Often the best part of researching literary agents is discovering an author (and book) I may not have otherwise. Not that the agents themselves aren’t interesting in their own right, of course, but the books they represent often tell (or should I say show) more about who they are as agents than any web-interview can.
My most recent find: Laura Resau’s novel, RED GLASS. I knew I was in for a great read when the first page described the dryness of the desert so well I needed to pause for a glass of lemonade before turning the page.
Now I could go on to write the usual book blurb review. Tell you about Sophie, the phobic, self proclaimed amoeba, teen girl who travels from the US to Mexico, where the germs she fears party in the streets and on dinner plates, where soft hands are scoffed at, and where Sophie finds real dangers (loss, love, guns, gangs and . . . yes, red glass), causing her to wonder if her imagined fears are a waste of living. I could tell you how Sophie’s love and possible loss of five year old Pablo and teen-hunk Angel challenges her to step out of the oversized clothes she hides behind, and question what Sophie la Fuerte (the strong) could do.
I could, (okay I did) but I also want to applaud the exceptionally developed secondary characters that left permanent imprints on my heart. As writers we strive to develop multi-layered protagonists readers will care about, of course, but it’s the secondary characters that make a good solid story a fuller, richer one.
What would THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: PRINCE CASPIAN be without Reepicheep, or THE MYSTERIOUS BENEDICT SOCIETY without Constance? Sure, they'd still be good, but would they be as memorable? For RED GLASS, there would be less humor and heart without Nola and Zida in the mix. These two characters still bring a smile to my face weeks after finishing the book.
In addition, Laura Resau’s beautiful portrayal of Mexico, its people, their customs, and the way they contrast with those in the US, gave me much to ponder. How is quality of life defined? What is needed to have a good life? How do the answers differ from culture to culture? What is sacrificed in the pursuit of a perceived better life?
Go on, hurry up and read the book, and then come back and tell me who you think has a better life, Abuelita and Nola, or Sophie and Zida?
Click here to visit Laura Resau’s blog and learn about her newest book, THE INDIGO NOTEBOOK.