Saturday, September 29, 2018

Paula Munier

Paula Munier is the author of the bestselling Plot Perfect, The Writer’s Guide to Beginnings, Writing with Quiet Hands, and Fixing Freddie: A True Story of a Boy, a Mom, and a Very, Very Bad Beagle. She was inspired to write A Borrowing of Bones by the hero working dogs she met through Mission K9 Rescue, her own Newfoundland retriever mix rescue Bear, and a lifelong passion for crime fiction.

Recently I asked Munier about what she was reading. Her reply:
I always am reading several books at a time. Non-fiction and fiction. I just finished The Affair by Lee Child, a Jack Reacher novel I’ve read before (I’ve read them all before). These novels are entertaining to me as a reader, and instructive to me as a writer. I travel a lot, and sometimes I dread it—especially flying—but now I treat myself to a Reacher novel whenever I’m on the road. I get so engrossed in the story I forget the trials and tribulations of travel. As always, The Affair is a first-rate story—and you'll never look at trains again the same way.

I've also just finished The Great Spring: Writing, Zen, and This Zigzag Life by Natalie Goldberg. She's the author of Writing Down the Bones, one of the classic books on writing, and one of the first to apply the principles of Zen to writing practice. A practicing Buddhist for many years, her books are always full of insight, not just about writing, but about life itself. (My daughter describes me as a wannabe Buddhist and that's pretty accurate.) If you like Natalie Goldberg, you’ll want to read this latest collection of fabulous essays and memoir-style anecdotes that engage you and enlighten you at the same time.

I’m very near the end of Bound for Gold by William Martin. Bill is a good pal and a great writer, and I've read all of his work. Historical fiction of the very best kind. His new book is set during the gold rush. I used to live in the foothills of Sierra Nevada in an old gold rush town, and I know that area well. Bill totally nails it. Great epic read: masterful and moving.

I'm also currently reading a book called The Rock Child by Win Blevins. Set in 1862, it’s a journey story in which a Tibetan nun who’s been kidnapped and sold into prostitution in California teams up with a half-blood Indian raised by Mormons to escape their respective troubled pasts. Together they must traverse across the American West. Along the way, they meet such scoundrels as explorer Sir Richard Burton, the Mormons’ Destroying Angel, Porter Rockwell, Sam Clemens, and more. Fascinating in every way.

Next up: Louise Miller's The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living, a novel to read when you’re hungry for comfort and really good cake. The charming and talented Louise is a pastry chef who writes about bread as life and pastry as the sweet life. There's nothing like reading about food to make you feel good about life. At least for me. Think Gilmore Girls with pie.

On my to-be-read pile: The wonderful Hank Phillippi Ryans’ new standalone Trust Me, which I read in an early draft and loved, and I’m so looking forward to the second time around. It's a wild and twisty ride that delves deep into the psyche of two women in a very intense and compelling way.
Visit Paula Munier's website.

Coffee with a Canine: Paula Munier & Bear.

My Book, The Movie: A Borrowing of Bones.

--Marshal Zeringue