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dhaupt
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Re: Please Welcome Author SOPHIE LITTLEFIELD

Sophie, so glad you could join us. Wow a cabin with a view like yours must be some kind of heaven. Maybe it'll turn up in your next novel.

Thanks for being here

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SophieLittlefield
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Registered: ‎07-19-2010
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Re: Please Welcome Author SOPHIE LITTLEFIELD

Hi TiggerBear!

 

Thanks so much for checking in. I've been thrilled to see the BAD DAY books getting some wider press. We authors do our very best with our books before we send them out into the world, but after that there is a certain amount of keeping one's fingers crossed and wishing. Whenever my book is picked up for review, I feel a huge amount of gratitude to the person who chose it from a teetering stack of books and wrote about it.

 

I have a dear friend who was a romance reviewer for our local paper for many years. Going to her house was always a treat - her dining room table was often covered with review books and we would go through them like sugar-mad children in a candy store - but she often said it was very very difficult to choose among the many possibilities every month. 

 

That's why I never take a review for granted. Good or bad, a reviewer has not only taken the time to read the book, but dedicated their time to evaluating it and composing their thoughts. This goes for reader reviews too - being published has definitely made me a more thoughtful reviewer myself, although of course the great irony is that now that I'm working with contracts I don't have time to do many of the things I used to.

Author
SophieLittlefield
Posts: 23
Registered: ‎07-19-2010
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Re: Please Welcome Author SOPHIE LITTLEFIELD

Hi Kandy!  Thanks for your interest in my book :smileyhappy:

 

When my first came out, I know that people occasionally had trouble finding the books. I think many debut authors go through this - there's only so much shelf space to be had, and debut hardcovers rarely warrant table space or even shelf space at the booksellers.

 

This time around I have been so excited to get texts from my friends around the country, checking in to say they saw my book in their town. I love the pictures too. My agent sent me photos from all over New York City the week it came out - gave me shivers to think of my book being featured on the shelf next to the latest Lee Child!!

 

 

Author
SophieLittlefield
Posts: 23
Registered: ‎07-19-2010
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Re: Please Welcome Author SOPHIE LITTLEFIELD

Debbie, I wish you could see my view!  My husband just made a second pot of coffee so there's plenty for everyone :smileyhappy:

 

Yosemite has been our family vacation spot ever since we moved to california twelve years ago.  Take a couple of midwestern natives and put them in a state where the sun shines and the roses grow and the kids can run around in shorts all year round, and you've got a recipe for eternal gratitude.  My husband turned into a camper and then a boy scout leader, and now he leads 8-day wilderness hikes where everyone basically carries a zillion pounds around on their backs and climbs mountains and sleeps in snow and rain and everything else, nose to nose with bears and wolves and giraffes for all I know <g>  Okay, you can tell who *isn't* camping with them. But I am so proud of my 15-year-old daughter, who will be going with the boys for the first time this summer.

 

Yosemite is quite simply the most beautiful place I've ever seen. Parts of the all of my BAD DAY books have been written here.  One of my favorite memories is my husband reading through the manuscript for A BAD DAY FOR PRETTY in a camp chair. In the morning, he would mark typos by dipping a finger in his coffee and pressing it to the offending word, leaving a mark.  In the evenings, he used red wine.  I wish I had saved those pages as a souvenir!

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becke_davis
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Re: Please Welcome Author SOPHIE LITTLEFIELD

 


SophieLittlefield wrote:

I'm here! I'm here! So excited, I finally got a decent connection and now I can chat. I'm looking out on a Sierra mountain meadow from the deck of a cabin we've rented for a few days. My kids and their cousins are still asleep, and the adults are slowly staggering into the kitchen for coffee (we're on pacific time so it's barely crack'o'dawn - at least for vacationers!)  We'll be heading out for a hike shortly but I'm going to reply to a few messages first.  

- Sophie


 

 

Hurray!!!!

 

 

So sorry you had to deal with our sign in gremlins - I appreciate your patience and persistence!

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becke_davis
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Re: Please Welcome Author SOPHIE LITTLEFIELD

 


SophieLittlefield wrote:

So Becke asked how my character got started. Whew!

 

I had written eight novels and had no luck getting them published. Five of them were romance novels, two were women's fiction with a little mystery thrown in, and one was a police procedural/mystery.

 

I was so frustrated! I know that a lot of aspiring authors know how it feels to pour your heart into a book over and over again, and not be able to find someone interested in taking it to the next step. I tried really hard to focus on all the things they tell you (which really are true, by the way) - - 

 

Wow, I can understand your frustration!

 

- it's a rejection of one book, not of YOU

- it could be a thousand different things, none of which have to do with the book, like the publishers already have something similar or that particular subgenre is in a bit of a slump

 

True, but it's hard not to sink into the Pit of Imposter Syndrome Despair.

