Burnt Edges blogpost

As I have said in my review (see later post) this is a really tough topic to write about and of course we all wonder how did the author come up with the storyline? Where did she learn all this? Well Dana is very open about this and below she tells us how the story originated with her family.

Writing Through The Pain

When people read my book, Burnt Edges, they have two reactions:

“Whoa, this is tough to read,” or, “How did you write about this without going into a depression?”

Writing about abuse is difficult—whether it is your own or someone else’s. In my case, the story is about my mother and the abuse she suffered as a child from both parents. And it’s the worst kind of abuse you can imagine: incest. Not to say that any other forms of abuse aren’t awful. Abuse is horrific. No matter what form it takes.

To answer the question how did I write about it without letting it drag me under is more difficult than I can articulate. It DID drag me under, and for most of my life. Writing about it was the final act of healing for me. As I wrote the more difficult scenes I had to take breaks. It was important to step away and clear my head. And I’m not done writing about it either. There is another book I’m working on now that follows the story from another perspective.

Since I did not experience the abuse, I had to understand it in order to make it real.

The way I made it authentic was by interviewing my mom. She was very open and willing to talk to me about the details. Because of this, I wasn’t afraid to ask questions that seemed awkward or difficult. The book became a way for me to understand my mother in a deeper way. And I learned a lot.

See, abuse doesn’t just affect the victim. It affects everyone the victim comes into contact for the rest of his or her life. It seeps into the crevices of the victims’ DNA and becomes a part of who they are and who they will be so when that person tries to form relationships, the abuse is there. That is the story I am telling about my mother’s life and my life.

I was lucky that my mom was so open to this process and wasn’t afraid of allowing me to tell her part of the story that inevitably weaved into mine. She still suffers from the effects of the abuse but has come a long way from where she used to be, we both have. I have gone from feeling responsible for saving her to resentful and angry to finally accepting who she is and how she deals with life.

Writing this story is difficult but it is the best thing I’ve ever done to help both me and my mom move on.

Unpacking Baggage

I’ve been hiding behind busy-ness. Do you ever do that? There is something nagging at you that you KNOW you need to address or do but you hide. You hide because you know it’s time to unpack the baggage again and you don’t want to do it.

I need to unpack some heavy baggage. I started to do it but then it got too intense so I stopped. Unpacking my baggage means finishing my second novel which delves deeper into the original story from my first novel Burnt Edges. The first one was hard to write but easier in terms of the baggage because it wasn’t my story. This next novel is my story and it means digging into emotional baggage.

This is going to be a painful process because I’ve stuffed the content way down a dark hole that’s been covered up by the denial of every day life. It’s so much easier to schedule things, check email, clean the house, or look busy. Riffling around the baggage only brings up memories linked to my sense of worth reminding me that I wasn’t enough to make a difference. Memories that remind me I’m a fraud, a fake, a poser. I play the parts that I think people want me to play so I can take the attention off my gaping wounds pulsing, aching to be healed. Yet that initial step of recognizing the wounds is just too intense. I’d rather slap on a plastic bandage and pretend that it will go away. It doesn’t. It just festers until I am forced to face it again.

Because I can’t come right out a say it, I must tell the story. Like Maya Angelou once said, “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” The agony has gotten too hard for me to handle any more so I will write it. I will finish it and let the pain wash over me praying for the moment of liberation that comes after the fire.

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So we see how it is Dana’s way of working through her pain that gives her the story to write. Such honesty and truthful writing surely tells in the veracity that it must give to her books. Read and you shall learn.

 

Title: Burnt Edges

Author: Dana Leipold

Publisher: Booktrope

Publication Date: June 2015

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Familiar abuse or an uncertain future? Which would you choose?

This is Laurel Lee Page’s dilemma when she is faced with an unplanned pregnancy at nineteen. Born into a broken family, guilt and shame are all she has ever known. No matter what she does or whom she meets, Laurel appears to be living a condemned life.

