|Memoirist, Lori Johnstone|
It's true– I'm a blogger! I highly enjoy writing for the GreeleyMoms, part of the Greeley Tribune. I also add to Live N Write (where you currently roam) as much as I can, yet I'm not quite an author...
I have plans to change that once I get my writer's legs under me. In terms of development, I would place myself at toddler level–my will is strong, yet there is a gap between intention and execution.
So before I fill you in on what I've been working on and how I'm strengthening my writerly muscles, let me introduce you to an exceptional human being with talent AND integrity, who was the previous link in the author blog tour chain.
A co-blogger at the Tribune, and creator of the Sean Coleman mystery series, John Daly has been kind enough to pass the torch my way in this blog tour. "From a Dead Sleep", his first novel, has often been described as an engaging mystery with well developed characters. One reviewer has even related it to a cross between the hit television series, "The Sopranos" and an old black and white detective movie, adding that it had much better dialogue. He also writes political commentary for Bernardgoldberg.com.
|Author, John A. Daly|
You can visit John's site and click on the blog link to learn about what the future holds for John's readers and more about his writing life.
As for me, a little history for you;
The notion to begin writing started when I suddenly had time to savor a few thoughts. My children were finally school age and I began to write the story that had been forming in my mind as I did menial tasks around the house. This book was a paranormal fiction about a neuroscientist who stumbles upon a part of the brain that would change humanity's understanding of the afterlife. I joked that this was a way to use that psychology degree of mine, the one lying dormant so I could focus on my family.
Entitled,"The Turquoise and Violet Sky," I set this one aside due to the necessity of tackling the processes of consciousness, known as one of the most difficult problems in science today. After becoming stuck over the mechanics of the story, not to mention the reality of my sloppy initial attempt, I decided to let it rest...but I've had a really hard time letting it go.
"Shadow Fields" came along in my imaginative life when I realized I should be writing something else. After googling the name of the book, I realized there was another one out there with the same name.
While this wasn't enough to deter me from the title or protagonist name, (the other character happened to be an investment banker, and mine a teenager with the ability to see demons as colored smoke) it was the words dished out at a critique panel–at my first writer's conference–that did this one in. From the first page of my work, the panel felt that Shadow was too 'high-minded' to be a teen. I had to agree. Also, my childhood pain began calling out to me in a very physical way, which leads me to my current project, and the tour questions.
a) What are you working on now?
I'm working on a memoir centering around resiliency, it's about survival, but it's also about how the many layers of living a life end up making us who we are. What one person labels naivety in another may be that individual's coping mechanism created to live another day. In the end, however, after all of the metaphorical blows, there has to be a sort of enlightenment with and accepting of the truth. Acknowledgement and monitoring yourself is the only way to keep abusive cycles from passing on to the next generation. I call this project, "Born in May".
b) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I believe that every life is worthy of introspection to allow the chance to grow. Every life is a menagerie of pain and triumph, of players that are not always the bad guy. My book is hard to pin down to one specific theme, as it can easily be about mental health including ADD, Autism, Aspergers, Anxiety, Depression, and PTSD, and childhood emotional neglect. It also hints of personality disorders converging–Narcissim, Borderline, and Sociopathy, and also some sad surprises, as if that isn't enough.
c) Why do I write what I do?
I have always been the sort of person who believes in a higher power, but also a higher purpose. I have no idea why I chose to take Psychology in college, except that I found it interesting and it came easily to me. No one had much faith in me, including our school psychologist. Furthermore, it was beyond anyone to know what was going on under the surface of what this little girl was showing to the world.
My husband asked me once, "What do you want to do when you start working?" I blurted without thinking, "to help people" and so I know the answer was made up of the same substance as my soul. It's as simple as that–to help people–with the added necessity of helping myself for the first time.
d) How does my writing process work?
At this point, I haven't been able to adhere to a consistent writing time, but I like to write at 10am, and I like to read a bit on the art of writing first. Right now I'm reading, "Writing down the Bones" by Natalie Goldberg, and since it's made up of short passages, I can read one everyday before I write and become inspired.
I have also, as a memoirist, been inspired by Beth Kephart reading "Handling the Truth," and Marion Roach Smith, especially her book, "The Memoir Project." Both of these ladies have been teaching memoir for decades, and have a lengthy writing history.
Well that does it for me, sometime next week or earlier (depending on how keen she is) expect a post from this author;
Gina Salamon, a fast friend in my short foray into critique groups, is a member of the Romance Writers of America. She also subscribes to International Thriller Writer, Inc. On the left is the cover for "Sleepless," the first installment in her cold case series. Besides this series, she is hard at work on a heartwarming Christmas story. You can check out her blog while expecting her post in response to mine sometime next week. Thanks, Gina!