Saturday, July 7, 2007


No post yesterday, because we have houseguests. These visitors are a pleasure, luckily--but many a good story comes from that old template, A Stranger Comes To Town. (Its opposite, Someone Goes On A Journey, is not precisely opposite--in fact, I wrote a novel based on the idea of packing both models into the same story. In it, someone goes on a journey, and when he comes back to town, he's a stranger.)

So what are your favorite Unwanted Guest books? Amazon coughs up a hell of a lot of fiction with "visitor" in the title, including stuff from Anita Brookner, Lee Child, W6 Ithaca neighbor Roger Stern, and, my goodness!, Thomas Kinkade.

Wait, you mean The Painter of Light? That's right, there is a series of novels based on the super magical sparkly world of his paintings. Here's the blurb for A Christmas Visitor, which the arteest wrote with Katherine Spencer:

Molly Willoughby-Harding has a beautiful home, a husband, family, and friends, and a blossoming new business-so why is she unhappy? Just as her life is starting to take off, she's pregnant again-and she's going to have to confront her previous notions of what she truly needs to be happy, in order to recapture that elusive Christmas spirit...

Meanwhile, Miranda Potter has found an injured man who's lost his memory. As she nurses him back to health an unexpected attraction develops. Can Miranda let uncertainty back into her life just as things finally start making sense?

And when Reverend Ben finds a wooden angel statue, word spreads that it holds miraculous powers, turning his peaceful church into a tourist attraction-and making it seem more of a burden then a blessing. But what he discovers is that he's given the people of Cape Light the best Christmas gift of all.

What gift is that then? The gift of childish self-delusion!

My favorite visitors, of course, are aliens, the earth-invading kind--the stealthier, the better. But most of the books on that topic are not terribly awesome, as I've lamented here before. It's the other kind of aliens, though--foreigners, I mean--who seem to scare us the most, so perhaps what we need is a thriller about some Mexicans who are creeping over the border bearing the secret communist health care plans that will destroy America.

I'm not gonna write it, though--I've got houseguests.


zoe said...

There's a really good novel by Michel Faber called "Under the Skin" which deals with strangers and their unreasonable demands. I think it's also quite sci-fi in a rural countryside sort of way.

jrlennon said...

Never heard of it--I will check it out! Rural science fiction is a bold new frontier...