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27 January 2011

Guess what happens next week?  Evenfall by Liz Michalski is finally in stores!

The cover alone is a beautiful work of art, right?  And if you even have the slightest inkling and interest in stories dealing with regret, love, loss, history, ghosts...then you should probably rush to your local bookstore and pick up debut author Liz Michalski's Evenfall, which is scheduled for release next week.  And you might not like the book, instead you might actually love it.  Like me.

I cannot gush enough about this story.  Can you sense it?

I was so fortunate to pick her book up at the SIBA Trade Show in Daytona Beach last year, and the cover alone compelled me to read it immediately. Then the characters, the setting, the story, regret, love...it resonated with me and I wanted more.  There was such a unique way the three characters were weaved into each of their own chapters told from their perspectives - including Frank, a ghost who has a deep regret still felt.  You can read my full review by clicking here.

Farm Lane Book Blogs wrote a recent post about why she loves debut authors, and I completely agree.  Visit her site by clicking here.

INTERNATIONAL GIVEAWAY
Please leave a comment with your email address.
You don't have to be a follower of the blog or Twitter...you don't even have to tweet about it or anything...
BUT...I love feeling the love.  So, leave an extra comment each time you do tweet or blog about it to up your chances...
Entries accepted through this Sunday, January 30, 2011.

Liz Michalski, debut author of Evenfall
Liz Michalski was kind enough to participate in an interview and I'm so excited to share with you this author - I cannot recommend this book highly enough, and implore you to pick up the book when you are next in the store, read the jacket, flip through the pages...it will pull you in.

And for those who attend her book signings or send an email to this address with a picture of themselves and their copy of the book?  She's giving out a url and code which, when you jump onto her haunting and whimsical website to find the "secret" pages, you'll get even more of the backstory of Evenfall!

Author Interview
1. Evenfall deals with several different themes such as love, regret, death, family - what specifically compelled you to craft a story about all of these elements?

The story evolved over an extended period of time, and really just kept growing. Looking back, I think part of my inspiration was that I knew I'd be leaving the small rural town I'd been living in for the past 10 years. It was the best move for my family, but at the same time there were a lot of things I knew I'd miss. I was able to draw on those emotions for my characters, who wind up missing a lot of the things I did.

2. I think Frank was my favorite character! In the story, Frank is a ghost and still living in his house - his regret is so apparent and thoughtful, and it was easy to see that these emotions were so incredibly strong that he still maintained an "existence" after his death. How did you decide that one of the primary characters would be a ghost?

The whole first line of the novel popped into my head one morning in the shower, but I had no idea what to do with it, or who Frank was. But a few weeks later, I was viewing a house -- one of my freelance jobs was as a real estate writer -- and it had the most amazing attic, dry and peaceful and resembling a ship. The agent I was touring with told me it was possible that shipwrights had built it. From there, Frank just kind of moved in and took up residence. 

3. The afterlife is always a debatable topic, but it's important to many people who have lost loved ones. Sometimes the knowledge that there is an afterlife is more reassuring to someone not for themselves, but it provides a comfort to know that their loved one has moved on to a better life. Are there specific books, films, or events that helped you through the process to write about the afterlife, and Frank's perspective?

It was important to me that Frank's actions as a ghost be logical -- that they fit into the rules of the natural world. I'm the least scientific person in the world, probably, but I tried to keep what he could do -- in the beginning, particularly -- within the realm of what I thought of as reasonable. He couldn't just wave an arm and have a door downstairs shut, and he had to deal with the frustration of that limitation. I also read The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier several times during the course of writing Evenfall -- it approaches the afterlife in such an original and interesting way, and it is just such a great book. 

4. History is a significant piece of Evenfall as well - Aunt Gert certainly was an incredible woman in her life. Being a part of World War II as a nurse seems to truly develop the strength of her character as a strong woman who won't take any guff - what were your inspirations to develop Aunt Gert?

I read several biographies of women who served as nurses in World War II -- their tales were very inspiring. Also, my mom was a nurse in a very tough New England town in the 70s and 80s, and I drew a bit on what I remember of she and her friends during that time.

5. As a new author, what insights can you share for aspiring novelists?

There are so many blogs and websites and books out there with good advice -- take advantage of them! (I list my three favorite blogs on my website, and for books, I'm partial to Stephen King's On Writing.) I also tried to figure out how my favorite authors write so well -- how they break down a story in terms of pacing, why they use a certain point of view, how they handle aspects like backstory and flashbacks. When I'm stuck, I'll literally pick apart a scene by someone else to see why it works when my scene doesn't. 

