I’ve really been looking forward to the release of El’s book, Ripple A Tale of Hope and Redemption. I’m only on chapter 2 of her new book and it is AMAZING. I love El’s style of writing. Her use of imagery is great, but not over powering. She doesn’t lose me in the details, and at the same time, I can see exactly what the characters are seeing. I’m looking forward to reading the whole thing, but for now…let’s here from El, herself:
The MFP asked me to talk some about how I wrote Ripple, and the thing is, I’m about as anti-method and disorganized as a writer can be. And for the life of me, I can’t sit still or be quiet, and so while I write a book, I talk to everyone about it.
Some writers hole themselves up in their rooms and hide away their manuscripts right up until it’s time to show them to the world, but I think that’s incredibly selfish. Clearing throat. Uh, okay, I talk a lot and I tend to write by committee. Seriously.
Mostly, I talk to my husband. Every night, my family takes a walk together, and while the kids shove, elbow and er, walk in front of us, Travis and I walk and talk about our days. When I was writing Ripple, I would tell him about the latest plot twists or character problems. For example, before I wrote the first draft, there was a good prosecutor named Eric, but my critique partner reminded me that the main theme of my novel is women helping other women. So this prosecutor should be a woman, she argued. And so was born Elizabeth Baldwin, or “Ellie” for short.
So many of my ideas for Ripple came from the people that inhabit my life. For example, the child of mine that most often makes me laugh, cry, stutter or even scream turned into one of my favorite characters, a little boy named Zander. This little guy provides comic relief and a dose of needed silliness to an otherwise often serious storyline.
And my husband, and all the times I have glared at his ever-expanding pile of dirty laundry, gave me some juicy bits of dialogue to use. Several times, Cassandra, one of the main characters, grouses at her beloved husband, Frank, after a long day at the office, “Frank, pick up your fuc*ing laundry!”
On a deeper level, one thing that people keep asking me is: how autobiographical is this novel? And when people ask me this, it’s sometimes with a note of sadness or trepidation. And I’m not going to deny the obvious. I know my topic, one that ranges from sexual abuse to chronic PTSD to practicing law to recovering from addiction and depression and all sorts of troubles rather intimately. For sure a lot of me can be found inside my characters, but the funny thing is that once I created Helen and Cass and Phoebe, et al., they took on a life of their own inside my head.
Maybe that sounds crazy, but it’s the truth, and I think it’s why they seem so real to readers. They became real to me. I ate breakfast, lunch and dinner with them; ran for hours alone with them; and even dreamed about them. And always they were talking, laughing, arguing, loving and living. And the magical thing is that now they get to talk and laugh and argue and love and live inside the minds of my readers.
And that—that is the magic of writing novels. You get to create this world and once it’s complete, you invite your readers to meet and get to know the people inside the pages. And that’s when the real magic occurs: when the reader meets those people and maybe sees a bit of themselves in one of them. And just maybe the reader will realize that he or she is not quite so alone in the journey they’re on, and in so finding that, maybe they will feel some hope and find some healing too.
To buy an e-copy of Ripple, please see: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00B2Q4G38
To buy a paperback copy, please visit: http://www.amazon.com/Ripple-A-Tale-Hope-Redemption/dp/1480276820/ref=ntt_at_ep_edition_1_1
And for an autographed copy please visit El’s blog: http://runningfromhellwithel.com/ripple-a-tale-of-hope-and-redemption/
Make sure you check out El’s new book and keep up to speed with her on her Facebook page!