07 June 2010

An "Almost" Midsummer Night's Eve

You know that feeling of anticipation children feel for Christmas? The utter excitement as they wait for December 25 to finally come? I've been feeling that for weeks.

It's been two looonnnnggg years and I have been very impatient. Waiting...waiting... waiting for my favorite author to publish another book. When the announcement came, I rushed to Amazon to pre-order it. June 1st felt like forever away. And who knew how long I'd have to wait for it to arrive in the mail. So I tried not to think about it. But I couldn't help it.

On June 3, I just happened to be in a bookstore. And I looked, hoping to sneak a peek. But alas, it wasn't there. When I arrived home, a package sat at my doorstep.

The book I've waited on for two years was there.

Friday night, I sat on the swing in my parents' backyard, the blue June evening whispering in the breeze. Frogs croaked in the sunset, fireflies twirled about, lighting the sky (seriously, only God could think of a bug whose rear end lights up), and my poodle trolled the yard. I read until I couldn't see anymore. It was a perfect summer evening, reading the most perfect book.

What a gift--the kind that comes... well, for me, hasn't come in two years. I still remember the last evening I had with this author and a summer's eve.

Reading Charles Martin's The Mountain Between Us was better than Christmas. His stories are masterpieces, but what I love most are his characterizations and his voice. It's how he writes that moves me... he can craft sentences so powerful I want to weep. My opinion doesn't mean much because it's as subjective as anything else, but he is the most talented writer I've ever read.



Martin wrote about something interesting on his blog and in the end of this book. He said that between this one and the one two years ago, there was another story. One he finished, delivered to his publisher, and was told a flat, "No. Try again."

Can you imagine?

His story really encourages me. First of all, because he kept writing. Second, that even the greats can be told "no". It makes me feel less out of their league. And I still want to read that book! True fans don't care about the commericial aspect of stories like publishers do.

I finished Mountain in less that 24 hours, fighting the dueling urges to devour the book in one sitting vs savoring it for all it had. It sits behind me now, closed, and I am satisfied.

So totally worth it!

Don't you love a perfect evening?

See y'all Wednesday! We're going to talk about setting!

33 comments:

  1. Ooh! sounds good. And yes, I love a perfect evening. even more so if it follows a perfect day :)

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  2. Wow, that is an encouraging story! I've only read one of his books, the first one, but I remember him because he's a gorgeous writer and I hope someday to read another of his stories.

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  3. Your evening sounds heavenly! And I must check out that book!

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  4. Ive never heard of him but I plan to check him out someday. I love that cover!

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  5. It's so hard when it's a book you love. Should you read it quick or try to savor it. That's interesting about the no he received. Does give me a little bit of hope.

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  6. You've just described as perfect an evening as I can imagine. This guy sounds like someone I need to read for sure.

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  7. What a wonderful endorsement of this book! They should hire you to promote it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Will have to check it out. And yes, I love perfect evenings:)

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  8. I admit I'm behind: I haven't read Charles Martin yet, but I know I need to. Anyway, K, one thing you said: "Second, that even the greats can mis-step." I seriously doubt he took a "mis-step". Too many people rave about his writing. People who read and people who write. Perhaps, in reality, his publisher took a "mis-step".

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  9. Wow! You sold me on the book and the perfect summer evening! I could really go for a lazy, quiet summer night with a good book about now!

    I love how you've waited for him. People keep asking me when my next one is coming out, and I keep saying, a long time! When you don't have a series contract, the process is slow.

    I hope those who've loved my first book will stick around waiting for my next like you!

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  10. "seriously, only God could think of a bug whose rear end lights up" - that gave me a good laugh!!

    What an amazing story of perseverance. I can't imagine being told, "No, try again." I can't imagine the tears and heartache that would cause me!

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  11. Nicole, you are so right... I didn't mean that the way it sounded at all. Thanks for the clarification.

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  12. What a beautiful moment! I will definitely be putting this book on my 'Must Read' list!

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  13. Hi Kristen -

    You know what this says to me? "Keep writing. There's someone out there, who wants your story."

    One of the reasons I love author interviews is the story of their struggles. It gives me hope for my own journey.

    Blessings,
    Susan :)

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  14. Loved charles' When Crickets Cry!!!
    So you've given me another one for The List.

    Great to be back on this blog!!
    You go, girl!

