Second Time Around by Alison Solomon (plus 2 FREE ebooks!)

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!


Trigger warningThere 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.

And yet.

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.

ACTR EBook Front

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!


Alison grew up in England and lived in Israel and Mexico before settling in the USA. She is author of three suspense novels: Along Came the Rain, Devoted and Timing Is Everything.

Website: www.AlisonRSolomon.com

Blog: http://www.alisonrsolomon.com/blog

Email: AlisonSol@gmail.com

Twitter: @AlisonRSolomon

Facebook: AlisonRSolomon

Amazon page: amazon.com/author/alisonrsolomon

 

35 comments

  1. It’s so nice you were able to get that chance to make your novel more like what you thought it should have been the first time around. I also like the idea of a “trigger warning” in books for sensitive topics. I’m looking forward to reading this book

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  2. It’s so challenging to find the line with sensitive topics. I’m curious about this book now. I’m re-editing my debut, though it wasn’t finished that long ago, because I’ve learned enough to make it better without changing the story. I think it’s great that you followed your gut and make the changes you wanted. I hope the book enjoys a long second life!

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  3. I think trigger warnings are a very good idea and can ultimately allow a writer to explore sensitive topics more thoroughly. If you know that whoever is going to read your writing is aware of the nature of the content, you don’t have to worry so much about giving your reader an unpleasant surprise.

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  4. Congratulations on your rerelease. I loved Along Came the Rain the first time. I’m sure it will only be better with your various edits and yes, the trigger warning is a good idea.

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  5. Congrats on following you instincts. No one else can be inside your creative process. I’d love to read the latest edition of “Along came the rain”.

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  6. Glad to know you were able to forgive the publishers, set right your first published novel, and share your story.
    My re-do is pretty straight forward, here goes. Some 30 plus years ago I had a brain virus, lived through it though I was not expected to finish out the year. Part of the wellness process included no contact with my birth family. I needed to rebuild and heal my brain, come up to the world around me, cut off any toxic input. I made it. Over time my family drifted back into my life, slowly and no surprise I started not being so well. I moved went a different direction in my life that I have a passion for and took my chosen family with me. I began getting better, well, even felt true happiness. Best thing I ever did.

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  7. Congrats on the redo – sounds like a book we’d love to read. My favourite redo was a university project that the prof kept returning to me. I revised it several times. This was back in the day before personal computers, so each time I had to retype all or several pages. The last time I submitted it I told the prof it was as good as I could make it and she said that’s all she was waiting to hear (before even looking at it). The experience taught me a lot about self-confidence and standing up for myself in the face of “authority”, valuable adult skills indeed. I sometimes wonder if I wouldn’t still be working on that project if we had had PCs back then :).

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  8. I like the concept of a trigger warning. TV shows give us “viewer discretion” warnings, why not books. For me there would be a secondary bonus of such warnings. They would indicate a theme of social significance, telling me that the story within was meaty and thought provoking, likely controversial. Thus it would be a novel that I would want to read, and enjoy reading.

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  9. That panel discussion about trigger warnings must have been fascinating.
    When it comes to do-overs, nothing epic comes to mind; more like a series of second and third etc tries on numerous recipes, and repeat performances of various kinds, usually with improvement with every attempt.

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  10. I would have to say in order-#1 If I would have had a chance to talk to a Navy recruiter when I was in high school I would have been in the Navy for a Career of it. #2 My first relationship would still be. I don’t know if those count as do over’s, but my life sure would be different now.

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  11. I really can’t think of a do-over! Many projects that I think I should have read one more time before “finishing” as I invariably find errors on subsequent reads. I now do any writing, leave it and then reread before sending so maybe you could say I always have a do-over! (Except for this! Written and sent!)

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  12. I am excited to read your book. I think trigger warnings are very important. Everyone has different experiences in life and it’s hard to tell how someone will respond to reading or seeing something. I have a few instances in my life that I wish I had do overs on and a few I actually got to do over. Most are too personal and complicated to explain but I am very fortunate to have had the opportunity at a retry.

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  13. Each new morning is an opportunity to start anew. What is past was not easy, or simple, but I would not do anything over, it would change too many wonderful things in the now. I do wish though that my Mama was here, and had not passed so young.

    I have the books in print(more than one copy, lol), but would love them in ebook to ‘take along’.

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  14. This story is ringing a bell in my memory. For one, I’m older than your main character and for two, was brought up at my aunt’s home with her 2 daughters. I would like to know how you wrote this story. Thank you!

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  15. I am a bit ambivalent about trigger warnings; a difficult subject can be written about in a very sensitive way and therefore not need a trigger warning, it might even be helpful to read about it in this way. I feel like I myself am responsible for my wellbeing and stop reading if I don’t feel good about the book.

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  16. I think trigger warnings could be helpful. I’ve found that even topics that make me very uncomfortable can still be a very good read because it makes me think. And sometimes even changes the way I feel or react to those things. Most times the disturbing scene is very important to the story line and if it’s not too graphic and detailed, and doesn’t happen multiple times, I’m usually ok with it.

    I haven’t read any of your books so far and this one is definitely going on my tbr list.

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  17. Hi Alison!

    Can’t think of a specific do over to tell you about. But you know how I feel about trigger warnings. They are so important to people like me with PTSD to have an idea if a book might give us flashbacks by reading it.

    I’d love to read the new version. I have the old one so it will be interesting to see how they are different.

    Take care,

    Dian

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