I do a lot of radio and radio/TV (where a static photo of me appears on the screen while I'm interviewed from my desk at home speaking into the phone while wearing pajamas). I go to fairs, festivals, signings and in all these venues I'm asked, "What is your book about?"
I try not to crack wise and say, "Oh, just about everything: life, love, hate, death, fear, triumph, tragedy -- you name it, it's in my writing." Which is true, but that's too throwaway. Better to say, "It's a murder mystery, with thriller elements like when the vengeful bad guy is revealed and gets in a gun battle with Dru and Lake, my heroine and hero." Not too illuminating, either, you say?
If I don't come up with a better answer, the questioner (host) will come up with a more pointed question. "Tell us the story, the plot."
"Ah," I say, but don't explain that the plot is a device that tells what the book is about: life, love, hate, death, fear, triumph, tragedy. It's the backbone that supports the characters motivations. So I launch into the plot of my latest, Running with Wild Blood. "It's about an outlaw biker club that is accused of murdering a young girl. The case goes cold when the cops don't solve it right away, but then a few years later a witness regains his memory of that night, and ..."
What the book is about is a young teen, Juliet Trapp, coming into the fullness of life, thinking it's a thrill-a-minute and she's immortal, juxtaposed against her friend, Bunny Raddison. who learns too soon that life is full of grief born of her own desires and fears.
We learn along the way, in this fifth book in the series, more about Moriah Dru and Richard Lake, and who the other characters are, their visions, why they've taken the path in life that they have. Even how some look death in the face and triumph.
Gerrie Ferris Finger