Thursday, August 4, 2011

Gifting Readers With a Sense of Fun by Laura DiSilverio, Guest Blogger

Since I'm on a mystery reading kick these days, I especially enjoy introducing our Colorado mystery authors and their new releases. Laura is one of those Coloradoans, and she's currently making the rounds on her virtual book tour for Die Buying. You can find her schedule for her blog appearances on her website.

Don't miss the note below this post. Laura will be donating the profits from this book to a very special cause.


Gifting Readers With a Sense of Fun by Laura DiSilverio, Guest Blogger

I had a health scare this spring, the kind where you wonder if you’re going to be around to see your children graduate from high school. Thankfully, surgery fixed everything and I’m back to my usual activities and my normal energy levels (although I’m still trying to knock off the last couple of pounds that crept up while I couldn’t work out for almost three months). Anyway, my point is that the scare made me stop and think, about a lot of things, actually, but especially about my writing. Specifically, it made me evaluate what I’m writing.

For a couple months during the crisis and after the surgery, I had a heightened sense of mortality, of the very, very brief time we all get on this planet. I felt like I needed to say all the important things I have to say right now, that I needed to abandon writing my cozy, humorous series and write things that were darker, more literary, more “forever,” more profound. I was stressing myself out because I enjoy writing my Swift Investigations series and my Mall Cop books, but I thought I should be doing something more “meaningful.” I suspect many of us come up against that kind of self-evaluation, maybe as a result of a life change—marriage, divorce, empty nest—or because of a significant emotional experience of some kind.

Then, a couple weeks ago, I spoke to a book club, the Silver Sneakers group at the Pueblo YMCA and one of the women said, “You know, part-way through Swift Justice, I realized I was having fun reading this book. I can’t remember the last time I had fun reading a book.” It was a casual comment to her, but it meant a lot to me. Making someone happy, making readers laugh, gifting them with a sense of fun, if only for the few hours it takes to read a book, is meaningful. It’s worthwhile. We all cope with a lot of ugliness in the course of our daily lives (especially if we read a newspaper or watch the news) and it’s healthy and good to escape that once in a while, to listen to music that takes us away, or to watch a movie or read a book that makes us laugh, to sit on the deck with a glass of wine in the evening and think about nothing much except how pretty the begonias are or how amazing hummingbirds are as they fight for dominion at the feeder.

All of which is not to say that I won’t ever write something besides mysteries. I have more storylines and ideas and thoughts to express than I could get on paper in a dozen lifetimes. But, for now, I’m happy with where I’m at and what I’m doing. I hope you are, too.


Laura DiSilverio is donating the profits from her first Mall Cop book, Die Buying, to the Wounded Warrior Project because her protagonist, EJ Ferris, was medically retired from the military after an IED shredded her knee in Afghanistan, and because Laura and her hubby are both veterans grateful for the service of others.

You may “Like” Laura on Facebook or visit her website at laura.disilverio. Find her very interesting bio on the website as well.


Margot Kinberg said...

Pat - Thanks for hosting Laura.

Laura - Thanks for sharing the way your personal experiences made you re-evaluate what you're doing. I think that's one very important thing writers do; they give readers enjoyment. That's a pretty powerful gift that you have, and I'm happy that you share it.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Allowing people to have fun and enjoy a moment of escape is meaningful in my book!

Dean K Miller said...

Laura: how wonderful you are moving forward and also writing and living from your heart with the donations to the WWP. I got to work with Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing this spring, and will repeat again next year.

Stay happy!

Laura DiSilverio said...

Hi Margot and Alex--Thanks for commenting today and for validating the value of fun and escapism.

Patricia--Thanks for hosting me on your blog. I'll check in througout the day to chat with y'all.

Laura DiSilverio said...

Hi Dean--Our postings must have crossed in cyberspace. Thanks for your work with Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing. I can't imagine anything much more renewing than being beside a mountain stream or on a lake, fishing rod in hand; in fact, I could skip the rod and just sit by the water.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Welcome, everyone, and a big thanks to you, Laura, for being here today. It's always a pleasure having you drop by for a visit.

The Wounded Warrior Project is a wonderful cause. It's great that you're spreading the word this way.

Laura M. Campbell said...

I recently read in a back issue of Writer's Digest that wanting to entertain people with your stories is a noble motive for writing. Sometimes I find myself so wrapped up in trying to get my words down on paper I forget why I'm doing it.

Sure, my mind is over crowded with ideas, characters and settings, but as a life-long reader, I want to pay my enthusiasm for reading forward. I want people to enjoy reading as much as I do, albeit laugh, cry, tremble in fear, join in on the investigation, etc. Thanks for sharing!

irishoma said...

Hi Laura,
What an inspiring and thought-provoking post.
Thanks to both you and your husband for your service to our country. It's such a generous gesture to donate to Wounded Warriors.
Donna V.

Laura DiSilverio said...

Hi Laura--Thanks for sharing your perspective on writing. I know what you mean about your brain overflowing--mine's like that almost all the time.

Hi Donna--I was happy to serve and Tom's still serving in the Reserves and will be most glum on the day he takes his uniform off for the last time. THanks for commenting today.

Marlena Cassidy said...

Thank you for hosting Laura, Patricia.

Laura, I think one of the most important and fulfilling aspects of writer is making someone else happy. That, to me, is a form of immortality. Best of luck to you in all you do.

Beth Groundwater said...

Great post, Laura! Yes, giving people pleasure is very important. You never know how that lift to their spirits might propagate.

Thanks for having Laura on your blog, Pat!

Darla Bartos said...

Laura, thanks.

Reading your thoughts was like an unexpected therapy session. Good for the soul.

And Pat, thanks for having her on your blog.
Darla Bartos

Laura DiSilverio said...

Hi Beth, Marlena, and Darla--Good to hear from all of you. Thanks for the uplifting words... they help me be sure that I should keep on doing what I'm doing.

Lesa said...


You never need to feel guilty or apologize for what you're writing. I reviewed Die Buying today on my blog. I enjoyed E.J., her grandfather, the reptiles loose in the mall. That woman was right. It's wonderful to have fun when you're reading a book. You gave us a solid mystery, a terrific amateur sleuth, and a sense of fun. It was a satisfying book that I can pass on and tell others about.

And, I'd rather finish a book and feel good, that feel depressed or scared after I finish it. Thank you.

Laura DiSilverio said...

Hi Lesa--THanks for writing and for reviewing DB. I used to not mind being depressed or scared when I finished a book, but the older I get, the more I appreciate a "feel good" book. (And, I might point out, one can still say profound things; books needn't be grim and depressing to say something worthwhile, although many folks seem to think they do.)

Patricia Stoltey said...

Laura and Lesa, I agree 100%. The older I get, the more I appreciate an author's good sense of humor.

Laura, thanks so much for being my guest today. I wish you lots of luck with your new release.

Dave Diamantes said...

Great blog Patricia, and a wonderful guest blogger. I stumbled upon you on Twitter.