With spring around the corner, Jon and I have resumed our early morning 2-mile walks. Our conversation on these walks, though we’re both barely awake, often centers on books and our business--What we’re reading. What we’re rejecting. What we’re dreaming about. What’s knocking our socks off. Then we talk about what we’re reading for fun.
Today I monopolized at least one mile telling Jon about Odd Mom Out by Jane Porter. I picked up the advance copy of this book at the Book Expo in New York last year. I’ve never read this author, but I liked the sassy jacket which features a tea kettle and a svelte female in a red dress, fishnet stockings and platform mules. (Plus, like most advance copies at BEA, it was FREE!)
I’ve read up to page 150 and I love this book. It’s not fine literature. It would have been considered “chick-lit” a couple of years ago. Now it’s “women’s fiction.” Ms. Porter knows her way around a story. She writes in the first person with lots of dialogue to move the action ahead. The protagonist, Marta, is compelling, smart, and has her priorities in the right place. I like her. I like her daughter Eva, and the story rings true. I find myself rooting for Marta, hoping she gets the best of the snobby “A-List” moms at Eva’s school. I know there’s a love interest in the wings—I just haven’t gotten there yet. He’s big. He’s handsome. Be still my heart!
So, is that all it takes to get a book published? Likable characters, believable action, good dialogue? Hunky love interest? Perhaps not, but it’s a good start. If you write women’s fiction, read Odd Mom Out. And if you can structure a story as well as Jane Porter, I’d love to hear from you!
National Book Awards Longlist to Run on NewYorker.com -
3 hours ago