First, what I always considered my Best Book Ever, NIGHTFALL, is on sale today for the excellent price of $2.99.http://amzn.to/1i5GGLW I remember back in .... 1980, I think. I went to my BFF's bridal shower at her aunt's New York apartment. Her aunt is a legend in publishing, but I've known her since I was a child, and she had a lovely husband. Anyway, they asked me how the writing was coming and I told them I had reached my peak. (I'd just finished writing THE DEMON COUNT, which was my best book so far). And then I said cheerfully, "but I expect to have many more peaks." This to John Updike and Julia Child's editor. I was never unduly troubled by humility or even the need to pretend I had some.
I got into trouble over NIGHTFALL again, because I said it was so good it cured cancer. Cancer's a serious business, it's a monster that destroys everything it can. So maybe one should never have a sense of humor about it. But I believe in having a sense of humor about almost everything, and in treating the Big C with complete solemnity gives it more power than it deserves. But I digress.
I really do believe NIGHTFALL, and THE SECRET GARDEN, and THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY (which I've never read) and TWILIGHT (which I have) and Dan Brown books and Sweet Valley High books can cure cancer. Many many years ago a writer named Norman Cousins wrote a book about how positive emotions healed him from a terminal illness. He used Marx Brothers' movies to laugh, bring him joy and hope, and he began to heal.
I think finding the perfect world in a book, Marx Brother's movies, listening to music, dancing, digging in the dirt to grow things, walking in the rain, anything that fills you with joyful emotion will also fill you with endorphins and everything you need to ease pain. When your brain is lost in joy and beauty your body is left in a welcome state to heal from disease and Bad Humours (as they called it in Medieval times). There's no scientific evidence, but then there's no scientific evidence that prayer helps, and yet it's been proven that it does.
And that's enough of a sermon, particularly when you consider how dark and intense and sexual NIGHTFALL is. It's not what everyone would choose for healing, but if it's your cup of tea you can climb inside that world, knowing you and the characters will come out of the experience safely, happily, having survived everything.
And yes, I promised to give you a list of winners, but my son needs a ride to the doctor so I'll be back later with yesterday's winner. (I know, promises promises).
And don't miss NIGHTFALL. It cures all ills.
So sayeth Saint Anne the impeccably demure.