6. What are your favorite books/authors?

I read pretty much everything, but I do have some favorites. Amy Bloom (especially A Blind Man Could See How Much I Love You), Lee Child, Alice Hoffman (Turtle Moon and Practical Magic), Diana Gabaldon, and Barbara Kingsolver are on my 'automatic buy' list. I also love Jane Austen, A.S. Byatt, J.K. Rowling, C.S. Lewis, and Tolkien. 

7. What's next for you?

I'm working on a story about a family where, in every generation, one daughter is born with the power to make things disappear. It's a little bit more magical realism in terms of genre than Evenfall. It's about love and siblings and how we decide who 'belongs' and who doesn't. I just sent the first 50 pages to my agent, and I'm really excited about it.

Liz Michalski
Author Bio
Liz Michalski's first novel, EVENFALL, will be published in February 2011 by Berkley Books (Penguin).  She's been a report, an editor, a freelance writer, and has written hundreds of articles for newspapers, magazines, and private corporations.

In her previous life, she wrangled with ill-tempered horses and oversized show dogs.  These days she chases after small children and a medium-sized mutt.  She likes dark chocolate caramels, champagne, and licorice tea (preferably not all served at once).  In summer you'll find her visiting farmer's markets and trying to talk her family out of making her swim at the Connecticut shore.

The rest of the year she's home in Massachusetts with her husband, daughter, and son, hard at work on her next novel.

Note from Coffee and a Book Chick
Many thanks go to Liz Michalski for taking the time to interact with the book blogging community and her readers.  It goes a long way when someone who doesn't have to, but does, participate, and does it so genuinely and with such a good spirit.  I look forward to her next book!


Happy Reading,
Coffee and a Book Chick

61 comments:

  1. I would like to read this book. I always love discovering new authors!
    bookquoteratgmaildotcom

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  2. I have been looking forward to this book... and you are right - the cover is beautiful...

    sarahesullivan at gmail dot com

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  3. I would love a chance to win this book. The cover is great.

    coffeebooksandlaundry at gmail dot com

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  4. I really want to read the book! It's on my wishlist :)

    mishamary@gmail.com

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  5. Tweeted
    http://twitter.com/#!/Misha_1989/status/30650660366065666

    mishamary@gmail.com

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  6. I've been wanting to read this when since I first saw the cover. I'm so glad to hear you loved it. And thanks for the interview.

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  7. Oh, the book sounds rally good and I'd love to read it. Great interview also!

    aliasgirl AT libero DOT it

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  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  9. Tweeted:
    http://twitter.com/#!/AliasLucia/status/30652151650848769

    aliasgirl AT libero DOT it

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  10. Okay, not only do I now want to read evenfall, but I also want to read The Brief History of the Dead. I haven't read many ghost stories, but the afterlife concept is very interesting.

    Thanks so much for the giveaway! I'm a follower.

    missie at theunreadreader.com

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  11. Thanks for the opportunity!

    I tweeted in here: http://twitter.com/#!/LynossaDBL/status/30668408399863809

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  12. Your enthusiasm for this book really shows and I am glad to see that you loved it so much! I loved the interview as well, and think it was a nice addition to this spotlight review and giveaway. No need to enter me, as I already have a copy of this one!

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  13. If you loved it, I'd love to read it!

    freda.mans[at]gmail.com

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  14. That is a gorgeous cover and yes I am judging the contents by it. I rarely buy new books (mostly because I rarely buy books ... mostly because I have no money) but I've been wanting to read some new authors lately for freshness. Maybe this will be my choice!

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  15. Oh yeah, jlmarck (at) gmail (dot) com!

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  16. I agree with you completely - that cover is a work of art!

    I would love to be entered to win: amusedbybooks@gmail.com

    Thanks for hosting a great giveaway!

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  17. Evenfall is already on my wishlist, so thank you so much for the giveaway! :)

    sandric.sk(at)gmail(dot)com

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  18. I tweeted: http://twitter.com/#!/Sandra_s_Page/status/30685631021584384

    sandric.sk(at)gmail(dot)com

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  19. This book looks really nice, I'd love to win.

    jh303015 at gmail dot com

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  20. I tweeted about it: http://twitter.com/#!/Leeswammes/status/30688497597681664

    I'm also running a giveaway at the moment, so maybe you'd like to have a look.

