Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Work Toward Your Dream with Alison Stone (+ giveaway)

Hey, all! A rare Tuesday post, I know.
But I'm so happy to have fellow Samhain author Alison Stone with me today, talking about her debut novel: RANDOM ACTS.
So please give a warm welcome to Alison!

Growing up, Alison Stone never imagined becoming a writer. She enjoyed math and science and ultimately earned a degree in engineering. Go Yellow Jackets! After the birth of her second child, Alison left Corporate America for full-time motherhood. She credits an advertisement for writing children’s books for sparking her interest in writing. She never did complete a children’s book, but she did have success writing articles for local publications. Finally, Alison got up the nerve to try her hand at full-length fiction. After completing a handful of manuscripts, she sold her first book to Samhain Publishing in 2011, followed a few weeks later by a second sale. Now, Alison has the best of both worlds. From her home office in Western New York, she writes fast-paced romantic suspense while her four children are in school. It never fails to amaze her how soon the afternoon bus arrives
Hi Jennifer, thanks for having me.

A couple weeks ago, my debut novel, Random Acts was released into the world and now everyone knows I’m a writer. Well, maybe not everyone, but certainly more people than before. For years I was a closet writer. Very few people knew I toiled away on manuscript after manuscript.  I was the mom who volunteered at my kids’ schools and church.

During this time, I was obsessed with reading author biographies on the Internet. For every writer who held a college degree in creative writing, the little voice in my head grew louder. “See, they know what they’re doing. Why do you think you can be a writer?”  Yet the funny thing is, I had never doubted myself when I had decided to become an engineer. I was accepted to college, passed the required courses and at the end, they handed me my degree. But becoming a published author has no set path, even for those with creative writing degrees. This threw me for a loop. I progressed in fits and starts. I joined RWA in 2002. Signed with my wonderful agent in 2006. We came close to selling a few times, but close only counts in horseshoes. Finally, I quieted the voice, but still kept the dream relatively quiet. One quote that inspired me—and I’m paraphrasing—was, “God wouldn’t give you a desire to do something if you didn’t have the ability to do it.” In other words, if I had this crazy idea to write, maybe I did have some God-given talent. I continued to learn my craft and write.

Then, last summer I finally sold two “sweet” romantic suspense novels.

And now Random Acts is out. The world knows.

I am a writer.

Have you ever worked toward something, a dream perhaps, but never told anyone for fear of failure? How much sooner do you think you’d achieve your goal if you cast your doubts aside and worked confidently toward your dream?
I’d love to hear from you.



Random Acts
by Alison Stone

BLURB:
Second chances can have a terrible sense of timing.
As a child, watching her mother always pick the wrong man left Danielle Carson wary of opening her heart to anyone—except Patrick Kingsley. But circumstances came between them and left Danielle with a broken heart. Now she buries the pain of what might have been by channeling all her energy into her career. When a family crisis brings her back to her hometown, she is forced to face the past—and the disturbing fact that her sister’s car accident was staged to mask a brutal beating.
A police officer and widower, Patrick guards his heart as fiercely as he guards his beloved daughter. Seeing Danielle again unexpectedly reignites their old flame, but no way will he introduce a woman into his daughter’s life. Certainly not one whose values on faith and family are so different from his own.
Despite their best intentions, they are drawn together—until Danielle learns Patrick had a hand in putting her sister in harm’s way. Her fragile trust is crushed, but Patrick is the only man who can help her stop the villain before everything they both love is destroyed. Faith, family…and their second chance at forever. 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
EXCERPT:
Opening scene Random Acts by Alison Stone:

