Friday, February 10, 2012

Guest Post with Canadian author Linda Poitevin

I recently had the chance to chat with Linda Poitevin on Twitter and while having a lovely conversation with her, she offered to do a guest post on my blog to help me out of a blogging slump. Thank you Linda for your generous offer and it's been lovely having you here on the blog.
Over-Thinking: My Biggest Obstacle to Writing a Story

The path to publishing, as you may have heard, isn’t an easy one. Nor is it generally short. In my case, it took well over ten years from my first submission (we won’t talk about the novel behind that attempt!) to signing the contract for Sins of the Angels. The ‘call,’ when it came, was worth every step I took and every hurdle I had to clear along that path…but believe me, the hurdles have been numerous. 
As they do for many moms, life and family had a strong tendency to get in the way of many of my personal goals. More than once I had no choice but to put my writing aside, sometimes for months at a time. I was homeschooling the youngest of three daughters (one of whom had yet to be diagnosed with Asperger’s), running a freelance writing business from home to help make ends meet, and coping with the various crises with which life likes to present us, including the death of my mother. But to be honest, none of these hurdles was my biggest obstacle. That honour I reserved for myself.
Yup. I was my own greatest hurdle. My greatest naysayer, doubter, critic…you name it, if it was negative, that was me. My very own worst writing enemy. And the greatest of those great negatives? I cared too much about what people would think.
Don’t get me wrong, because I very much care about my readers. I know I can’t please everyone, but I still want readers (overall) to enjoy my stories. To find an escape within the pages. To be pulled into an alternate reality and carried away by my words. And I definitely want them to consider the purchase of one of my books as money well spent. ;)
But there’s a fine line between wanting to deliver a good story and finding myself paralyzed by the fear of what people might think. A story about angels as fallible beings? About God as imperfect? And as a woman? Somewhere inside me, I was certain that just thinking these things, never mind writing them, amounted to blasphemy (shudder!) and would elicit the worst possible kind of response from readers.
The result was that my fear was like a massive wall between what lived in my imagination and what, for a long time, made it onto the paper. I had Aramael and Alex’s story in me, but I was afraid to tell it the way my characters wanted it to be told. As a result, my first attempts at writing were pretty tame. Indeed, the first draft of Sins of the Angels itself received many rejections of the “strong writing but just doesn’t capture me” variety. It wasn’t until I decided I had nothing to lose that the wall began to crumble and the words –my words – finally shaped the story they were meant to.
My battle, however, is far from over. Even now, with Sins of the Angels on bookstore shelves and Sins of the Son releasing soon (March 27th), I find myself grappling with an innate caution that keeps wanting to rebuild that wall. The difference, however, is that now I recognize the symptoms and understand that major writer’s block usually means I am over-thinking the story…again. 
Bottom line is that I know my greatest fear isn’t an insurmountable obstacle but merely a challenge. And what are challenges for if not to make us stronger? ;)

Sins of the Angels (Grigori Legacy Book 1)
A detective with a secret lineage. An undercover Hunter with a bullet-proof soul. And a world made to pay for the sins of an angel…

Homicide detective Alexandra Jarvis answers to no one. Especially not to the new partner assigned to her in the middle of a gruesome serial killer case—a partner who is obstructive, irritatingly magnetic, and arrogant as hell.

Aramael is a Power—a hunter of the Fallen Angels. A millennium ago, he sentenced his own brother to eternal exile for crimes against humanity. Now his brother is back and wreaking murderous havoc in the mortal realm. To find him, Aramael must play second to a human police officer who wants nothing to do with him and whose very bloodline threatens both his mission and his soul.

Now, faced with a fallen angel hell-bent on triggering the apocalypse, Alex and Aramael have no choice but to join forces, because only together can they stop the end of days.

Sins of the Son (Grigori Legacy Book 2)
When homicide detective Alexandra Jarvis sees a photo of Seth Benjamin on a police bulletin, she knows that Heaven's plan to halt Armageddon has gone terribly wrong. As the only mortal who knows of Seth's true nature, only she can save him. Aramael was a hunter of Fallen Angels until a traitor forced him into earthly exile. Now, with no powers and only a faint memory of Alex, his mortal soulmate, he will stop at nothing to redeem himself-even if it means destroying Seth in the name of the Creator...

Linda will be having a book launch for Sins of the Son on April 14th @ 7PM 
at Collected Works Bookstore 1242 Wellington St. West, Ottawa

About the author:
Linda Poitevin lives just outside Canada’s capital, Ottawa, with her husband, three daughters, one very large husky/shepherd/Great Dane-cross dog, two cats, three rabbits, and a bearded dragon lizard. Turned down in her pursuit of a police career after a faulty height measurement, Linda vicariously lives out her dream of being a cop through her characters. When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found in her garden in the summer, hugging the fireplace in the winter, or walking her dog along the river in any season. 
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