 

....and I gave myself pep talk after pep talk but I was just so disheartened.  AND, woe of woes, I was in my mid-forties and my kids were nearly grown and if I didn't get published fast, my husband and I had agreed I would have to go looking for full time work. And I wasn't good at anything!  Well, I knew computers circa 1995...but who was going to pay me for that?

 

Anyway, I sat down and wrote what I called my "bad-mood book".  I made the character fifty because I figured I'd be fifty by the time I ever saw myself in print. I gave her every bad attitude that I was feeling about middle age - and then I gave her a "hook" to motivate all kinds of dramatic stuff to happen.  This was the only serious part of the process - I chose domestic violence, making her a victim of her husband's abuse and imagining how she might become an avenger for women everywhere.

 

And of course I set her in Missouri :smileyhappy:   Having set novels all over the country, I decided to come back to what I knew best, my home state, even though I hadn't lived there since college.

 

- Sophie

 

I love that Stella absorbed your bad mood - I think that makes her very easy to relate to! I love the way she "accidentally" burned down the house and was hailed as a hero!


 

 

Moderator
becke_davis
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Re: Please Welcome Author SOPHIE LITTLEFIELD

 


SophieLittlefield wrote:

I'm here! I'm here! So excited, I finally got a decent connection and now I can chat. I'm looking out on a Sierra mountain meadow from the deck of a cabin we've rented for a few days. My kids and their cousins are still asleep, and the adults are slowly staggering into the kitchen for coffee (we're on pacific time so it's barely crack'o'dawn - at least for vacationers!)  We'll be heading out for a hike shortly but I'm going to reply to a few messages first.  

- Sophie


 

I've only visited the Sierras once but I'll never forget it - that area is breathtakingly beautiful!

 

Moderator
becke_davis
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Re: Please Welcome Author SOPHIE LITTLEFIELD

[ Edited ]

 


SophieLittlefield wrote:

Hi Kandy!  Thanks for your interest in my book :smileyhappy:

 

When my first came out, I know that people occasionally had trouble finding the books. I think many debut authors go through this - there's only so much shelf space to be had, and debut hardcovers rarely warrant table space or even shelf space at the booksellers.

 

This time around I have been so excited to get texts from my friends around the country, checking in to say they saw my book in their town. I love the pictures too. My agent sent me photos from all over New York City the week it came out - gave me shivers to think of my book being featured on the shelf next to the latest Lee Child!!

 

 


 

Kandy is in Australia, so it would be cool if she finds them there!

 

I know what you mean about Lee Child. I met him at Bouchercon last October, and was totally star struck. When we rode in the elevator a couple of times, I was actually tongue-tied and speechless -  that NEVER happens to me!

 

Author
SophieLittlefield
Posts: 23
Registered: ‎07-19-2010
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Re: Please Welcome Author SOPHIE LITTLEFIELD

oh my, do I know about Impostor Syndrome.  In fact, I once wrote a whole article about it. It's sitting around on my hard drive somewhere....I ought to dig it out one of these days because it's one of those topics for the ages.

 

Here's a little secret for you, that's not all that secret any more because I finally got over my embarrassment and started telling people. During my long journey to publication, when I was racking up 200+ rejections from agents, I almost never received even a request for partials (that means a request for the first chapter or chapters of the book).

 

Meanwhile, in my chapter of RWA, all my friends were getting requests for pages and full manuscripts, and letters saying they'd come really close and to try again....and I was sitting there with nada.

 

I felt like a total fraud. I thought maybe I was imagining that I was an author. That everyone else had been given the secret handbook with the rules spelled out in all-caps. That maybe they were even having special club meetings that they were too kind to mention to me, the outsider....the person still on the rejection receiving line.

 

I wish I had believed the people who told me that what matters is the story....and very little else. That if I kept doing my job - the writing - and tried to let everything else just wash right over me, I'd get there in the end. Because, of course, it's true...

Author
SophieLittlefield
Posts: 23
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Re: Please Welcome Author SOPHIE LITTLEFIELD

I have met Lee a half dozen times and I turn into an idiot every time. In fact, it got so bad that I begged my dear friend - who happens to be a confidante of Lee's  - to tell him that I'm not *really* as much of a gibbering crazy person as I appear to be. Suave I ain't!

