Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Book Club Exchange: Allison Winn Scotch & Giveaway

I am so glad to welcome author Allison Winn Scotch to Book Club Exchange! Just yesterday, I reviewed her latest novel THE ONE THAT I WANT, and I absolutely loved it. I highly recommend getting a copy -- and the author has definitely sweetened the pot with her new contest! If you purchase a copy of THE ONE THAT I WANT within the next three days, you can win some great prizes including Oakley sunglasses, a bag of books for summer reading, and a Blackberry.

I am just thrilled that Allison Winn Scotch took the time to write a guest post for Booking Mama. I hope you'll find this little insight into her novels as interesting as I did.

When I talk to readers and when I call into book clubs, one of the most frequent questions I’m asked is, “Just how much of this book is based on your real life,” and the question always gives me pause (and makes me giggle just a little bit too!). There’s no easy way to answer this, but my initial inclination is always to say that they’re not based on my real life at all. And then I always hedge and clarify: I think that if you’re really going to get to the emotional core of a character, and thus, hopefully write an honest book, somewhere, some part of you must relate to the journey that your characters take. But...that doesn’t mean that their story is mine.

This was especially true with my last book, Time of My Life. The book chronicles the journey of Jillian, a discontent mom, who travels back in time to see if she’d have had a better shot at happiness if she’d done things differently, if her “what ifs” had actually transpired. Am I Jillian? No way, no how. But was even my husband a little nervous to read it? :) You betcha. Because while I don’t share a lot of her surface unhappiness – her endless days without adult stimulation with her toddler, her nostalgia for her old career, her struggle with forgiveness for her mother who abandoned her – I did understand the listlessness that was her undercurrent, that tugged her back toward the past. I experienced that listlessness in my 20s, and I was able to tap into it to write Jillian’s story. So while our circumstances are pretty starkly different, our emotional circumstances weren’t so far off. Am I making sense?

Which leads me to my new book, The One That I Want. I’ll be so curious to go out there and chat with readers and book clubs because Tilly, my heroine, is SO UNLIKE me that I very much struggled to find her voice and find that connection where I could say, “Oooh yes, that’s what we have in common. Now I can write you authentically.” This book went through many, many drafts. What came to me so easily with Jillian eluded me for ages with Tilly. Until finally, on, I think, my fifth or sixth draft, I made her a little more angry, a little sharper, a little edgier, and then boom – we connected. I plowed through that draft, again, shaping a life that was very, very different than mine but understanding how she’d react to her circumstances and hopefully, creating a fully fleshed-out, emotive character.

That’s always my goal in writing. To write honestly. To tap into a difficult, vulnerable place and let that show on the page. To expose a sliver of myself without writing about my real life. Readers won’t always love the characters and might not even love what you put down on the page, but as long as their criticism isn’t about the emotional honesty or my attempts to create open characters who resonate, then I’m satisfied.

Which brings me back to my original paragraph: how much of these women are me? I guess it would be fair to say that there are fragments of me filtered throughout my books, like bread crumbs of my personality. Patch them all together, and you might see slices of my life, but mostly, my characters are their own people, and I wouldn’t be happy with my books if it were any other way.

*****
Allison Winn Scotch is the author of the novels TIME OF MY LIFE and THE DEPARTMENT OF LOST AND FOUND. She is also a freelance journalist whose work has appeared in dozens of national magazines. She lives in New York with her husband, son, and daughter, and their dog.

A huge thanks to Allison Winn Scotch for writing this fantastic guest post. If you are interested in participating in a future Book Club Exchange, please contact me at bookingmama(at)gmail(dot)com.

Giveaway: I have one copy of THE ONE THAT I WANT to share with one lucky reader. To enter, just leave a comment with a valid email address telling me why you want to win this book. This contest will be open until Thursday, June 17th at 11:59 p.m. ET, and I will notify the winner the following day. This contest is open to those of you in the U.S. and Canada only. Good luck!

46 comments:

christina said...

I want to read it based on your recomendation. Thanks for the contest!

christina101092@yahoo.com

Shirley said...

I'd like to read this book because it sounds like a good one and she put a lot of time and drafts into it, making it right.

shundelt@yahoo.com

Christine H said...

I'd like to read this book based on what the author said about it, how it took her a long time to hear her heroines voice compared to the last book.

chirth72yahoo.com

scottsgal said...

It sounds like she has a good strong female in this book -I enjoy books like that
msboatgal at aol.com

pinkflipflops said...

I always like reading what authors have to say about their characters. I've wanted to read this book since I read the description yesterday and saw the cover! ;)

pinkflipflops44 at gmail dot com

Sandy Nawrot said...

All of the reviews of this book have been favorable to the character of Tilly (so it seems the author got it right as she was toying with her personality!). In fact, I think I need to read Time of My Life as well (is there a woman alive who hasn't questioned the choices she has made along the way?). Thanks for the great (as always) guest post and giveaway! rnawrot at cfl dot rr dot com

Amy said...

Oooh I really want to read this book because I love reading about the disconnect between what you see and what people are really like. I also love anything to do with the dilemma's of life - the life that seems perfect, or do you branch out and live the life you want, but which would be harder and scarier?

amy[dot]mckie[at]gmail[dot]com

Melanie said...

Sounds like my kind of book. I love coming of age novels, and novels where people really look at thier lives and make changes and come to realizations. Thanks for sharing with us.

Karlie said...

I would love to read this because the main Character is my age!

Cheryl F. {The Lucky Ladybug} said...

I want to win this book because I enjoy good chick lit :) *Thanks* for the giveaway!
theluckyladybug[at]gmail[dot]com

Vickie said...

I would like to read this book because it has a lot of different elements to the story. It's not your everyday "woman coming to into her own through life's adversities" type book.

