Welcome, Friend, to my home on the web! Because I write two completely different types of books, I suppose if this house were real instead of virtual it would be an odd mix of antique and modern. (Eclectic, the design magazines might say.) There would be a map room with everything from geological maps of the western United States to crumbling parchments from 9th century Europe. Stacks of books wait in the library, ready for my inquiries about the chemistry of volcanic ash or how to spin flax. I’d want a butler’s pantry where my loyal Jeeves prepares filling, no-cal lunches, and don’t forget the salty snacks for the afternoon. Yet my assistant is also ready at a moment’s notice to show me how to shoot a shotgun or make a sword.
My favorite room is the writing room. Since I am pretending, I can give it a wall of windows that offers a panoramic view of the Grand Tetons. Research materials and handwritten notes make a mess around my laptop where it waits on a desk with lots of brass-handled drawers. Jeeves keeps a fire stoked in the winter, and a covered porch is one step away so that I can work outside when the outdoor temperature cooperates. And a coffee maker, please, along with milk, sugar and ice. (Iced coffee, yum!)
Most important of all, time stops in my writing room so I don’t miss track meets or the next episode of The Americans or my wedding anniversary as I toil the hours away bringing to life the characters whose stories insist on erupting in my head.
They show me what the lady in the red dress is seeing.
Did you notice her up there, standing so rudely with her back to us?
What is she seeing, anyway? That is exactly what I asked when the website designer emailed the banner image. “I like the lady in the red dress very much,” I said, “but what is she doing there, in that dress, out in those trees?”
Clicking around in my virtual house might help you decide. You might decide she is in the wrong place at the wrong time, witnessing the inescapable pressure wave from the Yellowblown volcano. Or she’s a feisty heroine seeing the first glow of love from her aristocratic hero in a historical romance.
Or you may decide she is just like you, exploring, coming to see what all the fuss is about.
Of course, there is always the possibility that she’s just a crazy tart wandering the woods in a red satin dress. In any case, she’s interesting and I like her and sometimes that’s all you need to know to want to keep exploring.
Welcome, Friend, to my world.