Saturday, August 27, 2016

Wendy Sand Eckel

Degrees in criminology and social work, followed by years of clinical practice, helped Wendy Sand Eckel explore her fascination with how relationships impact motivation, desire, and inhibition. Combined with her passion for words and meaning, writing mystery is a dream realized. She lives in Maryland where she enjoys family and friends, pets, and living near the Chesapeake Bay.

Eckel's new novel is Death at the Day Lily Café.

Recently I asked the author about what she was reading. Her reply:
Although I write mystery, I’m an eclectic reader. I love a tale well told in any genre. And beautiful writing stimulates my own creative drive. In the past year I’ve read some fabulous novels, such as The Goldfinch, All the Light We Cannot See, even a reread of The Poisonwood Bible. I also love nonfiction when told as a story and Ashley’s War and Dead Wake definitely met that requirement. Another book that really stuck with me is Liane Moriarty’s What Alice Forgot.

There are good books. And then there are books you can’t put down. Books that keep you up into the late hours of the night or cause you to remain in bed longer than you should. Or both. This was one of those books for me.

In What Alice Forgot, Moriarty weaves a compelling story about a harried, compulsive mother who is so stressed she is snapping at her children and close to the breaking point in her marriage. But after being struck by a car while scolding the teenage drivers ahead of her, she loses the memory of the most recent years of her life. When she wakes up in the hospital, her mind is back at the time in her life when she was a happy go lucky mom and madly in love with her husband. All the years that followed are forgotten. But her family and friends remember everything.

The plot twists and turns Moriarty intertwines into the story are brilliant. And it has one of the key ingredients for me to love a book: it makes me feel. While reading, I want to experience joy, love, worry, hope, and what I like to call the ‘aha!’ moment. That sense when an author describes something I’ve felt or experienced but never had put into words.

When writing, I focus on entertaining my readers. The dreams I conjure while crafting a novel are that just maybe a reader will find a phrase so compelling they dog ear the page. And maybe when they reach the end they will be left with a warm, fulfilled feeling, one leaving them with the desire to let that ambience linger a while before starting the next book.

What Alice Forgot did that for me.
Visit Wendy Sand Eckel's website and Facebook page.

The Page 69 Test: Murder at Barclay Meadow.

The Page 69 Test: Death at the Day Lily Café.

--Marshal Zeringue