Time To Rejoice and a Time To Weep

JT Ellison

Something
happened this week that is rare, at least to me, in the world of genre fiction.
It’s like a whisper, like a brief breeze that’s gone before you can really
acknowledge it ruffled you hair.

I was
moved to tears after reading a passage from a crime novel.

I say
this doesn’t happen often because I can count on one hand the number of times
I’ve been so moved.

There
are so many wonderful writers out there, novels that I read and enjoy, pass
along to my friends, recommend in reviews and even on this blog. There are book
that I read and finish, forgetting the story and characters the moment the
covers meet. There are books I read that aren’t so great, whose authors needed
to have more… something.

But
every once in a great while, I find myself entranced, drawn into the story,
forgetting the realities of my life – there’s no chair, no living room, no cat,
no television, no music, no walls, no storms, no deadlines. Stories with that
much power are magical. These are the authors I buy again and again.

Transcendence
isn’t an easy job for a mystery writer. There are all the pesky realities that
must be inserted into a book – the forensics, for example. Get one little thing
wrong there and you yank a reader out of the story like you’ve smacked them on
the head. There’s the story, the plot, the pace, the verbiage. You mustn’t
mislead, waylay, or otherwise trick your reader, yet you must develop a story
so complex that they are fooled into believing it’s possible.

There are
times when it’s exhausting reading other mystery and thriller writers. I
dissect, deconstruct, reword, realign, and otherwise tear apart the stories.
Just like I’m sure you all do.

So when
I find one of these peaceful moments, where the words have transcended the
page, where I’ve become so involved in the story that I FEEL what’s happening,
man, you can bet I’m going to come back for more.

This is
how I judge a book – not by its covers, but by the author’s ability to make me
a part of the story.

So who
got me so fired up this week?

Barry
Eisler
. It was a section of his 3rd Rain
novel, RAINSTORM that moved me so deeply I had to put the book down and
process. I won’t share the passage; you’ll have to get the book and see if
Eisler’s exceptional writing moves you too.

 

On a
separate note, Killer Year launched this week with big news, a new website and
a completely redesigned blog. I encourage you to stop by and see what 2007 has
to offer. We are indebted to MJ Rose and the rest of the amazing International
Thriller Writers
who have welcomed us into their folds, and overwhelmed at the
outpouring the mystery and thriller community has shown us. Thank you, from the
bottom of our killer hearts.

Wines
of the Week:

Red –
Casali de Bibbiano Casalone

White –
Pittaro Pinot Grigio

11 thoughts on “Time To Rejoice and a Time To Weep

  1. Iden Ford

    Your passage moved me, just what you describe is the goal most writers start out with when writing a novel. The most interesting thing is how different writers each of us each so differently. What moves me and what I think is exceptional, may have a totally different effect on another reader. My opinion is that this phenomena is completely subjective. But that is why it is so wonderul to read fiction. We are having an absolutely wonderful time at B’con. I am shooting sooo many photos and setting aside certain photos for Murderati. In the meantime link to my blog and see some of yesterdays work. The photos look better when you click on them. Enjoy and tell me what you think so far. JT, that is one of your best posts today. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  2. Naomi

    Here, here. I agree with Iden’s comments. Great post.

    And Mr. Ford–

    Very nice photos! I like them raw. When you have time, can you post the winners of the Barry and Macavity Awards here in the comments section?

    Reply
  3. JT Ellison

    Morning, guys. Anyone else feel like they didn’t get invited to the Prom?Thanks for your kind words! I was truly inspired this week, and humbly bow at Barry’s feet.Iden, the pics are great, make more.

    Reply
  4. Pari

    J.T.,Wonderful post. Thank you so much. I know that when a written passage strikes me with that sense of wonder, where the heart is so moved the mind needs to catch up, well, it’s pure bliss.

    Iden, wonderful pix. I can’t wait to see what you’ve got for us next week.

    Reply
  5. cj lyons

    JT, you so evocatively explained the reason why I love reading fiction almost as much as I love writing it!

    Of course the challenge of writing comes from creating those feelings not only in your characters but also in your readers. And Barry is a champ at it!

    Reply
  6. Iden Ford

    Okay I put up more photos. Link to my name and try not to laught too hard at some of them. I’m fried at the mo. Too much and there are two days left. No worries, Magna is a more relaxed pace than this. This is pure high adreneline.

    Reply
  7. Barry Eisler

    JT and CJ, thanks for your very kind words… but JT, you mean you won’t tell me which passage it was? At least give me a hint…

    But even if you won’t, thanks again… that was a nice way to start my writing day and something to aspire to in the new book.

    :-)Barry

    Reply
  8. Elaine

    Just got back from out of town and who do I find J.T. praising? None other than one of my favorite writers – Barry, of course. I’ve never told him, but I’m secretly in love with John Rain. Alas, he’s a bit too young for me – but one can dream, right?

    As to deconstructing books? Phooey. I avoid it at all costs. I want to wallow in excellence for as long as I can. And yes, Barry is one of those guys who can always keep me in the story without being tempted. Well, tempted with words. Well, you know what I mean.

    Reply

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