This is what I did all last week, sat on a quiet beach every day and read books (those are really my toes). It was exactly what I needed and actually got me ready to write again after turning in the island summer series. I always find reading gets me excited to write again, probably how watching sports makes atheletes want to play themselves.
So after a week of sun and relaxation I headed back to Boston and real life. On the flight back to Boston I happened to sit down next to a man who noticed the book I was reading and asked if I liked it. I told him that I'd already read it ten years ago and wanted to read it again. We chatted briefly about the book and I thought, "Nobody cares that much about what anyone's reading - except a writer." Then I saw the manuscript he placed on his tray. And we started talking and it turned out he was a writer. It was Robin Cook. Now, I've never read any Robin Cook, although I'd have at least 20 books to choose from. But last summer our friend was on the Vineyard with us and he was telling me I had to read Robin Cook (our friend is a doctor and so is Robin).
We talked practically the entire way back to Boston and so, sadly, Robin didn't get much editing done on his page proofs - which are due to his editor this week. Turns out the main character in his latest book is named Jennifer. I told him that one of the main characters in RICH BOYS goes to Wesleyan, Robin's alma mater. He has a house on the Vineyard and I told him that I have an event there the last week in July for the launch of the Island Summer series. We're hoping to get together this summer.
Even though I've never read Robin's books, I rememembered a commercial on TV for COMA, his first book to be made into a movie. And the thing is, Robin doesn't just write, he's still a doctor, has some amazing ideas on how to bring book marketing into the 21st century and is just an all around interesting guy. For a writer, talking to someone whose had such an accomplished writing career is like talking to a rock star. Fascinating stories about how he got started and the craziness along the way. It got me to thinking, if I could pick any writer to sit next to, who would it be? Who would make my jaw drop? I have to say, although he wouldn't have been on my list a week ago, Robin is now at the top. Marilyn French (author of THE WOMEN'S ROOM, which I wrote my college essays on), Edith Wharton, Norma Klein (author of my favorite teen book of all time, IT'S OKAY IF YOU DON'T LOVE ME), Wallace Stegner (author of CROSSING TO SAFETY, one of my favorite books of all time), they'd be on the list, too. If I hadn't met and spent time with Judy Blume last summer, she'd be on the list as well.
So who would you like to hold captive in First Class for several hours? And what would you talk about?
All in all, the perfect end to a perfect vacaction. I couldn't have written a better ending myself.