Monday, September 19, 2011

Blog Tour- Love At Absolute Zero Guest Post and Giveaway

Welcome back to the blog tour for Love At Absolute Zero! Today is guest post and giveaway day. Be sure to check out my review here.

Christopher Meeks has been kind enough to write a post on his recent writing inspiration. 


Thank you, Lisa for inviting me in. You asked for the most recent thing I saw/read/heard that inspired my writing. That would be two things. The first is Project Runway, the Lifetime show where supermodel Heidi Klum gives challenges to fashion designers, and their work is judged by leaders in the fashion industry. This show grabs my whole family. I love this reality show because it parallels my own struggles in writing in so
many ways.

For instance, in an early episode for this season, the ninth, the designers had to go to a pet store and find enough material to create elegant clothing. The losing designer, Joshua Christensen, fell out because what he created had “no imagination,” as one judge said. “It was boring,” said another. “Not innovative or creative,” said the third. These words could be used for so many books.

What the show reminds me again and again is that the highly creative person can, in Heidi’s words, “stand out but be in.” The really wild designers might create odd things, but their work becomes a costume instead of fashion. The designers that crash early are too “safe.” They create stuff that future moms of America can wear to Sears.

Designer Falleen Wells from Denver, tattooed and eccentric, said of her average designs, “Maybe I’m too much of a normal person.”

I feel for every one of the designers. The creative pressure they feel is what all writers experience. In the throws of a first draft, writers can wonder are they writing an average story with mildly interesting people? Too safe? Conversely, if big things are happening, is it too much, too unreal? Is it over-the-top with little connection to life in the hopes that pyrotechnics will move the reader?

One big downfall for many designers as well as writers is a lack of confidence. When you see a creative person dive in and say, “I don’t know if it’ll work, but I’ll use all my craft and follow my gut,” magic often occurs. Other creators, unsure of themselves, design half-heartedly, and it comes off mousy and dull. “It’s very pedestrian,” said Michael Kors to one designer. “It’s something one of my aunts would have worn in the eighties.” Judge Nina Garcia called another designer’s work “confusing…I can’t tell what it’ss upposed to be.”

Heidi said this season, “Always go with your heart.” That’s a mantra for writers, too. Fiction writers have to be both bold and believable. At the heart of what we do must beat a sense of the world, “This is truth.”

In terms of books, Jennifer Egan’s novel, A Visit From the Goon Squad, recently shook me to the core. Having written my own first novel, The Brightest Moon of the Century, as a series of connected stories, I found Egan’s book similarly designed, but her stories go back and forth in time, back to the 70s at one point, and jumping perhaps to around 2030. It’s certainly not science fiction but what Margaret Atwood calls her own recent book, The Year of the Flood, speculative fiction.

Each chapter is a story that stands on its own, and each one makes you think and feel. I’ve been outlining Egan’s book just to see the exact structure, which is a marvel, an Eiffel Tower. I counted eight major themes, including the idea that we’re all connected, as these stories are. The book is ambitious, bold, and believable. It’s an inspiration.

Christopher Meeks began as a playwright and has had three plays produced. Who Lives? A Drama is published. His short stories have been published in Rosebud, The Clackamas Literary Review, The Santa Barbara Review, The Southern California Anthology, The Gander Review, and other journals and are available in two collections, The Middle-Aged Man and the Sea and Months and Seasons. He has two novels, The Brightest Moon of the Century, a story that Marc Schuster of Small Press Reviews describes as "a great and truly humane novel in the tradition of Charles Dickens and John Irving," and his new comic novel, Love At Absolute Zero.

And now for the giveaway, click the page break...

Don't forget,  Love At Absolute Zero will be on sale for $0.99 for the duration of the tour, so now is a great time to check out the book. Find it at Barnes & Noble and Amazon.

  Also, be sure to check out all the other stops on the tour!

Tour Dates:

Sept. 12th:Raging Bibliomania
Sept. 13th:Alive on the Shelves
Sept. 14th & 15th:Book Briefs
Sept. 16th:Booksie's Blog
Sept. 19th & 20th:A Casual Reader's Blog
Sept. 21st & 22nd:She Treads Softly
Sept. 22nd:This Miss Loves to Read
Sept. 23rd:From the TBR Pile
Sept. 27th:Butterfly-o-meter Books
Sept. 27th:So Many Precious Books, So Little Time!
Sept. 28th & 29th:The Book Addict
Sept. 30th:Lit Endeavors
Oct. 5th:Books and Needlepoint
Oct. 6th & 7th:My Bookshelf
Oct. 7th & 10th:Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews
Oct. 10th & 11th:Gabriel Reads
Oct. 11th & 12th:Dan's Journal
Oct. 12th:Words I Write Crazy
Oct. 13th & 14th:Ramblings of a Daydreamer
Oct. 14th:Drey's Library


Kristen said...

I've never thought about the parallel between authors and designers but the idea of going for it instead of playing it safe really is the thing that raises a book above so many others being published at the same time.

Yto said...

i don't write - though i tried when i was 13. i just don't have innovative new ideas. well i am good at rewriting plots i read. i feel home on all those fanfiction sites ^^
but if i am daydreaming my way through a story music helps a lot. or really dreaming. some of my ideas come from dreams.