Guest Post: Patricia Sands, Author of “The Promise of Provence”

Today, I have the honor of welcoming Patricia Sands, a Boomer Lit author, to my blog. Patricia is the author of the newly-released The Promise of Provence.

I just finished reading The Promise of Provence today, and I found it to be terrific, full of surprises and a richly character-driven novel with beautiful descriptions of France. If you’ve ever entertained the idea of visiting the south of France, I highly recommend this book. It will certainly lure you into making the decision to do so. It’s a wonderful story of love and loss and finding happiness in unpredictable ways, and throughout the message is “what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.”

Here’s Patricia!

Music

Music and writing: what works for you?

There is an ongoing discussion on this topic. Some writers prefer silence to concentrate, while others crank up the decibels to find inspiration. Then, of course, there are the in-betweeners, happiest when soft background sounds bring calm to their creativity.

Whether the writer is a plotter or pantser, did not seem to factor into the equation, when I queried some other authors.

I seem to make my decision based on what I am writing at the moment and how easily it is coming to me. There are days when I turn on the music first and let it guide me to where I want to go. At other times, I am so focused on what I want to say, that I forget to put any music on. Those are generally the days when I find myself still in my nightgown at noon!

When I was writing The Bridge Club, the time frame of the story spanned from the 1960’s through to 2010. What a trip down memory lane! There’s no question that the tunes playing as I wrote each section contributed greatly to bringing back the reminiscences I needed in order to write the story.

I began with Bob Dylan, Gord Lightfoot, and their cronies and worked through the Beatles, Stones, and Woodstock era, Motown, the Eagles, Leonard Cohen, the Tragically Hip, Elton John, the Eurythmics, U2, Coldplay, Diana Krall, Alicia Keys, Kelly Clarkson.

The songs from such different times and places had the power to evoke the same emotions as then and bring memories flooding back.

As the characters aged in that story, there were definitely days when my choices leaned more to classical and jazz. Somehow though, our Boomer generation has never abandoned the musical history we experienced in our younger years. The proliferation of ‘oldies’ radio stations bears testament to that and this was definitely the music that most inspired my words. At times the music relaxed me and at other times it was invigorating.

When I began writing The Promise of Provence, we were living in France for five months and I listened to a great deal of French music. My greatest discovery was Zaz, a young woman with an eclectic Gypsy jazz style that I found energizing. You can find her at http://www.zazofficial.com/.

Since I was also writing about the pain and joy of romance, Adele was another constant companion.  When I typed “The End” I almost felt I should list her as a contributor!

There are most certainly times when music is my muse. What would you say?

the promise of provenceSurprise, shock, and a shift in life as she knows it tumble into Katherine Price’s world when least expected. The future she envisioned suddenly vanishes, leaving little to focus on beyond her career and the caregiving her elderly widowed mother might require.

Fate has other plans for Katherine.

June in Provence is full of promise when Katherine arrives from Canada, eager to feel renewed by her surroundings. Endless rows of lavender prepare to burst into pink and purple blooms. Fields of sunflowers flow in golden waves among vineyards and olive groves. Ancient hilltop villages beckon. It’s the postcard setting she envisioned, but is that all she needs?

After a year of heartbreak, Katherine has impulsively agreed to a home exchange in the south of France. Colorful locals, a yellow lab named Picasso, and the inspiring beauty of the countryside breathe new life into her days.

Seeking to shed the pain of betrayal and loss, she struggles to recapture her joie de vivre and searches for the answer to a haunting question: is it too late to begin again?

As Katherine explores the romantic cobblestone lanes of medieval towns, the beautiful boulevards of Paris and the sun-kissed Mediterranean coast of the Côte d’Azur, unimagined possibilities present themselves.

An enduring story of hope and change in life’s later years is woven through the author’s love-letter to France. Like a well-travelled friend, Patricia Sands invites readers into a world she loves and entices them to linger.

