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Allison Winn Scotch: Why I Write

April 11, 2012 By: larramiefg Category: Guest Posts

[In her profile on Twitter, Allison Winn Scotch (The One That I Want, Time of My Life, and The Department of Lost and Found) describes herself as: Novelist, NY Times bestseller, celeb profiler, goldfish killer, dog walker, tantrum negotiator, ass-kicker, pop culture junkie, superwoman. Soon the author will be adding screenwriter as yet another role but first she’ll take time out to celebrate the release of her fourth novel, The Song Remains the Same, tomorrow.

Many fans first met Allison on the popular, long-running blog, Ask Allison, where she generously answers writing and publishing related questions. Yet, when asked why she personally writes, the author confessed never having put those thoughts into words until now.]

Why I Write

Why do I write? I’m not sure that I’ve ever asked myself this question before, or if I have, I’ve never fully answered it because it is too big, too encompassing to really get my brain around. I write for so many reasons, it’s hard to pinpoint them, to hold them down and say, “aha, this is what compels me.”

But after much consideration, here are a few reasons why I put words onto a blank page and hope that, many months and many pages later, they turn into something magical:

1. I write because writing for me, is a way to connect with others. One of the best parts of being a writer is hearing from readers, when they take a moment out of their busy lives to shoot you an email and say, “The story you told is also my story,” or “The characters you drew are similar to the characters in my own life,” or anything that lets me know that we’re all part of this big collective experience together. As a reader, I read books that touch upon themes or issues that I’m dealing with in my own life, and as a writer, I try to honor that honesty: that we’re all mucking our way through together, and that a lot of times, just knowing this – that we’re not alone – can help us make our way.

2. I write because, well, I really love words. Looking back on it, I was always the kid who would use ten words to write a five word sentence. I loved adjectives, descriptions, synonyms, idioms. I was the girlfriend who gave those movie-worthy speeches while in the midst of a break-up, not because they made any difference, but because I really loved the way that I could string words together. 🙂 Seriously. I think the same is true of my writing: I can write a lot of awful sentences, but when you craft that really, really, really good one, well, it’s nirvana.

3. I write because it is catharsis. I often say that if I weren’t a writer, I’d be an actress. There is something really therapeutic about spending time in someone else’s head, at least for me, whether that is writing a character or saying a character’s dialogue, as an actress would. When I’m writing, I honestly forget about wherever I am in my real life – I lose minutes, hours to the page, and in those minutes and hours, I really step outside my own life. Now, don’t get me wrong, my own life is pretty great. But in that time I spend on my manuscript, I’m able to pour out whatever quirks or issues I might be wrestling with onto my own characters, and a lot of times, I emerge wiser, calmer, happier. It’s my personal therapy session, just without the couch and the therapist’s bill.

4. I write because I love it. How lucky am I that I get to spend my days creating something from nothing, creating fictional lives and people and places and calamities and resolutions? I am so, so lucky, and not a day goes by that I don’t realize this. Sure, some of the bad days are dreary, but mostly, this career is heaven, and I love nearly everything about it. That may really be why I write – simply, because I love it. That I then have people to read my work is just the cherry on top.

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In refreshing details from the post, Picture the Book: The Song Remains the Same, this a novel that asks:

Who are we without our memories? And how much of our future is defined by our past?

One of only two survivors of a plane crash, Nell Slattery wakes in the hospital with no memory of the crash – or who she is, or was. Now she must piece together both body and mind — with the help of family and friends who have their own agendas. She filters through photos, art, music and stories, hoping something will jog her memory, and soon – in tiny bits and pieces –Nell starts remembering…
It isn’t long before she learns to question the stories presented by her mother, her sister and business partner, and her husband. In the end she will learn that forgiving betrayals small and large will be the only true path to healing herself — and to finding happiness.

And, of course, these glorious critical reviews need to be repeated too:

“Bestseller Winn Scotch sparkles in her captivating fourth novel. Readers will love Nell and won’t be able to put the book down until they know how much of her past she wants to bring into her future.” – Publishers Weekly

“Scotch has drawn a fully three-dimensional heroine in Nell, and the story’s pacing perfectly mirrors the protagonist’s increasing rate of self-discovery. Scotch peppers her chapters with a number of pop-culture and musical references, giving the story a modern and lively feel. With shades of Sophie Kinsella’s Remember Me? (2008) and Liane Moriarty’s What Alice Forgot (2011), this novel is a breezy yet introspective examination of one woman’s newfound history.” –Booklist

“Readers who appreciate women’s fiction that investigates serious themes will enjoy Scotch’s fine novel. Reading groups will find much to discuss as well.” – Library Journal

As for my truth: In THE SONG REMAINS THE SAME, Allison has written the ultimate “what if?” by wiping her heroine’s mind clean. Nell can start over and become a “fabulous me.” Yet memories cannot be erased from one’s heart, especially when music triggers emotional recall and pulls Nell back to the past in order to understand her present. Writing stronger than ever — with brilliant insight –, the author tells a story of survival filled with courage and hope in discovering one’s truth.

However what Allison also does is keep the reader wondering who this woman truly is. All that is known of Nell is what Nell knows of herself, initially based primarily on “facts” from family and friends. Yet do others always share the same perspective or speak the entire truth? That, in itself, creates a fascinating, cautionary tale of choosing who to trust.

