I’m delighted to be able to welcome author Colby Marshall back to Thoughts in Progress once again. Colby joins us to talk about books; her latest release, THE TRADE; and a special prize pack she’s giving away.
The second book in Colby’s McKenzie McClendon series, THE TRADE, releases this week from Stairway Press. Here’s a brief synopsis:
Stolen lives… Reporter McKenzie McClendon is on the trail of her next hot story, tracking a sadistic serial killer known as The Cradle Robber. This brutal murderer preys on pregnant women, slicing their infants from their wombs, leaving the helpless women to die while he disappears with their babies.
The trade of innocents… Jonas Cleary is out of options. McKenzie, his former sweetheart, is his last hope. Jonas believes his slain wife was The Cradle Robber’s first victim and that his son is still alive, lost in the underground world of the black market baby trade, where ruthless people are happy to prey on the desperation of those willing to pay any price to have a child, and infants are just another commodity.
Before another one dies… Aided by former Navy SEAL Noah Hutchins and a clever FBI data specialist, McKenzie races to unravel the web of lies, drawing dangerously closer to the ruthless, brilliant surgeon at the heart of the maze. With a child’s future hanging in the balance, the lives of five people careen toward a terrifying collision. It’s up to McKenzie to discover which key will unlock the puzzle, and which will get her killed.
As part of her visit, Colby is offering a special THE TRADE prize pack to one commenter. She’ll select the winner from those who comment on the post. Visitors will have 24 hours to comment on the post before the winner is selected. The prize pack will include an autographed copy of THE TRADE, a T-Shirt, and a couple more goodies that Colby is keeping secret.
Now here’s Colby to talk about one item we all have a serious interest in -- books.
Hi, my name is Colby, and I’m a compulsive book buyer.
*listens for chorus of, “Hi, Colby!”*
It’s true. I’m guilty, and I’m helpless. It started innocently enough. First, it was buying one extra book that caught my eye at the bookstore in addition to the one I went to pick up. Before I knew it, I was tossing a book into my grocery cart, or sneaking off to the book aisle while I was supposed to be helping a friend pick out wedding registry items. Pretty soon, it was out of control. Whether the back cover of a book made me say, “Ooh!” or a friend tells me about a book they loved, it didn’t take much to talk me into swiping the old debit card (or, even easier, clicking that one button online).
Here’s the thing: while I may be amassing a To Be Read pile taller than the Leaning Tower of Kanye West’s ego, like many book addicts, I have no desire to stop.
Sure, critics may say that I’m just perpetuating the cycle. Naysayers will tell you that impulse buying is a cheap high. When compulsive book buyers like me buy so many books, naysayers will claim we’re in denial to think that one day we’ll read them all. They would tell us our book habit is a waste of money, time, space, and trees. They’d tell us we’re rationalizing, and really, buying “just one more book” is the equivalent of getting a fix.
But me? I know the truth. If there’s one thing that won’t hurt me, it’s too many books. And sure, maybe I’ll never read them all. Maybe it makes more sense to only buy a book I know I’m going to read, that I have time to read. Maybe it makes more sense to only buy the books of authors I’ve read and loved and not take any chances on new authors.
But here’s the (other) thing: While books are for thinkers, for true book lovers, they nearly never have to do with sense. They have to do with escaping into another world, getting lost in the lives of your favorite old characters and meeting and learning to love new ones.
Books are about imagination and thrills and adventure and abandon. For this reason, I will always buy a book that sounds interesting to me, the book of a new author I’ve never read whose writing sample intrigues me, or that quirky little coffee table book that won’t really advance my knowledge much or infuse me with culture. If I do get a chance to read that book that sounded interesting, it might be one of the best I’ve read. If I do get the time to read the book by that new author I’d never heard of but liked the premise of her work, I might find out she’s my new favorite. And that coffee table book? It might not advance me culturally, but it might just make me laugh. Isn’t that what books are about?
There you have it: the reality is, I will never stop buying books. I buy them if they sound like they will be good to me, and because, at some point when I least expect it, I will find myself thinking about a book. It might be one I bought yesterday or years ago. There’s no way to predict mood, which is exactly why I love having so many books on hand. I never know whether I’ll like a book or not until I read it, and I never know what I might want to read until it’s time to start a new book.
So, to everyone with a To Be Read stack as big as mine, hold your head high. Stop feeling guilty that you can’t seem to make a dent in the pile because for every one you take off you add three. Free yourself from feeling ashamed of yourself for adding that new trilogy to the ever-growing inventory even though you can’t seem to read through that mountain of literature you’ve accumulated fast enough. Because you don’t have a problem, and you don’t need any sort of 12 Step Program, unless you’re talking about some sort of ladder you need to reach a book you want to read at the top of the pile.
What you are doing is being an avid reader, so passionate about books that you will support authors by buying their books. You buy those book and add one more goddess to the Pantheon gladly, because you love books so much that you support them even if you might never get to them. Though, let’s face it: all bookophiles intend to read every single book in our (frighteningly large) collections. It may not happen because something might get in the way, or may not be feasible even if we read every moment from now until we died in our reading chair at ninety-nine still holding that copy of The Secret Life of Bees we’d finally gotten around to reading.
But we buy them because we want to read them. We want them there so that on that rainy afternoon when nothing would feel better than curling up with a good book, we can walk over to our bookshelf (or shelves, for those with more intense “problems”) and peruse the volumes from a pre-selected group of books we know we want to read. Then on that rainy day, we can find the one book out of those many books we know we one day want to read that fits the bill for what kind of book mood we’re in that day, and we pull that book off the shelf.
We buy them, because we know that just like that book whose turn came to be pulled off the shelf, we know that other books’ turns are coming.
So, I keep buying books and tossing them to the top of the heap (Man, that thing is getting precarious!). Meanwhile, the books continue to stack up around me, boxing me in.
The good news? Pretty soon I’ll have to read them all…just to get out of the house.
Are you a bookoholic? How many books do you buy a month? A week? What’s the most recent addition to your To Be Read monolith?
Colby, thanks for joining us again. I so agree with you on buying more books than we will ever read. It feels good to know there are others who feel like I do when it comes to buying books.
For those who haven’t meet Colby before here’s a little background on her. Writer by day, ballroom dancer and choreographer by night, Colby has a tendency to turn every hobby she has into a job, thus ensuring that she is a perpetual workaholic. In addition to her 9,502 regular jobs, she is also a contributing columnist for M Food and Culture magazine and is a proud member of International Thriller Writers and Sisters in Crime.
She is actively involved in local theatres as a choreographer, as well as sometimes indulges her prima donna side by taking the stage as an actress. She lives in Georgia with her family, two mutts, and an array of cats that, if she were a bit older, would qualify her immediately for crazy cat lady status.
Her debut thriller, CHAIN OF COMMAND is about a reporter who discovers the simultaneous assassinations of the President and Vice President may have been a plot to rocket the very first woman —the Speaker of the House— into the presidency.
For more on Colby and her books, visit her website at www.colbymarshall.com
THE TRADE is available on stairwaypress.com and coming soon to Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, Kobo, and other major e-readers.
Here’s a look at the official book trailer for THE TRADE for your enjoyment. Remember to be entered in the special giveaway, you have to leave a comment (and be sure to include your email address with your comment, if it’s not included in your profile).