Friday, June 11

Up All Night

 So, I just finished a book by an author I always buy. I’ve read her for several years, always enjoyed her sense of humor and writing style. You’d get into her books, and fall asleep trying to keep reading. Not, of course, because you were bored, but because you literally couldn’t keep your eyes open to read another word.

Many’s the time my husband has come to bed, nudged me ever so gently, and said “You gonna sleep like that?” And I’m sound asleep, book in my hands, head drooped over in a slump. Lights on, but nobody home.

But, this book didn’t do it. It was good, it just wasn’t a page turner. I had no problem setting it aside for the evening and going to bed at a decent hour.

I remember several J.D. Robb novels turning into all night marathons. Reading Outlander by Diana Gabaldon? We had just moved into our farm house and I didn’t sleep for two weeks. First because I was terrified the mice were taking over, second because I could not put the book down.

Linda Howard, Dying to Please. I’ve probably read it six times, and six times hubby has turned the light off on me and growled, “Get to bed!”

I’m sure you’ve all had books that you read way past bed time, books that you can’t put down until someone makes you.

And that’s what I want to write.

But someone has to tell me the secret first.

Is it conflict or tension? Pacing or dialogue?

Or is it a combination of all of the above? That’s what I’m leaning towards. And finding that combination is going to be The Key to writing a novel that’s going to make people grumpy all day at work the next morning, make people ingest huge amounts of caffeine or Red Bull, make people call me nasty names for keeping them up so late.

And that’s just what I want to hear.

“Damn that Carrie Spencer! I was reading her latest book last night and was up ‘til 3am!”

So Word Wranglers, what’s the book that’s kept you up until the wee hours?




  1. There are too many to count! I loved La Nora's 'Blood Brother's' trilogy...all of those were all-nighters...and I just finished a Kelly Hunter book that I couldn't put down.

    I think it's a combo of characterization (because I have to care about the characters first), pacing, plot...the whole 9 yards. I wanna be an all-night-read, too, carrie! Maybe we'll figure out the secret together. :)

  2. Mine would be the Harry Potter books--okay, couple of nights--The Firm, Relic by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. Those are my most memorable picks.

    I'd love to be someone all-nighter. so I'm in for figuring it out. The other thing I've always wanted is for someone to see my name on the comer and buy the book and then check to see what it's about.

  3. For the record, my eyes are still early morning blurry, so sorry for the misspellings and incorrect words in my last post. LOL.

  4. All-nighters?
    Laura Kinsale's early books. Anything by Anne Stuart. Sandra Brown. And of course, Linda Howard.
    The secret?
    Who knows?
    We WWs will have to help each other decipher it.

  5. I think the secret is creating a buy in to the characters, along with great dialogue and not too much exposition. You should feel so comfortable with the characters it is as if they are real, and sitting with you.

    Since I'm a speed reader, I usually go ahead and plow through whatever I've got, if it's good.

  6. Don'tcha think it's different from person to person. Kathleen Gilles Seidel is it for me, and I don't care what she writes: it's the writing that won't let me go. Her stories are interesting to me, but I can understand how some of them might not be for other people.

    For me, however, she's the one. Carla Kelly gives me the same level of reader satisfaction, though I'm able to eke hers out a couple of chapters at a time, making them last, savoring all kinds of moments.