Here is my book cover for my novel, Unleashed, coming out this fall! It captures exactly the feeling I wanted for the story I tell. A synopsis follows the photo:
If you are interested, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll notify you when it’s available on Amazon!
Carolina Graham, widow and mother to eleven-year-old Rowan, struggles to support her daughter. To help Rowan conquer depression they adopt a second dog, Zephyr, a wolfhound-deerhound mix. Rowan insists on this pup because she’s secretly convinced they can communicate mind-to-mind.
The family leaves to go camping and sets off a multi-car accident. The dogs are thrown from the van. Rowan is medevaced to Portland for head trauma care. Zephyr is left in the wilds of Central Oregon where Moss Westbury, Afghanistan amputee, is haunted by devastating nightmares. He writes to expunge his demons. A howler—neither coyote nor wolf—reignites his nighttime agony. He sets out to find the culprit.
This story is told through four points-of-view, one of which is the dog.
Can Moss address his demons? What happens to Zephyr? How do Carolina and Rowan rebuild their lives?
© Skye Blaine, 2017
My friend Laura McHale Holland has written a thought-provoking post as a guest blogger on Kathy Pooler’s site. Anyone writing–or interested in writing–memoir can benefit by reading her post.
Here’s the link, and her picture is below: http://wp.me/p1vAO5-3kn
My memoir, Bound to Love (link to book here), has won another first prize, from BAIPA (Bay Area Independent Publishers Association). I’m thrilled! I accepted the prize on Saturday, December 10th, and gave a twenty-minute presentation on readying work for publication.
I’m working on the cover for my first novel. I may still change the title, but for now it’s You Called Me Home. I put out a call to Scottish deerhound and Irish wolfhound internet lists for photos that may work for the front, and have five responses already. One of my characters is a deerhound/wolfhound mix, and one person who responded has a dog of that mixed heritage.
And I’m deep into writing the sequel, which takes place four years later, titled Must Like Dogs.
August 26th, I took part in “Hot Summer Nights”–Tuesdays in July when four members of Redwood Writers, the largest branch of the California Writers Club, read from recently their published books at Copperfield’s Book Store in Montgomery Village, Santa Rosa, CA. This is the fourth year Copperfield’s has partnered with us on this event.
Here’s a five minute clip my friend Beth filmed: https://youtu.be/auw1c9uoiJY
My memoir, Bound to Love, won the indieBRAG medallion award, hence the new gold medallion on the cover. I was delighted to receive fives, their top rating, in every category.
They review, and grade independently published books. I’ve entered four other contests for books post-publication, which I hope to hear about in the next few months.
Memory is, by its very nature, flawed. Our brains take snapshots of events, and encode, along with the picture, smells, sounds, textures, and sometimes dialogue. But the whole scene is not captured; only the parts that impacted us. Memory is piecemeal.
Nonetheless, when we undertake writing a memoir—a chunk of our history—we are stuck with memory as our main source material, and if we’re lucky, journals we might have kept. It is my belief that if we have worked hard not to judge others, and to honestly assess the role we played in those events, we can use those memories to help reconstruct the story.
A big section of my memoir took place over thirty years ago. When faced with writing dialogue, I relied on my feeling sense of the encounters. Occasionally I remembered actual sentences people said, because they struck me so strongly. But most the time, I recreated it. Many people who are in the memoir have now read my account. No one, including the doctors who played a powerful role in our lives, has complained about the conversations I reconstructed in the memoir.
Of course, I also did research, and talked to people who were in my life back then. They were less helpful than I expected. These were not vivid memories that they had stored, because the situation hadn’t impacted them the way it had me.
So as long as you are not out to blame anyone, including yourself, and have developed an honest curiosity—even in situations where you felt victimized—I suggest trusting yourself, and writing what you recall on the page.
© Skye Blaine, 2016
I entered my cover in Joel Friedlander’s e-book cover contest at thebookdesigner.com. The nonfiction books are way down at the bottom. Although I did not win an award, Joel’s comment was “nicely balanced.”