During the one sunny patch of Memorial Day weekend, we hauled out and set up the hammock. Now I glance at it across a soggy lawn, suspicious that moss begins to grow in the webbing. I also wonder if I (or any visitor) will ever lie in it to read a book this summer! If I do – I know what I will read – the second book of Vicki Lane’s series of mystery novels.
I learned about Lane when a friend of hers, who reads both our blogs, connected us. I enjoy her comments and our commonalities – including husbands who support our work, two sons, and black and white cats. She inspires me. I’m full of admiration for the way she thinks up plots with characters and landscape so particular to a place.
Vicki’s daily, yes daily, blog (http://vickilanemysteries.blogspot.com) is rich with photos of the hills and hollows around her house and farm, her critters and garden – also the setting for her mysteries. She might post a “teeny rant” about women’s reproductive health in politics or about Marigold giving birth to a bull calf. It’s a pleasure to see the same scenes as the seasons turn – (her spring seemed miraculous early and advanced to my eyes!). And her house – lots of books, work tables, and couches full of dogs in front of the fire at Christmas.
Almost 40 years ago she and her husband moved to a farm on the side of a mountain in North Carolina, and in 2005 Lane began to write books – mystery books that are part Appalachian tale and part sleuth story.
Lane’s heroine is Elizabeth Goodweather (surely a life-informing name), a combination of herb gardener and Nancy Drew. I’ve just read the first of Goodweather’s adventures (there are five books), but I am engaged.
After listening to an interview where Lane modestly skirted the issue of how she accomplished so much (her answer was: “I don’t! – I’m always behind”), I pressed her in an email about her working habits. She answered that when under contract she writes “at night, from about eight till midnight or later. And, in the non-garden months, I may write much of the day as well.” During the more free months she “catches up with much that’s been left undone since I got into this writing thing – watching movies, reading books, organizing closets,” and Lane added that she was “beginning to feel the pull to settle down to some serious writing.”
Lane says she blogs because she likes the record of what’s blooming and what she’s up to – and reads blogs because she loves peeking into others’ lives and places.“
So, me too. Thanks Vicki!
And in that hammock, on a sunny summer day (one will come), having read “Signs in the Blood,” I’m going on to “Art’s Blood” – and looking forward to it!