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?
Six 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:
Amazon: Paperback: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0615741010
Carol 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/