Twinkle/Shooting Stars

Posted: January 25, 2021 in Announcements, Blog Tour Hosting, iRead Book Tours, rafflecopter, Recommended Reading

The Magical Experience of Writing Novels about Love and Healing

 

The Tess Lee and Jack Miller novels are a love letter to love itself and the power of love to help us heal—love in all forms—romance, friendship, patriotism, love of art, and most importantly, learning to love ourselves. Let me tell you a little bit about these books and then how I came to write them. Tess Lee and Jack Miller’s love story is the heart of these novels. Tess Lee is a world-famous novelist and philanthropist. Her inspirational books explore people’s innermost struggles and the human need to believe that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Despite her extraordinary success, she’s been unable to find personal happiness and is in the lifelong process of recovery from childhood abuse. Jack Miller is a federal agent. After spending decades immersed in a violent world, a residue remains. He’s dedicated everything to his job, leaving nothing for himself. He also struggles with grieving the death of his four-year old daughter, whom he didn’t know existed until she was on her deathbed. These are two innately good people who have sacrificed in service of others, and found little for themselves, until they find each other. There’s a saying that “hurt people hurt people” but Tess and Jack show us that hurt people can love each other in extraordinary ways. In essence, the couple, along with their dear friends, model what love looks like in action.

Penning these novels was unlike any other experience in my life—the way the story came to me, how quickly it happened, and the way I approached the writing. The truth is, I’ve always wanted to write a love story. When I was about ten years old, I began to give serious thought to becoming a writer. I tried writing a novel at the time, an epic love story between people who help each other heal, but because I was ten, it didn’t pan out. By the time I became a professional author, I had long since abandoned the idea of writing about love. Then one day, Shooting Stars came to me in a burst, which was very different from the way my other novels have materialized. Usually, I stew on an idea for a while, and then spend a year or two drafting a manuscript. Shooting Stars came to me quickly, and I wrote the entire first draft in about ten days. I barely slept, I didn’t respond to emails, and if anyone spoke to me, I’m sure I didn’t hear a word they said. I was completely immersed, more than I’d been with anything before. It was magical.

I spent every waking moment of every day and night mentally in this story’s world. It was an immersive, emotional, and cathartic experience. I’ve never enjoyed writing anything more. The writing process was completely different than my previous novels. In the past I had always drafted a rough outline and then written in chronological order. I viewed this one as a compilation of scenes, and that’s how I wrote it – completely out of order. The last chapter in the book was the first one I wrote, then I skipped around in the middle, and I finished by writing the first chapter. In fact, because there was no outline, I had no idea how many chapters there would be so I saved each one with names like “cake scene” or “cereal scene,” confident that in the end I would be able to string the scenes together. The structure of this novel is completely organic; there was no formula. By abandoning everything that had worked for me in the past, I was able to achieve something new. Shooting Stars could not have been written any other way. The process pushed me creatively and made me a better writer. How was I able to do this in ten days? It was possible because of the discipline and skills I developed over many years. When the moment of inspiration and opportunity presented itself, I was ready to serve as a scribe and allow the story to come through my filter. While I had experienced magical moments of discovery writing previous novels, those were just fleeting moments. With Shooting Stars, the entire process was magical—one of cocreation with a source of inspiration that somehow came to me as if it had been waiting all along.

Differing from previous works, Shooting Stars takes place entirely in real-time. I didn’t utilize some of the literary devices I’ve used in the past. There’s no interior monologue, nor are there any flashbacks. These choices were made so readers could experience these characters as they experience each other: together and in real time, through their interactions and dialogue. Instead of relying on flashbacks, I use storytelling as a way of providing backstory, in which characters share stories from their past with others. In terms of other literary tools, I also used foreshadowing, dropping subtle clues throughout. Themes were interwoven in numerous ways including through dialogue, symbolism, and metaphor. For example, the theme of darkness and light shows up through dialogue, but also through clothing, photography, the sky at different times of day, and other means. Let’s take clothing, which may seem innocuous at first glance, but was consciously chosen throughout. Tess and Jack only wear black, white, and gray—symbolizing darkness and light and their attempt to balance the two. The only time this changes is when they are in Hawaii, their special place, where they wear bright colors.