However, she is determined to find independence and freedom in spite of her family’s legacy of hatred and self-contempt.

Set in Southern California during the tumultuous 1960’s, Burnt Edges is a contemporary novel based on true events that prove strength can emerge in the most horrific of circumstances.

 

Leipold1AUTHOR BIO:
Dana Leipold is an author and member of the Association of Independent Authors. Her debut novel, Burnt Edges, depicts the unwavering resilience of a young woman in the face of family violence and abuse.
She has self-published two other books: a collection of limericks in Dr. Seuss-style for adults entitled, Stupid Poetry: The Ultimate Collection of Sublime and Ridiculous Poems, and a non-fiction book entitled, The Power of Writing Well: Write Well. Change the World.

Leipold lives with her husband and two children in the San Francisco Bay Area.

 

 

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Music is my Muse

Guest Blog Post – Music is my Muse music

Ali Parker

 Everyone has a muse, and where mine has always been good to me, she requires one thing – MUSIC! I listen to music all the time and a variety of it at that. I try to keep it to piano music while I’m actually writing just because I start singing and lose my place. BUT, the minute I’m plotting or scoping out a new character for further development – the good stuff comes into play. I have a few of my favorites right now that I listen to.

 

In the End – Linkin Park

All of Me – John Legend

Stay with Me – Sam Smith

Counting Stars – OneRepublic

Battle Scars – Lupe Fiasco & Guy Sebastian

I Knew You Were Trouble – Taylor Swift

Broken – Seether featuring Amy Lee

Clarity – Zedd featuring Foxes

Don’t Wake Me Up – Chris Brown

Glowing – Nikki Williams

 

Why does music work? Music, like art opens up our minds to the possibility of creating something new. The brilliance of the song-writer, the decadence of the singer’s voice and the movement of the music pull our hearts and open our minds. That’s my music is and will always be my favorite and probably ONLY muse. I’m faithful to her…. What’s your muse?

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Midnight and the wolves have it

Title: Midnight Burning
Author: Karissa Laurel
Publisher: Red Adept Publishing
Publication Date: July 2015
Genre: Urban Fantasy

Solina Mundy lives a quiet life, running the family bakery in her small North Carolina hometown. But one night, she suffers a vivid nightmare in which a wolfish beast is devouring her twin brother, who lives in Alaska. The next morning, police notify her that Mani is dead. Driven to learn the truth, Solina heads for the Land of the Midnight Sun. Once there, she begins to suspect Mani’s friends know more about his death than they’ve let on. Skyla, an ex-Marine, is the only one willing to help her.

As Solina and Skyla delve into the mystery surrounding Mani’s death, Solina is stunned to learn that her own life is tied to Mani’s friends, his death, and the fate of the entire world. If she can’t learn to control her newfound gifts and keep her friends safe, a long-lost dominion over mortals will rise again, and everything she knows will fall into darkness.

 Karissa and Bonnie Midnight Burning - Hi Res

Author Bio:

Karissa Laurel always dabbled in writing, but she also wanted to be a chef when she grew up. So she did. After years of working nights, weekends, and holidays, she burnt out and said, “Now what do I do?” She tried a bunch of other things, the most steady of those being a paralegal for state government, but nothing makes her as happy as writing. She has published several short stories and reads “slush” for a couple of short-story markets.

Karissa lives in North Carolina with her kid, her husband, the occasional in-law, and a very hairy husky. She loves to read and has a sweet tooth for speculative fiction. Sometimes her husband convinces her to put down the books and take the motorcycles out for a spin. When it snows, you’ll find her on the slopes.

Karissa also paints and draws and harbors a grand delusion that she might finish a graphic novel someday.

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Author Links:

Goodreads| Facebook | Website

 

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Kill? Who me?

Fixed in Blood by TE Woods

A Netgalley Review

This is part of the Justice Series. The 4th book.

