Happy Tuesday! Say what? You know me and Delusional Thursday... Tuesday was my L day, but here we are on Thursday, doing it all again. Say it with me--WHOOPEE!
But seriously, I was very excited when Authors Promoting Authors came forward with the Blog Book Tour to help authors with upcoming book releases to get their names and books OUT THERE, and this writer's network on the Blogosphere is fantastic--a wonderful, helpful bunch, so if all of YOU could help this process, and help THESE AUTHORS by tweeting, posting, etc., then hopefully the happy karma will come back to you when it is your turn. So without further ado, I welcome my first guest for the blog book tour.
Thank you to Authors Promoting Authors for organizing this opportunities for both writers and Bloggers, and thank you Lee for joining me--you're my first, you know!
And without further ado (or take some ado if you like, but please keep reading)--I welcome Lee Libro!
Why I Self-Published My Novel, Swimming With Wings
About Swimming With Wings
In my first novel, Swimming With Wings, my central female character’s coming of age story spins from this dilemma. Swimming With Wings is a blend of southern literature, mystery and romance. However, unlike your typical “bodice ripper” or gothic romance, this love story sports a more cerebral brand of sexual tension, one based on differing moralities against the backdrop of the 70’s, a time when strict religious dogma was being challenged on one side by cults and evangelism and on the other by the birth of the new age.
Meet Salvatore Roma, a light healer who can raise the dead, Lark Jennison, an eccentric, would-be debutant teen and Peter Roma, a suspected gypsy-turned-evangelist. Though they are completely opposite, the two main characters, Lark and Peter, find themselves magnetically attracted to one another as they struggle with small town judgments surrounding the mysterious deaths of their two fathers. The differences with which they seek answers place them on a collision course that, despite their deep connection, tears them apart. One seeks answers through a misguided cult-like religion; the other through free-loving artistic expression.
Intertwined with the present day romance is the story of how Salvatore Roma, Peter’s grandfather, came to be a mystical light healer. This juxtaposition forms a stark contrast with Peter's “being saved” interpretation of his ancestral roots and his divergence into a corrupted cult. Through it all Lark and Peter remain in love, but in the end who saves who?
Though it fits into the genre of Romance, Swimming With Wings is ultimately literary fiction, a story about searching for direction, the hidden influences of ancestral roots and the forces that shape belief.
I wrote the book partially as an expression of the soul-seeking, gypsy-like route many take to find love and a way to make sense of spirituality in earthly existence, outside of religious structure, especially where grief, prejudice and pain can color one’s experience of it.
My Experience of Getting Published
Defining the genre of the book was my first obstacle to getting the attention of agents and publishers. Because of the complexity of the story and the many topics it touches, it was difficult to fit the novel into any one genre for marketing. My initial querying process to was consistently met with the same response. Because religion plays a big role in the story, they kept labeling it as “Religious” or “Christian Fiction”, when in fact it’s anything but. On the contrary, the story is about breaking away from religion.
The story addresses a timely topic appealing to a broad range of audience, mostly people of my generation and younger who have discovered that often religion is counter to love and tolerance—to anyone who has found alternative ways and means that challenge the status quo of religion and more specifically that move one toward what we loosely term, spirituality. In the story, Lark represents the 1970’s roots of this movement in her compulsion to break away from structure, to cast away the “scaffolding” of religion in favor of the unfettered spirituality she feels through art. Similarly she sees M.C. Escher’s block print entitled Water and Sky as a simile for the evolution of religion to pure spirituality…and it’s no coincidence that her name is that of a bird.
And now after this most rewarding experience of having self-published, I’m on to my next project. I’m currently working on two additional novels. One is based on the true life story of her own great, great aunt, Dr. Alice Lindsay Wynkoop, accused and convicted of murdering her daughter-in-law on the surgery table, a nationwide case covered by media in the 1930’s. The other is a modern adaptation of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story, “Rappaccini’s Daughter”, involving a modern day neurobiologist who tampers too far with the chemistry of the mind, and in so doing, discovers the threshold of the soul.
Where to Order the Book
At 277 pages Swimming with Wings is available at Amazon.com in both paperback and kindle format. It is also available through the major wholesalers, Ingram and Baker & Taylor, to any brick and mortar bookstore or library across the United States. So, if you’d prefer to purchase it from your local bookstore, simply request it and they will order it for you.
For more information, to read an excerpt or learn about me and the novel, visit www.swimmingwithwings.com. To learn more about the writing process and read my own book reviews, visit www.literary-magic.com