The Protector yanked open the back door of the girl’s beat-up car. The door groaned in protest, the loud sound splintering the stagnant night air. He pulled at his collar, cursing the heat. October nights usually meant fleece jackets and first frosts, not suffocating mugginess. He swiped the back of his hand across his forehead but didn’t stop. He had to work fast.
The dome light stood out like a beacon, making his pulse spike. He reached in and punched the plastic cover, casting them once again in darkness. A twig snapped behind him. He jerked to a stop and listened. Hard. The tiny hairs on the back of his neck prickled to life and a bead of sweat rolled down his back. As if in slow motion, he turned on his heel, the loose gravel shifting under his weight. Complete darkness. A chorus of crickets and night critters, but nothing else.
He drew in a deep breath and forced his attention back to the vehicle. The girl lay unconscious. Her head lolled at an awkward angle over the edge of the narrow back seat. A trickle of blood snaked out from one of her nostrils, her delicate lips swollen. His stomach clenched and he cursed under his breath. Tamping down the swirl of emotions, he crouched down into the vehicle and jammed his hands under her armpits. And pulled.
Thanks, Alison!! And CONGRATS!
Awesome post and I LOVE your cover!
For more information on Alison, please visit:
Blog: http://alisonstone.wordpress.com/

GIVEAWAY: Alison will be awarding autographed bookmarks at every stop, as well as a $25 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

Good luck!

50 comments:

marybelle said...

It is inexplicable the times we choose to doubt ourselves. The remark about close only counting in horseshoes - I have not heard that for a very long time. It made me laugh.

marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

Shelley Munro said...

Congrats on your recent release, Alison. I'm so glad you didn't stop writing but kept going. I firmly believe a person can do anything. They just have to want it enough.

Old Kitty said...

Oh wow! Danielle and Patrick certainly has some issues to deal with and get past!!! Yay!!

Good luck Alison and all the best! Glad you can now stand up and be proud and tell the whole world You are a Writer! Yay! Take care
x

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting Alison today

Alison Stone said...

Ah yes, close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. I have used that expression too many times in my writing career . :) Thanks for stopping by.

Alison Stone said...

Thanks, Shelley.I agree. It just took me awhile to figure it out.

Alison Stone said...

Thanks, Old Kitty. :)

Alison Stone said...

Thank you for hosting me,Jennifer. It's a nice rainy day out there -- perfect for writing. I look forward to checking in throughout the day.

Bethanne said...

I don't think stepping out confidently will necessarily change the outcome! :D It's work and toil through the great journey no matter how you go about it. Congratulations on your release!

...it's raining here, too. :P A perfect day for mayhem.

Alison Stone said...

Bethanne,
I agree. Writing is hard work. However, I think I wasted a lot of time *not* writing because I doubted myself. But I am glad I kept at it. Thanks for your kind words. :)

Don't get into too much mayhem. Btw, love the photo of your little sweetheart on your lap.

Lana A said...

Congrats to your recent release, it's good that you have never given up or there wouldn't be such great books on the market!

Lana

anzuazura at yahoo dot de

Alison Stone said...

Thank you, Lana.

Carolyn V said...

Yay! Congrats on your debut Alison! So exciting!!!!

Alison Stone said...

Thank you, Carolyn!!!

EnglishRose said...

Congrats on your debut! That is awesome!

Alison Stone said...

Thanks, EnglishRose. :)

MomJane said...

I am so glad you decided to write. This story sounds awesome.

Terri Tiffany said...

Congrats on your novel! you are a writer! Thank you also for sharing your story with us:)

PatriciaW said...

Congrats, Alison. My background is similar to yours. I too never doubted my ability to enter and succeed in a technical field. Not so for writing. But I think you hit the nail on the head. Because there's no set path, no roadmap to follow and thus, it requires a much bigger faith in oneself and willingness to carve your own path.

Alison Stone said...

Thank you all for stopping by and checking out my post.

And yes, Patricia, not having a road map can be downright scary. :)

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Congratulations on the release of your book, Alison. I'm so glad you stuck with it, and didn't give up on your dream. Your book has a very intriguing start, and I look forward to seeing what comes next.

Stephanie said...

