Congratulations to ButchJax and caffiore! They won this drawing!
Hey all! Happy Sunday! Alison Solomon is with us once again and she’s giving away a copy of Along Came the Rain. Details are at the bottom of the blog. Read on!
There are so many times in life when we wish we could go back and do something over: an interview we blew, a relationship we messed up, something we said or did that was hurtful or passive or wrong. Mostly we don’t get those opportunities back. But lately I did get the chance to do over something that was extremely important to me—my debut novel.
When Along Came the Rain came out in 2016, I was thrilled. I’d waited a long time to finally hold in my hands a book written by me. My publishing journey had started way back in the 1990s when I had an agent and a publisher for a mainstream novel, and then the deal fell through. I’d put aside writing and focused on my career. Now 20 years later, I had returned to my writing and achieved my goal.
At the same time as I was thrilled and appreciative that a publisher had taken on my writing, right away there were things I wasn’t happy with. Small things, like the page layout in the paperback being off, larger things, like editing issues. My wife told me I was being picky (as did my publisher!) But yes, I wanted to have the best possible product I could to offer folks. Don’t get me wrong: Along Came the Rain got rave reviews, including Velvet Lounger’s Lesbian Reading Room naming it one of her top ten novels of 2016. But I was never entirely happy with it. So when the rights were returned to me, I decided that even though many folks have already read the original version, I wanted to redo it. I put all the feedback I’d received from readers to good use. A complicated timeline that was hard to follow? Simplified. Use of British terms that Americans aren’t familiar with? Gone. Formatting that looks good on the printed page? Accomplished.
There was one more thing that needed my attention. At GCLS a couple of years ago, I led a panel discussion on whether books should have a trigger warning if they contain sensitive material. I did this because while some readers loved Along Came the Rain, others were bothered by a situation two teenage foster girls find themselves in. As a social worker, I’m very familiar with how girls react and handle certain situations, and how they would view certain sexual encounters. My sense that I’d got it right was confirmed when the first time I was invited to be a guest for a local book club, several of the women said, “oh, I so understood how that girl felt. I totally identified with her and how teenagers view things differently than adults.” The part they were referring to makes some readers squirm. I squirmed when I wrote it, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be in there. When I read powerful novels that have one section that makes me squirm, it usually means I’m emotionally invested in what I’m reading. Readers who loved my book said that was how they felt about this section. Nonetheless, I did tone down that particular chapter, without, I believe, losing the essence of it. Ultimately, I encourage you to read Along Came the Rain and be the judge of whether I got it right.
So what’s Along Came the Rain about? It’s in a genre some refer to as domestic noir, or domestic suspense. Wynn Larimer, fifty-nine years old, has a terrible memory but doesn’t believe she could have abducted two teenagers even though the police say they have irrefutable evidence that she did. Her partner, Barker, is desperate to help Wynn but she’s caught in the middle, since the missing girls are her foster care clients. As Wynn and Barker struggle to uncover the truth, the two women discover life-changing secrets about each other that throw their lives into turmoil.
I’m giving away two ebooks for those who comment on this column. And I’d love to hear from you about times you got the opportunity to do something over!
Amazon page: amazon.com/author/alisonrsolomon