To Say Goodbye introduces two mysteries which connect the lives of Maia and Ben. Supporting each other to resolve both the mysteries and their personal problems draws them together and solidifies their relationship. The book’s title suggests we can say goodbye to our past and build a healthy future, now.
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e-book versions are available at both Amazon and Barnes and Noble. So, if you have a Kindle or Nook, download away!
Paperback versions are available by purchasing directly through me or online at Amazon. If you want me to autograph and save a copy for you, let me know (mail to: Beth@BethLapin.com) (the price will be $16-17, plus any shipping costs if you aren’t local). Yip-pee!!! All versions are available at Wings ePress.
Also, if you order an ebook and want an autograph, check out Authorgraph.
… I enjoyed it very much. I especially liked your comment thanking your former employer for letting you go, which gave you time to write…. As to more general thoughts: I thought you constructed a very strong and interesting narrative. I am impressed w/ the background research you obviously had to do…. I enjoyed it *very* much, and I am impressed at the completion of the project. ~JFE, Ann Arbor, MI
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KEV RICHARDSON interviews BETH LAPIN…
1) What are your writing goals? Your plan for meeting them?
I tried National Novel Writing Month in November, with hopes of producing a sequel to this book, but churning out 1,600 words daily, no matter what, didn’t work for me. Currently, I’m focused on publishing and promoting To Say Goodbye and then finding a publisher for my second work, a historical novel about gypsies in Connecticut from 1850 to 1900.
2) What do you want readers to take away from your book?
Through Ben and Maia’s choices, I reinforce the concept that relationships can be either a venue in which to continue one’s patterns or a growth opportunity to move beyond limitations. Readers will share the characters’ frustrating but ultimately successful efforts to change—and may find the courage to face their own issues.
3) Do you write only when the mood strikes or are you disciplined to a schedule?
Fortunately (or not), I participate in a writing group with a Monday night submission deadline. That provides some pressure and an overarching structure to produce a weekly allotment. My method of reaching that goal varies. Sometimes, I wake up filled with ideas and excitement and the story flows. Other times (especially close to Monday when I haven’t written my self-imposed quota), I force myself to open the document and just start and then the words come.
4) How much do real life experiences influence your tales?
Certainly my passion for—and training in—natural resources and human development is featured prominently in this book. Linking the “distancer-pursuer” psychological dynamic with the ebb and flow of the ocean was influenced by one of my favourite Leonard Cohen songs. On the other hand, I don’t have any dogs, none of my partners have suffered from addictions, and my father was in my life until he died at age 76.
5) When self-editing your work, are you writer or reader?
I use my critical writer eye to edit, but I am always listening to the voice through the ears of a reader. I want the words to be technically and grammatically correct and tight, while at the same time appealing, evoking the senses, and relating to the human psyche.
6) How methodically do you plot your tale structure?
Similar to Maia and Ben’s introduction, To Say Goodbye was spawned by an online personal ad. Email exchanges with a yet unidentified man initiated the plot, but we quickly parted ways, when he wanted to send Maia to the Amazon to search for her father. I intuitively knew her back history focused on JFK, the Bay of Pigs, and Cuban missile crisis. Ultimately, I figured out the details as I went along.
7) Do you pluck some characters from real life?
Characters at the office party in To Say Goodbye were originally derived from individuals in my writing group’s novels, although they ultimately developed their own personalities. I included elements of people I know in some characters, although one of my readers swears she is in this book, even though she wasn’t my inspiration at all.
8) When writing, do you listen to music or prefer silence?
I work in a quiet environment, but I move around a lot. I make many trips to the kitchen. Chocolate works best.
9) How do you resolve plot problems that arise?
Often, I climb a nearby steep hill that passes through the woods and, by the time I turn around to head home, I have figured out a remedy. In To Say Goodbye, I prowled through library books about JFK to discover a photo of the Mystery Man, which provided a perfect solution Maia’s father’s role. The answers are out there, just waiting to be heard, if only I listen.
10) Do you find a character can start pointing your way to what should follow?
About a third of the way through writing To Say Goodbye, Ben’s mother arrived. Startled, I looked over my left shoulder and said, “He doesn’t have a mother.” She kept coming. “No, I said loudly over my shoulder, “no mother.” But she insisted on flowing through my fingers onto the keyboard. And it turned out that she had a small but pivotal role in the plot and featured prominently in a subplot.
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