DarcyO said...

Great post! I'd like to read this one based on Allison's description of the characters being breadcrumbs of her personality. I imagine her books are filled with lyrical descriptions like this.

dlodden at frontiernet dot net

Michelle said...

This one is already on my wish list, if only because I think we all need a lesson in what it means to look at things in a different light. Since hitting my 30s, I have done a lot of that and have thoroughly enjoyed the self-awareness that it brings; however, it takes some fortitude to do so. I can't wait to read Ms. Winn Scotch's viewpoint of this!

jmchshannon (at) gmail (dot) com

katsrus said...

I would like to read this book cause it sound very interesting and enjoyable. Thank you for the contest.
Sue B
katsrus(at)gmail(dot)com

Sandee61 said...

I would like to read this book, because I enjoy finding new-to-me authors. I liked your interview alot, and it sounds like a great book.

Blessings,
Sandee61

Muzzley56[at]aol[dot]com

ruthhill74 said...

I always like to read books to discover new authors. So it would be worthwhile winning and reading!

ruthaw_1974@yahoo.com

ruthhill74 said...

I always like to read books to discover new authors. So it would be worthwhile winning and reading!

ruthaw_1974@yahoo.com

Kay said...

First of all, don't include me in the drawing. I've already read THE ONE THAT I WANT and enjoyed it very much.

I love this feature that you have and was pleased to read what Allison said about character connection and her life. Tilly was a character that I didn't warm to completely at first, but as the book progressed, she won my heart.

Alipet813 said...

I would love to read this book because it would be my first Allison Winn Scott read! By the way she have a lovely name! LOL
She made it sound so interesting and your review was glowing. Win or not I will be reading this and probably all of her work.
Thanks,
Alison :)

Alipet813 said...

oops forgot to leave my email!

alipet813@yahoo.com

Thanks again!

Just Mom said...

I want to read this book because every review I have read has been positive - I like a sure thing!
theroundfile at live dot com

Allison said...

Julie -
I just wanted to thank you for hosting me! And thanks to everyone for entering!
Allison

angie said...

I have been wanting to read this book because I have heard so many great things about it! Please enter me:)
Thanks!
bangersis(at)msn(dot)com

holdenj said...

I really enjoyed Time of My Life and would love to read Allison's new book! Thanks for the chance and good words about it.
JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

karenk said...

i read (and enjoyed) allison's first novel...would love to read this one, too...thanks for the chance :)

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

No need to enter me. I'm dropping in to say thanks for the e-mail. I've got this posted at Win a Book for you.

HMT said...

As a stay at home mother of a 5 year old and twin 2 year olds... I can barely make it out the door to go to the grocery store.... the book store is a whole other beast..Imagine my delight if it just appeared in my mailbox. Thanks for all your great reviews!

hmturcotte5@gmail.com

Amy said...

I have read many wonderful things about this book by Alison Winn Scotch. I have wanted to read one of her books for quite some time and I think this is the one. Please enter me in your giveaway so I can read this wonderful story!

Thank you!

~ Amy
Aimala127@gmail.com

purplg8r said...

I would love to read this book because I read Time of My Life and loved it!

belle2211(at)yahoo(dot)com

Sarah E said...

I want to read this book because the storyline sounds excellent! I've also read several great reviews of this book.

Please enter me in this giveaway!

saemmerson at yahoo dot com

Sarah E

Cheryl said...

I'd LOVE to win a copy of this book!!!!

ChristiS said...

This book--and the author--sound like ones I'd enjoy! Thanks for sharing her!
christis at gmail dot com

Vicki said...

I'd love to win this book because I love that Allison kept working on Tilly until she connected with her.

Also, I've never read a book by her before.

BTW: I absolutely love the cover!!!

readingatthebeach(@)gmail(.)com

Team JC said...

I would love to win this book. I have not read any books by Allison Winn Scotch, but I will be checking them out now! Thanks for the chance!
poolplayer712 (at) yahoo (dot) com

Tore said...

I would really love to read this novel. Sounds very interesting.
Tore923@aol.com

Natalie said...

Want a chance to win a meet & greet with a Random House author!? Well you can take this 5 question quiz on facebook for a chance to win http://www.facebook.com/bertelsmannanniversary#!/bertelsmannanniversary?v=app_308980607538

Jenn P said...

I would love to win this book - It is on my book I want to read list already!! Thanks

Jo-Jo said...

I want to read this book because I read your review. I love books that are lighter reads with more serious themes. Please enter me.
joannelong74 AT gmail DOT com

SEARCHER GURL said...

I so really wanted to have this book unfortunately believe it or not this book is not available here in Manila huhu. Hope I win this book please please! Thank you!

ellamf@gmail.com

Ally said...

Allison is a wonderful author and I'd love to read her newest book. Thanks!
allygotts567 at hotmail dot com

Margie said...

This looks like a thought-provoking book. The premise of seeing into the future is intriguing. Thanks for the giveaway.
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

missreneer said...

I would love to read this book because I read books that take me to another place. I live through them so when I like the synopsis of a book I get excited. I got excited!!!! Thanks for the great giveaway :)

Arch said...

This is a great giveaway...I have been reading rave reviews about this book and would love to read it myself... Please enter me for this giveaway..

archanaskorner(at)gmail(dot)com

Thanks
Arch

Anita Yancey said...

I want to win this book because it sounds like a good read, and I'm very interested. Please enter me.

ayancey(at)dishmail(dot)net

Marilu said...

I want to win this book because it sounds like a book I would really enjoy. Every review I have read has been favorable. Please enter me. Thanks

lovemykidsandbooks AT gmail DOT com

Darcie K. said...

This sounds like an amazing book. Thanks for the chance!
dmkayes@gmail.com