Moderator
becke_davis
Posts: 35,755
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Please Welcome Author SOPHIE LITTLEFIELD

 


SophieLittlefield wrote:

Debbie, I wish you could see my view!  My husband just made a second pot of coffee so there's plenty for everyone :smileyhappy:

 

Yosemite has been our family vacation spot ever since we moved to california twelve years ago.  Take a couple of midwestern natives and put them in a state where the sun shines and the roses grow and the kids can run around in shorts all year round, and you've got a recipe for eternal gratitude.  My husband turned into a camper and then a boy scout leader, and now he leads 8-day wilderness hikes where everyone basically carries a zillion pounds around on their backs and climbs mountains and sleeps in snow and rain and everything else, nose to nose with bears and wolves and giraffes for all I know <g>  Okay, you can tell who *isn't* camping with them. But I am so proud of my 15-year-old daughter, who will be going with the boys for the first time this summer.

 

Yosemite is quite simply the most beautiful place I've ever seen. Parts of the all of my BAD DAY books have been written here.  One of my favorite memories is my husband reading through the manuscript for A BAD DAY FOR PRETTY in a camp chair. In the morning, he would mark typos by dipping a finger in his coffee and pressing it to the offending word, leaving a mark.  In the evenings, he used red wine.  I wish I had saved those pages as a souvenir!

Wow - you and your family (or your husband, anyway) are really intrepid campers!!
I read my husband the bit about your husband's unique proofreading technique - it's hilarious!!

 

 

Moderator
becke_davis
Posts: 35,755
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Please Welcome Author SOPHIE LITTLEFIELD

 


SophieLittlefield wrote:

oh my, do I know about Impostor Syndrome.  In fact, I once wrote a whole article about it. It's sitting around on my hard drive somewhere....I ought to dig it out one of these days because it's one of those topics for the ages.

 

I'd love to read it!

 

Here's a little secret for you, that's not all that secret any more because I finally got over my embarrassment and started telling people. During my long journey to publication, when I was racking up 200+ rejections from agents, I almost never received even a request for partials (that means a request for the first chapter or chapters of the book).

 

I get requests, I just get lots of rejections, too.

 

Meanwhile, in my chapter of RWA, all my friends were getting requests for pages and full manuscripts, and letters saying they'd come really close and to try again....and I was sitting there with nada.

 

I felt like a total fraud. I thought maybe I was imagining that I was an author. That everyone else had been given the secret handbook with the rules spelled out in all-caps. That maybe they were even having special club meetings that they were too kind to mention to me, the outsider....the person still on the rejection receiving line.

 

Ooooh, I can so relate! Two of my critique partners have sold this year, and another two just got agents. Me? More rejections - if very nice, detailed ones. But still . . .

 

I wish I had believed the people who told me that what matters is the story....and very little else. That if I kept doing my job - the writing - and tried to let everything else just wash right over me, I'd get there in the end. Because, of course, it's true...

 

Great advice - thanks!


 

 

Moderator
becke_davis
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Re: Please Welcome Author SOPHIE LITTLEFIELD

 


SophieLittlefield wrote:

I have met Lee a half dozen times and I turn into an idiot every time. In fact, it got so bad that I begged my dear friend - who happens to be a confidante of Lee's  - to tell him that I'm not *really* as much of a gibbering crazy person as I appear to be. Suave I ain't!


 

LOL! Oh, I think you're pretty suave. :-)

 

Distinguished Wordsmith
crzynwrd4lf
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Re: Please Welcome Author SOPHIE LITTLEFIELD

A Bad day for Sorry, will definitely check it out! Welcome Sophie!!! Kayla

"One potato, two potato, three potato, four/ she's coming for you now, you better lock the door"-- Promise Not To Tell
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becke_davis
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Re: Please Welcome Author SOPHIE LITTLEFIELD

Wow, I almost missed this page in PEOPLE magazine - look at the recommended books at the bottom of the page!

 

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becke_davis
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Re: Please Welcome Author SOPHIE LITTLEFIELD

I haven't been here this afternoon because I got so hooked on A BAD DAY FOR SORRY that I couldn't put it down until I finished it.

 

And I'll be running out in a little bit to pick up A BAD DAY FOR PRETTY. I highly recommend this series!

 

At the beginning, it was Stella who hooked me - she is the definition of a kick-ass heroine. I love the humor in the book, but it's a dark theme and Sophie does a great job of ratcheting up the tension - and the action. I don't want to give out any spoilers at this point, but man, this is NOT a cozy mystery, by any means!

 

I got a kick out of the dialogue, the Green Hat ladies and characters with names like Novella and Jelloman. And I'm glad Stella and Goat get more involved in the next book. And . . . nope, no spoilers. Can you tell I'm hooked?

