Be sure to stop by my author page from time to time
In the meantime, while you're here, pull up a chair, pour yourself a cup of coffee or a cuppa tea, have a piece of pie and always feel free to speak your mind, and your heart, here at Meanderings and Muses.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Patti Abbott's "Friday's Forgotten Books"
Looking through Kaye’s wonderful archives, I see my story of coming to writing fiction late in life has been done by several other people. No sense boring you with another tale of being a latecomer. Briefly, I was born in Philadelphia, married at nineteen and moved to Michigan where my husband took a university teaching position, raised two wonderful children (Megan and Josh), did all the motherly things. One day I took a writing class, began to write poetry (awful) and then short stories (better). At this point I have published more than sixty stories in various publications and won a Derringer Award last year for a flash fiction piece. I love writing short stories and am so glad I found something I could do—even if it came late.
What I’d like to talk about on Meanderings and Muses is a project near and dear to my heart—and one I hope some of you might join. Friday’s Forgotten Books. How did it begin?
My husband and I like to spend winter Saturday afternoons scavenging in antique stores. We have no expensive collections—we just like junk. Often these shops would have cases of dusty books. And the books on their shelves were ones I remembered from my youth, the ones no one reads today. There they would sit, begging for someone to spend a dollar or two on them: A.J. Cronin, Sloan Wilson, Patricia Moyes, Nicholas Blake, John Marquand—well, you know the list if you’re of a certain age. All of them were well- regarded forty years ago but forgotten today. I wanted these books to be saved from the scrap heap. I couldn’t buy them all-or even more than a few— but I wanted to.
And then it occurred to me—I had a blog. A blog that was linked to a lot of other blogs. Maybe a few of those bloggers would join me in talking about a book they remembered but feared others had forgotten. So I asked a few people I had gotten to know a little on the Internet to write a short review. I posted links to their blogs and my own first review (Desperate Characters by Paula Fox) on my blog in April, 2008. I figured the project might last a few weeks because I would run out of people to ask for help very quickly.
Bill Crider saved the project. I didn’t know it at first but he wrote a second review the next week and a third review the week after. I’d never considered that some people might be willing to write more than one review. If it weren’t for Bill, the project would have died a quick death. For eighteen months, Bill has written a review every week. And a number of other bloggers have nearly matched him in this feat. Each week, I try to find a few new people to feature on my blog and post links to the rest of the crew. We average 15- 20 reviews a week. The Rap Sheet and J. Kingston Pierce joined in with their similar project-“The Book You Have to Read” early on, too. This added some heft to the idea that we would talk about old books—every Friday. It became more than just my project.
Occasionally, we talk about short stories, or kid’s books, movies, or non-fiction, but mostly I leave the genre up to the reviewer. Once or twice, I had to scramble to find a new review to post on my blog, but on the whole, it’s been a pleasure and a joy for me. And I hope anyone reading this that hasn’t done one (or those who have) will get in touch with me. The lists of books and reviewers are available at
And the original reviews are in my archives at http://pattinase.blogspot.com.
Thanks to Kaye for inviting me to write this. And thanks to the more than 200 people who have written a review.