I have seen this book all over cyberland, as I am sure you have too. That’s why today you are in for a treat. The author is stopping by to tell us about her book. I ask that you please help me in welcoming Ms. Laurie Frankel to our group.
Laurie Frankel lives in Seattle with her husband, her three-year-old son, her border collie, and many, many books. She’s an East coaster originally, a fact people often guess before she’s even opened her mouth. Her second novel, Goodbye For Now, comes out August 2012 in the U.S. The film has been optioned and translation rights have sold in 25 countries. Laurie was just named one of ten women to watch in 2012. She is a proud core member of the Seattle7Writers. Her first novel, The Atlas of Love, came out in August 2010, so August seems to be her month. Until last June, she was teaching writing, literature, and gender studies at the college level. Now she is thrilled, honored, grateful, and occasionally terrified to be writing full-time. It’s quite something.
Connect with Ms. Frankel at her website, Facebook and Twitter.
I’m never sure whether people will be more interested to hear about the book or its author. As the author, I’m pretty qualified to talk about both, but neither one is as easy as it sounds like it should be. It’s hard to talk about yourself, first off because it’s unseemly to appear so self-satisfied and boastful but also because it’s hard to know where to start: I know a lot about myself. But it’s tough to talk about the book too. I know a lot about that as well having thought about little else for quite a while here. And I was an English teacher for a long time — I’m better at asking questions about books than I am at giving out answers. So here’s a little bit of both — me and the book and how it came to be.
I am a novelist, in Seattle now with my husband and my three-year-old and my border collie, but I’m an East Coaster in the first place. I taught college for a dozen-ish years — writing (fiction, playwriting, rhetoric), literature, and gender studies. I wrote my first novel, THE ATLAS OF LOVE, while teaching full-time. It took a while. I wrote my second novel, GOODBYE FOR NOW, much more quickly because I’d left my day job. Being a full-time writer is wonderful. And terrifying.
GOODBYE FOR NOW is the story of Sam Elling, a software engineer who invents a way for people to email — and later video chat — with their dead loved ones. He creates an algorithm that can make a projection of a person based on their electronic archive: all their old emails and Facebook posts and tweets and video chats. It’s also a love story. I wrote it because it seems so logical to me that this technology should exist. So much of our lives are lived online, so many of our relationships exist primarily on Facebook and other social media sites. I started to ask myself: if the person went away but the online presence stayed, what exactly would the difference be?
My grandmother and I were very close. And we emailed each other a lot. After she died, I just wanted more emails from her. And I thought they could be so convincingly and easily faked, I was amazed that no one had invented that service yet, but since no one else had, I did, and since I’m a writer and not a software engineer, I did it in novel form.
One of the best things about the book is it’s about blogs and social media, connecting online and virtual technologies, so I’m looking especially forward to connecting with readers through those mediums. Welcome — it’s great to meet you, however electronically.
ABOUT THE BOOK
In the spirit of ONE DAY, comes a fresh and warmhearted love story for the 21st century. Sometimes the end is just the beginning . . .
Sam Elling works for an internet dating company, but he still can’t get a date. So he creates an algorithm that will match you with your soul mate. Sam meets the love of his life, a coworker named Meredith, but he also gets fired when the company starts losing all their customers to Mr. and Ms. Right.
When Meredith’s grandmother, Livvie, dies suddenly, Sam uses his ample free time to create a computer program that will allow Meredith to have one last conversation with her grandmother. Mining from all her correspondence—email, Facebook, Skype, texts—Sam constructs a computer simulation of Livvie who can respond to email or video chat just as if she were still alive. It’s not supernatural, it’s computer science.
Meredith loves it, and the couple begins to wonder if this is something that could help more people through their grief. And thus, the company RePose is born. The business takes off, but for every person who just wants to say good-bye, there is someone who can’t let go.
In the meantime, Sam and Meredith’s affection for one another deepens into the kind of love that once tasted, you can’t live without. But what if one of them suddenly had to? This entertaining novel, delivers a charming and bittersweet romance as well as a lump in the throat exploration of the nature of love, loss, and life (both real and computer simulated). Maybe nothing was meant to last forever, but then again, sometimes love takes on a life of its own.
THANKS TO ANDREW and DOUBLEDAY BOOKS, I HAVE
THREE (3) COPIES OF THIS BOOK TO GIVE AWAY.
CLICK HERE TO BRING YOU TO THE GIVEAWAY
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