May 19, 2010

I just read the advance proof of THE HUSBAND. Wow! INTENSITY moved fast, VELOCITY was fast, but this is a rocket. Fantastic! I adore Mitch. And Holly is a fabulous role-model. All the beautiful references to nature. Do you really know so much about flowers and trees? Will you re-do my yard? –Carmen, Connecticut

Thanks for the effusive review, Carmen. Your check is in the mail. I’ve been interested in landscape design for at least thirty years. When we landscaped our current home, we had to import 240 trees, large and small, because the land was bare. Gerda and I visited nurseries and selected each specimen, which probably sounds insufferably boring to some folks, but we had a great time. I’m particularly familiar with PacificCoast and Southwest plants. Last year I received a letter from a guy–let’s call him Grump–who said he was sick of encountering bougainvillea in so many of my novels. Bougainvillea is a vine with showy, colorful flowers, cascades of dazzling flowers. We don’t have any bougainvillea at our place because it grows faster than weeds and is very difficult to keep under control, but I enjoy it on other people’s properties. Grump said the word bougainvillea and the thought of it repelled him every time he encountered it. “By God,” he said, “if you don’t stop using it in your novels, I’ll stop reading them.” After advising him to seek psychiatric care, I looked over the manuscript of THE HUSBAND, discovered I hadn’t yet used the word bougainvillea, and at once added it to Chapter 23.

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