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BooksWHAT BOOK would popular novelist Diane Chamberlain take to a desert island? 

WHAT BOOK would popular novelist Diane Chamberlain take to a desert island? 

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. . . are you reading now?

I’m lucky to belong to a wonderful neighbourhood book club, which is diverse in age and background. Right now we are reading The Cutting Season, by Attica Locke.

It’s such an intriguing set-up: a young black woman manages the old plantation, now a tourist attraction, where her ancestors were once slaves.

I’m totally engaged in the story and in love with Locke’s writing. She knows how to create believable, sympathetic characters and drop them into intriguing situations.

I look forward to reading more of her work.

Diane Chamberlain (pictured) is currently reading The Cutting Season, by Attica Locke 

. . . would you take to a desert island?

That would have to be Stephen King’s 11/22/63, since I have read it three times already. I haven’t been a fan of King’s horror ever since one of his characters chopped off the foot of an author (!), but I do love his non- horror fiction.

I so admire his ability to paint a character with just a few words, and this story of a man who goes back in time to try to prevent the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy still captures my imagination.

. . . first gave you the reading bug?

For me, the magic happened when my first grade teacher read us a chapter each day of E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web.

The imagery in that book carried me to the farm with Wilbur the pig and all his barnyard friends, and the emotion in the story made me laugh out loud and brought tears to my eyes.

I was enthralled! That book made me want to learn to be a better reader so I could experience more wonderful stories for myself.

Diane would take Stephen King's 11/22/63 (pictured) to a desert island

Diane would take Stephen King’s 11/22/63 (pictured) to a desert island

Fortunately, my father was an elementary school principal who seemed to have access to a never-ending supply of books. He’d toss a new one on my bed every couple of days, keeping me entertained and intrigued.

Those books, along with Charlotte’s Web, made me want to become a writer as well as a reader. I wanted to be able to touch readers with the same joy and sorrow I felt as I experienced the stories.

. . . left you cold?

I’ll never say. I can’t imagine publicly panning another writer’s hard work. While there are many books I start and never finish, those same books might be someone else’s favourites. I will say that I have to be hooked fairly quickly.

Something in the story has to intrigue me, or mystify me, or make me catch my breath in wonder to keep me reading. It’s my goal to give readers that same experience with my own writing.

  • The Last House On The Street, by Diane Chamberlain, is published by Headline Review, £20.
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