Here are the opening paragraphs of a new story just published at The Literarian, the magazine at the Center for Fiction in New York. The story invented itself late last fall when I happened to stop at a Barnes and Noble in Colonie and discovered huge walls of books categorized as PARANORMAL ROMANCE (see photo above taken by NC Contributor Cheryl Cowdy). This was a completely new literary genre to me—you can tell I don’t get out much. But it seemed very popular. I thought, I can write one of those. So I did.
Read the rest of the story at The Literarian, link below.
Also, if you’re in New York on March 14, come to my craft talk at the Center for Fiction (see the link at the bottom of the story).
Everything Starts at a Bookstore
I was supposed to meet Zoe for lunch at a chic Parisian restaurant she had discovered on the Internet, a crucial rendezvous during which I intended to propose marriage, but I was running late. A fierce, cold rain lashed down suddenly as I bounded up the Metro steps, rain as I had never experienced before. It drove me back into the underground, where dozens of African Parisians discussed the weather in languages other than French. I glanced at my watch and leaped up the stairs again, blinded by the torrents of rain.
Wind whipped the leafless plane trees along the avenue. I spotted a flower shop and ducked in, thinking to buy a bouquet for my love. But I must have slipped through the wrong door, for I found myself in a neat, closet-like secondhand bookstore with dark oak shelves marching back toward an ancient desk fortified with parapets of leather-bound tomes. I hovered, dripping in the doorway, loathe to enter and perhaps spatter some valuable books with water but also reluctant to dive back into the deluge. I wiped rainwater off my watch face, frantic with vexation and indecision. I naturally blamed all my troubles on the Parisians, their precious City of Light, and Zoe’s love of travel, which I did not share.