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Monday, September 19, 2011

Liz Fichera and CRAVING PERFECT giveaway!


Today we have Liz Fichera and she's also doing a giveaway... but before we give over to her, just a reminder check on my sidebar for links and follow the Blog Tour of Kate Walker and Christina Hollis for MEGA GIVEAWAYS!

Writing a Novel, One Mile at a Time
Not all novels are written behind a laptop, at a coffee shop, or in a home office—you know, the quiet and dusty places where you’d most expect writers to write, surrounded by unlimited pots of black coffee and the occasional pastry. In truth, I write most of my novels in my home office but that was not the case for my latest release from Carina Press, CRAVING PERFECT.
At the time I wrote CRAVING PERFECT, I had this crazy idea that I was going to train for a marathon. Competing in a marathon has always been something on my bucket list and while I didn’t have any illusions that I would actually win a marathon, I certainly held out hope that I could finish one.

But training for a marathon takes time. A lot of time. Like, sometimes hours every day.
And since I’m supposed to be at home writing my next novel, guilt creep quickly set in because I was spending so much time at my local gym, training. There were days when I would spend anywhere from a minimum of two hours to almost four hours at my new home-away-from-home.

One day as I was logging mile after mile on the treadmill at the gym, wondering if I was kidding myself with the whole marathon thing, a book idea popped into my brain like a seed of sunlight. Soon, I began to see people at my gym who I thought would make great characters for the book. Then I started to flesh out a rough outline. Finally I began to write the first chapter. And the second. And the third. And so on and so on. All in my head.

Energized by my run and a head drunk on book ideas, I’d rush home and shower, of course, and then begin pounding out my story into my laptop. It got to the point where I couldn’t write without first running at least 6-10 miles. Talk about incentive! Some people call this runner’s high but I’m here to tell you that I had a full-fledged writer’s high.

CRAVING PERFECT was written one mile at a time. I went through four pairs of running shoes by the time I typed “The End” on my first draft. All of the characters are based on people I observed at my gym (which will remain nameless). And I have one very well used, industrial-sized treadmill to thank for it, although my knees may never be the same.

Where's the strangest place you've ever written or read a book?

Curious about CRAVING PERFECT?  Here's the back cover copy:

A Life Less...Hers
Grace Mills craves being perfect almost as much as she craves raspberry scones. In fact, her life would be perfect if only she could lose ten more pounds, if only the pastry café she co-owns with her sister would turn a profit, if only the hottest guy at the gym would look her way...
And then "if only" comes true. Grace is suddenly straddling two lives: an alternate reality where she's a size two, weathergirl celebrity and being chased by the hot guy. Only Mr. Gorgeous isn't very nice.
In her other life, she's starting to realize her sister is less than happy running the family café, and hunky Carlos, the gym's janitor, seems to have a secret crush on her. Maybe there's more to him than meets the eye...
Grace is living two lives and it's beginning to cost her. Is there a way to pick one...that's perfect?
******
Liz lives in the American Southwest.  She’s the author of CAPTIVE SPIRIT (2010), CRAVING PERFECT (2011) and HOOKED (Harlequin Teen, 2013).  She still runs almost every day, although mostly to balance out her daily chocolate intake.  When she's not training at her local gym or pounding out her next novel into her laptop, you'll find her in all the usual places on the web.  Don't hesitate to drop by her web site and check out the latest giveaways and prizes on her blog, Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads

32 comments:

  1. Welcome Liz! I have two strange places. One was my treadmill. That always gets the juices flowing! And in my car while I'm driving. Good thing I have voice record on my phone.

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  2. Hi Donna, thanks for coming along!

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  3. Four pairs of running shoes? That's a lot of running, but well worth it, since Craving Perfect is the result. As you know, Liz, I have only good things to say about the book. Wishing you success with it.

    A hot idea or two have struck me while I waited in line to cash my items. The same thing has happened to me while at KFC. You know those paper mats they use to line the trays. Yeah, I've written on those too.

    Nas, thanks for hosting and giving me a peek into Liz' writing routine.

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  4. Lol, Joy, paper mats? So creative of you! Made use of whatever was available! Thanks for coming along!

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  5. I guess the strangest place I've read a book is in a deer blind keeping my husband company while he was hunting! Of course, he doesn't think that's a strange place at all. ;o)

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  6. Hi Karen, thanks for dropping in!

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  7. Inspiration always seems to hit me when I'm around running water. Does the sound of it calm my inner mind, or dose my muse delight in catching me when I can't take notes, e.g. because I'm in the shower?

    Liz, your book intrigued me the first time I saw the cover. And can't we all relate to the plot ... Wishing you much success, and thank you, Nas, for giving us the opportunity to learn more about Liz.

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  8. Hi Nas, thanks for having Liz in today.

    Wow, Liz, that's a really cool way to write... and one I've never heard of before.

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  9. Nas, thanks for inviting me to your blog today! I appreciate all the kind comments too. Glad I'm not the only one who's gotten creative in a weird place. :)

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  10. This book is on my to-read list. I wish Liz the best.

    4 pairs of sneakers?! Impressive!

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  11. Its great to meet you Liz! And no strange places for me, unless you count my neighbors house while they're at work.

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  12. Hi Liz,
    It was great to learn more about you on Nas's blog. Wow, running in marathons? I like walking but running has never been one of my fortes.

