Friday, June 10, 2011

THE SUMMER WE CAME TO LIFE: AN AUTHOR INTERVIEW AND GIVEAWAY

GIVEAWAY ENDED   
THE SUMMER WE CAME TO LIFE
BY DEBORAH CLOYED

ABOUT THE BOOK:
Deborah Cloyed has crafted a deeply affecting novel in The Summer We Came to Life.  Masterfully written and beautifully told, this novel is a poignant rumination on life, love and best friends.

Every summer, Samantha Wheland joins her childhood friends – Isabel, Kendra and Mina – on a vacation somewhere exotic and fabulous. This year, it’s a beach house in Honduras, but for the first time, their clan is not complete. Mina lost her battle against cancer six months prior, and the friends she left behind are still struggling to find a way to move on without her. Before the trip ends, the bonds of friendship with her living friends, the older generation’s stories of love and loss, and Samantha’s glimpse into a world far removed from the one in which she belongs will convince her to trust her heart.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Deborah Cloyed lives in Los Angeles, in Humphrey Bogart’s old room with a view.  A photographer, travel writer and curious nomad, she has previously resided in London, Barcelona, Thailand, Honduras, Kenya and New York City. In addition to her diverse travel history, she was also a contestant on CBS’s The Amazing Race.   She runs a photography school for kids, teaches writing to teenage girls, and is happily working on her next book.

AUTHOR INTERVIEW:
1. Welcome, and thank you for agreeing to an interview for BOOKIN‘ WITH BINGO. Is there any personal information you would like to start out with today? Is there a place my readers can learn more about you?

Only that this is my first book, a life-long dream come true, and how excited and grateful I am to be talking about it with you all!

Visit me at my website, www.deborahcloyed.com, to see photos and blogs about the whole process, events, or to schedule a Book Club Skype chat! Also, please join me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Writer.DeborahCloyed.

To learn more about the book or get your copy, visit your local bookstore or find on Amazon, B&N, Borders, or Indiebound.

2.  Where did you get the inspiration or idea for this book?

The book was inspired by general and specific occurrences in my life several years ago.  I was turning thirty along with all my single girlfriends and getting to know my mother and father as adults and real people – basically, experiencing the dawning of humility that comes as you step back from the glitzy blur of your twenties.  That, and I nearly drowned on vacation in El Salvador.  It shook me to my core, and filled me with questions, all the biggies about life purpose, choices, love, fate, and death.

As for the characters and plot line - a girlfriend told me once how, just before her wedding, when she was having cold feet, all her best girlfriends’ mothers gathered around and told their love stories, good and bad, from the 60’s and 70’s.  It was an anecdote that stuck with me until I started dreaming up new characters to live out that scenario.

3. How did the title of your book come about?

The Summer We Came to Life was a team effort with my amazing editor and MIRA team.  I love it because it fills my requirements for a good title – tells you who (ensemble) and when (summer!), but with a double meaning that makes you go ‘Aha’ once you’ve read the book.

4. Do you see yourself in your characters? Which characters are easiest or more difficult to write?

The main character, Samantha, certainly began as a version of me, but evolved into something more like a best friend.  Strangely, that made her the most difficult to write.

Jesse was always easy, for instance.  She just walked across the pages, loud and unapologetically ready to take over the scene.

5. What books would you say have made the biggest impression on you, especially starting out? What are you currently reading?

I have a collection of more than 700 dusty, ragged books that I’ve lovingly moved around the country and in and out of storage units for over ten years.  The majority of them I bought in used bookstores somewhere around the age of fifteen.  I love reading the notes in them – underlinings and fifty exclamation points next to Herman Hesse’s Steppenwolf, hearts around Jack Kerouac’s Tristessa, the notes for my college essays in Tom Robbins’ Jitterbug Perfume.  I read my way through the classics alphabetically, plus anything that had ever been banned or caused a scandal - J.K. Huysmans, Rimbaud, Wilde, Nabokov, etc.  My friends and I considered ourselves quite the revolutionaries!  Oh, and I’ve had a life-long crush on Joseph Campbell J

Nowadays, I read Time Magazine and Discovery whenever I have two seconds.  After I get my second novel turned in, I have a whole list I’m dying to read:  Lisa Randall’s Knocking on Heaven’s Door, The Help, Born to Run.