After I finished drafting Shooting Stars, I fell into a deep depression for twenty-four hours. This was the best writing experience of my life, and I felt strongly that it was also the best thing I’d ever created. Finishing it was devastating. Would I ever feel that way again? My heart also ached for the characters that had become so near and dear to me. Waking up without racing into their world left me with a profound sense of loss. I missed them. While I always experience some measure of sadness finishing a novel and saying goodbye to the characters that have occupied my days, this time it was worse. I knew more about them then I was able to share. I loved them more. And we only had ten days together. It wasn’t enough.

Standing out on my balcony looking up at the sky, suddenly, I realized I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to the characters. I knew there was much more to explore. Again in a burst, Twinkle came to me. I immediately started writing. This time, I knew it wasn’t merely a sequel, it was a part of a serial. I drafted Twinkle in about twelve days, in the same manner as Shooting Stars—writing scenes out of order. I loved this book even more. More books followed, five in total, each drafted in the same manner—out of order as scenes, in real-time, using dialogue, interaction, storytelling, foreshadowing, metaphor, and symbolism. It’s important to note that while these novels were drafted quickly, they were each revised dozens of times, in addition to receiving peer feedback and professional copy editing. Magic came in the first draft, polish in the many that followed.

I’m so excited that Shooting Stars and Twinkle are both out. I look forward to releasing future titles in the series: Constellations, Supernova, and North Star. Each book can be read as a stand-alone novel. Shooting Stars and Twinklehave embraced me in the warmest hug, and now that they’ve been released, I hope they do the same for others. In the end, these are books about the power of love to help us heal and to accept that we are enough exactly as we are.

Join us for this tour from Jan 25 to Feb 19, 2021!

Book Details:
Book TitleTwinkle by Patricia leavy
Category:  Adult Fiction (18+),  161 pages
Genre:  Women’s Fiction
Publisher:  Brill/Sense
Release date:  December 1, 2020
Tour dates: Jan 25 to Feb 19, 2021
Content Rating:  Rated R. A few sex scenes (not explicit) and discussion of sexual assault in the protagonist’s childhood

Book Description:

Twinkle follows Tess Lee and Jack Miller after two years of marriage.

Tess is a wildly successful and world-famous novelist. Her inspirational books explore our innermost struggles and the human need to believe that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Jack is a federal agent. After spending decades immersed in a violent world, a residue remains.

As they both heal from past trauma, their epic love, fostered by their ability to truly see one another, has brought them true happiness. However, when an anonymous threat is made against Tess’s life, everything changes. Will they learn to lean on each other, or will they fall apart into the darkness?

Their friends are along for the ride: Omar, Tess’s sarcastic best friend, who calls her Butterfly; the female president of the United States, who Tess visits regularly to discuss politics and bake cookies; Joe, Jack’s friend from the Bureau, who understands the sacrifices he’s made; and Bobby, Jack’s younger friend, who never fails to lend a calming presence.

Twinkle is a novel about the nature of doubt, the struggle to feel worthy of love, the relationship of the small part to the greater whole, and the ways in which love – from lovers, friends, or the art we experience – can help us move from trauma to healing and redemption. Written as unfolding action, Twinkle is a poignant novel that moves fluidly between melancholy, humor, and joy.

Buy the Book:
Amazon

You May Also Enjoy the Previous Book in This Series:

 

Book Details:
Book TitleShooting Stars by Patricia leavy
Category:  Adult Fiction (18+),  137 pages
Genre:  Women’s Fiction
Publisher:  Brill/Sense
Release date:  June 15, 2020
Tour dates: Jan 25 to Feb 19, 2021
Content Rating:  Rated R. A few sex scenes (not explicit) and discussion of sexual assault in the protagonist’s childhood
Book Description:

Tess Lee is a novelist. Her inspirational books explore people’s innermost struggles and the human need to believe that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Despite her extraordinary success, she’s been unable to find personal happiness. Jack Miller is a federal agent. After spending decades immersed in a violent world, a residue remains. He’s dedicated everything to his job, leaving nothing for himself.

