Book Club



Train Harder

One more running-related post (for now).

I was thinking about those women who can run 10 miles in under an hour; what do they know that I don’t? Have they found a magic pill? Maybe they’re simply genetically superior (or bionic). Yes, some are 25 years younger than me, but there are plenty of older runners who also outperform me—like the 80-year-old speed demon I can never seem to catch.

I’ve come to realize that the difference between those women and me is that they’re willing to do the work. They train much harder and are doing all kinds of things to improve their performance that I’m not willing to do. I love to run, but it’s not as high on my priority list as it is on theirs. That’s because they’re elite and I’m an amateur. I’m happy being a recreational athlete.

As a writer though, I’m a pro. For me, being an amateur author is not an option.

What kind of writer do you want to be? There is no wrong answer here, there’s only the answer that works for you. If you decide that you want to be a pro, you’ve got to be willing to do the work. You’ve got to train harder and do all kinds of things that others are not willing to do.

Valerie Francis

The Mystery of Mrs. Christie

Well, you’re not going to believe this. Reece Witherspoon and I picked the same book for our February book clubs. Sort of.  Late last year, I came across THE MYSTERY OF MRS. CHRISTIE by Marie Benedict and was fascinated by the premise. Benedict writes historical fiction, much like Philippa Gregory,

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Valerie Francis

A Girl Named Howard

This month, rather than recommend one book to read, I’m recommending the entire body of work of one author because Anne Rice, who passed away December 11, 2021, single-handedly revolutionized the role of vampires in literature.  Yes, vampires.  And the impact she’s had is more significant than you might realize.

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Valerie Francis

The Christmas Bookshop

If you’ve had it up to your eyes with holiday preparations and are looking for a light-hearted story to escape into, The Christmas Bookshop, by Jenny Colgan, might be just the ticket. The title is a bit misleading, in my opinion. Yes, there’s a bookstore. Yes, the plot unfolds in

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