6. What is the next or current book/project you are working on?

My second book is a non-linear love story set against the backdrop of the political violence in Kenya in 2007, with one half taking place in Los Angeles. 

I was living and volunteering in Kenya just before the violence broke out, and my brain has long wrestled with my experiences there – the poverty, the humanity, the triumph and the eminence of love anywhere in the world, plus almost dying from malaria and the eerie fact that people who had simply been neighbors became murderous enemies just after I left.

7. What is something about you that you would want people to know about you that we probably don’t know?

Hmmmmm . . .  I hate donuts. 

8. Do you own an eReader of any kind and how do you feel about their impact on books, as well as you as an author?

My boyfriend bought me a Kindle, with all the scripts to my favorite movies downloaded onto it, very touching.  I find it very useful for traveling and on the go, because I can carry a newspaper, research texts for my writing, and two novels I’m going back and forth between all at once.  For the same reason, I don’t find it as engaging.  I never seem to lose myself in my Kindle.  Maybe it will be different for the next generation of users, who grow up reading on their iPhones.  For me, I spent a good portion of my youth in bookstores and libraries, sitting in the aisles, breathing in that very specific scent of paper and glue, and being transported to different times, different worlds, and new ideas. 

I’ve wondered this - why do books seems somehow more connected to the author?  Reading Kafka or Camus or Nabakov, I can imagine them, hear them as I read a dusty dog-eared paperback.  Not so much on an electronic screen.  Somehow, there is a disconnect.  As another example, when I got my first galley shipped to me, I opened the book and almost passed out.  Something about seeing the words on the pages felt so much more naked, vulnerable.  I’d gotten used to seeing it on my computer – far less personal, less permanent.  But printed in indelible ink on pages – it still gives me shivers.

9. What is your advice to anyone, including young people, who want to be writers?

Write.  Write like the wind.  Read.  Read across all genres and centuries.  Blindly fall in love fully and foolishly, so that you can get your heart broken into a million pieces and reassemble it humbler, kinder, gentler, and wiser. Travel.  Screw up and learn your lesson.  Strive to empathize with people from all walks of life by studying the intrinsic yearnings of the heart.  Dig deep but remember to laugh.  Know that sometimes it is you and your unique reel of experiences writing the words, and sometimes it is the collective muse of the world taking the reigns. Both say things that need to said.  Stories that need to be told.  Secrets and new ideas that might save the world.  So, like I said.  Write.


Thank you SO MUCH to Deborah Cloyed for an incredible and enlightening interview. Watch for my review of THE SUMMER WE CAME TO LIFE in just a few days! 

GIVEAWAY

THANKS TO ERIC AT PLANNED TELEVISION
ARTS/RUDER FINN, FOR TWO COPIES OF
THIS PERFECT READ FOR SUMMER!
 
--U.S. RESIDENTS ONLY
--NO P. O. BOXES
---INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS
IN CASE YOU WIN!
--ALL COMMENTS MUST BE SEPARATE TO
 

COUNT AS MORE THAN ONE!

HOW TO ENTER:

+1 ENTRY: COMMENT ON WHAT YOU THOUGHT ABOUT WHAT YOU READ ABOVE ABOUT THE SUMMER WE CAME TO LIFE AND DON'T FORGET YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS

+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON SOMETHING YOU FIND INTERESTING ABOUT AUTHOR DEBORAH CLOYED FROM HER INTERVIEW WITH ME ABOVE

+1 MORE ENTRY: BLOG AND/OR TWEET ABOUT THIS GIVEAWAY AND COME BACK HERE AND LEAVE ME YOUR LINK

+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT IF YOU HAVE ENTERED THE GIVEAWAY FOR BEATEN, SEARED, AND SAUCED WHICH HAS VERY LOW ENTRIES. IF YOU HAVE NOT, YOU STILL CAN HERE AND THEN COME BACK AND ENTER FOR THIS EXTRA ENTRY

+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON WAY THAT YOU FOLLOW MY BLOG. IF YOU FOLLOW MORE THAN ONE WAY, COMMENT ON EACH WAY SEPARATELY.

