If she could meet just one fictional spy, she'd be hard pressed to choose between James Bond and Max Smart. In her opinion, the perfect spy would be a combination of the two. Most days she writes while wearing slippers, flip-flops, or tennis shoes, depending on the season. But she loves a great, sexy heel and has a closet full for special occasions.
A couple of weeks ago I asked Robinson about what she was reading. Her reply:
Like most writers, I love to read. Unfortunately, when I'm in the middle of a project and on deadline, I don't have much time to read for pleasure. Also when I'm working on a book I avoid novels on similar topics and in the same subgenre as what I'm writing. I don't want to be unduly influenced by someone else's thoughts and interpretations. I recently turned my fourth Agent Ex novel, License to Love, in to my editor. In License to Love the hero is a magician and the heroine is a spy. Two professional deceivers—a match made in heaven. Even though The Night Circus is not in my genre, romantic suspense, it features magicians. And so it sat on the on the top of my TBR pile for most of the fall.Visit Gina Robinson's website and blog.
The Night Circus was one of those books I saw everywhere. Several times I picked it up and was tempted to buy it. But then I wasn't quite sure it was to my tastes. I'm not really into circuses, I thought. Though I loved Water for Elephants and that was about the circus. But still, The Night Circus didn't exactly look like my kind of book.
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.Yeah, and then there was that dueling magician thing. I have a bit of that going on in License to Love, too. But once I'd completed my book, curiosity got the best of me and I dove into The Night Circus, eager to see how Erin Morgenstern handled the topic of magicians. As it turns out, I needn't have worried about reading her book while I was writing mine. I don't think I'm giving anything away by saying her magicians use real magic. While mine are human and rely on tricks of the trade, deception, sleight of hand, and diversion.
But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway: a duel between two young magicians…—from The Night Circus back cover copy
I was soon engrossed in the story, caught up in the world of magical illusions Morgenstern created. Her storyscape is a fun, though sometimes frightening, place to escape to. The main characters are engaging and sympathetic, the villains complex. I love a good love story and this was one. I rooted for the two main characters to overcome the odds and get their happily-ever-after. I'm not saying whether they did or didn't. You'll have to read the book to find out. But as a writer, as well as a reader, I found the ending satisfying and appropriate.
The Page 69 Test: The Spy Who Left Me.
Writers Read: Gina Robinson (January 2012).