I love to hang out with creative people who spend time entertaining their muses and polishing their craft. I love it when people I know have success in their art form or are recognized for their talent. I always hope that, by hanging out with them, some of their creativity and determination to pursue their art despite the many stumbling blocks that artists usually have to navigate rubs off on me.
I think it's really REALLY important to support people in their art. I don't always do it as much as I should, but now and then I do what I can. That is why, on this little blog, I am going to do my small part to support a friend who has excelled at her craft and deserves to be recognized for it.
I'm talking about Diane Poulin who has written a fascinating, well-crafted, keep-you-up-late-at-night book called No Safe House, and I'm proud to say I know her.
Several months ago, I went to the book launch for this book. Regretably, I didn't get around to reading it until my holidays this summer (the pile of unread books beside my bed was just getting too high). To tell you the truth, the cover of the book didn't really engage me. I'll be honest - that's probably the most disappointing thing about the book. And I'm sure Diane had little to do with it (writers rarely do). I find the cover of a book has A LOT to do with whether I'm attracted to it or not, but we all know that you can't always judge a book by its cover. Case in point.
This book is DEFINITELY worth picking up. It is full of interesting characters (lots of them - but you never really get a sense that there are too many) who are all unique and human and have a touch of darkness somewhere inside them. It's easy to be sympathetic to all of the characters, because each of them has a piece of you or someone familiar to you in their personality. There are no two dimensional characters or stereotypes. Each character is capable of surprising you.
Diane creates a really interesting backdrop - a fictitious neighbourhood in Winnipeg that could be almost any neighbourhood, yet has a unique and distinct character. There are secrets there, and people who aren't quite who they appear to be on the surface.
I always know a good book when I'm disappointed when it ends because I want to stay with the characters a little longer. This is one of those books. You should read it.
Don't just go to the library - BUY THIS BOOK! People like Diane should be able to quit their day jobs and write for a living. Save the money you would have spent on the latest book from Ms.-famous-writer-who-has-a-million-dollar-house-and-a-highly-paid-agent, and buy a book from someone who's working hard to put out good art without the entourage or the fat advance cheques.
(Oh, and by the way, if you look it up on Amazon, don't believe the review that's there. Reviewers can be WRONG!)