I’ve always imagined Stephen King tapping out his manuscripts on an IBM Selectric (with automatic correction…not that he needs it) in a dark room of a rambling mansion fingers flying, typewriter carriage dinging when he gets to the end of each line…pages flying about at warp speed…some of you may be too young to know what I’m saying here, but watch an old movie, you know from the early 80’s. Anne Rice I picture in black swirling robes, writing by candle light in a castle tower…… Phillipa Gregory, well I see her in courtly attire, with a quill and ink well, elegantly dipping then smoothly stroking line after line across beautifully hand crafted paper… I know this is ridiculous, but this is the way I imagine other writers writing…although on any given day, you will find me in a pair of jeans and a cotton blouse, barefoot (or in sandals because they make me wear shoes at the library) filling page after page of a wide ruled notebook with a blue ten cent pen, unless I’m editing and typing my work into the computer…..not nearly as glamorous as the way I imagine other writers working
But then I met author DeAnna Cameron at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, and I picked up an autographed copy of her latest book, Dancing at The Chance. DeAnna is warm and full of life, as are the characters she writes about in this beautiful turn of the century tale. I can see DeAnna dressed in Victorian skirts and corseted, her lush red hair adorned with feathers and fluff as she hand pens her latest story.
And let me tell you, this is a book you will want to read. The characters come to life, dancing across the pages of her book, letting the reader experience vaudeville from backstage, to center stage, back of the theater to front row center, the dark and unrefined side, to the family like camaraderie of an art that was on the brink of extinction…and of course there are secrets and romance.
Now the truth is, that I have no idea what DeAnna wears when she writes, but I have seen her dressed in period costume at the Steampunk Shimmy Showcase at Viento y Agua Coffeehouse in Long Beach a couple of weeks ago. DeAnna and her dashing husband could have stepped right off the cover of one of her books, and among the pictures my own hunky hubby took, was one that might have been a cast picture from Dancing at The Chance.
Whatever DeAnna wears when writing, I would love to see a sequel to Dancing at The Chance…perhaps Second Chance at The Chance??? In the meantime, I’ll be reading her first book, The Belly Dancer and hoping she’s writing faster than I’m reading.
How do you imagine writers at work? Or do you even think about the writer? Are they a shadowy background figure? Or are you entirely lost in the pages? (Which I am when I read a good book.)
It’s time for me to get back to work on my manuscript….and I’ll be wearing a 1920’s flapper dress with bouncy fringe, seamed stockings and a feather fascinator while I write…really I will!