Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Author of Blue: Lou Aronica: Guest Post and Giveaway

Today I have a guest post by Lou Aronica, the author of Blue and further down I have a giveaway for you all.

Nohere's Lou talking about what he wanted to be when he was growing up.

When I Grow Up I Want to Be Like You

In one way or another, I’d been planning to be a writer from the time I was a teenager. When I graduated college, though, I needed a job that paid a salary rather than one that had some vague potential for remuneration somewhere down the line. I interviewed with a number of publishing houses and hooked on with Bantam Books as a schlepper (I think the actual job title was “administrative assistant,” but I was decidedly a schlepper). A few years later, though, I got my first meaningful position at Bantam when they charged me with reinventing their science fiction and fantasy program. This became Bantam’s Spectra imprint, which celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary last year. (There’s really no way to say that without making me seem old, is there? Would you believe it if I said I started at Bantam when I was nine?)

Bantam had had a fairly limited presence in science fiction up to this point, but it did have some gems. Ursula LeGuin’s Earthsea novels, for instance, and selected titles from Philip K. Dick, Samuel R. Delany, and Frederik Pohl. What shone brightest on the list for me, though, was the work of Ray Bradbury. Bradbury was the first writer I’d ever idolized. In many ways, he was the writer that made me want to be a writer. The simple fact that I was shepherding the list that carried many of his most important paperbacks filled me with more pride than I had any right to feel.

About six months after I took on this assignment, I made a business trip to Southern California. Ray Bradbury lived in Southern California. I decided to roll the dice and call his office to see if he might have a little time to meet with his “publisher.” In reality, I knew that the only publishing I was doing for him was sending him notes when his books went back to press, but I figured it was worth trying to connect with him. This paid off when his office said that he’d meet me for a drink at my hotel.

The day of the meeting, I sat nervously in the hotel bar waiting for this literary icon to arrive. One of the first lessons my colleagues had taught me was that writers are often far less appealing in person than they are on the page, and I’d already had some experience with this. What if the man who’d written so magically about enchanted summers and a fanciful Mars turned out to be an ogre? What if he sneered at my being so young and presuming to be worthy of his time.

By the time he entered, I’d steeled myself for the worst. What happened instead was one of the most precious experiences of my publishing life. Ray handed me a signed hardcover copy of The Martian Chronicles and then took my hand in both of his and said, “Thank you so much for what you’re doing for me.” I’m not the swooning type, but I came very close then. What I was doing for him? That could never compare to what he’d done for me in that moment. Thus began a relationship that lasted for more than fifteen years, one that allowed me to become Ray’s hardcover publisher and to even send him on his first national book tour. Ray Bradbury isn’t the man I idolized on the page; he’s so much more regal than that.

When I finally embarked on my writing career after twenty years in publishing, I wrote relationship novels and collaborated on a number of nonfiction books. However, I always told myself that some day I would try to write a novel in the spirit of Ray Bradbury’s stories. Finally, I started work on the book I’ve just published, Blue. It took me six years to get it where I wanted it, but I can only hope that it has a glimmer of the wonder and openheartedness that Bradbury’s work always has. In many ways, this novel is a tribute to him. I’m not sure I ever would have become a writer if he hadn’t taught me the magic of words.


Now for the giveaway. I have one book to give away of Blue, written by Lou Aronica. All you have to do to win is to be a follower of my blog and leave a comment below with your e-mail address.

Do not begin this novel unless you are prepared to be moved, willing to open your heart, and available to the possibility that life can bring you magic.
Chris Astor is a man in his early forties who is going through the toughest stretch of his life. Not long before, Chris' world sparkled - he was doing significant work, he had a good home, and his young daughter brought him more joy than he ever could have imagined. Now, divorce and estrangement have left him confused and all too often alone.
Becky is Chris' fourteen-year-old daughter, a girl who overcame enormous challenges in her early years to become a vibrant, vital young woman. Her parents' divorce has left its mark, though, most significantly in her relationship with her father. Once, they told remarkable stories together. Now, they barely speak. Emotional detachment from Chris is not Becky's biggest concern, though.
Miea is the young queen of a fantasy land that Becky and Chris created when Becky was little - a fantasy land that has developed a life of its own. Miea knows nothing of Becky and Chris. She only knows that her beautiful kingdom - a place of remarkably varied flora, dignified and distinctive fauna, and an ecology that works in symphonic majesty - is in terrible, maybe fatal trouble.
At the most challenging junctures of their lives, Becky and Miea discover each other and Miea shares this discovery with Chris. For Becky, it is nearly inconceivable that a place she created has come into existence. For Miea, it is nearly inconceivable that a child created her land. For Chris, it is beyond inconceivable that he is again sharing something important in his daughter's life. For all of them, it as though a world of opportunity has opened up before them.
But time is not on their side. In fact, time might be running out.
Together, they need to uncover a secret. The secret to why these worlds have joined at this moment. The secret to their purpose. The secret to the future. It is a secret that, when discovered, will redefine imagination for all of them.
Blue is a novel of trial and hope, invention and rediscovery. It might very well take you someplace you never knew existed. Do not, however, begin it unless you are prepared to be moved.
(taken from Amazon.com)
Here's the rules;

1. You must be a follower of my blog
2. Just leave a comment below saying you want to be entered along with your e-mail address
3. Winner will be drawn on 14th February at 7pm UK time


marybelle said...

I follow. I would love to be entered thank you.


mindy said...

i follow thanks for the giveaway i would love to be entered minsthins at optonline dot net

greenduckie13 said...

I follow and would like to enter.
greenduckie13 at gmail dot com

kathy55439 said...

I follow looks like a good read

mynewhomeiowa at yahoo com

Marianna said...

I'd like to be entered - but is your giveaway open to US also or UK only?
Thanks for the chance!
I follow your blog on GFC
mannasweeps (at) gmail DOT com

MaMa said...

After your review...I want to pick up the book now! Looks like a great read...thanks for hosting.
mistyfuji *at* yahoo *dot* com