Highly recommended, The Song Remains the Same is a novel of emotional substance that will likely cause you to reflect as well as be entertained. And that’s the best in a book….enjoy!

Book Giveaway: The Divining Wand is giving away one copy of The Song Remains the Same by Allison Winn Scotch — in a random drawing — to anyone who leaves a comment on this post by 11:59 p.m. EDT tonight! The winner will be notified by email tomorrow.

The Beginning of Spring’s Coming Attractions

April 05, 2012 By: larramiefg Category: Advance News

Next week spring releases begin to bloom with two favorite authors.

Tuesday, April 10th: Sarah Pekkanen (Skipping a Beat and The Opposite of Me) and her third novel, These Girls appear here to be followed by….

Wednesday, April 11th: Allison Winn Scotch (The One That I Want, Time of My Life, and The Department of Lost and Found) will be at TDW on the eve of publication for The Song Remains the Same.

Watch for both guest appearances and the Book Giveaways.

Happy Holiday Weekend!

Picture the Book:
The Song Remains the Same

March 08, 2012 By: larramiefg Category: Book Presentations, Book Trailers, Books

“What if” Allison Winn Scotch (The One That I Want, Time of My Life, and The Department of Lost and Found) — whose writing is naturally inspired by music — crafted a novel that revolves around how deeply music affects/recalls memory? Fortunately the NYT bestselling author has done just that and her fourth novel, The Song Remains the Same will be released next month on Thursday, April 12, 2012.

Part-thriller/mystery, the book questions and answers:

Who are we without our memories? And how much of our future is defined by our past?



A brief synopsis:

One of only two survivors of a plane crash, Nell Slattery wakes in the hospital with no memory of the crash – or who she is, or was. Now she must piece together both body and mind — with the help of family and friends who have their own agendas. She filters through photos, art, music and stories, hoping something will jog her memory, and soon – in tiny bits and pieces –Nell starts remembering…
It isn’t long before she learns to question the stories presented by her mother, her sister and business partner, and her husband. In the end she will learn that forgiving betrayals small and large will be the only true path to healing herself — and to finding happiness.

And, of course, the wonderful reviews:

“Bestseller Winn Scotch sparkles in her captivating fourth novel. Readers will love Nell and won’t be able to put the book down until they know how much of her past she wants to bring into her future.”– Publishers Weekly

“Readers who appreciate women’s fiction that investigates serious themes will enjoy Scotch’s fine novel. Reading groups will find much to discuss as well.” – Library Journal

“A devastating portrait of one woman’s struggle to regain her memory. Allison Winn Scotch’s novel The Song Remains the Same takes on fascinating emotional terrain — the decision between dredging up the past, or wiping the slate clean and starting over. I can’t remember becoming so engrossed in a novel so quickly or feeling so satisfied at the end.”
– Elin Hilderbrand, bestselling author of SILVER GIRL and THE ISLAND

“Who would we be without our memories, good and bad? This funny, poignant, and absorbing page-turner raises that question and many others, about the nature of love, trust, family and friendship. I’m still thinking about the main character and her surprising journey long after I turned the final page.”
–J. Courtney Sullivan, author of COMMENCEMENT and MAINE

“From the first pages of THE SONG REMAINS THE SAME, I was hooked. Nell is a heroine you will cheer for; and long remember after finishing the book!”
– Lauren Weisberger, bestselling author of THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA

As for my truth: In THE SONG REMAINS THE SAME, Allison has written the ultimate “what if?” by wiping her heroine’s mind clean. Nell can start over and become a “fabulous me.” Yet memories cannot be erased from one’s heart, especially when music triggers emotional recall and pulls Nell back to the past in order to understand her present. Writing stronger than ever — with brilliant insight –, the author risks telling a darker story of survival filled with courage and hope in discovering one’s truth.

To further pique your interest while not divulging any *spoilers* of Nell Slattery’s story, this Fairy Godmother decided to Picture the Book through three musical videos of songs chosen by the author. The very first page of the book contains the protagonist’s playlist and can be enjoyed here. However why not be entertained by the following selections and explanations?

AWS: Joe Cocker: Have a Little Faith in Me.
This is really one that embodies the spirit of the book as a whole. There’s a reason that it’s the first song and the first musical reference that Nell hears. (And yes, I know that there’s a John Haitt version, but I didn’t think many people would know it if I opted for that version!)

(If the video is not visible on your monitor, please view it here.)

AWS: Carly Simon:Let the River Run
This song, for me, is about embracing freedom and well, letting your own river run. Again, this is a pivotal song for Nell, and I must have filtered through a hundred different options before settling on this one. It needs to be really representative of her emotional state when she first hears it, and then again, when it comes back into her life.

(If the video does not appear on your monitor, please view it here.)

AWS: Van Morrison: Into the Mystic
This song is so deeply representative of childhood and innocence that I absolutely felt compelled to include it in the book. I know that the lyrics themselves aren’t overtly about anything related to childhood, but for me and for Nell, the song really encapsulates those long summer days when you didn’t have a care in the world.

(If the video does not appear on your monitor, please view it here.)

CHAPTER ONE of The Song Remains the Same can be read now and then the book can be Pre-ordered. Enjoy….you will!

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Announcement: The winner of Sarah Pinneo’s Julia’s Child is: Keetha. Congratulations! Please email diviningwand (at) gmail (dot) com with your mailing address and the book will be sent out promptly.