I love to read books, edit books for authors, and participate in the wonderful blog tours for smaller authors who are still working on getting into the mainstream! I also tutor S Korean students online while being a single mom to my 12 year old daughter with Williams syndrome :) Perfect life!
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Lilac in Winter by Susan Pogorzelski Blog Tour with Interview and Giveaway :)
Lilac in Winter by Susan Pogorzelski
Publication Date: May 26, 2019
Publisher: Brown Beagle Books
Lilac Sophia Carpenter is sixteen years
old. She’s going to be sixteen years old for the rest of her life.
Confined to her bed as her health
declines, Lilac lives her life in daydreams, imagining her love story
to her former best friend, Nathan Emery. But Lilac and Nathan haven’t
talked since that fateful night—the night of her sister’s
wedding, when her health worsened and his life unraveled and the
already-fractured pieces of their friendship became irreparable.
With the comfort of her daydreams
becoming more and more elusive, Lilac must decide if reality can be
greater than her own imagination when there’s little time left for
Pogorzelski is the award-winning author of Gold
in the Days of Summer: A Novella.Her
first full-length novel, The
Last Letter, is
a semi-autobiographical account of her experiences living with
Chronic Lyme Disease and was an Honorable Mention in the 25th Annual
Writer's Digest Self-Published Book Awards. When she's not writing
her own stories of nostalgia and the magic of everyday life, she
works as a consultant, editor, and creative coach at Brown Beagle
Books and is the founder of LymeBrave Foundation, Inc. She lives in
South-Central Pennsylvania with her family and two dogs.
My second book and first full-length novel, The
Last Letter, is a semi-autobiographical story
based around my experiences living with chronic Lyme disease. Lilac
in Winter is, in many ways, a companion in
that it explores the emotions behind living with a terminal
illness—something that I had to grasp and question myself when I
was ill. When I was bedridden, I would daydream certain scenes of the
way I wished my future would be—particularly when it came to
falling in love again. Those thoughts marinated for years until Lilac
showed up and began telling me her story—asking the question, is
life always better than your dreams?
Do you have a specific
I tend to write shorter chapters because when I’m
writing, the scenes come to me in bursts, almost similar to movie
scenes. I’ve found that I prefer this, as it helps move the story
How did you come up with the
The title, Lilac in Winter,
came to me almost as abruptly as Lilac herself did. Her voice was so
vivid, sharing the first two sentences of her story with me: “My
name is Lilac Sophia and I’m sixteen years old. I’m going to be
sixteen years old for the rest of my life.” Her story just seemed
to unfold naturally from there, and the title became a part of that.
I didn’t understand why until I reached the last scene of the book.
I’ve never had this experience with any other project, but writing
Lilac felt nothing
short of magical.
Is there a message in your novel that
you want readers to grasp?
I hope that readers can find the
message that they need when they read this book. I know, I
know…that’s such a cop-out. But I truly believe the message will
be different for everyone.
How much of the book is realistic?
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your
own life? The emotions themselves, particularly what Lilac goes
through, are ones I’ve experienced when dealing with illness
What books have most
influenced your life most?
A Tree Grows
in Brooklyn is my favorite book and has had
the most influence on me as a person and as a writer. Francie Nolan
always seemed to look at life with such a sense of wonder and
innocence, and as you grow up, it’s hard not to lose that. That
book is what made me fall in love with coming-of-age novels.
If you had to choose, which
writer would you consider a mentor?
Peter S. Beagle. He’s a
fantasy author, and while I don’t read much fantasy, I fell in love
with The Last Unicorn and
A Fine and Private Place when
I was a teenager. He’s been one of my favorite authors since. His
books are infused with philosophy—questions about life and the
self, though they’re set under fantastical circumstances. I’d
love to spend an evening just talking to him about writing, life, and
What book are you reading now?
diving into a lot of non-fiction lately and have about a dozen
unfinished books on my nightstand. The novel I really can’t wait to
read is Bridge of Clay
by Markus Zusak. His The Book Thief and
The Messenger are two
of my favorite books.
Are there any new authors that
have grasped your interest?
What are your current
projects? I’m currently finishing up a final draft of my next
novel, as well as completing a novella companion to my first book,
Gold in the Days of Summer. I’m
looking to release both within the next year.
Name one entity that you feel
supported you outside of family members.
My teachers have always
been mentors to me, particularly my college creative writing
professor. She has been so supportive of me throughout my writing
career and has turned from professor to mentor to friend. I truly
can’t express my gratitude enough for her belief in me.
you share a little of your current work with us?
Here’s one of
my favorite exchanges for how it makes me laugh and breaks my heart
all at once. To set the scene, Lilac is speaking to her mom at her
sister’s wedding, where the bridesmaids all seem to be named after
Mulan?” I whisper to my mom.
Or Pocahontas. They’re missing the show.”
the love of God, Lilac, I cannot handle your nonsense today.”
I bet I would have
made a great Disney princess if I were strong enough to stand up
there with them.
Do you have any advice
for other writers?
Never give up! You’re writing because you
have something to say, because you have a story you want to share
with the world. You’re writing because you have a thousand places
or characters or scenes swimming around in your head. That is a
beautiful gift! Believe in yourself. Believe in the words that show
up in your heart. Keep listening to the story of your soul and don’t
be afraid to share that with the world.
Do you have anything specific
that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you so much for
allowing me the honor of sharing my stories—and a part of
What genre do
you consider your book(s)?
Do you ever experience
All. The. Time. And it’s awful. But I find
doing something else—going for a walk, focusing on another
project—helps to work out whatever was holding me back.
write an outline before every book you write?
after the first draft, if necessary. I’ve found that part of the
enjoyment of writing for me is allowing the story to unfold and
following the characters wherever they want to lead. Sometimes, if I
have a non-linear storyline, I’ll outline after the draft to make
sure there are no plot holes or see if there are any scenes I need to
add or remove. The outline gives me a nice overview for this.
What is your favourite
theme/genre to write about?
Coming-of-age themes. Reading or
writing, I’m a sucker for them.
One (1) winner will receive a physical copy of Lilac in Winter by Susan Pogorzelski
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