Justice is being dispensed by an assassin. In the manner of a vigilante. Unofficially she is a law enforcer that dispenses death for a perceived injustice that the ‘real’ legal system is unable to deal with. The sentence never changes. And to carry out these sentences she is skilled in disguise, deception and dealing out death in unusual manners – all without incriminating herself.

However, the assassin has a day job. She is also a Psychologist and as such she realises that perhaps her manner of behaviour is perhaps not quite what it should be. She is also trying to develop a long term relationship without her partner knowing about her little sideline.

A long-service policeman has discovered her secret but he has also helped her in her work or has asked for her help in his work and thus they are joined together. He cannot turn her in now as if he did, he would also lose his job. Yet his son doesn’t know his secret and writes about the assassin through the stories in the newspapers.

What you start to question is your own morality.

When is it Justice and when is it murder?

Are vigilantes above the law?

Is it right to be the accountant for a crime family even if you can’t get another job?

Should you keep secrets from your partner? Even if it could send you to prison to tell?

And if you are a lawman, should you overlook criminal acts committed by a person that sometimes helps you solve other crimes or manages to punish those you can’t?

An interesting article (set of photos) in the Washington Times details the top ten vigilantes in US history – some fictional: http://www.washingtontimes.com/multimedia/collection/top-10-vigilantes/

Listverse says:  “in real life, the issue of vigilantism is a lot more complex. While some vigilantes are sympathetic figures, others go too far in their desire for revenge. In some cases, completely innocent people wind up losing their lives.” http://listverse.com/2014/01/30/10-controversial-cases-of-vigilantism/

For instance in a number of U.S. cities, individuals have created real-life superhero personas, donning masks and costumes to patrol their neighborhoods, sometimes maintaining an uneasy relationship with local police departments who believe what they are doing could be dangerous to the costumed crusaders caped crusadersthemselves, or could devolve into vigilantism.

Look on the web and you will find many such stories as these. When, is ever, is it right to put yourself above the law is a decision we can only make for ourselves and perhaps also, it depends on the situation?

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I have a new baby – can you help?

Can Anybody Help Me?

By Sinead Crowley

A NetGalley Review

Pregnancy, new babies, police and murder. A Dark Angel nurse ‘helping’ – what a potent combination!

This is a fairly straight forward police procedural set in Ireland with a female detective – who is pregnant.

An interesting take here on the phenomenon that is ‘NetMums’ and how people trust the advice given on the Internet – by people they have never met – people that they feel are good friends despite the only contact being virtual and the reality being that they do not know who is at the other end of the computer line.

little child baby smiling lying under thr towel
little child baby smiling under their towel

The forums such as ‘NetMums’ are all based on trust. Mums trust the forum and those who post. The more you post the more you are trusted. The more people say you are to be trusted and that your advice is sound, the more you are trusted. A virtuous circle. Just in the same way that we use the reviews on books posted on Amazon. If you post more reviews then your name becomes known and then people start to vote that your review was good, and then Amazon will trust you to review books before they are published. In fact NetGalley itself works on a similar process. If you return enough reviews and publishers think they are good, then you will be offered more books to review and so it goes. The more we are validated, the more we are trusted.

The origin of the word ‘trust’ is ‘trustig’. It is old Norse for a contract. I give you something and in return you give me something. Between us we agree on what is exchanged.

In the virtual world what is exchanged is data – made into information by its particular context. That information is what is used to trust. But what if the data is a lie? What if what is offered is not truthful but biased or intended to harm? What if the validation of the data is done deliberately to cause distress and confusion? – sites such as TripAdvisor try to catch the hotels that post their own reviews – but few sites can do this – does Wahanda (I use this to find beauty treatments) check who validates and reviews their salons I wonder – having just booked a facial…

This book uses the trust principle and the virtual world to show how harm can be done by those who trust and those who provide false data. We should all look at the moral of the story and take care.

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