If you are a frequent visitor, today’s guest may sound familiar. He was here back in May of 2011 when he stopped by to talk about his novel Dead of Wynter, which I had stated to put him on your radar. So when Erin and Kate, from The Book Trib, contacted me to review his latest novel, be part of his tour and scavenger hunt, it was a definite yes. So please help me welcome back, Mr. Spencer Seidel.
ABOUT SPENCER SEIDEL
Spencer Seidel’s love of reading and writing began as a child after he discovered Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. His first novel, Dead of Wynter, was published in 2011 and was well-received by critics and readers alike. When he’s not writing novels, Spencer enjoys playing loud rock guitar, something he’s been doing for over twenty-five years.
The Terrifying World of a Writer
By Spencer Seidel
Ask anyone who knows me, and they’ll tell you that I can be overly scheduled, neurotic, a tad eccentric . . . Well, I won’t go on. You get the picture. Let’s just say that sometimes I’m not real good with going with the flow.
Show me a writer who isn’t a little strange, and I’ll show you a mediocre writer. Writers throughout history have been weird. Hemingway was weird. Same goes for F. Scott Fitzgerald. Do I even have to mention Truman Capote?
I think there’s a simple reason for this.
For those of you who don’t write, let me describe the concept with an analogy. Suppose you woke up one day with a sense of smell as keen as a bloodhound. Can you imagine how awful that would be? You’d smell everything vividly. Every cleaning product on every surface, your own BO, or worse, everyone else’s BO. And I won’t even mention that cat box or God forbid, the old cat herself. And that’s just the beginning. What about the garbage, the laundry hamper, or the week-old milk in the fridge? Even sex would be a challenge. You’d go mental.
But there’s a flip side. Imagine how wonderful freshly baked cinnamon rolls would smell. Or bacon in the morning. No wonder dogs are always begging around for food or dying to get outside. The complex and sometimes overwhelming smells must drive them nuts.
Being a writer is a lot like that, except instead of smells, it’s motivations, emotion, and possibilities. When I get into the car to drive to work every morning, it isn’t hard for me to make my writer voice say things like, “His last day on earth began just like any other.” Yikes! Even on that short drive to my day job, I’m always seeing possibilities. Things that could happen, little things that change lives forever, events that books are made of, like a dropped cellphone on the passenger-side floor that makes someone stray into oncoming traffic, or a blown tire. The more complex the situation, the worse this effect gets. I think this can make writers a little crazy and regimented in their ways as they seek to control their environments.
But, like with our newly found bloodhound senses, there is a flip side. Although some can be extremely introverted, writers are very good at sniffing out people’s angles and motivations. I contend that this makes writers very difficult to lie to. Think your writer spouse could never find out that you’re having an affair? I’ll bet she already knows. Or suspects, anyway. We can be hypersensitive and detect subtle verbal clues and facial expressions people aren’t even aware they’re using. We do that because that’s in part what makes good characterization. That’s a powerful thing.
People are always telling me I would have made a great psychologist. I’ll bet that’s true of most writers. That’s because you really need to understand people at a gut level to make believable characters.
That also gets a little hairy. You can’t just think about all the good things people do, although there is plenty of that around, despite what you hear on the news. Sometimes you have to live inside the head of a killer or rapist or worse, trying to understand how a character like that would think. It can be frightening.
I mean, what if I find out I sort of like it in there? Damn, there I go again.
Next Stop: http://www.myatlantamommy.com
She’d fallen in love with 227 Cumberland Avenue immediately upon seeing it one snowy day in January a few years ago. She’d gotten damn tired of the scrum-dum one bedroom apartment she’d lived in for years over in Parkside and decided to trade up. She didn’t own and didn’t want to. She was a busy woman and had no time to spend fixing things or waiting for someone else to come and fix things. Here, she had a landlord for that. That cold January day, he’d explained that some young guy was moving out after less than a year there for business reasons. The hardwood floors, the exposed brick in the hallway leading to her bedroom, wrought-iron chandeliers, two full baths, brand new appliances, twelve foot ceilings, absolute quiet, and two entrances, front and back, had worked their magic in a matter of a minute or two. She signed the lease that very visit.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Synopsis (borrowed from Amazon): Late one night out on the Eastern Promenade Trail in Portland, Maine, the police discover an incoherent teenager sitting in a pool of blood, holding the body of his best friend and the murder weapon. The girl they both love has been missing for weeks.
The kid’s jealousy clearly drove him to murder. He says the missing girl is the love of his life. She also happens to be the girlfriend of the murder victim.
It’s an open and shut case, or so most of Portland thinks.
Dr. Lisa Boyers, forensic psychologist, receives a call from an old friend, a connection to her troubled past. Attorney Rudy Swaner wants her to interview the young killer Paul Ducharme, who is claiming he doesn’t remember the events leading up to the murder.
In her jailhouse interviews, Lisa helps Paul to recover his memories. But something about Paul’s disturbing love story shakes Lisa to the very core of her being. To understand Paul, she is forced to confront her own ugly violent secrets.
Media attention mounts. Reporters stream into Portland. All eyes turn to the psychologist who seems intent on exonerating the vicious teen killer. Soon Lisa finds herself the focus of an over-zealous reporter with a knack for digging up dirty secrets.
But the killer who has Lisa in the crosshairs already knows them all.
See my review here.
THANKS TO ERIN AND KATE FROM
THE BOOK TRIB, I HAVE ONE (1) COPY
OF THIS THRILLER TO GIVE AWAY.
CLICK HERE TO BRING YOU TO
THE GIVEAWAY ENTRY PAGE.
I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me,
in exchange for my honest review.
No items that I receive
are ever sold…they are kept by me,
or given to family and/or friends.