The night Tess and Jack meet, their connection is palpable. She examines the scars on his body and says, “I’ve never seen anyone whose outsides match my insides.”

The two embark on an epic love story that asks the questions: What happens when people truly see each other? Can unconditional love change the way we see ourselves? Their friends are along for the ride: Omar, Tess’s sarcastic best friend who mysteriously calls her Butterfly; Joe, Jack’s friend from the Bureau who understands the sacrifices he’s made; and Bobby, Jack’s younger friend who never fails to lighten the mood.

Shooting Stars is a novel about walking through our past traumas, moving from darkness to light, and the ways in which love – from lovers, friends, or the art we experience – heals us. Written as unfolding action, Shooting Stars is a poignant novel that moves fluidly between melancholy, humor, and joy.

Buy the Book:
Amazon ~ B&N
Add to Goodreads
 
Meet the Author:

Patricia Leavy, Ph.D., is a bestselling author. She was formerly Associate Professor of Sociology, Chair of Sociology and Criminology, and Founding Director of Gender Studies at Stonehill College in Massachusetts. She has published over thirty books, earning commercial and critical success in both fiction and nonfiction, and her work has been translated into many languages. She is also series creator and editor for ten book series with Oxford University Press, Guilford Press, and Brill/Sense, including the ground-breaking Social Fictions series.

Patricia has received dozens of accolades for her books. Recently, her novel Film won the 2020 American Fiction Award for Inspirational Fiction, her 3-novel set Candy Floss Collection won the 2020 American Fiction Award for Anthologies, and her novel Spark won the 2019 American Fiction Award for Inspirational Fiction and the 2019 Living Now Book Award for Adventure Fiction. She has also received career awards from the New England Sociological Association, the American Creativity Association, the American Educational Research Association, the International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry, and the National Art Education Association. In 2016 Mogul, a global women’s empowerment network, named her an “Influencer.” In 2018, she was honored by the National Women’s Hall of Fame and SUNY-New Paltz established the “Patricia Leavy Award for Art and Social Justice.”

She has residences in Maine and Massachusetts where she lives with her husband, daughter (when she’s not away at college), and her dog. Patricia loves writing, reading, watching films, and traveling.

Connect with the author: website ~ twitter ~ facebook ~ instagram

 

Tour Schedule:
Jan 25 – Working Mommy Journal – books spotlight / giveaway
Jan 25 – BookishKelly2020 – books spotlight / author interview
Jan 25 – 411 ON BOOKS, AUTHORS, AND PUBLISHING NEWS – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Jan 26 – Cover Lover Book Review – books spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Jan 27 – Sefina Hawke’s Books – book spotlight
Jan 27 – The Author’s Harbor – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Jan 28 – Jazzy Book Reviews – books spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Jan 29 – Book Corner News and Reviews – books spotlight / giveaway
Feb 1 – Locks, Hooks and Books – books spotlight / giveaway
Feb 2 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author Blog – books spotlight / giveaway
Feb 3 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – books spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Feb 4 – Falling Into A Good Book – book spotlight / giveaway
Feb 5 – I’m All About Books – books spotlight / giveaway
Feb 8 – Books for Books – book spotlight
Feb 9 – Sadie’s Spotlight – books spotlight / giveaway
Feb 10 – Laura’s Interests – book spotlight / giveaway
Feb 10 – Gina Rae Mitchell – book spotlight / giveaway
Feb 11 – Stephanie Jane – books spotlight / giveaway
Feb 12 – Books Lattes & Tiaras – book spotlight 1/ giveaway
Feb 15 – Celticlady’s Reviews – books spotlight / giveaway
Feb 16 – Splashes of Joy  – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Feb 17 – Books Lattes & Tiaras – book spotlight 2 / giveaway
Feb 19 – High Society Book Reviews & Club – books spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Enter the Giveaway:

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Comments
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