My dad used to comment from time to time, not always fondly, that there was no talking to me when I had my nose in a book. I think my husband would alter the statement these days: there's no talking to me when I have my nose in WRITING a book. When things start to click I disappear into my office and pay no attention to what anyone else is doing. I bring pages of editing to the breakfast table, unable to delay the process until after cereal. In the passenger seat when we travel I work on grids of timelines, character descriptions, and indecipherable notes to self. I'm sure he'd like to bop me on the forehead sometimes and say, "I'm here!"

I can't explain it, and luckily, my family is pretty tolerant. The same thrill I used to get (and still do sometimes) from reading a great book now comes from trying to write a great book. Whether I'm escaping into fiction or out of daily concerns is moot. It's escape, and I love it.

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