There are days when you lose sight of why you write and you feel like you’re going nowhere. And then there are days when you find that spark again, and even get to hold that spark in your hands.
Today was that day for me.
After attending a kiddie party all afternoon (who knew they could be tiring?!), I returned home to find a present waiting for me from LoveReadingLaughing. It took me a second to figure out what the thick book was inside the package and sure enough, it was exactly what I thought it was.
And boy, did I get emotional. You see, it takes a reader to know another reader. And when you’re the only adult reader in your family, it can get pretty lonely – like a lot.
Last year, I found The Pirate, another favorite Harold Robbins book at a used bookstore along with 79 Park Avenue, but I didn’t find my all-time favorite, The Adventurers. Reading The Pirate again last year brought on so many feels, but not as much as holding a copy of The Adventurers today. I even smelled the paper.
I remembering buying the iBooks version a few years ago, but you know what? It’s just NOT the same as holding the real book in your hands. It felt like finding something precious that I’d long ago lost in the shuffle that is life. Reading the words on paper brought so many memories and I remembered exactly why I loved the world of Diogenes Alejandro Xenos or “Dax” and why so many years later, I’ve never forgotten it.
To me, Dax was and is the only alpha male ever to walk my fictional world, and everyone else in all their naked torso glory on their book covers just pales in comparison. Maybe it’s because he’s multifaceted on paper, and the world he traveled during the time of World War II was where I retreated to when things were very tough in my personal life.
Dax was strong, smart – and very vulnerable. And I’d never seen anything like the way Harold Robbins wrote. Prologue in third person, then the first part of the book in first person, then third person for the middle third, and then first person again for the last third before the epilogue returns to third person limited. To me, it was epic, although these days, authors call that method, never do that because it’s a mark of a poor writer.
But Harold Robbins was no poor writer. He was an amazing writer and he’s the one that got me inspired to want to write for a living. Since reading The Adventurers, The Pirate, and then A Stone for Danny Fisher at 12 or 13, the only thing I ever wanted to do with my life was write. Even when people laughed at me, behind my back or whatever, it was all I wanted to do. Until the day I gave it up for almost ten years, doing the things I was expected to do and fooling myself into believing that I was enjoying myself.
Only I wasn’t.
Then one day I started to write again, and when a reader or two would ask me, how do you write deep POV so well? My answer then and now is always two words: Harold Robbins.
Followed by four more: Diogenes Alejandro Xenos.
Yes, I smelled the pages today, and the reason why I write – really write – all came back to me just when I needed it the most. Thank you, Chell!