Monday, October 8, 2012

Blog Tour Stop/Giveaway: Celebrating Ghostwriter by Lissa Bryan

Hi, and thanks for joining us. Today, we are celebrating the upcoming release of Ghostwriter, the debut novel by Lissa Bryan. 




[Images Courtesy of TWCS PH]

Lissa Bryan is an astronaut, renowned Kabuki actress, Olympic pole vault gold medalist, Iron Chef champion, and scientist who recently discovered the cure for athlete's foot.... though only in her head. Real life isn't so interesting, which is why she spends most of her time writing.
[Source: TWCS PH]


MFN: I really enjoyed your book. What inspired you to write this story?

Lissa: On the internet one afternoon, I stumbled across an article on the Iron Harvest. Every year, the farmers who live around the battlefields of WWI, especially around Verdun, find tons of unexploded shells, weapons and other debris when they plow their fields. While reading the article, the numbers the writer used made me shake my head in disbelief. I thought, surely, there had to be an error, so I started researching more about it. That led me to reading about the battle itself, and finally to the American volunteers who went over to serve as ambulance drivers before the US entered the war. A surprising number of them became writers, including Somerset Maugham, e.e. cummings, and Ernest Hemmingway. Slowly, a story began to form in my mind of an idealistic young writer subjected to the horrors of that terrible battle, and coming home to a country that didn’t understand how the war had changed some of the people who experienced it.



MFN: I think you depicted the scenes from the Great War very well. How did you conduct your research on those?


Lissa: I wasn’t so much interested in the actual battle as I was in the experiences of the soldiers, so I searched for letters, diaries, and other first-hand sources. There aren’t a lot, not compared with the number of letters from WWII. But a picture began to emerge, one that was difficult for me to comprehend. It truly was one of the worst battles in mankind’s history. Those letters haunt me still. Some of it was just too awful to write about. 

MFN: Seth was an intriguing character, and I thought you did really well keeping his voice with the time period in which he lived. How did you manage that?


Lissa: That was one of the difficult parts of writing this novel. I wanted to keep Seth’s voice authentic. He was a gentleman from a time when that word had a more significant meaning than it does in the modern era. He came from a privileged background, was classically educated, and had been raised with a different value system than we have today. I had to be careful to reflect that in everything from his behavior to his writing style. His time period was also one of massive social change. The women’s suffrage movement was gaining ground. Socialist and Anarchist movements were sending shockwaves through the country— sometimes literally, as with the Anarchist bombings of 1919. There were racial conflicts and a failed attempt to pass a federal anti-lynching statute. And Prohibition created a new class of criminals. Seth’s tolerance and his ability to accept the changes that have occurred in our society, despite his conservative background, stemmed from the rapid changes to society he saw around him. Still, on occasion, his values clash with Sara’s.

MFN: Sara was a great character who went through some real growth through the novel. What/who was your inspiration for her/her relationship with her mother/her ex-boyfriend?

Lissa: One of the things young women often struggle with is self-respect, refusing to allow themselves to be treated poorly by the people who claim to “love” them. This is especially hard for young women who come from a background which didn’t encourage them to develop a healthy sense of their own worth and the respect they deserve from the people in their lives. I used to work at a battered women’s shelter and saw how these patterns sometimes repeated themselves. It takes a strong person to be able to break free of chains they can’t even see. While Sara was never physically abused, emotional abuse can take a terrible toll on a person’s spirit. In her own way, she was as haunted as Seth, and she, too, had a journey she had to make before her spirit was healed.

MFN: How has writing fanfiction prepared you for writing your first novel?

Lissa: My experience in the fanfiction world has been incredible. The support and kindness have just been overwhelming. I think, more than anything, my fanfiction experiences helped me to see the intimate connection between an author and their readers. It truly is a symbiotic relationship, and nowhere is that as clear as in the fanfiction world, where a writer gets immediate feedback on their stories. My readers helped shape me into a better writer. They showed me where my work needed improvement. Their reactions showed me how emotionally involved readers become in stories, something I had only experienced as a reader, but seeing it from a writer’s perspective showed me how a story “belongs” to the reader. Writers start it, but it finishes in the minds and hearts of the readers. It comes to life in their imaginations. It’s said that no two people ever read the same book. I never understood that until I began to write.

MFN: What can we expect next? Anything in the works?

Lissa: Yes, I have another novel coming out at the beginning of next year. It’s called The End and it’s a romance in a post-apocalyptic setting. I’ll have more details available soon on my blog,

MFN: What do you do for fun, when you're not writing?

Lissa: I used to read. But my muse won’t let me do that anymore. All of my free time is occupied by writing these days.

MFN: Thank you, Lissa!

Purchase links: Amazon | TWCS PH 

Check out these upcoming tour stops!

October 9 - Leanne - passionforpages.com Interview, Review giveaway

October 10 - Italian Brat's Obsession - Review, Interview, giveway

October 11 - www.wordedit.com (The Daily News - UK) - guest post, interview

October 12 - My Reading Lounge - character interview, review, and giveaway

Thanks for stopping by. Please leave a comment to be eligible to enter the giveaway. Good luck!


Until next time,

7 comments:

  1. This! Couldn't have said it better...
    Lissa: "My readers helped shape me into a better writer. They showed me where my work needed improvement. Their reactions showed me how emotionally involved readers become in stories, something I had only experienced as a reader, but seeing it from a writer’s perspective showed me how a story “belongs” to the reader. Writers start it, but it finishes in the minds and hearts of the readers. It comes to life in their imaginations."
    Great interview! Thanks <3

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  2. Lissa, this was awesome! I'm so excited for you and cannot wait to read this compelling story. I love war fiction and adore the way you write, so this is a double treat for me. CONGRATULATIONS!!!

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  3. MFN and Lissa, great interview and post!! Love the block and this book is amazing!!
    Lissa is such a brilliant writer and I've enjoyed every single thing I've read of hers.
    Congrats and good luck on your further endeavors!! I'll stick around for more... that's for sure!

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  4. Great interview! I enjoyed Lissa's fanfiction stories and I am looking foward to reading Ghostrider and her future works.

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  5. This has been on my TBR list for months! Looking forward to reading it.

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  6. "Lissa Bryan is an astronaut, renowned Kabuki actress, Olympic pole vault gold medalist, Iron Chef champion, and scientist who recently discovered the cure for athlete's foot.... though only in her head. " LOL.
    Enjoyed the interview!
    I'm so excited to read Ghostwriter, sounds like something I'd enjoy. :)

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  7. Wonderful words! Very inspiring to the aspiring authors lost amongst the stories! Can't wait to read Ghostwriter.

    M x

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