    I don't know that I've ever written anywhere unusual, but I did some of my best writing down at a beach house we were staying it. The family room had wall to wall windows that backed onto the beach facing west. I wrote lots of words while watching the tides go in and out, and the shimmering water as the sun went down. Just gorgeous!

    BTW LOVE the sound of raspberry scones!! Any recipes to share?

    Thanks for having Liz as your guest, Nas.

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  13. Hehehe that's an interesting place to write. I feel boring in comparison. I used to go to cinemas about an hour before the movie I'd watch and write. Don't ask why, but it works. :-)

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  14. Novels are like a marathon, and I love the idea of writing a novel one mile at a time.

    I've read Craving Perfect and it's a fabulous read.

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  15. I penned my first novel while spending a fishing vacation at a friend's cabin. While hubby took the boys fishing, I had plenty of peace and quiet to write... by hand. When I got home I typed it up and my first children's novel came to light. Nowadays, I write for adults but I find I can write anywhere as long as there's peace and quiet.

    Love the cover of Craving Perfect! It sounds like a perfect read. :-)

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  16. Hi Liz,

    Love, love the way your muse came out to play for this book!

    For me, my best ideas come usually when I'm asleep - mostly in the form of a dream..and I always struggle to remember that when I wake up... so if by chance I get some idea while awake, I grab at it like a lifeline.. LOL :)

    Haven't read Craving Perfect, but would love to ;)

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  17. Hi Michelle, thanks for coming by. Water always calms and soothes our brain.

    @Doralynn, Hi, thanks for coming by.

    @Liz, welome to my home on the web!

    @Theresa, Hi, thanks, CRAVING PERFECT is a awesome story!

    @Stephen, Hi, thanks for coming by!

    @Serena, thanks for your kind words!

    @Misha, Hi, thanks!

    @Talli, I completely agree with you about CRAVING PERFECT!

    @Lorraine, thanks for your comment!

    @Ju, Hi, thanks for coming in!

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  18. @Donna: I agree completely about running and treadmills. For some reason, I get tons of ideas when I run.

    @Joy: I've been known to write down stuff on napkins and scraps of paper too. Sometimes though I can't read my own handwriting!

    @Karen: That is cool! And I bet it was quiet too. :)

    @Theresa: Thank you!!

    @Stephen: So nice to meet you too!

    @Serena: *swoons* The beach is probably one of my most fave places to do just about anything. Regarding recipes, I do share a raspberry scone recipe in the back of the book.

    @Misha: That is actually a great idea! When I go to the movies, I usually go to matinees, if there's something I want to see. The place is usually deserted. Will have to remember that...

    @Talli: Thank you!!

    @Lorraine: That sounds wonderful! Would love a quiet cabin.

    @Ju: Thanks, Ju! Glad you liked my story. When the muse strikes, you've pretty much got to grab it. :)

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  19. Interesting post. I don't think I have any strange places. I do read and jot down notes while I'm out since I have a smartphone, so I may be doing this on line at the grocery store, in waiting rooms, and so on.

    Thanks for introducing me to Liz.

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  20. Great post! I ran a marathon before I got serious about writing, and the only thing holding me back from doing another one is all the training time and that it wouldn't leave me time for writing. I'm not sure I could hold all that in my head like you do, though. Usually after a half hour walk with the dog I need to get back to my laptop and write it all down - four hours worth would probably make my head explode!

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  21. Thanks for sharing the story, Liz! I get lots of ideas while walking back and forth from the train station, on the way to work, so I can see how being at the gym could spark creativity.
    Loved Craving Perfect! If I won I'd pass it on :-)

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  22. @Medeia: I've used my phone too to jot down ideas. Lots of interesting people in grocery lines. :)

    @Susan: Agreed. There were some days when I think my head DID explode. I couldn't wait to get to my laptop.

    @Deniz: Thank you!! Walking and running seem to be a common thread. I wonder if it's because our heads empty during exercise and then fill up again?? Inquiring minds.

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  23. That sounds like a good one :) And running to write? Interesting stuff

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  24. Hi Liz, you have got a quite an intriguing story there. Am already dying to read your "Craving Perfect" as soon as possible. Also loved to read about your experience. All the best for future.

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  25. Thanks, Kritisha. So glad to hear that!

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  26. Great cover on "Craving Perfect," Liz.

    (I run -- and work out in general -- to get away from all the ideas swirling through my head. Though they're not the stuff great stories are made of. ;-) )

    I'm wondering...how many pages/words come out of a four hour run? Did you keep actual words and scenes in your head, or was much of the run rumination time, as opposed to what you might call practice-composition time?

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  27. Thank you, azarimba. Typically after a run, I would usually go home and add 1500-2000 words to my WIP. I kept mostly scenes in my head.

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  28. Thanks, Nas, for hosting me this week. And now to announce the winner of CRAVING PERFECT. According to Random.org, the winner is...

    Theresa Milstein!

    Theresa, please contact me via my web site at www.lizfichera.com and I will be happy to email you an e-copy of CRAVING PERFECT.

    Thanks again, everyone!

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  29. It's nice to learn a little more about Liz. Her book sounds interesting. Congrats to Theresa for winning it!

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  30. Thank you Karen for coming by, and thanks to all my lovely friends for coming by.

    Thank you Liz Fichera for taking time chatting with us!

    Congratulations to Theresa, you'll definitely love CRAVING PERFECT!

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  31. YaY, YaY, YaY! I'm so excited. I'm on my way!

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