Quick Take Tuesday, a blog of tasteful, yet shameless, self-promotion involving an author or someone of equal social standing. I ask two questions, and then my guest turns the table and asks me two questions, as long as they don’t involve pounds or pant size.
Q) I left out the part about you being really pretty, blonde and vivacious in both your photos and your writing. But I DO want to mention that you are launching your first novel next month. That is SO exciting. Tell me more while I bathe in your beautiful aura.
A) You are so kind. My husband takes all my photos, so I make sure he deletes all the unflattering ones right away! But yes, it’s an exciting time with Riversong’s launch in just a couple of weeks. I’m the poster child for never giving up on your dreams or succumbing when adversity presents itself, which is also one of the central themes of Riversong. After my heroine’s husband commits suicide, she escapes to Southern Oregon, in order to salvage what’s left of her family home so she can sell it to pay off a debt to a dangerous loan shark. Once there, she becomes deeply involved in the community, the fictional town of River Valley, loosely based on the town I grew up in, helping it to reinvent itself into a tourist destination.
Q)I love your Blog. Your writing is so clear, clean and from the heart. And you write about heartache, I mean REAL heartache. Yet your spirit shines through. I could see shopping for shoes with you and then discussing character arc over Caesar salads. How do you do it?
A) I would adore shopping for shoes and talking about writing over salads! But, in all honesty, I wasn’t entirely comfortable with the blogging concept when my publisher suggested it. However, my goal is to be a working novelist that can support a family and I understand you have to put yourself out there in order for readers to find you. But I had to figure out first, what is my blog for, what is my intention with it? I ultimately decided that when my readers gift me with five minutes of their valuable time, I want to give them something in return, a little gem that hopefully inspires them and carries them into the rest of their day feeling a little more energized for whatever challenges await them. I’m completely transparent in my posts because authenticity about your own difficulties and triumphs conveys that we are not alone in our human experience, which I believe is the most important thing we can do as writers.
//BUZZER NOISE AND SOUND OF TABLE BEING TURNED//
Q) Okay, your turn, Laura. Your novel, Finding Clarity, has a dwarf as one of the main characters. How did you come about that?
A) My own son who’s now 15, was born with serious medical issues. I know what it’s like to live life through that lens and I wanted to include that in my fiction (my essays and first chapters of Finding Clarity can be found here on Scribd). Max’s issues weren’t visible on the outside. But I once worked with an editor whose son has achondroplasia, meaning he’s a dwarf. She was one of the nastiest women I’ve ever worked with. And I didn’t want to believe that it was due to the strain that they might have experienced with his medical issues. So, I wanted to re-write her “character” and make her a mom who was feisty yet loving and supportive to the people around her. This was a chance for me to rework my experience of this woman.
Q) Your son is nearly 16. That means both your lives are changing rapidly. Does your writing keep pace with that?
A) You know, I remember the day my husband told me that he could no longer hold Max with just one arm but he had to put the other hand under his butt. I think that would have been around the 6-week mark. Now, we’re looking at colleges. We just visited UCLA and your alma mater, USC. All I know is that there is going to be a thundering silence in this house when Max is gone. I dearly hope that writing will patch some of the holes for me. And that maybe I’ll be able to dig deeper into life. The good thing about having the two boys in my novel, Zach and Zeppo, is that I can bring them right along their mom, Clari Drake, in the mystery series I have already begun.
//BUZZER NOISE AND SOUND OF INCREDIBLY LOUD APPLAUSE//
Thank you for joining me on Quick Take Tuesday, pretty, vivacious multi-tasker, Tess Hardwick, author of Riversong! www.tesshardwick.com. Please come back and fill me up, so to speak, with some of your work for my Friday Feature!