Sunday, June 29, 2008

Full Circle

(This post is brought to you by the marvelous new scheduled-post option Blogger has added to their free service, which allows posts to be saved and published automatically by a preset date and time. I am actually off somewhere trying to comfort a very miserable man.)

Back in 2001, just about the time the gilt began to wear off publishing for me, I picked up a book at random in the store. As I remember it, I chose it because I liked the cover art, and the title intrigued me. It was such a great read I immediately recommended it to my small circle of readers, and promptly went back out and bought everything else the author had written.

That's how I discovered author Patricia Briggs.

The Hob's Bargain was a quiet landmark in my writing life. Just as I was really being trampled by the indifferent hooves of publishing's herd and hoopla, it reminded me that this is what writing books should be about: creating great stories to delight the unsuspecting reader. It was also the first book I put on what would become my writer's writers shelf.

There are books that inspire us, and then there are books that save us. This one did both for me. The Hob's Bargain told me I needed to work harder to become a better writer. It also assured me that the effort would be worth it. It dared to whisper that writing a great story was the only thing that mattered -- and this at a time when everyone was screaming the exact opposite at me.

My original edition of The Hob's Bargain is a little worn; I've re-read it a dozen times for pleasure, or whenever I needed another reminder. I suppose I've treated it more like a talisman than a novel. If you'd told me in 2001 that someday a quote from me would appear on the cover, I'd have laughed myself into the hiccups. In what parallel universe could something like that ever happen?

Reprint edition of The Hob's Bargain by Patricia Briggs

I think the new cover art is beautiful, and having my quote on there, well, you can imagine how that feels. There are a hundred more popular and important authors who would have fallen over themselves to have that space, and yet somehow my words are there. Mainly I'm grateful to see The Hob's Bargain returning to the shelves because I love this story. Thank you for writing it, and for enchanting all of us, Patricia.

13 comments:

  1. What a lovely circle indeed.

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  2. Ironically, the way you found The Hob's Bargain is how I discovered Private Demon. Hopefully ther circle will grow even bigger.

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  3. More than anything, this post has inspired me to try Ms. Briggs' older books. I've read the new ones that've become so popular, but I think it's about time I picked up THE HOBB'S BARGAIN and others... Thanks! :)

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  4. :) Thanks for sharing.

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  5. Sniffle. Must buy now.

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  6. Ohhh, I have talisman books too. I didn't know that other writers had them. Lawrence Block did it for me.

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  7. Thanks for sharing this book with us, I'll be adding it to my TBR pile. And lots of warm fuzzies for your guy. Hope he'll be feeling better soon.

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  8. I just picked this book up and am about 1/3 of the way through it. I hope I'm as awed by it as you were. :-)

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  9. That's a great story. It sounds like I'll need to check it out when I go back to college.

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  10. Well, it looks less like a book for men than the other one....

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  11. Patricia Briggs and Lynn Viehl are both in my must buy list. It's wonderful to know that a book you feel so strongly about now has a quote by you on the cover. That's an amazing circle!!

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  12. I just bought my first Briggs this week! I can't wait to read it.

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  13. Carol2:29 PM

    The Hobbs Bargain was my first Patrica Briggs book too. I loved it so much I ordered all her other books. I've loved all her books, but The Hobbs bargain is still my favorite and the one I reread the most. But all her books are on my keeper shelf.

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