Monday, June 11, 2012

See Ya Later, Skeeter

Well, good morning. Tons of stuff going on in my little world and I thought I'd share before I took off for the summer.

As most of you know, we bought a new house. We're closing on it this Friday and then I will begin the frenzy of packing and moving. Hence, Piedmont Writer will be going dark, quite possibly for the remainder of the summer. Between the move, and then the clean and repaint the old house, I've also thrown three weeks at the beach into the mix just seems like it would be wise to call it a day over here.

However, because I've republished my novel, REMEMBERING YOU under the name of Robynne Rand, I decided to start up a blog under that name.

You can find that one here.  The picture is one I found on the Commons. It's a view from the fire tower in Tiverton, where I used to live in Rhode Island. That's Mount Hope Bridge in the background.

Anyway, I post over there on Thursday, just Thursday. It's very quiet, and exceedingly laid back. I think it's my alter ego, you know the part of me that isn't going eight million miles an hour in fourteen different directions. I'd love it if you could take a swing by. I'll be posting until the computer moves from one house to the other (have to rewire the office).

I'm also still posting on my Regency website Anne Gallagher. So if you know anyone who's interested in reading about Regency romance, by all means send them over. I post there only on Sunday.

I'm getting into the S-L-O-W blogger manifesto. Anne R. Allen has finally convinced me that it's okay to relax in the blogosphere. Of course that doesn't help with the promotion and marketing. Because I did so quietly in the beginning, it seems now I need to tweak things a bit, so I've been doing a little bit more of that lately. Coming up with pitches, and blurbs, and press releases is just really time consuming. Not to mention scouring the internet for book reviewers.

If any of you would like to review any of my books, by all means, give me a shout. I'd be happy to send you a copy. shoreroadpublishing at gmail dot com.

Anyway, that's what I'm doing, that's where I am and when. I'm not going to be back at Piedmont until the Monster starts school again.

Have a great summer everyone! I'll miss you.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Me and Bru Talk Books

February Grace, (Bru to those who know and love her around these parts), and I decided to do a little book swap, as we both have novels out. She's doing a quick Q & A for my REMEMBERING YOU on her blog (which you can find here if you want to swing by) and I'm doing a review and Q & A for her book GODSPEED.

This is my 5 star review I put up on Amazon.
       What does one say when one reads such a profound and amazing book? GODSPEED is like nothing I have ever read before – part Frankenstein, part love story, part memoir – it is all these things and more.

       When Abigail is dismissed from the only home she’s ever known and winds up in the street, the kindness of a stranger thrusts her into a strange fantastical world of one whom can only be called a “mad scientist.” Quinn Godspeed, with his brilliant mind and strange devices, saves Abigail from a weak heart. Without him and his “electric” shocks, she would die.

        However, as Abigail comes to love him, she finds Quinn Godspeed is not a man so easily loved. He pushes her away for ethical reasons, he’s her physician after all, yet, it seems Abigail means more to him than he lets on. Unfortunately, there is another person who loves Quinn as well, and jealousy cannot be quelled. Not until the end of the book do we see the whole story unfold.

        February Grace has done an incredible job of keeping us spellbound within the context of the mythical town of Fairever. Her prose is elaborate, but not purple; each and every sentence captivates and forms pictures in the mind. Pain, despair, hope, and in the end, joy, washes over you as the story draws you in. Part Victorian steampunk, the detail with which Grace writes about the machines is superb. The despair in which she feels her unrequited love for Godspeed made me weep. And the physical pain with which she writes, not only from Abigail’s point of view, but the other children as well, only shows how strong a character can be if modeled from personal experience.

         If I could give this book 10 stars, I would. I look forward to reading so much more from February Grace.
And let me tell you what, I wish I had something else from Bru to read right now. I cannot believe how such a "BIG" book, came out of such a tiny woman. I truly could go on ad nauseum about GODSPEED, I really did like it that much. But I won't, I'll only tell you to get yourself a copy and read it. You won't be disappointed.

Here are a couple of quick questions that Bru graciously anwered for me.

1) I've read almost all of the interviews you've done for GODSPEED, and cannot wrap my mind around that you wrote it while in pain and (at times) blind. In processing Abigail's character, did you take from your own personal experiences in the hospital?

