I had a great time last night, visiting a local college. The class, Cincinnati Authors, taught by buddy Jeff Hillard , had spent the better part of their current semester (all three weeks of it so far) reading Trouble in Spades. They've discussed. They've dissected. I'm sure there will be an essay due soon.
There's nothing quite like a captive audience who were forced to buy and read your book. There were tons of questions (which I love) and lots of praise (which I love even more).
One of the best things for me was having to go back and read the book. I wrote Trouble in Spades in 2004. It was pubbed in 2005. It's been a while. So having to go back and read it again was a nice treat--because as I read, I remembered how great this book is. Of the Nina series, Spades and Weeding are my two favorites (I probably shouldn't admit that--kind of like picking a favorite child). With Spades, the writing is crisp, the humor still makes me laugh, and the plotting came together in a way I couldn't explain if my life depended on it. It's one of those magical mysteries of writing.
The absolute best part of the night was when I was packing up to leave. A student came up to me and told me how he doesn't like books so much and doesn't really like to read. But. He couldn't put my book down and stayed up till four in the morning to read it in one sitting. Those are the kinds of words that are music to every author's ears.
It's reactions like that, and compliments like the other students gave me, that make it so rewarding to sit down every morning to a blank computer screen to write a story that will hopefully keep someone up all night.