Tag A Book Monday Meme

Tag a book? ONE book? –Oh, three books; that’s more like it.

I’ve been tagged by the lovely, charming, courageous, funny, and multi-talented Jo Robinson, so I’ll begin by showing you one of her books. This doesn’t count as one of my three. It does not! Shut up!

For many years Suzette has managed very well to live her life without actually taking part in it, avoiding any possibility of pain by very carefully ignoring reality. Until something happens. Something so terrible that she has no choice but to abandon her cocoon of safety.
After the brutal beating of an elderly domestic worker, Suzette takes her in, and sets off a chain of events that leads to devastating heartbreak. And an unexpected hero changes everything. Finally finding her voice, she speaks out, and her world explodes, culminating in the death of a very special man.

On her path to make amends, she discovers the story of his life, connects with the people of his past, and finds the chance to fully live her life once again if that’s what she chooses to.

Thank you for tagging me, Jo, and for all your wonderful posts.

The rules of this tag are to answer the following four writing questions, and then tag three other authors. Next week, March 17, 2014, these three authors will answer the same questions if they want to, and tag three others, and so the chain continues to grow larger. This will enable readers to get to know more authors and their books. It will also allow everyone to get to know these authors a little better.

1.  What are you currently working on?

Rewrites of two previously published books, two cozy series, a bunch of short stories. I’m gearing up for the A-to-Z blog challenge, in which participants blog every day in April except Sunday. I blog every day anyway, so my challenge is to keep ’em short so other participants have time to read ’em. I might do Story-A-Day in May again this year. That was fun!

2.  How does your work differ from others in the same genre?

I like to think I go a little deeper than the surface of the tropes of whatever genre I’m working in. I like to think I get into the individuality of my characters and the specifics of my setting so that something unique grows inside the generic structure.

3.  Why do you write what you do?

‘Cause. That’s the short answer. The longer answer is that I write what I do because of everything I’ve ever read, done, experienced, heard, felt, or thought about. Asking why I write what I do is a bit like asking me why I choose to breathe air. It’s that or nothing.

4.  How does your writing process work?

With a piece of grit. Something starts the process: a character jumps into my head, or I hear or think of a catchy piece of dialog, or I see a place that intrigues me, or I read about something that starts my thinking, or I’m told about a call for submissions on a particular theme. I mess with that piece of grit for a while, turning it over and over and thinking about it, pulling bits out of the rag bag that passes for my mind, until there’s enough to start writing. After that, it’s a balancing act between free-writing and outlining until I have a rough draft. Once I have the rough draft, it’s shape and polish, shape and polish, shape and polish. I have a critique group and several beta readers, and then I send it out to be edited.

Now it’s time to Tag A Book

I picked books I love AND whose authors have an active internet presence, so you can go look ’em over as well as read their work.

1.  The Life and Death (but mostly the death) of Erica Flynn by Sara Marian

I truly love this book. Sara is my #4 Daughter, and I was there when she first got the idea for this book. I was there when she was speed-writing her rough draft. I got to hear her talk herself through rough spots and rewrites. I’d like to take all the credit for this book, because it’s just so good, but I can’t; all I can do is read it and wish I’d written it myself! She’s talking about a sequel, and I can’t wait!

Erica Flynn never expected to die in a car crash just minutes after a fight with her husband, Dominic. But then, a modern, down-to-earth skeptic like Erica never expected to end up in an afterlife somewhere between Greek mythology and quantum theory gone haywire. Despite the allure of the Underworld and a happy reunion with her deceased Uncle Jeff, Erica can’t rest in peace until she resolves her fight with Dominic.

Just when it looks like haunting a medium might give her a chance, Hades–ruler of the capitol city of the Underworld–forbids her to make contact with the Upper World again. Against all advice (which is how Erica usually does things), she pits herself against Hades and faces the treacherous road back to the Land of the Living, determined to make things right.

2. The Sky Behind Me by Byron Edgington

My idea of a great plane ride is an imaginary one. So imagine my astonishment at how much I enjoyed this memoir of a career helicopter pilot. From his first adoring close encounter with an aircraft to his heartbreaking decision to retire, I was with him all the way on a journey I wouldn’t have taken myself in a billion years. People, that’s writing!

In The Sky Behind Me, a Memoir of Flying and Life the author overcomes a childhood setback to find a career in aviation, a position that allows him to soar. The author’s childhood aim is to be a Catholic priest. Abused by a member of the clergy, he is dismissed from the seminary. Drafted out of college in 1969, he enters Army helicopter flight school and serves in Vietnam. After the war he finds work in commercial aviation where his compassion, humor and skill converge for a marvelous career. With a helicopter, he herds bears in Alaska, flies VIPs in Ohio, counts power poles, hovers across O’Hare airport at rush hour, reports news and traffic in several midwestern cities, rescues more than 3,000 medical patients in Iowa and winds up his career flying tourists around the island of Kauai. The Sky Behind Me is rich with human stories, tales of loss, fear, insight and surprise, tragedy and triumph from the unique perspective of more than 12,000 hours in a helicopter cockpit.

3.  Anything by Bodie Parkhurst

Oh, let’s just pick one at random. How about … oh … Past Lives.

Heartbreaking to joyful, it’s cleansing and healing to follow this writer’s journey through these vicarious (or allegorical?) explorations of experiences of one person’s oppression by another.

A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: Pick three books you love and write down why you love them.

MA

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About

I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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