without checking your phone? I rarely use my phone, using it only for necessary tasks, the simpler the better.

Do you listen to audiobooks? If you do, what do you do while you’re listening? I have never listened to an audiobook.

Do you like using social media to promote yourself and your book? If so, what’s your favorite platform? To be honest, I have never been much of a self-promoting salesman. That would be unfortunate, I believe. While sharing a website with a friend for over a decade, it would be fair to say that we have not promoted our books, or even the website, very effectively. Online 18 years, I have shared poems online daily through that time frame, obviously thousands at this time.

Website and social media links: spiritsinpeace.com

Awards/special recognition: World Poetry Lifetime Achievement Award (2012); Pentasi B World Friendship Poetry Lifetime Achievement Award (2017); nominated for World Poet Laureate 2019.


Are you an indie author?  Do you want to build your indie author network? Get your name out on Who’s That Indie Author!

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Author teams and pen names – if the story’s good, does it matter? Not to me!

The book I’m reading and enjoying right now, A Duty to the Dead by Charles Todd, was written by a mother and son team (Charles and Caroline Todd). I recently read another excellent book, Blue Monday by Nicci French. That’s a husband and wife team, Nicci Gerard and Sean French. Last year I read an engrossing YA story, Dry by Neal Shusterman and Jarrod Shusterman, written by a father and son. The Shustermans don’t combine their names, so it’s plain to the reader that it’s written by two people. That got me thinking. If a story is good, does it matter if it’s a collaborative effort? Do you feel tricked when the book has one author name but it’s really two people?

What about pseudonyms? Did you know that romance writer Nora Roberts also writes a police series as J. D. Robb? Using a different name is nothing new. Benjamin Franklin used many different pen names, including Martha Careful and Silence Dogood. And of course there are the Brontё sisters, AKA the Bells, Charlotte as Currer, Emily as Ellis and Ann as Acton. In fact, the more you look for authors who have used pseudonyms, the more you find. Take a look at this List of pen names on Wikipedia and you will see how many.

It doesn’t matter to me if a book is written by two people, even when they combine their names so it looks like one author wrote it. If the story is good, it’s good and the reader benefits. And it’s kind of like being in on a secret if you know.

Think about great shows and how many writers they have. Does that make the show less entertaining? Definitely not! That applies to music too. Great bands are great because they collaborate.

So I know that I don’t care if a story is written by one or a couple writers. But what do you think? Does it matter to you? Can you add to this list?

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