UPDATE 5/17: Winner has been chosen. Congrats, Melissa!
I’m delighted to introduce award-winning author Kathleen Shoop to the Ladies Who Critique blog!
Kathleen is the author of THE LAST LETTER, which sat on the Kindle bestseller list last summer selling more than 50,000 copies and winning 8 awards. Her latest historical fiction novel, AFTER THE FOG is set in the steel mill town of Donora, Pennsylvania, site of the infamous 1948 “killing smog.” It’s out now to purchase, or you could win a copy simply by leaving a comment below!* If you are chosen as the winner, I’ll send the book right out to you and you can curl up with it next weekend.
*This comp is open to US residents only. Sorry folks outside of the US! I try not to make a habit of doing US only contests but shipping costs sometimes dictate that.
About AFTER THE FOG:
Rose Pavlesic is a straight-talking, gifted nurse who is also controlling and demanding. She has to be to ensure her life is mistake-free and to create a life for her children that reflects everything she missed as an orphaned child. Rose has managed to keep her painful secrets buried in her past, away from her loving husband—who she discovers has secrets of his own—their dutiful children and their large extended, complicated family.
But, as a stagnant weather cycle works to trap poisonous gasses from the three mills in town, Rose’s nursing career thrusts her into a conflict of interest she never could have fathomed—putting the lives of her loved ones at risk. As the fog thickens, Rose’s neighbors are dying; thousands of people in the community are becoming increasingly ill. Rose is faced with decisions that can destroy her carefully constructed House of Pavlesic and reveal its true character.
7 Quick Fire Questions:
1. City Gal or Country Bumpkin? –City Gal who’d love to be a Country Bumpkin! I love magazines like Mary Jane’s Farm. I’m fascinated with people who have gardens and vegetables and live, even partially, off their own earth. I’m as far away from being that woman as a person can be!
2. Fave food? Pasta—seafood and pasta—put them together and I’m a happy lady.
3. Favorite place on earth? Kiawah Island—when my car circles onto the main drag and we head toward the gates, I lose every ounce of stress I have!
4. Combination of men to create your dream man? Leonardo DiCaprio, Randy Pausch (alive, of course), Mike Greenberg
5. If I gave you a superpower, what would it be? To turn back time
6. Would You Rather… Give up your computer or your car? Car, definitely! I often think if I shrunk my existence down to places I could walk, things would get real simple real fast…then I realize that’s another fantasy for me, right up there with being a farm girl. Living in the suburbs is no place to be car-less!
7. What would you buy with an extra $100 right now? New shoes
3 Expert Tips! Three Tips for Writers
1. Never forget the joy you get out of writing. Bring that sensation to the keyboard and it will help you forget about all the people judging the work later.
2. Immerse yourself in the backstory. I don’t mean to tell everything in the characters’ backstory, but surround yourself with the things the characters might find beautiful, utilitarian, awful. Just having one item my characters might have used helps me find the core of who they are.
3. Fall in love with revision and critique. The trick is finding people who can read your work and understand what you’re trying to do scene by scene. Then they can tell you what’s working and what isn’t. Having readers wrench the book into a vision you don’t have is not helpful. I want my book to be as strong as possible, but I want it to be mine! When you have that relationship with a reader you know when they say “this works,” that it does and when they say, “this is not doing what you think it is,” that you need to go back into the text.
You’ve got to be in it to win it! Leave a comment
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