Good morning all! Today's guest is Liese Sherwood-Fabre. Liese has two giveaways for us so make sure you read all the way down to find out how to enter her drawing.
In her keynote address at the national RWA conference this year, New York Times Bestseller Stephanie Laurens described the relationship between an author and her reader. At its most basic level, the author is a storyteller whose goal is to create an emotional connection with the reader. Books that sell are those where the story makes the reader laugh, cry, get angry, etc.—to somehow touch and involve the reader with the characters and their lives.
Readers choose books based on their own interests and preferences, but regardless of genre, they are drawn into a story because they care about the characters.
While working on my debut novel Saving Hope, I came across a discussion about making this connection in Sol Sten’s book Stein on Writing. He describes how one writer used as an opening scene for her novel in which the main character observes her nightly ritual of patting her sleeping son’s head before leaving to work as a police decoy. Throughout the rest of the book, Stein points out, readers remember this woman as a loving mother with a small child waiting for her at home, and any danger she faces is heightened because of this emotional attachment.
In Saving Hope, I also had a small child who was the motivation for my main character’s struggle in post-Soviet Russia. The unemployed scientist struggles to get her daughter the medical care she needs and will do anything—include working for a foreign government—to get it. But I needed to heighten the emotional stakes for the reader even more, according to one of my creative writing professor.
He noted in one lecture that if a story contains a child, she should be put in peril at some point. In one of those “light-bulb” moments, I put these two bits of advice together and the whole basic structure of my story unfolded. I rewrote the opening scene with a child’s parents rushing her to the hospital after she contracts pneumonia. This child’s critically needed medical care propels the mother into Russia’s underworld. Her fight for her daughter’s life culminates in the story’s climax where the girl’s life literally hangs in the balance.
Now, whenever I begin a new story, I seek to form a bond between the reader and the main character by putting the protagonist into a relate-able situation—such as a parent fighting for her child’s life or being at the receiving end of other students’ teasing. Such a bond ensures readers will continue to read and root for her throughout the rest of the book to a satisfying end.
What books have you found that truly draw you in and get you to root for the main character? What stories have you found disappointing?
I'd be glad to do two giveaways--one copy of Saving Hope to one commenter and one of Corazones to another commenter for anyone leaving a remark from Septemeber 3-10 . The winner just needs to say what format (Kindle, Nook, or pdf) and make sure she/he leaves their email addy in the comment.
A collection of three award-winning literary short stories exploring the impact of love. “A Stranger in the Village,” nominated for the 2007 Pushcart Prize, describes how the arrival of a young woman into a Mexican mountain village changed sixteen-year-old Hector forever. “Sacrifice” offers an Aztec tale of political intrigue and love. Doña Rosa, a market-place curandera, assists the lovelorn through the heartache of infidelity.
Deep in Siberia in one of the Soviet Union’s former closed cities, Alexandra Pavlova, a talented and unemployed microbiologist, struggles to save her daughter’s life. She turns to her oldest friend for help and is drawn into Russia’s underworld. His business dealings with the Iranians come to the attention of Sergei Borisov, an FSB (formerly the KGB) agent, and Alexandra finds herself joining forces with Sergei to stop the export of a deadly virus in a race to save both her daughter and the world.
Liese Sherwood-Fabre grew up in Dallas, Texas and knew she was destined to write when she got an A+ in the second grade for her story about Dick, Jane, and Sally’s ruined picnic. After obtaining her PhD from Indiana University, she joined the federal government and had the opportunity to work and live internationally for more than fifteen years—in Africa, Latin America, and Russia. Returning to the states, she seriously pursued her writing career and has published several pieces. Her debut novel Saving Hope, a thriller set in Russia, is now available from Musa Publishing. Corazones, collection of literary short stories, is also available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
Contact info and links for Liese:
You can follow her upcoming releases and other events by joining her newsletter atwww.liesesherwoodfabre.com, or visiting her Facebook, Twitter, or Bebo accounts. You can also contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Website--can join my newsletter and get a copy of another short story.
For Saving Hope:
Corazones-ebook/dp/B008M9RKMM/ ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid= 1343008336&sr=8-1&keywords= Corazones+fabre
Barne and Noble:
-- Lynda Again,
That's a great post, isn't it? Please leave a comment and let Liese know which book/format you'd like. Make sure you follow the directions so you can be included in her drawing ;-)
Happy Labor Day to all our USA readers! Stay safe and enjoy your holiday!
Have a Blessed Day!