posted on November 19, 2013 by Laura Spinella

What Does the Muse Say?

Spinella-Perfect-Timing-coverWriterspace is really all about the reader. So in thinking about this blog, I considered the parts of a book readers don’t often get to see.  Back story is what comes to mind.  Often, the work of the muse ends up being the most interesting part of publication. Of course, while it’s happening, the author doesn’t realize that what the muse is creating, along with the novel, is back story. In the thick of things, it’s just the malaise of the process—or, more accurately, the one step forward, two steps back shuffle of book writing. No one is more amazed than the author when a novel clears all the hurdles, the hard revisions, and labor intensive rewriting of pages that were briefly, dreamily deemed perfect. But after a book sells, that portion of the process is over and the time to reflect begins. Traditional publishing comes with a wait time of a year or more. And it’s in this holding pattern when I start to think about back story, why I ended up writing the book I did. While my first novel, BEAUTIFUL DISASTER was a product of my past environment, PERFECT TIMING is anchored to my present. I’m almost as fond of its back story as I am the result. In many ways, PERFECT TIMING is the little trunk novel that could.

Draft readers are important readers, and PERFECT TIMING had more than a few. Among them was my oldest daughter, Megan. She was this book’s first fan, and Aidan and Isabel remain her favorite characters. Her interest fueled a lot of drive during the novel’s rough, “I can’t do this,” stage.  Yes, Megan listened to her fair share of whining as I wrote, and rewrote, this book.  But she also insisted that if I was malevolent enough to create such heart-wrenching conflict, I’d better come up the right resolutions to see my main character through. (Since PT contains a few steamier scenes, I should mention that Megan is 24) Writing to satisfy her demand was a challenge and winning her approval an achievement. She’s a tough editor and a scrupulous critic. In the end, I believe she got the book she wanted. I know she was pleased by its dedication page.

I’ve been a fan of this novel’s heroine, Isabel Lang, since she turned up in my sunroom, longing for a part in a book. She’s sassy and serious, but at the same time she seeks many of the same things that we all do. It makes her relatable, and a fine complement to Aidan’s more unbridled persona. I’m also excited about this book’s subplot, which does take a turn at important human interest topics—and I am that much richer for having spent time with Eric and Patrick. I’m proud to have included their story as an integral part of this novel.

It’s true that PERFECT TIMING’s protagonist is a rock star. That part is intended to take the reader away from the ordinary.  And I do think, in his element, Aidan Royce earns his ovation. But that’s not what this story is about; it’s about the rhythm of lasting friendship, and the beat of a love story subject to incredible odds. It’s about family and figuring out what makes you truly happy, then being brave enough to embrace it. PERFECT TIMING relationship fiction set to the sometimes extraordinary and always precarious tempo of life. I hope you enjoy!

One lucky person who comments will win a copy of PERFECT TIMING!

Laura Spinella

Laura Spinella

Biographies are a tough sell.  John Nash, Joan of Arc, Helen Keller—people who led very readable lives, and yet the movies did better.  I’ll tell you now I have no Oprah moment, not even a hint of a Lifetime movie.  That said, here we are.

I grew up on Long Island in the 1970s, the daughter of 1940's parents.  I was fortunate to have older sisters.  They were more convincing in the part, following rules, politics, and parental advice.  I bucked the system. I wanted to be a singer, devastated to learn I couldn’t carry a tune in a trough.  Instead, I wrote.  This was something I had an aptitude for, something that pressed boundaries, and I liked that.  Looking back, my pedestrian childhood was probably a good thing, having spent more time making up stories than anything else.

Life picked up pace as I went off to college, outlining the imprint for Beautiful Disaster, though I wouldn’t write the novel for another twenty years.  I attended the University of Georgia where I fell in love with a boy, a friend, and the South.  It fashioned me into a chameleon of sorts.  The North is home, but that evocative place changed me, giving me license and a classroom far beyond J-school where they actually did give me a degree.  I’ve kept the friend and the South close, the boy not making the journey.  That, too, is a good thing.  If it hadn’t happened exactly that way I would have never been privy to Mia and Flynn’s story.

I fell into a freelance career, writing for magazines, newspapers—even penning a column for a while.  Eventually, I knew I’d write a novel.  I knew it like you know your shoe size or that despite very brown eyes your baby’s will stay perfectly blue.  This is my corny segue to the present where I did marry a blue-eyed man whose generosity has afforded me many things, including the time to write.  In addition to Matt and me, there are three exceptional children, two dogs, and one super-size cat, the lives of which take place in a 100-year old house outside Boston.

8 thoughts on “What Does the Muse Say?”

  1. Avatar Jennifer Green says:

    Can’t wait to read it!

    1. Thanks, Jennifer!! I hope you enjoy… and I hope you like rock stars.

  2. Avatar Lori Payer says:

    Thank you for sharing. Looking forward to reading it 🙂

  3. Avatar Maureen says:

    I loved your thoughts on backstory. How many times have I read a book and wondered how certain things came to be and how characters came to hold certain views and become themselves. I’m really looking forward to reading Perfect Timing.

    1. Hey Maureen, I do the exact same thing when I read a book! Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Avatar Kayla says:

    I’ve been a huge fan ever since Beautiful Diaster. I really love your work!!!!

    1. Thanks, Kayla! Hope you love PERFECT TIMING too!

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