Tuesday, April 12, 2011

If I Do Say So Myself

This morning I got up early and read through the full draft of my novel, the one I completed last weekend when I was in Indiana. This is my longest book by far, at 52,000 words, some 270 pages in my nice, readable Courier font. It has the most complex and intricate plot. I think there may be some actual surprises in the story for the reader, things that the reader wasn't set up to expect. I think it deals with a serious and timely issue - the irrationality of rigid enforcement of zero tolerance policies in public schools - but without being a mere "problem novel."

In fact, I think it's pretty darned good.

But I have the tendency to like my own books. Sometimes I'll read one published long ago, so long ago that I have forgotten most of everything in it, and as I read, invariably I find myself struck by the uncanny way the author has of engaging with this particular reader. I'll come to a funny bit, and I'll chuckle: that author's sense of humor is so like mine! And I'll come to a sad bit, and I'll wipe tears from my eyes: that author sure knows how to touch the heart of a reader like me! And then I'll come upon the deep truth at the heart of the novel, now laid bare, and I'll swoon with satisfaction: it is SO true, SO deep, SO completely right!

With this novel, I hadn't yet forgotten the early chapters, but I still read them from enough distance that my eyes were fairly fresh. But also undeniably fond.

This is a pretty darned good book! If I do say so myself.


  1. You make me laugh out loud, Claudia. Thank you for that. And congratulations on finishing your latest book and for all your many other accomplishments. I'm glad you liked Indiana and can already see yourself being happy there.

  2. Hooray for you! And for your readers, too. What a great feeling!

  3. Ditto what Pat Brisson wrote. I love the way you think and the way you write and the way you always make the world a better for being in it! Can't wait to learn more about this book!

  4. Your third paragraph had me laughing and laughing. Isn't it the truth, that sometimes we are really fond of what we produce. Except when we hate it!