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  15. Sounds like an amazing book by a truly gifted author. Thanks for the recommendation -- it's going on my list!

    ((hugs)) Nicole

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  16. What a huge endorsement! I'll have to pick this one up.

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  17. Patti--that is my favorite book EVER!!! You have great taste! :0)

    Definitely, everyone, go check him out!

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  18. That sounds so awesome!! I love waiting for books to come out. So much like Christmas. Only better!

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  19. Sounds like a good book! Love it when an author's writing is that captivating!

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  20. I haven't read this newest one yet, but I feel the same way about this author. The emotion his writing brings is unbelievable! It's just awesome! I just discovered him in Dec. and read book after book until I ran out of his books to read and had to wait for this one. I love Charles Martin's writing and tell everyone I know that he is a must read!

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  21. We can love lots of books, but its rare to find an author or book that you absolutely love like that! Enjoy it and then read it again!

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  22. I would like to read that turned-down book. Taste is so subjective. Roland

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  23. Yup,I agree.I am thrilled to finally be reading it and yet without a 'next book' to read,I dread the end.

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  24. That's awesome. I love when a book I've been waiting for finally comes out and I have a (rare) moment to read it without interruption.
    I'm so glad you were able to enjoy it!

    Jen

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  25. I had a similar experience. I waited for his next book. And when it came, I sat on my back patio sprawled out on my lawn chair reading and reading all afternoon. I couldn't stop. I had a dinner appointment with friends, so I had to quit with 5 pages left. I still haven't finished it--it's the next day. Because I love knowing I have that wonderful surprise waiting for me when I have a savory moment. I will finish tonight in bed!! (Have you read Redeeming Love, by Francine Rivers--so good!)

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  26. Finished this book last night and was thoroughly sideswiped by the ending--totally unexpected. I love Charles Martin's writing--always a great voice to them.
    Hope you all enjoy!

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  27. I loved this book. I was sorry when I finished. It was interesting to know that he hiked in the Black Mountains/Mt. Mitchell, NC.
    That is where I grew up (well close - Waynesville,NC) The mountains are so beautiful there. He should go on over to Cataloochee - now there is a story.

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  28. Got to your blog via Charles Martin's. Enjoyed your comments because I felt much the same way!
    I, however, had my name on the library waiting list for months before it came out and scored one last week. I read it through in one afternoon/evening. The worst thing is now having gobbled it up--it will make the waiting for the next one seem even longer!

    I saw that we mutually like many of the same authors. Have your tried Elizabeth Musser? She also writes Southern fiction and is a missionary in France. Our book club had dinner with her when she was in town a couple of years ago and she is such a delightful woman. She writes with depth and beauty.
    Patty - Buffalo, MN

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  29. I LOVED this book. It is the kind of book you can't wait to find out what is next, but then hate that you are getting to the end so fast. I finished the book, had to turn over the book and reread about the author, read the snyopsis of the book, just sit and stare at the book...so satisfied that I had enjoyed such a wonderful story. I shared it with my friend and she read it quickly and also thought it was one of the best books she had read in a long time. I appreciate that it was a true love story, clean with no embarassing parts. I guess I loved everything about it!!!

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  30. I have absorbed each of Charles Martin's books and, like you, had pre-ordered "Mountain" and was so thrilled with it! Can't wait for the next one! Now I wait for the next one........... Thinking about reading "When Crickets Cry" again........... I love them all but it is my fav!!!!!!

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  31. I just finished reading Mountain last night. My first Charles Martin book. I'm still so overwhelmed with the experience I'm not sure I have adequate words.... Beautiful, gripping, transporting, and left me crying at the end, which is so rare these days, for me to become that emotionally invested in a book (other than my own). He surprised me with that ending. I fell in love with Ben. Now I have all his other books to feast on. Yes!

    I found your review Kristen linking from his blog. That must have been such a blessing that he did that. :)

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  32. brekado@fairpoint.netAugust 30, 2010 at 3:02 PM

    I agree! I just finished The Mountain Between us" Could not put it down until I finshed the very last pagee. What a read!!!! WOW!

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  33. I devour his books. His characters all have character. I feel like I can close my eyes and see the people and places he writes about. There aren't many authors that suck you in like that. I can't wait to read the story, I can't wait to get to the end and then I don't want it to end.

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