My characters always do the talking but there is no denying that my experiences with all those surgeries and medical testing I've had in the past twenty years of my life have played into making Abigail who she is, and lent a certain weight of realism to her voice. At times I didn't even realize it, it was a subconscious thing.
After my husband read one scene he said to me, 'I bet you got the inspiration for the descriptions of her pain in that from that nerve conduction testing you had done years ago.'  I thought, huh, maybe he's right but I didn't consciously do that.  Nerve conduction testing is excruciating by the way- it is like being set on fire from the inside. Even doctors who'd had it themselves went pale with sympathy when I spoke to them of it.
I also remembered that my beloved Grandmother, who had a pacemaker the last few years of her life and despised it, told me once without going into detail how painful getting shocked with paddles was when her heart had stopped before they put it in. So I think that Abigail, like all my characters, tell me who they are but they draw from things in my own head and heart that at times I can't even figure out until much later on.

2) Are the children in the book part of this same processing from personal experience?

One of the teenagers in the book was very vaguely inspired by someone I met in real life once, but I won't reveal which one. Aside from a few shared traits they are very different, the real person and the character.  Obviously, when I wrote about Marielle's vision loss I had a lot to draw on personally. So the answer to that would be some, to some extent but this is after all fiction and not memoir. I'll write my memoir someday, it's on my 'to-do' list somewhere right after 'die'.

3) There is one character who is a revelation at the end of the book-- where did that come from? I mean I did not see that twist coming.

Neither did I, not at all. In fact, when I realized where the story and the character were going, I actually stood up and then sat back down and had to catch my breath. It was like seeing a real person evolve before your eyes- when you see someone is not who you thought they were and you understand them on so many levels after that. It was a moment of understanding, and there was something that character had to say, and I couldn't stop until the story had been told. I know which character you mean (I don't want to give it away for those who haven't yet read the book) and all I can tell you is that I love that character dearly.

(Don't you just love it when characters 'speak' so clearly?)

4) I know you've had recent publication for your poetry, and now GODSPEED, is there anything else in the works? I for one can't wait to read something new from you.

Thank you, you are very kind. Yes, I've been very fortunate to be published for the first time this year, first in The Rusty Nail literary magazine, then in Vine Leaves Literary Journal and just a few weeks ago in Rose &Thorn, where they were kind enough to also show one of my paintings that accompanied the prose piece. Then as you said GODSPEED, and the future?

Well I'm not working on a new novel right now-- I am actually taking stock of myself, my life, and where my writing is going and I know that at some point I want to do a collection of poetry and perhaps one of short stories. I wrote a screenplay a couple of years ago that I would really love to turn into a novel, too.

Right now there's a lot going on with me health-wise, and I am about to move so I'm not writing as much as I'd like, but hopefully in a while that will be set right. One thing I can tell you is that there is no planned sequel for GODSPEED. I know everything seems to be a series these days, but to me this book stands alone and to write a sequel would take away from the ending. Which means that I get to miss the characters horribly. And I do.

Aren't we an odd sort us writers? Missing people who only exist in our heads? Well, at least until we send them out into the world-- that's the greatest reward, isn't it, when they get to take up a little space in the minds, and hearts, of other people. I couldn't agree more.

Thank you so much Anne for hosting me today.

It has been my absolute pleasure.

You can find GODSPEED here for Amazon.

You can also find GODSPEED here for paperback.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Friday's at the Piedmont Grille

Well, today is just a quick little post. I had nothing planned and after driving to Virginia on Wednesday to pick up my mother, I've just been exhausted. Nothing like missing an exit and having to drive back 25 exits to the right one, and then spending 4 hours trapped in a car with my mother. Woo hoo.

Anyway, in case you didn't know, and most of you didn't, I released ROMANCING LADY RYDER a couple of days ago.

You can find it here on Amazon. I need a couple more days for it to go to Smashwords for all you I Pad, Apple, Sony peeps.

I also made a book trailer for THE LADY'S FATE. I don't know why I made one for that particular book considering it's been out for 6 months, but it was fun to do, and I thought it came out pretty good.

You can find that here.

And last but not least, on Monday I have February Grace over for an interview. I just read her debut novel GODSPEED, and let me tell you what, it's nothing like I've ever read before. (Because mainly, I don't read steampunk and Victorian romances.) But I'll save all that for Monday. I really hope you'll stop by.

So that's my Friday. Hope you all have a great weekend!