Friday, December 9, 2016

My Letter to Fear by Patricia Steffy (VBT, guest post, excerpt, and GIVEAWAY) GFT



I have the pleasure of sharing a guest post by author Patricia Steffy, who shares...


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

PSOh, boy! Trepidation follows me throughout the writing process. I'm nervous about the concept. I'll second guess characters. I'll wonder if the subtext is clear. I love dense dialogue, but I know that others can prefer it always to be zippy. At least 10 times during the process, I'll question the entire project.

But nothing puts me more on edge than sharing the work with an audience.  It takes me forever to actually send out my work even to friends (or perhaps especially to friends because I'll see them again and anonymous critics are … well, largely people I'll never meet). Sharing the work is a leap of faith I have to make to move forward. It's vital to enhancing my craft. It's critical if this is how I want to earn my living. And yet, sharing the work always feels like stepping off a cliff, even when previous versions or projects have been well-received.

It strikes me as something close to irony then that one of my biggest joys is having an audience connect with my writing. While I always try to please myself first when declaring a project ready for the world, I cannot deny that hearing people laugh, seeing the tears or watching people recognize themselves in a character or story, is an incredible feeling.

The experience is also different every time the work is shared with a different audience. Anyone who has sent work out to readers can tell you that if you ask for critiques from six different people, you will get six different responses. Readers will react differently to the essays in My Letter to Fear depending on where they are with their lives. Some essays will simply resonate more than others because of the backgrounds, ages, and experiences of the reader. And I love that!

The same has been true with live audiences. I've been lucky enough to have My Letter to Fear performed in two staged readings. The first was when it was just a small collection of essays and the second was after the collection was published. The actresses and audiences in both cases had very positive reactions, but what they reacted to and how they reacted, changed. Some things came across as funnier. Some emotional moments hit the audience harder.  It's unpredictable but thrilling none-the-less. You can see clips from the second reading here if you are curious: http://www.patriciasteffy.com/showcase/

It's hard for me to imagine a time where I won't be scared during the writing process. Maybe that does change as more work is completed and released, or maybe it is the second guessing that keeps me on my toes as I go. The one thing I do know is that the fear won't stop me from trying to reach people with the stories – mine, or in the case of My Letter to Fear the stories of others.

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My Letter to Fear

by Patricia Steffy


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GENRE: Essays/Memoir

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BLURB:

Over the course of two years, Steffy conducted interviews with the fabulous women around her and their equally fantastic friends. She put no restrictions on age, or ethnicity. They just needed to be willing to answer some questions. The questions covered a variety of topics, including aging, body image, abuse, rape, addiction, confidence, loss, beauty myths, and fear. Steffy asked them about the expectations they had for their lives when they were very young versus their current realities as adults. She asked them to tell her the best things about themselves (a question which was surprisingly difficult for people to answer) and the worst things. Those answers—the funny, the heartbreaking, and the hysterical—and her own experiences became the basis for these essays.

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EXCERPT

From Worry


Like most young girls, I was once told that everyone is good at something. All you have to do is find the one thing you are absolutely passionate about and make it your own. Once you do that, or so I was told, life would unfold according to plan.


Question: what happens when the one thing you are good at is worrying? Because I'm really, really good at that.

I once got into a heated discussion with an ex because he thought worrying was a ridiculous waste of time, and this astounded me. Of course worrying is useful! Without worry, you don't plan for every possible contingency. Without worry, you can't possibly cheat Murphy's Law, Destiny and the Fates. With worry, you might just pull one over on them.

I worry about everything. I can do it anywhere and at any time. Ninety-eight percent of my brain can be thoroughly engaged, but that shifty two percent is secretly trying to figure out what to do in case of an earthquake, flood, famine, poverty or the cancellation of my favorite television show. ...


Book Buy Links

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Diesel
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AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Patricia Steffy attended Kenyon College and American University. She is a recent refugee from the corporate world where she worked as an analyst for a law firm for more than 16 years. An escape plan started to develop as she pursued her interests as a writer and producer through Circe’s World Films. She has been involved in co- and exec-producing a number of feature and short films ranging from broad comedy to psychological drama, including the award-winning short Touch. She is currently developing Dating in LA and Other Urban Myths as a web series. The series is based on her long-running blog of the same name.

Showcase
 
Pieces from My Letter to Fear were featured in a one-night only special showcase event. The showcase was directed by Danielle Turchiano and featured readings from Nikki DeLoach (Awkward.), Lesley Fera (Pretty Little Liars), Stevie Lynn Jones (Crisis), Jen Lilley (Days of Our Lives), Roma Maffia (Pretty Little Liars), Dennisha Pratt (The Sunny Side Up Show), and Carla Renata (Hart of Dixie). You can see excerpts from the readings here: http://www.patriciasteffy.com/showcase/



Useful links

Website
Twitter


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a Rafflecopter giveaway


The tour dates can be found here

 

32 comments:

  1. Congrats on the new book and good luck on the book tour!

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    1. Thank you! This is my first book tour, and it has been pretty exciting so far.

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    2. Thanks for visiting, Ally, and congrats to Patricia on your first tour, you chose a great company to work with!

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  2. Congrats on the tour and thanks for the chance to win :)

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    1. Thank you for reading! It has been so much fun meeting new readers!

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    2. Thanks for popping in, Lisa. Good luck!

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  3. Replies
    1. You're very welcome, Patricia. My apologies for taking so long to acknowledge you and my thanks for taking the time to interact with my readers and me. Hope the tour is going well.

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    2. It really has been a fun experience! I've loved "meeting" the hosts and new readers. :)

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  4. I know many of your readers are also people who are writers, artists, creators of some kind -- I'm curious what scares you guys about the creative process?

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    1. For me, it's that fear of ridicule or lack of appreciation for things I spend time to create. It took me a long time to realize that it doesn't matter what mean-spirited folks think and to stop trying to please everyone (0;

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  5. This sounds like a most curious read.

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    1. It's unusual and every piece speaks to every reader in a different way. Thanks for checking it out!

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    2. I think it is a very thought-provoking work, Mary. Thank you for taking the time to visit!

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  6. Looking forward in reading this! :)

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  7. What is the best book that you have read recently? Thanks for the giveaway. I hope that I win. Bernie W BWallace1980(at)hotmail(d0t)com

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    1. I just finished The Master Blaster by PF Kluge. It was a slow build kind of book, but the last third really came together and the ending was very powerful. Before that, I finally sat down to read Eat Pray Love. It wasn’t what I expected after all these years of conversation about it. I found I related to the early chapters quite a bit, and found the forward in the 10th anniversary edition almost more moving than the book.

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  8. I enjoyed reading the excerpt and look forward to checking out this book!

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  9. Excellent guest post! I really enjoyed reading it!

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  10. I just loved the excerpt and I am looking forward to reading your book.

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