July 30, 2013

Interview and giveaway with author Phyllis Edgerly Ring

It is my great pleasure to welcome
author Phyllis Edgerly Ring to My Book Chatter today for an interview.
Phyllis has also very generously offered to send one lucky reader a goodie pack, which includes a print copy of her book Snow Fence Road!!!
(see rafflecopter at bottom of this post)

Welcome Phyllis :)

Why did you want to be a writer?
Possibly the result of too much time alone in my room as a kid, together with the fact that I come from a family of writers. Stories came and found me and have never stopped. My making the commitment to go the distance and stay with them, learn and grow and be shaped by them, as they take shape, until I discover what they want to show me is what feels like the real practice of writing, for me.

Where did the idea for Snow Fence Road first come from?
I dreamt it, more than 25 years ago. I saw the incident that shatters one character’s life (and remains a mystery full of secrets in the story) just as if witnessing it like a bystander.

How did you choose the genre you write in?
I’ve always yearned to write about the many-layered complexity of relationships, the recognitions we reach within them about ourselves and others and life, which can set us free, or keep us imprisoned -- and the growth and redemption that are the goal in everything of value in life, and in fiction, for me. I’m interested in how souls meet what it is they encounter and work with it and through it in order to recognize and claim whole new depths in themselves and their lives, and accompany others as they do the same. For this book’s story, which explores how compassion heals others and ourselves, sweet, inspirational romantic fiction was the route. Also, the book has a very regional flavor, as well as a small-town one, both vital elements, for me. By contrast, my current novel-in-progress has historical elements, set in Nazi Germany, as well as contemporary, women’s fiction, and generational-story ones.

If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your books or getting them published that you would change?
I’d have worried less about trying to please any sort of “gatekeeper”, or meet or match any trends and instead really respected the writing process itself, first and foremost. That, in my experience, is how work takes shape in the way that benefits it best, and also, I believe, works best for this writer. Rather than try to impose or engineer writing, I seem to need to meet and serve stories as they come through and forth from what feels like the inside-out.

In your experience, what are the best and worst things about being a writer?
Because I did a lot of nonfiction writing and publishing of article-length work, I learned lots of useful tools for the process of writing longer work, and fiction. There just wasn’t ever opportunity to feel concern about being blocked – my inner attitude is that I’m always living in writing, and in the process of how a completed work is coming into being. That’s my own “atmosphere”, so to speak. I think that writing for magazines and newspapers, demanding and constrained as it often was, helped me feel more ownership of writing and how I wish to go about it. The focus for me now is to bring myself to a work of writing as fully as I can, so that it can inform, instruct, and lead. It’s an inextricable part of spiritual life, for me. Saying “yes” in this way winds up leading to saying “no” in many others, as time goes on.

Who are your ‘must read’ authors and who would we find on your bookshelves/e-reader?

Some favorites for fiction are Tracy Chevalier, Ursula Hegi, and Barbara Kingsolver. I’m also falling in love with the friendly, insightful work of a writer here in New Hampshire named Betsy Woodman. For support in the writing life, I appreciate authors Maureen Murdock and Eric Maisel. And for her fiction-like nonfiction, I really appreciate Diane Ackerman.

Fast Five
Favorite food…
Peaceful Pumpkin gluten-free indescribably yummy muffins from my hometown’s Good Karma Café.

Favourite movie…
I credit “The Snow Goose” (from the long-ago novella by Paul Gallico) with launching and setting the emotional tone and yearnings of my inner writer, at an early age.

Cat lover or Dog person…
Dog, by inheritance, with an ever-growing regard and respect for cats.

Celebrity crush…
Colin Firth.

If you weren’t a writer, you’d be…
Helping writers, somehow. Or perhaps an herbalist, an interest that will probably be with me for life.

Thanks so much for agreeing to be interviewed Phyllis <3

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A village on the coast of Maine holds painful secrets—
the kind only the miracle of new love can heal.


Tormented by her fiancé’s death, Tess Johansen escapes to the only place that can still comfort her—the Spinnaker Inn in coastal Maine. Here in this place by the sea she feels close enough to the man she lost to numb the pain, if not the guilt.


For local craftsman, Evan Marston, the ramshackle inn serves only as a grim reminder of the accident that shattered his life and killed the woman he once loved. But while the Spinnaker’s walls may hold guilt and grief and suspicion, they might also house a bright new spark.


Drawn together by a love they never expected, Tess and Evan begin to unravel the mysteries of their pasts and question the miracle at work in their wounded hearts—until one fateful evening along a snow fence road…


Excerpt:

“Are you ... all right?” he asked finally as he slid slowly into a sitting position.


“I can’t sleep.” Her voice, barely audible, was flat.
As though the words had tapped the last of her reserves, she slumped suddenly and Evan knew she was going to fall. As he moved to intercept her, the only way to avoid the edge of the coffee table was to close his arms around her and guide her down until she landed beside him. Her head lolled as she came to rest against him, sliding down onto his chest until he reached to cradle it gently and move it back onto his left shoulder.

Evan struggled to sit upright but it was impossible. He sat wondering what to do as the moonlight shed soft pools of light on her pale skin and dark hair. He had no idea which room was hers and she certainly wouldn’t be able to tell him.

She shivered with little gusts of tears that trailed off as she slipped into sleep then startled out of it like a restless child. He decided the best thing was to remain still until she fell asleep then find a way to disengage and let her rest here.

Instinctively, he stroked her hair, which seemed to have a quieting effect. “It’s all right,” he murmured. “You’ll get through this. Even if you can’t believe it now.

“Just rest,” he urged softly. “There’s nothing you could have done differently. Let sleep take you away for a while.”

As he said these things, he felt a sense of peace he dimly remembered but would never have anticipated. In the days after his accident, there had been no one to console him and, perhaps worse, no one to console. This, he realized, is part of how people get through loss, though each goes through the needle’s eye of grief alone. It was that great loneliness that had made him want to die or, more exactly, struggle to find the will to live—made life itself seem like the worst of punishments. It was odd to suddenly feel so close to that again when he’d worked hard to distance himself from it. She lay heavy against him now. In a little while, he’d probably be able to disentangle himself without disturbing her. But for now, there really wasn’t any hurry. The unexpected peace of this contact seemed to hold him in place.


Here he was with the last thing in the world he’d have ever expected—a pleasantly warm, fragrantly scented, and distinctly female body wrapped in his arms. You just never knew what you were waking up to some days.
Buy link print

Buy link Kindle

Phyllis Edgerly Ring's current novel project follows the lives of three women there during the second world war in Germany. She loves writing, travel, and the noblest possibilities in the human heart. She is also author of Life at First Sight: Finding the Divine in the Details, nonfiction from Baha'i Publishing about balancing the spiritual and material requirements of life. She has worked as editor, nurse, tour guide, and conference program director, taught English to kindergartners in China, and served as instructor for the Long Ridge Writer’s Group. Her articles and essays have appeared in such publications as Christian Science Monitor, Ms., Writer’s Digest, and Yankee.
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And now for the giveaway!
Its easy-peasy to enter and open internationally - good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

7 comments:

  1. Thank´s for the Giveaway
    Greets from Germany

    ReplyDelete
  2. Snow Fence Road sounds really good, will be getting it. Thanks for the giveaway :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I really enjoyed the excerpt. Thank you for sharing with us, I am looking forward to more :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks so much, kind commenters -- what a welcome. :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks for doing this wonderful giveaway!!!

    ReplyDelete

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