Whew. After the elves put all the names into our washtub out back, they had to do a little jig then go find the neighbor’s dog to pick the winner. And that dog picked…
YAY! Congrats! And thanks to everybody else for playing!
Hi, everybody! Today, as you can see, the effervescent, awesome, and award-winning author Beth Burnett joins us to talk a bit about her upcoming release (APRIL 1, people! No foolin’!), The Love Sucks Club.
Not only that, but she’s DOING A GIVEAWAY of her latest. Here’s how that works. If you want in, leave a comment on this blog and provide a valid email address. Do NOT include your email address in the comment body, but DO include it in the comment fill-out form. The elves see it in the back, but the evil spam-bots of Mordor won’t. And that’s what we want. We’ll run this drawing until FRIDAY, APRIL 4th. At 10 PM EST we’ll do the drawing. Winner picks a print or ebook version of The Love Sucks Club.
For those not in the know, Beth Burnett has spent the last ten years wandering parts of the world working in various capacities from corporate payroll to beach bum. After writing various short stories on bar napkins, she decided to get a little more serious about writing, and explore life and love through her words, too. Her first novel, Man Enough, includes a transgender main character and her second, Andy’s Song, deals with a woman’s search for herself and what’s important in her life. When she’s not writing, playing banjo, soul-searching, or going to grocery stores in her pajama bottoms, she might be on the road with her dog, Brutus (aka Brutal Brutus the Destroyer or “Brutie”). He’s sometimes her editor.
And now, heeeeeeeeeeere’s BETH!
When I was asked to do a guest blog for this fine group, I sat down with a set idea of what I was going to write. Before I got started, I decided to check out some of the other blogs on the site. Unfortunately, the first blog I read was of the amazing R.G. Emanuelle. Her blog was about food, which made me hungry, which in turn made me realize I didn’t have any food in the house, which sent me to the grocery store at 10:00 PM on what is my Saturday night, braless and in pajama pants. Once back at home, I had to put away all of the groceries, let the dog out, cook something for myself, check to see who had responded to my Facebook status about going to the grocery store, and watch a video about a magician making dog’s treats disappear before their eyes. (No really. It was adorable… and it ‘s here.)
By the time I sat back down to write, I had a completely different idea about what I was going to say.
That fits, though, because when I first had the idea of writing “The Love Sucks Club”, I was near the end of a toxic ten-year relationship and desperately unhappy. My best friend and I were sitting in a bar in the Virgin Islands, drinking heavily, and complaining about love.
Me: Love Sucks.
Her: Love totally sucks.
Me: I mean, stubbing your toe sucks, but love sucks worse.
Her: Yeah, it sucks a lot.
Me: We must be the love sucks club.
Her: Hey! The Love Sucks Club. That’s kind of funny.
Me: Yeah. Someone should write a book about that.
Her: Yeah. Someone should.
I thought about it that night and I dreamed up a bitter, mean, miserable, old bitch who had no redeeming qualities whatsoever. It was a good, if completely depressing idea, but it needed some work. Of course, like many drunken ideas, it fell into the dark recesses of my brain and found a dusty little corner where it could disappear and be forgotten until the day it was ripe enough to jump out when I least expected it and yell, “Hello!”
In the meantime, I ended that bad relationship, moved back to the States, and set about to recapturing my own joy. And I recaptured it with wild abandon. In fact, I blogged about my joy recently here.
I meditated, reconnected with friends I had lost when I lost myself, spent time with family, read a lot, did some yoga, went on a spiritual retreat, and met many amazing, loving women. And in that journey to figure out who this Beth person was without an emotionally abusive partner hovering around, I learned something pretty important. I learned that love doesn’t really suck at all.
In her blog, R.G wrote, “Food is primal, something that everyone requires to survive, no matter who you are.” Well, that’s how I feel about love. It’s primal and it is something that we all require in order to survive. Not toxic misrepresentations of love, but real, deep, non-judgmental love that gives you wings and allows you to keep expanding your soul. That’s love, and it is primal, and we need it to survive.
Reenter The Love Sucks Club. It popped into my head one day as I was writing the final chapters of Andy’s Song. I tried to shove it down, but it wouldn’t go away. So, taking a break for a day, I sketched out a few ideas about my main character. And the story. Then a few other characters came to light. Next thing I knew, I was furiously writing The Love Sucks Club while my loving publisher sent me text messages with subtle hints about getting Andy’s Song to her. When the texts moved from subtle hints to outright threats to fly to Ohio and give me a spanking (or maybe I made that part up) I went back to finish Andy’s Song. When I came back, The Love Sucks Club took flight.
My protagonist is a woman whose visions of her dead girlfriend are keeping her chained to the past. Her circle consists of a group of women who have all, in one way or another, been burned by love. The Club starts as a joke, but it becomes a common ground for these women who start to think that maybe there’s a little more to life than sitting around hating on love. The Love Sucks Club morphed from the original diatribe against love and its failures to a message of hope.
I think that’s why ideas sometimes go into their little cubbies and hide for a while. Ideas have to evolve, just as people do. It took several years for The Love Sucks Club to come out of its hiding place. Perhaps that’s because I wasn’t able to tackle it until I was no longer a member.
Thanks, Beth, for stopping by. And readers, remember, she’s doing a giveaway! You can enter until Friday April 4th. See instructions above. If you simply can’t wait, Beth’s latest will be released Tuesday, April 1st (no, seriously). You’ll be able to git yew some at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Sapphire Books.
Happy Friday, all.