Friday, November 16, 2012



At choir practice last night, one of the altos said she was looking forward to this weekend's intensive rehearsals in Montebello because there's a wonderful chocolate shop there. Many ears perked up at that, mine included.

I sometimes have intense chocolate cravings -- but it has to be the good stuff, 85% dark chocolate at the minimum, which is why I don't indulge that craving too often. The really, really tasty chocolate is really, really pricey. Another craving is almond butter -- by the spoonful, on toast, with bananas. It's sooo good but has gobs of calories and also, costs more than alternatives such as peanut butter.

My third craving is espresso. Here again, I'm particular about the brand because I've found a local roaster and those are the beans I buy, fair trade, of course.

I've heard of writers who crave writing. They actually feel lost or even physically ill if they're unable to write for any period of time. This goes beyond treating writing as a business or even writing because the writer feels he or she has something to say about an issue and therefore, has a need to write.

I fall into the 'writing because I enjoy doing it' category. I really do love getting carried away into the zone, where you are so immersed in the story that being pulled out of it by a ringing phone or a pot that's boiling over on the stove is a major jolt.

My high comes from finally nailing a tricky scene or crafting a re-write that's ten times better than the original. But I don't crave it.

Sometimes the pleasure also comes from doing signings or reading a review. However, these days with so much chatter on the net about bogus reviews, and the unprecedented decision by Amazon to remove reviews written by authors of other authors' books...some of the joy of the writing life is fading. These days it's not enough to schmooze with readers at events and make yourself known to booksellers (the few that are left standing), it's more about racking up Facebook friends and Twitter followers, getting everyone you know under the sun to 'Like' your book on, .ca and It's more a test of who has more friends than how well written is the book.

My advice -- enjoy the process. Have fun with the Likes and Friend requests but don't take them, or yourself, too seriously. Less stress that way and fewer nails being bitten to the quick while awaiting a review.

Save the craving for chocolate!

A KILLER READ by Erika Chase
Berkley Prime Crime, now available
READ and BURIED, coming Dec., 2012, available for pre-order

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