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 living.
Link to Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44565286-lilac-in-winter
Link to Tour Schedule:
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Susan 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.
What inspired you to write your book?
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 writing style?
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 along.
How did you come up with the title?
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 myself.
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 philosophy.
What book are you reading now?
I’ve been 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.
Can 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 Disney princesses:
“Where’s Mulan?” I whisper to my mom.
“Mulan. Or Pocahontas. They’re missing the show.”
“For the love of God, Lilac, I cannot handle your nonsense today.”
Lilac. 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 myself—with you!
What genre do you consider your book(s)?
Do you ever experience writer's block?
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.
Do you write an outline before every book you write?
I’ll outline 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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