“Be prepared to fall in love with Provence! This is a story that will draw you in with its vibrancy in setting and characters. A must read for any woman with a desire for romance and travel.” Steena Holmes, author of Amazon bestseller Finding Emma

Buy The Promise of Provence on Amazon:
USA / UK / FR / CAN

Visit Patricia Sands online:

http://www.patriciasandsauthor.com

http://www/patriciasands.wordpress.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eight Words That Empowered Me to Become a Writer

Today, it is my pleasure to introduce guest blogger Carol Fragale Brill. Carol has just released her novel, Peace by Piece. I am excited to read it, as it sounds like a storyline I will enjoy, and isn’t it a clever title?

Front Cover.4075736 Final UTO BookBabySix years after fleeing college and Thomas’s betrayal, Maggie has nearly given up on love. Enter Izzie, a motherless eight year old, and every maternal instinct kicks-in. There is not the first love thrill with Izzie’s dad, but Maggie lets herself believe loving Izzie will be enough to finally lock Thomas out of her heart.

Dealing with unshakable first love, family, relationships, the difficulties of being a step-parent–all overshadowed by the curse of anorexia and bulimia–Peace by Piece is ultimately about hope and second chances.

Lynn, thank you for the opportunity to visit and talk a little about my writing journey and the support of other writers–like you!

About 15 years ago, when I started writing my novel, Peace by Piece, I had no creative writing experience, had never attempted to compose even a short story, or taken a single creative writing course.

I was such a newbie, I didn’t know what I didn’t know—or that what I didn’t know could fill a bookcase. What I did know is that there was a book inside me that longed to be written—a not-yet-imagined story burning to get out.

By the time I finally joined a writing critique group, I had fantasied about writing a book for 20 something years. Empty-handed at my first meeting, the other writers urged me to draft something to read at the next meeting. Two weeks later, I timidly read the three handwritten pages it had taken me hours to write. Our meeting host, a kindly writer named Herb asked, “Where do you want to go with that?” Eight simple words, yet somewhere from the depths of my uncertainty those eight words empowered me to blurt out, “I want to write a book!”

Now mind you, I had just read three dreadfully over-written, scribbly pages—if they had been typed, they would barely have filled one double-spaced page.  Yet, Herb didn’t laugh, or say you must be kidding, or (and this would have been warranted) your writing stinks. He smiled reassuringly and said, “Good, you’ve got a start. Now, one page at a time, write your book.”

That night, if Herb or any of the other writers had been truthful about the sorry state of my writing, they could have shattered my writer’s ego. It might have taken me years to find the courage to try again. But, those writers knew I was a newbie and it wasn’t their job to tell me whether I did or did not have talent, or how much my writing needed to improve. (Later in my writing journey, as I gained some self-confidence and thickened my writer’s- skin, there would be plenty of opportunities for feedback like that!)

Instead, Herb and the others simply encouraged me to keep writing.

Developing as a writer, completing a novel, and facing down the publishing process has been daunting at times.  More than once, I have asked myself, “If I knew then what I know now, would I have even tried?”

I will always be grateful for Herb’s simple words of encouragement, inspiring me to page by page write Peace by Piece—and nudging me, word by word, to become the best writer I can be.

How about you—any shout-outs to other writers whose feedback has impacted you?

Carol Fragale Brill’s novel, Peace by Piece is available at:

Createspacehttps://www.createspace.com/4075736

Amazon: Paperback:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/0615741010

Amazon e-book:  http://www.amazon.com/Peace-by-Piece-ebook/dp/B00B9H5IC8/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1361361695&sr=1-1&keywords=carol+brill

Blog/Website: http://4broadminds.blogspot.com/

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Carol-Fragale-Brill/112297472164769

Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6924892.Carol_Fragale_Brill

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17339184-peace-by-piece

Other:  http://www.nyjournalofbooks.com/reviewer/carol-brill

Email:  carolfragalebrill@comcast.net

Carol-001 - 188 x 250 72 ppiCarol earned her MFA in Creative Writing from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Poets and Writers named her fiction the 2010 Maureen Egen Writer’s Exchange first runner-up, A novel excerpt turned short story was selected as a favorite for the Philadelphia Stories Anthology. She writes book reviews for New York Journal of Books. Her work has also been published in Wide Array, Philadelphia Stories, and The Press of Atlantic City. Find her blog at www.4broadminds.blogspot.com/