Friday, April 26, 2013

Laura DiSilverio

Laura DiSilverio spent twenty years as an Air Force intelligence officer, serving as a squadron commander, with the National Reconnaissance Office, and at a fighter wing, before retiring to parent and write full time.

Her new novel is Malled to Death.

Earlier this month I asked the author about what she was reading. DiSilverio's reply:
In thinking about the books I’ve read the past couple of weeks, I notice there’s more variety than usual. Don’t take the below list as being indicative of my usual habits; I tend to read far more mystery/suspense fiction than anything else, although lately I’ve been branching into women’s fiction, historical fiction, and more literary works. I find that I expand my writing sensibilities and toolbox when I read outside my comfort zone, in addition to opening myself to new views of the world. Reading continues to be exhilarating and I am grateful, as always, for books and stories.

Suspect, by Robert Crais

I have long admired and enjoyed Crais’ books, but this is the first one I’ve loved. It tells the story of a German shepherd, Maggie, who was injured in the line of duty, and a young cop, Scott—ditto. They both suffer from PTSD and the relationship they build is hugely affecting as they try to track down the killers who shot Scott and killed his partner (human). Maggie is a POV character and Crais does a wonderful job putting us inside her head. (She thinks exactly the way I always imagine my dog thinks.) [Don’t worry that this is one of those sappy books where the cat or the dog or the hamster solves the case, because it’s not. Crais doesn’t do sappy.]

Nerve, by Dick Francis

I’ve been going through a Dick Francis phase lately. I’ve already read most of his books (up until the mid-1990s when I think they started going downhill), and I’ve been re-reading them. There’s something so very satisfying in his formula of a hero who is usually underestimated by those around him (and sometimes by himself), triumphing over the bad guys by a combination of do-the-right-thing ethics, co-opting great allies, resourcefulness, and use of his own brand of expertise, be it glassblowing, toy making or horse riding. They’re wonderfully paced novels, full of suspense, and most mystery authors (moi included) could learn a lot from them.

Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake, by Anna Quindlen

I almost always have a book of essays going, and this is the one I’m journeying through now. I think I’m attracted to Quindlen’s voice in this because she’s talking about issues I’m living through, giving them a humorous and poignant spin. We’re both women “of a certain age,” coping with empty nests (or, in my case, an empty nest on the horizon); aging; changing relationships with self, spouse, and friends; and other issues. As Quindlen says in the introduction, “There comes a moment when we finally know what matters and, perhaps more important, what doesn’t, when we see that all the life lessons came not from what we had but from who we loved, and from the failures perhaps more than the successes.”

The Sand Castle Girls, by Chris Bohjalian

I had never read a Bohjalian book before picking his up on a whim because I was feeling literary. I’m not usually drawn to historical fiction, but this captured me from the first page and I found myself learning about the massacre of the Armenians by the Turks during World War I without feeling like I was sitting through a history lecture. The book is framed and interspersed with a modern day story, as well, and the dual narrative structure adds a lot of tension. I got caught up in the humanity of the characters living through these dark times, and found myself as fascinated by the small details of their lives and relationships as by the larger story unfolding on the world stage.
Visit Laura DiSilverio's website and Facebook page.

Writers Read: Laura DiSilverio (December 2011).

--Marshal Zeringue