Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Retreat and a Review

So a couple of weekends ago, while in the midst of my word-cutting revision, I had the fabulous opportunity to go a on writer's retreat with my lovely writing buddies: Emily, Kim, and Valynne. (Darn it all, Sara was too busy launching her online shoe biz to come). In honor of Emily's birthday, the sale of her second manuscript, and the imminent release of her debut novel, THE WAY HE LIVED (more on that in a minute) she rented out a three bedroom condo in Eden, Utah and invited us along. Em and I went up early on Friday and enjoyed the afternoon writing (me revising) and then Kim and Valynne joined us that evening. We spent the rest of the weekend checking out local restaurants, writing, enjoying the amazing scenery, and debating everything from gambling to proposition 8. And despite my insane diet restrictions, I still managed to eat my weight in Swedish fish and sour patch kids. There's nothing like a weekend of hard work, interactions with like-minded people, and a sugar coma to give you the burst of creativity needed to tackle a bunch or revisions. Thanks for the weekend, Em. You rock!

While on the topic of how awesome Emily Wing Smith is, I want to give a shout out for her book debuting November 1st. THE WAY HE LIVED is an amazing story told from the points of view of six teens dealing with the loss of their friend/sibling Joel Espin who died on a tragically ill-lead boy scout trip to the Grand Canyon. Each teen reveals different aspects of Joel's life, letting the reader piece together the reason why Joel may have chosen to sacrifice himself in order to save his fellow hikers. Em summarizes it better than me:

Six stories. Six voices. One reality.

Monday’s Child has just lost her brother, but that’s not why she’s crazy. Tuesday’s Child is a star and wishes she wasn’t. Wednesday’s Child is obsessed with getting revenge. Thursday’s Child is on a quest to find herself. Friday’s Child is in love with a dead guy, and Saturday’s Child is in love with a guy in gray sweats–who isn’t her boyfriend. And the child born on the Sabbath day is the one to set it all in motion.

(Sorry Em, I stole that from you blog, but since I'm promoting your book, I figured you wouldn't mind.)

The book was originally titled SUNDAY'S CHILD but her publisher thought teens would be reluctant to buy a book that had the word "child" in it. Personally, I prefer the original title, but hey, I'm not a marketing expert.

Anyway, Emily is amazingly talented and an extremely hard working author. I'm totally biased since she has been my wonderfully patient critique partner for the last 4 years, but I think her book is wonderful and everyone should read it. Our writing styles are quite different. Emily's writing is sparse, thoughtful, poetic, realistic, literary, and character-driven. I, on the other hand, write the plot-driven romance/thriller type stuff. Emily has always been patient with me, and because of her influence, I now have rich characters to populate my plots (at least I think so, but then again, I'm completely biased).

I have learned so much from Emily over the years, and I think she deserves to have a smashingly wonderful book debut. THE WAY HE LIVED hits book stores on November 1st, but you can preorder it now on amazon.


Kelly said...

I must say I'm a little jealous that:

a. You got a girls only retreat
b. You actually talked about real issues like prop 8 (I get tired of only hearing labor stories when I get together with other ladies)

Sounds like you are making good progress on the book! Sounds exciting.

Mrs. Organic said...

What insane diet restrictions?

Congrats to your friend and hoo-rah for retreats!

Bree Biesinger Despain said...

Ahhh, the insane diet restrictions will the the subject of my next post.

Mrs. Organic said...

Can't wait, don't you just love blog fodder?

The Family G said...

Checked out the shoe site and it made me wish even more that I could wear cute shoes. Ah, well.

Good luck on your revisions, and I love the new picture!