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How to Read My Books

Updated: Jun 5, 2020

Below is a photo I used as inspiration for an ending of Burn This Book. I LOVE this photo. There's nothing majestic here, but a tiny room in a stone cottage that's fought centuries of winter weather and stoutly promises to defeat many more. There's a fireplace, extra pillows, and reading lamps: the perfect place to read before a long, winter's nap.

I have a fairly basic approach to writing. Life can be hard--and my life can be torment--so I design it to be an escape for me and you. There's also the Rebecca Rule, which my kids say prohibits unhappy endings in novels. Life's hard enough. And speaking of kids, I'm a mom, so I'm responsible for you, my characters, and anybody else reading my book. That means I have to take care of everyone.

Accordingly, though I'm happy if you're just reading my stuff, I actually have a suggestion for how you should approach my books. It starts with finding inner stillness, a retreat from the outside world and its troubles.

Even if you can just look at a picture, it's nice to imagine yourself distancing yourself from the world and its demands. Look at the photo below, and imagine its interiors. Picture yourself laying away groceries for when you get too snowed in to drive out.

So here's one suggestion: Come home, dispense with chores, and even if you only have ten minutes, take a warm bubble bath with a mug of hot apple cider. Dry off with a towel you've kept hot in the dryer, and curl up in the quietest corner of your home. (I apologize for killing the mood here, but as a single mom of four, when my kids were younger, sometimes, I could only read on the toilet. Doesn't matter! Carry on!)

Light a candle, and prepare a cup of hot chocolate. Put three premade chocolate-chip cookies in the microwave, and warm them. (You can have six cookies. I'll never tell.) Grab my book, insert earplugs if necessary, cover yourself with your softest blanket, and read. While you're in the world of the book, there, you're safe. There's no reason to be afraid. Now you can put the book down and sleep cozily, knowing that you've enjoyed comforts simple for you, but luxurious for most of human history.

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