My son and I recently returned from a trip to the east coast where we looked at colleges for him. While there, we stayed with my great uncle Hugh, who is now in his 90's. At dinner one night, my cousin Hugh, who is uncle Hugh's son, told me his wife was writing a book! I looked over to her and she smiled and we began a lengthy conversation about her manuscript, and copy editors, which she currently is, and deadlines.
Learning that she was also a writer was very exciting news to me for many reasons. First, she is a Robinson by marriage, just like my grandmother, Eleanor Robinson, was. Second, she writes in the romance genre, which is completely different than what I write, (middle grade fiction) or than what my grandmother wrote, (science fiction) Third, it's wonderful to see such a wide variety of writing, and it made me think that just maybe, this sort of thing runs in our family.
She gave me several pages of her work-in-progress romance novel, which I read on the plane ride home. It was quite good. Her character names are very romance-ish; Brad and Cecily. She writes things like, ladies in shimmering silks, and subdued dinner jackets, and Brad headed over to the mahogany bar for another scotch.
Then there's this line: Cecily hiccuped with the finality of a girl who had given up on attempting to follow the conversation. Can't you just see her standing there in her beaded gown with her cocktail? Those are the kind of lines that are hardest to write, ones that tell us so much about the character we feel like we know them.