Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Guest Post: Mary Carter author of My Sister's Voice

Mary Carter, author of the book My Sister's Voice, stopped by to share with us a piece she wrote.



My Sister’s Voice is my fourth novel with Kensington. The characters grabbed me right away, led me sometimes gently, sometimes bumping-me-into-furniture, into their lives, revealing their secrets, their dreams, and their desires to me as I brought them to life on the page. The book is about sisters, identical twins who are raised apart and only learn of each other’s existence when they are twenty-eight-years-old. One is hearing and the other is Deaf. Unlike many books or movies that portray deafness as a defect, or a handicapped to be pitied or fixed, Lacey is proud to be a Deaf woman, she doesn’t view herself as handicapped, and she doesn’t want to be “fixed”. I’ve worked the past twelve years as a sign language interpreter, so I didn’t need to spend a lot of time researching Deaf Culture, I was in familiar territory. But I didn’t want Lacey to be a stock character of any type, which is why I had to let her show me who she was, apart from her deafness, her talents, her past. Characters are unique, like us, like spools of thread.

I’ve never worked with needlepoint. But I can see the similarities to writing. Attention to details. Concentration. Working section by section. I would assume as you get into it, you ease into a meditative state that relaxes you. Then, as your work progresses and you can see the tiny details start to form a larger image, you are filled with a sense of excitement and satisfaction that drives you to the next project. I am currently working on my fifth novel for Kensington. Each book feels like starting over. Of course you learn things along the way. How to lay out a pattern, or in my case an outline, what spools of thread will you weave this time, the varieties of colors you have at your disposal, the tiny tricks of the trade you need to have on the ready. It’s the same thing whether it’s thimbles or a thesaurus. Passions are what life is all about. Anything worth doing has its own set of challenges. The thread will come out of the needle, you will prick your fingers over and over again, you might even drop your needle into a haystack and waste all day looking for it. Maybe you haven’t even finished your apple in a bowl yet, whereas your neighbor has just completed a life-size needlepoint of the Sistine Chapel. Don’t despair. The key to improving is to pour everything you have into your apple, and measure your progress without comparing yourself to anyone else. At the same time, go ahead and marvel over your neighbor’s creation, rejoice in someone else’s success, and learn something from their technique that will help you with your next project. Sometimes when I’m in the middle of a book it’s hard to remember the original vision, I might be off track, I might need to pull back and see the whole picture. I used to never finish my pieces of writing. They sat abandoned in drawers. I was afraid to keep going, I was afraid of failure, I would lose sight of what the final picture was supposed to look like. There are so many excuses not to get something done. Time. Kids. Work. Bills. Errands. Blogs. The key to success lies in the step-by-step work, the nitty-gritty, the day-by-day details. Fall in love with your picture, your project, work section by section, work a little every day. Keep the final picture in mind. In the end you’ll have something to be proud of, something worth looking at, and something you can finally take out of the drawer and hold up to the light.



About the book:

Every love leaves an echo...

What do you do when you discover your whole life was a lie? In Mary Carter's unforgettable new novel, one woman is about to find out...

At twenty-eight, Lacey Gears is exactly where she wants to be. An up-and-coming, proudly Deaf artist in Philadelphia, she's in a relationship with a wonderful man and rarely thinks about her difficult childhood in a home for disabled orphans. That is, until Lacey receives a letter that begins, "You have a sister. A twin to be exact..."

Learning that her identical, hearing twin, Monica, experienced the normal childhood she was denied resurrects all of Lacey's grief, and she angrily sets out to find Monica and her biological parents. But the truth about Monica's life, their brief shared past, and the reason for the twins' separation is far from simple. And for every one of Lacey's questions that's answered, others are raised, more baffling and profound.

Complex, moving, and beautifully told, My Sister's Voice is a novel about sisterhood, love of every shape, and the stories we cling to until real life comes crashing in...



About Mary:

MARY CARTER is a freelance writer and novelist.  My Sister’s Voice is her fourth novel with Kensington. Her other works include:  She’ll Take It, Accidentally Engaged, Sunnyside Blues, and The Honeymoon House in the best selling anthology Almost Home. She is a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, which is part of the Rochester Institute of Technology. She has just completed A Very Maui Christmas, a new novella for Kensington that will be included in a Christmas of 2010 anthology. She is currently working on a new novel, The Pub Across the Pond, about an American woman who swears off all Irish men only to learn she’s won a pub in Ireland. Readers are welcome to visit her at marycarterbooks.com.
 



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