Hi everyone!! Do I have a treat for you!! Nicole from Tribute Books is taking time out of her busy schedule to stop by and introduce us to today’s guest author. And if I know my followers, I am sure a lot of you will be very interested in her book. So please help me welcome Nicole and Kathy Leonard Czepiel.
Kathy Leonard Czepiel
Kathy Leonard Czepiel is the recipient of a creative writing fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and teaches writing at Quinnipiac University. Her short fiction has been published in numerous journals including Cimarron Review, Indiana Review, Calyx, Confrontation, and The Pinch. A native of New York State’s mid-Hudson Valley, she now lives in Connecticut with her husband and two children.
You can visit Kathy at her website, Facebook, Twitter, GoodReads, and Tribute Books Blog Tours.
Like many twentysomethings today, I moved back to my home town shortly after college graduation. I had spent my whole life in this little Hudson River Valley town, a farming community with two traffic lights and three schools. But when I began working as a reporter for the local weekly newspaper, I met people and learned things I had never known before. One was that the area had once been known as The Violet Capital of the World. How could I have spent my entire childhood there and never heard this? Though I didn’t know it then, my first novel had been born with that question. However, it was fifteen years before I was ready to write it. Writing a novel is a big commitment, and I knew its subject would have to hold my interest for a long time. The violets were the perfect starting place.
I began my research for A Violet Season at a local history museum with a file of newspaper clippings and photocopied pages from old books, but eventually I had to leave the library and get out in the “field”—in my case, a greenhouse. It’s one thing to read about something; it’s quite another to experience it firsthand. Leaving the library marked a turning point in my research—the point at which I had to proclaim myself a writer and ask someone else to take my research seriously. That someone was a local farmer named Fred Battenfeld, who graciously showed me around his greenhouses one cold March day. Earlier generations of Battenfelds had been violet growers, and though the family switched to growing hybrid anemones and Christmas trees decades ago, Fred still grows one small bed of violets, the only one in the Northeast as far as I know. He showed me around his greenhouses, even down into the “stokehouse” or furnace room. He demonstrated how to pick and bunch the flowers. He answered all of my questions.
Most of my writing days are pretty dull. I sit at my desk, next to my study window which looks out on my neighbors’ houses, and I plug away at my desktop computer. Sometimes I get up to make a cup of coffee or switch the laundry from the washer to the dryer. But research days are something else entirely—exciting not only because I’m away from my desk but because I never know what new information I’ll discover. On a trip to the New York Tenement Museum on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, I got the feel for the tenement apartment in my own novel and borrowed a few particular details, including the “short clothesline of socks hung over the stove.” Sometimes the “research” is closer to home—a neighborhood walk, for example, on which I was struck by a squirrel with “afternoon sunlight casting a halo at the edges of its tail.” I love getting lost in the written world at my desk, but perhaps my favorite writing days aren’t about writing at all. They’re about the real-world discovery of these little details that bring my story to life.
ABOUT THE BOOK
A mother’s choices in a time of crisis threaten the one person she means to protect—her only daughter—and force her to make the boldest move of her life.
The violet industry is booming in 1898, and a Hudson Valley farm owned by the Fletcher family is turning a generous profit for its two oldest brothers. But Ida Fletcher, married to the black sheep youngest brother, has taken up wet nursing to help pay the bills, and her daughter, Alice, has left school to work. As they risk losing their share of the farm, the two women make increasingly great sacrifices for their family’s survival, sacrifices that will set them against one another in a lifelong struggle for honesty and forgiveness. Vivid and compelling, A Violet Season is the story of an unforgettable mother-daughter journey in a time when women were just waking to their own power and independence.
Price: $15.00 paperback, $9.99 ebook
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release: July 10, 2012
Purchase links: Amazon, B&N, Simon & Schuster, iBookstore.
THANKS TO THE KINDNESS OF AUTHOR, KATHY LEONARD CZEPIEL,
I HAVE ONE (1) PB COPY TO GIVE AWAY. U.S. RESIDENTS ONLY.
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