Alison, I just got Random Acts and can't wait to start reading. I was a closet writer for several years. It takes guts to let the world look at what you've created. Good luck and good writing.

Sharon Cunningham Cooper said...

Congratulations, Allison! I too am a new author and I TRULY know how you feel. I bet your readers/fans are truly loving on you! Best of Luck and I'm looking forward to reading Random Acts.

Alison Stone said...

I'm really enjoying reading all these comments. I sometimes think we can be our own worst enemy. I understand the term "closet writer." That was me! Good luck to my fellow writers and thanks to all my new readers! Yay!

Catherine Lee said...

Yours is a wonderful success story...and an inspiration for authors to persevere. I don't think I have ever worked towards a dream without other people knowing. I'm usually an open book. When I went to graduate school, I told everyone and looked to my hubby for support & encouragement.
catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

Rebecca Kiel said...

Jennifer, love the cover of your own book. Makes me want to read it! :)

Jennifer Shirk said...

Well, thank you, Rebecca.
You're sweet. :-)

Catherine: I think Alison's story is great too!

Romance Book Haven said...

Congratulations on the release Alison!

Random Acts sound a wonderful story!

Thanks Jennifer!

Karen Lange said...

Jennifer, I appreciate this intro to Alison! Random Acts looks interesting! I may have to check it out. :) Thanks, ladies!

Jessica Nelson said...

Great cover!!
Yes, I would have never told anyone but my husband regularly outed me and now everyone knows. lol

Linda Kage said...

Wow!!! Congratulations, Alison. I love hearing an authors story of how she came to be published. So inspiring. Great book cover.

Southpaw said...

What a great story. It's very inspiring - not to go "public" but to keep plugging along. :)

Lydia Kang said...

Alison's book sound wonderful. And I thank her for sharing her journey with us!

Alison Stone said...

Wow! I stepped away a minute and look at all the wonderful comments! Thanks!

Catherine Lee ~ you sound much braver than I am. I worried everyone would ask me when my book was coming out even before I sold it. :)

Rebecca ~ I agree. Jennifer's cover is awesome.

Romance Book Haven & Karen- Thanks for the kind words!

Jessica ~ I'm sure your husband is very proud of you. :)

Linda, Southpaw & Lydia ~ I always enjoy reading about an author's story, too. It helped motivate me along the way.

Thanks again everyone for taking the time to comment!

Susanne Drazic said...

Hi Alison! Nice to meet you. CONGRATS on your recent release! I like that cover.

Aimee said...

I love hearing personal stories of achieving dreams. What a great author guest post. The story sounds good and I'm headed off to find out more about it. :)

Alison Stone said...

Susanne ~ I was very happy when I saw the cover, too. The cover artist did a great job. Thanks.

Aimee ~ Thanks and if you read Random Acts, I hope you enjoy it. :)

LAWonder said...

Congrats on your new release. Sounds like a great book. I am looking forward to reading it.

Alison Stone said...

Thanks, LAWonder. I hope you enjoy it!

Stacy S said...

Finished Random Acts last night. Can't wait til your next release!

bas1chs said...

Thank you Alison for sharing your story with us. Glad you didn't give up as Random Acts looks really good. Best wishes on the success of this book and many more!

bas1chsemail at gmail dot com

Alison Stone said...

Thanks for making my first virtual book tour a big success. I appreciate all the support.

Alison Stone said...

Okay, my first ever virtual book tour has wrapped up. The winner of the autographed bookmark from this stop is Susan Flett Swiderski. If you happen to read this Susan, contact me at Alison AT AlisonStone dot com.

The winner of the $25 Amazon gift card is "Mary" who posted on JC Martin's blog: http://jc-martin.com/fighterwriter/2012/05/alison-stone-motivational-lines/#comment-24265 (The winner was chosen via a random number generator across all 10 blog stops.)

Thank you to everyone who stopped by. I truly appreciate your support.

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