DON'T FORGET TO READ MY REVIEW SO YOU CAN FIND OUT WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THE SUMMER WE CAME TO LIFE AND SO YOU CAN GET BONUS ENTRIES TO WIN YOUR OWN COPY BY GOING HERE!

GIVEAWAY ENDS AT
6 PM, EST, JUNE 20

105 comments:

debbie said...

I think it sounds like a very good book. The idea of friends coming together and having to cope with the loss of a friend is a good one.
twoofakind12@yahoo.com

debbie said...

I think it is interesting that she had a near drowning experience. Those can really effect you- I have had a couple myself.
twoofakind12@yahoo.com

debbie said...

I entered beaten seared and sauced.
twoofakind12@yahoo.com

debbie said...

I am a gfc follower
debbie
twoofakind12@yahoo.com

debbie said...

I am a email subscriber.
twoofakind12@yahoo.com

lag123 said...

I like the fact that the author drew from her life experiences to form the book. I would love to read this.

lag110 at mchsi dot com

Steve Capell said...

First of all -- GREAT interview. I like her thoughts on writing. Not so sure that getting your heart broken just so you can rebuild it again in kinder and gentler way would be very fun. I do feel that people that have experienced a broken heart usually experience the fork in road decision -- some regroup, rebuild, and become more gentle and others seem to fall into the black abyss. I would like to read this novel so I'm entering your contest. Thanks for the opportunity.

steven(dot)capell(at)gmail(dot)com

lag123 said...

Deborah is so well traveled. I like her paragragh about her experiences in Kenya.

lag110 at mchsi dot com

lag123 said...

Tweeted: https://twitter.com/lag32583/status/79154769113006081

lag110 at mchsi dot com

lag123 said...

I subscribe via email.

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lag123 said...

I subscribe via google reader.

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lag123 said...

I follow via GFC.

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lag123 said...

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Tore said...

I love reading about friends and frienships. Please enter me in contest. I would love to read this book. Tore923@aol.com

Margie said...

A book of friendships between women and the growth of their interactions sounds intriguing.
(Love the cover of the book!)
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Margie said...

entered for the Seared book
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Margie said...

email subscriber
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follow by Networked Blogs
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holdenj said...

This sounds like a great book, I love the cover and how excited Deborah sounds about her first novel.
JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

holdenj said...

I was surprised to learn Deborah doesn't like donuts.
JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

holdenj said...

I entered Beaten Seared and Sauced.
JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

holdenj said...

I am a GFC follower.
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holdenj said...

I am an email subscriber.
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holdenj said...

I subscribe via RSS feed.
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rubynreba said...

I have friends from childhood that I still connect with and I like to read about others who do the same.
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

rubynreba said...

I think it is interesting that the main character began as a version of her but evolved into something like a best friend.
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

rubynreba said...

Entered Beaten Seared & Sauced
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

rubynreba said...

Email subscriber
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GFC Follower
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rubynreba said...

Facebook friend
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Carol N Wong said...

I am mostly interested in Mina and what she was like and how the friends reacted to her not being part of the group anymore. Also will be interested in the near drowning experience, I have had two experiences like that and that is probably why I have a phobia for deep water.

CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Carol N Wong said...

Great interview. I really like that she likes to read the underlinings and notes of old books. I have several with loads of notes in them. Some books I cannot resist having a conversation with them!


CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Carol N Wong said...

My Twitter name is Carolee888 and I tweeted:


http://t.co/qqmyu50 Giveaway of 'The Summer We Came to Life'

CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Carol N Wong said...

I follow your blog with an e-mail subscription.



CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Carol N Wong said...