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becke_davis
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Re: Please Welcome Author SOPHIE LITTLEFIELD

I just noticed Sophie blogged about a previous B&N featured author, JAMIE FREVELETTI recently. I'll see if I can post it here:

 

JAMIE BRINGS IT HOME

 

I'm just back from Thrillerfest in New York City. It was especially exciting because my pal Jamie Freveletti won Best First Novel for her book RUNNING FROM THE DEVIL. I'm incredibly excited for her, but I have to admit that my favorite part of the event was helping her figure out which shoes to wear to the awards dinner:

 

 

This may make me seem a little superficial, but hang in there with me for a minute: Jamie was one of three women to walk away with top awards, and I think that's something to celebrate. I'm happy to see the women of the thriller writing community winning big - especially in a year when some of the Lists with a capital 'L' were a little thin on ladies. (NOT all the Lists, so don't get your panties in a bunch.) So heck yeah it seemed like an occasion for sassy silver shoes. Oh, and a great dress. Here's Jamie with our agent Barbara Poelle and me:

 

 

 

Here are the rest of the winners:

Best Hard Cover Novel:
THE NEIGHBOR, Lisa Gardner

Best Paperback Original Novel:
THE COLDEST MILE, Tom Piccirilli

Best First Novel:
RUNNING FROM THE DEVIL, Jamie Freveletti

Best Short Story:
A STAB IN THE HEART, Twist Phelan


Meanwhile, Stella's been spotted in the wild, and people have been sending me pictures from all over the country. Thank you to Chantelle Osman for this sighting down in Phoenix:

 

Author
SophieLittlefield
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Registered: ‎07-19-2010
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Re: Please Welcome Author SOPHIE LITTLEFIELD

thanks so much for your kind words on the book!  

 

I wondered how people would like the green hat ladies.  I guess by now everyone has heard of the red hat ladies...they were a really cool idea, i think, when they got started. After a while though, when one ran into hordes of ladies in purple and red...I started to feel like instead of celebrating being different and spunky, there was a certain amount of sameness and conformity going on.

 

John Deere hats struck me as a funny change of pace, and they were inspired by an elderly lady who used to come into Waffle House when I was a waitress there many years ago in Indiana. She came in every week for a piece of cobbler and coffee. She wore a proper cardigan and pressed slacks and lipstick and white sandals...and a trucker hat. I could never quite figure it out, because it seemed to me that underneath it she had a wash and set. Maybe it was just her trick between salon appointments or maybe she just liked the way it looked...anyway, I stole the idea from her.

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TiggerBear
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Re: Please Welcome Author SOPHIE LITTLEFIELD


SophieLittlefield wrote:

Hi TiggerBear!

 

Thanks so much for checking in. I've been thrilled to see the BAD DAY books getting some wider press. We authors do our very best with our books before we send them out into the world, but after that there is a certain amount of keeping one's fingers crossed and wishing. Whenever my book is picked up for review, I feel a huge amount of gratitude to the person who chose it from a teetering stack of books and wrote about it.

 

I have a dear friend who was a romance reviewer for our local paper for many years. Going to her house was always a treat - her dining room table was often covered with review books and we would go through them like sugar-mad children in a candy store - but she often said it was very very difficult to choose among the many possibilities every month. 

 

That's why I never take a review for granted. Good or bad, a reviewer has not only taken the time to read the book, but dedicated their time to evaluating it and composing their thoughts. This goes for reader reviews too - being published has definitely made me a more thoughtful reviewer myself, although of course the great irony is that now that I'm working with contracts I don't have time to do many of the things I used to.


:smileyhappy: Well it's not just reviews I keep running across. You hit the "book everyone is talking about" level around here. People who never seem to be reading anything but the "trendy" books have all been asking me have I read those Bad Day books yet. I expect a phone call any day now from my mom asking to borrow my copy if I finished it. I happily send books my moms way when she asks, we so rarely read the same thing. Congratulations you hit the SE female must pay attention level. (chuckle)

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becke_davis
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Please Welcome Author SOPHIE LITTLEFIELD

 


SophieLittlefield wrote:

thanks so much for your kind words on the book!  

 

I wondered how people would like the green hat ladies.  I guess by now everyone has heard of the red hat ladies...they were a really cool idea, i think, when they got started. After a while though, when one ran into hordes of ladies in purple and red...I started to feel like instead of celebrating being different and spunky, there was a certain amount of sameness and conformity going on.

 

John Deere hats struck me as a funny change of pace, and they were inspired by an elderly lady who used to come into Waffle House when I was a waitress there many years ago in Indiana. She came in every week for a piece of cobbler and coffee. She wore a proper cardigan and pressed slacks and lipstick and white sandals...and a trucker hat. I could never quite figure it out, because it seemed to me that underneath it she had a wash and set. Maybe it was just her trick between salon appointments or maybe she just liked the way it looked...anyway, I stole the idea from her.


 

Oh, that's a wonderful story! I'll think of that every time I see a John Deere hat now.