A YEAR IN HER LIFE Blog Tour
I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the A YEAR IN HER LIFE by Alice Benson Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!
Title: A YEAR IN HER LIFE
Author: Alice Benson
Pub. Date: July 16, 2020
Publisher: Black Rose Writing
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Bonnie is a young woman, engaged and passionate about her new job, her feminist ideals, and her friends. Bonnie is also single and looking for a soulmate. Her last boyfriend dumped her after she supported him through law school. Her new boyfriend is nice, but a little boring and they’re not attuned politically. Then Bonnie meets Jane. She’s a little older, experienced, and compelling. They share a commitment to feminism and social justice. Unfortunately, Jane is married. Still, Bonnie finds her attraction growing. She denies it because Jane is off limits, but Bonnie is compelled and sure the attraction is mutual.
Set in 2016, the election is a backdrop to Bonnie’s turbulent year of searching for love. This is a story of growth and maturation told in a voice that grows from timid to hopeful to confident and explores the complexity of relationships as well as themes relevent to the current times.
- What is on your nightstand?
I love to read all kinds of books. My favorite books to relax with are mysteries. I love a good cozy mystery as well as more intense detective and psychological thrillers.
I belong to three book groups. We’re reading How To Be An Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi in one of them, and the book is a great explanation of racist ideas and thinking, as well as a fascinating memoir. It’s sparking some very interesting discussions.
I recently read Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid and loved it. I enjoy a variety of genres, and reading great writers inspires my writing to be better. At least, I hope so.
- What author would you totally fan?
Louise Erdrich. She was scheduled to participate in the Tucson Festival of Books in March 2020, and I was so excited to score tickets to listen to her speak. Of course, Covid changed everything, and the festival was canceled, so I didn’t get to see her. I was hugely disappointed. I recently did get to see her participate in an on-line discussion, and although not as good as in-person, I really enjoyed hearing her. Because I love her work so much, it was fascinating to learn more about her writing processes.
- What makes you cringe?
Repetition makes me cringe. My first drafts are often chock-full of duplication with characters smiling nine times in three sentences or a character just wanting to just see just what was going on. J
- Do you obsessively plot out each point or just go with the flow?
I’m definitely a “pantser.” I don’t outline or plan ahead. I just start writing and see where it takes me. Often, I start with one idea in mind and end up in a completely different place, because the writing takes on a life of its own. I once wrote a story about a stripper who gets bitten by a monkey. I started it as a light, humorous piece, but it changed into a darker, more intense story about sexual abuse and lost dreams.
I have tried and tried and tried to be a planner. I wanted to be that author who is organized and knows exactly where every word is headed. When I was thinking about my first book, I prepared for hours; I numbered and lettered until I had the best-looking outline ever designed, but, unfortunately, I was no closer to starting my novel. Because I’m not a planner. Outlining doesn’t help me put words on paper. Outlining helps some writers, and that’s great, but for me it’s just a way to procrastinate.
It took me awhile to understand that I have to get words on paper and not worry about what the first draft looks like. I write in pieces, hardly ever chronologically. Because I’m not always sure what my books are about, I write scenes. I usually have some thoughts about topics and themes I’d like to address, but little that’s concrete or continuous. I knew my first book was set in a domestic violence shelter. I had ideas for some of the characters and events, so I started writing random pieces. After I got five or six scenes actually on paper, the story began coming together. I got to know the characters. I understood more about what I wanted to say.
When I finished the first draft, my ideas for where the book was headed were pretty clear, and my vision only strengthened as I kept writing. That’s the beauty, for me, of having words on paper. I had something to react to, something to workshop and take through coaching. The opening changed five times as I got more feedback. Positive critiquing helped me figure out the ending. By the time I finished four drafts, the story was completely my own. I had a book that I loved, and I couldn’t believe what I accomplished.
- Is there a word you love to use?
I can’t think of a specific word that I love to use, but I very much enjoy employing excellent alliteration whenever possible. Reading that Sue sold sea shells, always makes me smile.
Also, if you have any pictures of your pet you would like to share, please attach them. My readers love animals!
These aren’t the greatest pictures, but here are my boys, Max and Oliver. Max is the smaller one, a Maltese Mix and Oliver is a Bichon mix. They keep me company when I write!
Alice Benson lives in Wisconsin with her partner and their small dog, Max. She discovered writing as a passion in the third act of her life and devotes as much time as possible to it. When not writing, she works in the human service field. Published works can be found in New Purlieu Review, Epiphany, Lady Ink, Delta Woman ezine, and Diverse Voices Quarterly. Her Life is Showing is Alice’s first novel and was published in January, 2014, by Black Rose Writing.
3 winners will receive a paperback of A YEAR IN HER LIFE, US Only.