Friday, January 10, 2014

Five on Friday: Mary Vensel White

Happy Friday everyone! I hope you're staying warm. The temps are on their way up in my neck of the woods. We are supposed to be in the low 40s this weekend--HEATWAVE!

In bookish news....

I was excited to get Robert Crais' newsletter this week that announced his new book will be out this summer. He's released the last several in January, so was a wee bit worried when I hadn't heard anything. It will be called THE PROMISE and is featuring Elvis, Joe, Maggie and Scott. Can you say "Jackpot!"?

I enjoyed reading this article about why bookish people need to stop complaining. You may, too.

The Rap Sheet put this list together of upcoming releases and my head starting spinning before I got to the end of January.

Don't forget to enter for your chance to win a copy of Hilary Davidson's upcoming novel BLOOD ALWAYS TELLS in my blog hop post. Or if you'd rather, you can enter her pre-order contest.

And speaking of contests/giveaways/sweepstakes...

Pop over to Lesa's site where she's been celebrating her blog anniversary all week. She's had a lot to giveaway in celebration. But don't delay, your entries need to be in by Monday.

Criminal Element has a slew of books they're giving away in the Awful Octavo Sweepstakes.

And FridayReads is giving away copies of Lisa Unger's IN THE BLOOD.

Sunday marks the 6th anniversary of Jen's Book Thoughts, so look for some fun next week in celebration of that milestone.

And now, on to the fun stuff. Last year I read Mary Vensel White's THE QUALITIES OF WOOD and it was one of my favorite debuts I read in 2013. So of course I had to ask Mary to join us for Five on Friday. Mary is just an absolute joy and I hope this is the beginning of an incredible writing career for her...I want to read more of her stories! Please help me make her feel very welcome so she'll come back and visit often!

A look-see into Mary's writing world!

When I’m reading a book, I absolutely hate it when a writer: underestimates his/her readers. As in, tells too much or reminds us about something that of course, we remember, or makes things too simplistic. Or when he/she ties everything up too neatly. Life isn’t like that. I like a book that leaves some questions and has me working a little throughout. That’s part of the joy of reading for me.

If I could sit next to anyone (not related to me) on a cross-country flight, it would be: I actually have a ready answer for this, only because my family likes to play little question and answer games at dinner and once we asked: “If you could take only one person (non-family) to a deserted island…” We also asked which book you’d take, which movie, which song. Anyway, I had just seen the clip on YouTube where Diane Keaton shows up drunk on the Ellen show and it made me laugh so much (and it does every time—watch it!), and I got to thinking about what a great person she’d be. Not only when drunk, of course! She’d have so many interesting stories and she seems well-read and well-rounded, and once I read she was listening to Jay-Z on her iPod at a movie set. So on a plane, definitely I’d sit next to Diane Keaton and we’d probably have a few drinks.

The best car I’ve ever owned was a 2001 black Ford Windstar minivan. I have a couple of sentimental favorites probably, but this is the car that comes to mind because I can’t picture it without thinking about it loaded up with four car seats. I drove it for about nine years, all throughout the years our kids were little, and we had lots of adventures in it.

 My favorite vegetable is the potato because you have to appreciate its versatility. I think I read once that health experts think they should be reclassified as something else, because they really don’t stand up, nutritionally speaking. But they’ve been such an important part of keeping humanity going. And they are delicious, almost any way you cook them but especially with butter and salt. I can’t imagine anyone NOT choosing potato for this question. Do they?

The #1 item on my bucket list right now is: The main thing I want to do, when I think about upcoming years, is travel with my family. Our kids will be in middle school and high school (!) next year, and there are so many places I want to see with them. High on our list is a trip to Washington, DC, and we used to toy with the idea of spending a month in France during the summer but the kids are so busy now, it’s difficult to get away even then. It’s so fun to see new places through their eyes.

When an author really "gets" Five on Friday, they are so much fun, aren't they? Mary nailed it. And I totally want to be behind her and Diane Keaton on that airplane...way more fun than screaming kids, right? I also share Mary's feelings about reading. I always want to be an active participant in the books I'm reading.

Thanks so much to Mary for taking time out to share with us. I also want to send get well wishes to her. She hasn't been feeling well lately. I hope you're improving, Mary! And you all can get to know Mary even better through her website, on Twitter (which, by the way, Mary also "gets"), or on Facebook. And of course you already know I highly recommend THE QUALITIES OF WOOD. Folks with e-readers can check it out now or it will be out in a print version this summer...I'll be sure to remind you.

Have a super wonderful weekend and happy reading, friends!


Mary Vensel White January 10, 2014 at 12:04 PM  

Thank you, Jen! It was a fun exercise and I appreciate all of your enthusiastic support :)

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Patricia Eimer January 15, 2014 at 2:12 PM  

I'd take Emma Thompson-- she knows that barefeet and martini's are always the way to go!!!!

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