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  21. I enjoy finding new writers and would love to add this book to my blog as well

    cachauncey1985@yahoo.com

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  22. I already have this on my wish list, so I would LOVE to win a copy :)

    jaidahsmommy@comcast.net

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  23. Tweeted! http://twitter.com/#!/enterthedrew/status/30699382512820224

    jaidahsmommy@comcast.net

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  24. You're right, the cover is gorgeous. And Frank sounds like a fascinating character.

    carolsnotebook at yahoo dot com

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  25. I have been waiting for the release of this book!I am such a sucker for stories that feature a ghost and a dog named Nina!
    --Christine G.

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  26. I would love to read this book. Ghosts and I am there.

    vivienne_dacosta@hotmail.com

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  27. thanks for offering this great contest

    rereadinglives(at)gmail(dot)com

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  28. Looks like an interesting read, and I agree about the cover art. I'll admit that I too often judge books by their covers. :)

    Thank you for the opportunity.

    JaidaLouisa@gmail.com

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  29. The cover is gorgeous! And the book looks really good!

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  30. You've convinced me. It sounds great and I'd love a chance to read it. Nice interview too.

    catsplace31(at)yahoo(dot)co(dot)nz

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  31. I've added it to my Friday Finds blog post for today.

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  32. What a great interview. The book sounds very interesting.
    Thank you for the giveaway.
    jgoffice(at)cox(dot)net

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  33. This sounds really great! Thanks for the giveaway :)

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  34. I love mysterious covers like this! Count me in for the giveaway, thanks fot hosting it.
    seesen9(at)gmail(dot)com

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  35. Sounds like an interesting read. I am always game for new authors!

    ladybook21at yahoodotcom

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  36. Sounds like a really great read. Thanks for the giveaway!

    loveangel132@yahoo.com

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  37. Sounds wonderful count me in

    ashtreygonesmokeya@yahoo.com

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  38. I would love to read this book, winning it would be even better.

    ke7yca at gmail dot com

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  39. I tweeted the contest.

    https://twitter.com/#!/Bookworm_Lisa/status/31056238401814529

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  40. I'm so happy that you liked Evenfall, and thank you so much for doing this!

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  41. The cover to this book is absolutely gorgeous! I'll add this to the tbr list now!

    samantha.1020@yahoo.com

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  42. Pretty cover! Would love to enter the contest.

    cytljjb at gmail com

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  43. I really want to read this! I read the excerpt and it was lovely. This is one to watch. Thanks so much for the contest! :)

    Alexis Salcido
    alexis0407@yahoo.com

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  44. Do retweets count? Cuz I'm bout to. You make this book sound so enticing that I hereby enter contest. lisaalmedasumner@gmail.com

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  45. @bibliophiliac - yes, ma'am! Retweets count! :)

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  46. This sounds like an interesting book.. and I enjoyed the interview! Thanks :)

    andtheplotthickens(at)y7mail.com

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  47. Please include me. Your review put this on my TBR! Col Reads: cuc15 at psu dot edu

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  48. Sounds like a book I'd love to read!

    nixtee AT gmail.com

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  49. Just tweeted too! @nikkiann

    nixtee AT gmail.com

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  50. This looks like a great book. Thank-you for the chance to win!

    nowakoski@sbcglobal.net

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  51. Left a link on my Twitter (@readitandeat)

    nowakoski@sbcglobal.net

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  52. Following on Twitter and Liked on Facebook!

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  53. This sounds like a marvelous debut novel! Enjoyed the interview, and would love an opportunity to read this book :)

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  54. What a fun interview. I always enjoy hearing about the writing process and it was neat to see how Frank revealed himself to the author. That is a lovely cover!

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  55. Sounds great..would love to read it!
    lgm52@hotmail.com

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  56. Thanks for all of your many wonderful entries and Tweets! Woot! Contest is now closed, winner to be announced this week! If you don't win the book, remember to stop by the store and check it out as it's being released this week!

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  57. You went to Daytona? I SO should have been there. I'm from Orlando but moved right before the conference. Bummer! This sounds good. But I love the sound of her upcoming book. I adore Magical Realism.

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  58. Please count me in :) suitejuju(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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  59. Sounds like one I would definitely enjoy. pizzo underscore kathleen at yahoo dot com

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  60. I love the cover! I'm sold! Thanks for considering me!

    Margaret (goodreads)
    singitm@hotmail.com

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  61. The cover was inviting me to buy that book. Thanks for posting. Will get one that soon.

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