Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A Different Kind of Reluctant Reader

Yup, I admit it. I'm a lousy blogger. (Is there a support group out there?)

So, it's been more than a year since I've been here. In that time I've had one (that's right - one) person comment that she'd read my blog and it was all about cats. For some reason, she sounded unimpressed.

I keep hearing about how I'm supposed to use this golden opportunity to promote my books. Maybe I should give it a shot.

I suppose I could mention that a new Shelby mystery hits the shelves this month. Searching for Yesterday - book 6 in the series. I haven't seen it yet but it should be arriving soon. I actually thought it would be here last week but no such luck. Good luck, as it turns out, for my dad, who actually groaned out loud a couple of weeks back when I told him I'd have a new Shelby for him soon.

Out loud! With me standing right there. "You don't have to read it," I said. I smiled to show him I meant it.

"That's the problem," he sighed. "I have to read it."

I can't persuade him that it's not necessary. I know these are books for teens and even if they weren't they're not the genre he'd normally read. It would be all right if he skipped some of them. But in his mind duty demands that he supports me by reading every book I write.

It's amusing to see the doomed-man look on his face when I pass him a new volume.

The feedback wouldn't inspire a novice to a career in writing either. I've lost track of how many times he's patiently explained that my work is "kind of juvenile."

That's the point isn't it - when you write for teens? I tell him so. He says he knows but I can tell he's not getting it. : )

But then, sometimes he calls me and says something quite different. Like when he read Speechless, and commented, "This book should be in every school in the country." It doesn't take a genius to translate that. He liked it.

And even when he doesn't ... even when he groans and proclaims something 'juvenile' he keeps on reading them. One sentence at a time, if you'll pardon the pun.

And that's something. It's more than something.


Anonymous said...

Hi Valerie!

It's Fiona here. Just wanted to let you know that I finished Speechless a few days ago, and absolutely loved it. It explores an important and urgent issue (not to mention it shows that teens CAN be politically active) through a fear that most of us have. I was really impressed, and thought it was a book that illuminated a powerful message despite its ironic title.

I also bought Searching for Yesterday and am looking forward to reading it soon. It's been a busy few weeks for me, since I just returned from Singapore and it's taken me awhile to get settled back into Canada again. Now that the jet lag is gone and I'm pretty much all unpacked, I think I can have some quality time to start reading again :)

I hope all is well with you. Take care!


blaaksheep said...

There's nothing wrong with having a blog that's all about cats! We can never write too much about our beloved pets. I loved your stories about the kittens (and was sad when one of them passed on). But then again, I am a crazy cat person. I don't post very often in my blog either. It's tough when you work all day to sit in front of a computer again at night. Writing is work even when it's for fun!

Jane Glen said...

I just read Searching For Yesterday and really liked it a lot. I serve on the selection committee for the Snow Willow awards for Saskatchewan and at this point, have this volume on my list. I like the fact that your books are accessible to many readers, have a real sense of decency and are not filled with the ever-present teenage angst. There is a place for all, I understand, but this was refreshing.I will be posting my own reviews of Young Adult books I read on my own blog janeonbooks.edublogs.org and this will be one of my upcoming posts.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mrs. Sherrard!

I just finished reading Speechless for a school book report, and absolutely loved it. I was kind of shocked to hear how some kids are forced to fight as soldiers- it kind of made me sick.

I'm hoping I'll be able to find more of your books at the library soon :)


P.S. Your cats are adorable! :)

Valerie Sherrard said...

Hi Fiona & Andrea!

Thanks so much for your comments on Speechless. I have a special feeling for that book and it's really gratifying to hear back from readers on it.

Please feel free to drop me a note by email anytime!


Anonymous said...

i surely enjoy all your writing kind, very exciting.
don't quit and keep writing as a result it just worth to look through it,
looking forward to browse much of your own writing, regards!

K.Molle said...

Hi Valerie,

It is amazing that your father is that dedicated to reading your books. You must share a special bond for him to care that much. I mean, my parents support my writing, but I could never picture my dad sitting down to look through one of my manuscripts. I hope you cherish what you have and use it to further your writing. Maybe some point in your life you will write a manuscript that would be more to his taste, as a thank you for him being so loving.

K. Molle