When I hear someone can’t sleep, I often feel bad for them. Isn’t sleep the one thing we just never seem to get enough of in our busy lives? But as an author sleepless nights are your goal…for your reader that is (okay it often happens to the author trying to finish by a deadline too).
A mark of a good book to me is when I just can’t put it down, and you are willing (or forced) to stay up in the wee hours of the morning trying to finish it. Although the next day I’m a wreck, I love those kind of books that beckon you to stay to the very end. I’ve had a lot of books that have contributed to my lack of sleep. The most recent was Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I forced myself to put it down so I could make it through work the next day, but then I found myself reading during lunch to try to finish, and then I would read a page at every stop light on the way back to work (I promise I didn’t drive and read, only at complete stops). Another memorable book was The Help. I read that book while I was visiting my parents in Kentucky and I stayed up till three or four a couple of nights, and read while I was drying my hair, brushing my teeth (I stopped short of reading in the shower).
Books like that can be exasperating, but they are the good ones in my opinion. So when someone tells me they stayed up all night to finish my book, that’s the ultimate compliment. Sure, I’m contributing to the loss of sleep of an already sleep deprived world, but it’s all in the name of a good story. So here’s to more sleepless nights, hopefully due to The Kings of Charleston.