Happy Friday friends! It's sunny and lovely here in Northeast Ohio. We're looking at a gorgeous holiday weekend, hope you are too. I'm well stocked with great books to read and listen to. You can't ask for much better than that.
I wanted to share a Free Little Library story that is happening here near me. This is an initiative going on in my county and one of the little libraries is close to my house. I'm planning to pay visits to numerous of the libraries to share the love and leave some treasures behind for others to discover and read! I love how so many different groups came together to make this happen and stretch the funds. It's just a great, great story for reading and books. I hope the libraries end up well-used!
In other news, I'm finalizing my plans for Longmire Days. I'll be making a trip with my good friend, Chris, out to Wyoming for the celebration this year. I'm super excited about that and rest assured, you will receive lots of recap and pictures from that adventure!
Let give you the giveaway round-up here quickly so I can introduce you to today's guest. This week:
Friday Reads has a Stephen Hunter/Dana Cameron duo of books to giveaway.
Criminal Element has the "Pick Your Poison" Sweepstakes.
Lesa is doing some traveling so she's on contest hiatus, but remember to check out the Heroes Caught Reading posts and leave your comments for a chance at a great "Caught Reading" prize package at the end of the month.
Now on to another first-timer here at the blog, novelist Will Thomas! No stranger to books (a librarian by trade) Will's Barry & Shamus-nominated hardboiled, Victorian mystery series features the Scottish duo of Cyrus Barker and Thomas Llewelyn. The most recent, Fatal Inquiry, released this month. I love how Julia Spencer-Fleming describes this series, "This is what Conan Doyle would write after taking tea with Lee Child."
Without further ado, Will Thomas:
1. If I could give my sixteen-year-old self one piece of advice, it would be to prepare to be a writer. I spent too many years as an actor, performing other people’s works, rather than creating works of my own. Acting, in my opinion, is like dandelion fluff; it’s gone the moment it’s blown into the air. A book, on the other hand, may be here a hundred years from now, and someone will be reading my thoughts and stories on the page.
2. The best gift I ever received was to hold my first novel in my hand, and to know I had found my true calling. Like most other writers, I have done other jobs for which I wasn’t suited, and to finally find the right socket to plug into was a great and lasting relief. My second best gift was a pair of Chinese spectacles from the late Qing dynasty, the exact ones my protagonist Barker wears. They make him more real to me; they are tangible proof in this world that he exists, and wants me to finish his story that I’m working on. Heaven help me if I don’t get it right!
3. If I won the lottery tomorrow, the first thing I would do is to write my chapter for the day. I know some authors would be tempted to pass on their character to another writer, and some have, but my characters are my own. I only trust myself to write them. Oh, sure, I might buy a few things, but I wouldn’t stop doing what I love. What would be the fun in that?
4. When I’m feeling under the weather, I shower and dress and put on a proper robe and slippers and go to my study. It’s chock full of classics and Victorian novels I haven’t yet read or would like to read again. I’d make tea with honey in an English bone china pot, served with shortbread, and alternately read and doze through the way. I’d do the same the next, but unfortunately the treatment usually cures me after one day. A malingering malady would be a total luxury!
5. The #1 item on my bucket list right now is a trip on the Bluebell Railway in East Sussex. Many of my favorite British movies and television series have had scenes filmed there including Downton Abbey. The railway offers a ride on the footplate and hands on training in how to run a steam engine. It would be a dream to run my favorite steam engine on my favorite railway in the world, and to stand in a station from which so many of my favorite characters have begun their journeys, preparing to begin a similar one myself.
Sounds like Will has the same idea as me on my trip to Wyoming, right? You can find out more at his website and there is a Barker and Llewelyn novels group on Facebook.
Thanks so much to Will for hanging out on the blog with us today. And I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!