I follow your blog with Facebook.



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Carol N Wong said...

I follow your blog with Networked Blogs.



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Carol N Wong said...

I follow your blog with an RSS feed on my IGoogle page.



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Carol N Wong said...

I follow your blog with Google Friends Connect.



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Carol N Wong said...

I follow your blog with Twitter.



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Pat L. said...

I love books about friendship and unfortunately there is now a special bond with the loss of one of them.

Pat L. said...

I always forget my email.
patoct@yahoo.com

I entered Beaten Sauced and Seared.

Pat L. said...

I love stories about friendships and now with one gone, it unfort. brings them a special bond.

patoct at yahoo dot com

Pat L. said...

I think it is neat that her boyfriend bought her a kindle.

patoct@ yahoo dot com

Pat L. said...

patoct at yahoo dot com

Surprised to hear author does not like donuts. I love jelly donuts.

Lisa R/alterlisa said...

http://twitter.com/#!/alterlisa/status/79236541569970176


(\___/)
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Lisa R/alterlisa said...

GFC follower- Lisa Richards

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mamabunny13 said...

I love a good book about friendships.
mamabunny13 at gmail dot com

mamabunny13 said...

tweet http://twitter.com/#!/mamabunny13/status/79258177287360512
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mamabunny13 said...

Deborah, Deborah, Debrah. I'm a donut a fan from way back! How could you not love a donut? I don't know how interesting that is but it is down right scandalous! lol
mamabunny13 at gmail dot com

mamabunny13 said...

I entered BEATEN, SEARED, AND SAUCED giveaway.
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traveler said...

This book would be memorable and unique. thanks. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

I entered Beaten, Seared and Sauced. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

I am an e-mail subscriber. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

Her experience with near drowning was scary. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

petite said...

A novel that would be enjoyable and emotional. rojosho(at)hotmail(dot)com

petite said...

I am a follower. rojosho(at)hotmail(dot)com

petite said...

I entered Beaten, Seared and Sauced. rojosho(at)hotmail(dot)com

petite said...

Her world travels are impressive. rojosho(at)hotmail(dot)com

mamabunny13 said...

I entered TO BE SUNG UNDERWATER
mamabunny13 at gmail dot com

Pamela Keener said...

As someone who has spent the last 25 years annually vactioning with my roommates from college this type of book is one I'd love to read.
Love & Hugs,
Pam
pk4290(at)comcast(dot)net

Pamela Keener said...

Her next book about Kenya sounds intriguing.
Love & Hugs,
Pam
pk4290(at)comcast(dot)net

Pamela Keener said...

I follow your blog via GFC
Love & Hugs,
Pam
pk4290(at)comcast(dot)net

Pamela Keener said...

I am an e-mail subscriber to your blog.
Love & Hugs,
Pam
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Pamela Keener said...

I follow your blog via Google Reader
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Pam
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Linda Kish said...

This sounds like a very interesting story.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Linda Kish said...

She has certainly led an interesting life. I think I remember her from The Amazing Race. I will look for her next book.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Linda Kish said...

I am an Email subscriber

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Linda Kish said...

I am a GFC follower

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Connie said...

Hi! I love the idea and storyline of this book. This reminds of a adult version of the book "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants". Thank you for doing this giveaway! :)

aliasgirl1976@yahoo.com

Connie said...

I am a GFC follower as well. :)

aliasgirl1976@yahoo.com

bloomerbear said...

I found that she didn't like donuts interesting...I thought everyone like it

pattifritz2000 at yahoo dot com
thanks bunches

Amy (ArtsyBookishGal) said...

I also like stories that feature an ensemble cast of characters, and I also like books that drives me to tears. This sounds like it will do both.

Amy // amyismyfriend at aol dot com

Amy (ArtsyBookishGal) said...

I think it's interesting that the author and I both own a Kindle, yet we both still prefer REAL books.

Amy // amyismyfriend at aol dot com

Amy (ArtsyBookishGal) said...

I entered the Beaten, Sauced, & Seared giveaway!

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