Friday, October 2, 2015

The Dollhouse in the Crawlspace by Ellen Byerrum (VB, excerpt, and GIVEAWAY) GFT






It is my pleasure to have a guest post by author Ellen Byerrum as she answers the question...

ELF: What scares you the most or makes you happiest about writing?


Writing: The Fear and the Joy

by Ellen Byerrum


Writing isn’t usually dangerous, but it can be scary.

When I settle down to write, I try to not to think about the multitude of opportunities ahead for fear. For starters, there are 400+ blank pages to fill. That’s a lot. For some reason, this reminds me of Barbara Stanwyck in the great old movie Ball of Fire
, looking at all the books in Gary Cooper’s library. “Wow,” she says. “Lot of books! All different?”

When beginning the first page of the first chapter of a new book, I try not to worry about my ability to fill the remaining 399 pages. All different. What if I can’t do it this time? Can I sustain the plot, the characters, and the suspense through all those pages? And the largest concern: Does the story work?

Thinking too much about those things can introduce a brand new fear—the fear of waking up one morning and realizing you’ve got nothing. You can’t write. You’re blocked.

In my opinion, not all writer’s blocks are the same, nor do they come from the same source. Sometimes you can be blocked from sheer exhaustion. It’s hard to write when you are wiped out from the race to finish the last book on deadline, followed by all the promotion that is expected of you. Basically you have poured all the contents of your head, heart and soul onto the page and you are, temporarily, an empty vessel. Maybe you have ideas to write, but somehow you just can’t get them down. You’re blocked.

Or you’re blocked because the story isn’t working. But maybe it is working and you can’t see it. Or maybe it’s almost working and it just needs a jumpstart. Hopefully one of the many strategies you’ve perfected will kick in. Strategies that might be as simple as throwing out a scene, starting in a different part of the story, such as the climax, working backwards from a major plot element, or just renaming a key character.

Luckily, most of the time it works out. Facing your writing fears and moving forward to the finish eventually results in a book. I’ll refrain from hitting some of the other obvious fears: Will the book be published? Will it sell? Will readers like it? Will you ever write another? So many fears, so little time.

When you finish, you reap the rewards. Which brings me to:

The Joys of Writing

The compensations of writing are sweet.

Finishing the book feels wonderful. Each and every time. It’s a big accomplishment. A book is the tangible result of your work, something you can hold in your hands. It’s great to see your book in print, and on the bookstore and library shelves. It’s even sweeter to hear from your readers about what they liked, what they want to see in the future.

Now, creating fictional worlds and writing books is not that important in the scheme of things. After all, it’s not a cure for cancer. And yet. . . I’ve had readers, people facing serious illness and long-term treatment or terrible sorrow, who have let me know how much they relied on my books to help them through difficult times. It humbles me. That’s perhaps the biggest joy of writing. 






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by Ellen Byerrum

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GENRE: Suspense/Thriller

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BLURB:

If you lost your memories, would you lose your soul?

“In my memories, my eyes are always green.”

After a devastating accident, a young woman finds herself recovering in a memory research facility. Her eyes are brown; her memories are broken. Years of her life are blank, yet she remembers being two very different women, one called Tennyson, the other Marissa. If she can’t trust her memories or her own eyes, who can she trust? To save her sanity and her life, she begins a secret journal between the lines of Homer’s Odyssey—and her own harrowing odyssey into madness and murder. Lost among her shattered memories, can she find her true self?


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EXCERPT


In my memories, my eyes are always green.

As green as the dark and dangerous sea, my grandfather used to say. Mermaid’s eyes, he called them. Eyes that changed, from the color of seaweed, to sea glass, to the green of troubled water. Yet I was never troubled, when my eyes were green.

There are huge gaps of time, years, when I don’t remember anything about my life. Still, I am quite convinced that my eyes were always green.

Even in my double memories, they are green. Even though I seem to remember being two people, they are green. It doesn’t matter if I recall being a child with blond streaks in my braids, collecting shells with my grandfather at the stony edge of the sea, or if I think I was a dark-haired girl riding a new pony, under the watchful eye of my pretty mother. My eyes are always green.

These days the mirror tells me my eyes are not green. They are brown. As brown as leaves that die in the fall.

I’m writing down these words because I don’t know if tomorrow I will remember what I know today. I have too many memories. Like the memory of my eyes. But I also have memory losses. Great chunks of time are missing. Frankly, I’m terrified of losing more pieces of myself, no matter how small.

“Green eyes are a false memory, Tennyson,” according to Dr. Embry. “You never had green eyes.”

Amazon link



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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Ellen Byerrum is a novelist, playwright, reporter, former Washington D.C. journalist, and a graduate of private investigator school in Virginia. The Dollhouse in the Crawlspace is her first suspense thriller, which introduces Tennyson Claxton, a woman with two sets of memories from two very different women.

Ellen also writes the Crime of Fashion mysteries, which star a savvy, stylish female sleuth named Lacey Smithsonian, a reluctant fashion reporter in Washington D.C. ("The City Fashion Forgot").Two of the COF books,Killer Hair and Hostile Makeover, were filmed for the Lifetime Movie Network and can occasionally be seen on odd dates and odd times in the middle of the night. The latest book in that series is Lethal Black Dress, but there will be more to come.

She has also penned a middle grade mystery, The Children Didn’t See Anything. She occasionally writes a newsletter that contains her latest publishing information.

You can find more about Ellen on her website



 




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GIVEAWAY



a Rafflecopter giveaway


The tour dates can be found here




 

25 comments:

  1. Is there a certain type of scene that's harder for you to write than others? Love? Action? Racy?

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    1. I love your thought-provoking questions, Mai. Thanks for visiting and for prompting the author to give us more insights into her style!

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  2. Hi Mai, every scene has its own challenges. Love scenes are tricky because so many words have been written before. Even though falling in love in real life feels as if it never happened before, how do you make it fresh and fun and meaningful? And I am not going to write something about sex that is merely mechanical because it's best shared by two people and it's not my strength.

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  3. I loved this excerpt.. I can hardly wait to read the book to see how it ends.

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    1. Thank you MomJane, you just made my day!

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    2. Glad you liked it, Jane. Thanks for dropping by!

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  4. I liked the excerpt, thank you.

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    1. Happy to hear that, Rita. I appreciate you taking the time to visit and read it!

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  5. I enjoyed the post and the excerpt, sounds like a really good book, thanks for sharing!

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    1. You are very welcome, Eva. Thanks for dropping in!

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  6. Thanks, Rita, and Eva. I hope you check it out.

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  7. Just in time for Halloween,...can't wait to check it out! Thanks for sharing :)

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    1. I am not so fond of the chilling aspects of Halloween, Victoria, I like to focus on the candy, lol. Happy to share and delighted to see you popping in!

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  8. Replies
    1. Delighted that you think so, Tempestt. Thanks for visiting!

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  9. I can understand writing being scary. Great post thank you.

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    1. That's true, Mary, but the lovely results when one pushes past the fear can be delightful. Thanks for taking the time to visit and comment!

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  10. Great excerpt. Thx for the giveaway!

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    1. Glad you liked it, Angel. Good luck!

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  11. I enjoyed the interview and Writing: The Fear and the Joy! Thank you for sharing.

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    1. It is my pleasure to share, Ree Dee. Thanks for popping in!

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  12. Sounds like a great read!

    Betul E.

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    1. Happy that you think so, Betul, thanks for visiting!

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