Author Patricia Perry Donovan has agreed to participate in our Holiday Book Giveaway Extravaganza with her book DELIVER HER. Patricia sent me a copy and I just read it. I was very impressed with her debut book. It’s a well written, fast paced, heartfelt story with great characters. I would have missed this book if not for this giveaway. I can’t wait to read Patricia’s next book coming out in 2017.
All you have to do to get in the running is to leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know the other things you did to share the good news, so I can put in the right amount of tickets in my basket for you. Check back to discover the winner.
On the night of Alex Carmody’s sixteenth birthday, she and her best friend, Cass, are victims of a terrible car accident. Alex survives; Cass doesn’t. Consumed by grief, Alex starts cutting school and partying, growing increasingly detached. The future she’d planned with her friend is now meaningless to her.
Meg Carmody is heartbroken for her daughter, even as she’s desperate to get Alex’s life back on track. The Birches, a boarding school in New Hampshire, promises to do just that, yet Alex refuses to go. But when Meg finds a bag of pills hidden in the house, she makes a fateful call to a transporter whose company specializes in shuttling troubled teens to places like The Birches, under strict supervision. Meg knows Alex will feel betrayed—as will her estranged husband, who knows nothing of Meg’s plans for their daughter.
When the transport goes wrong—and Alex goes missing—Meg must face the consequences of her decision and her deception. But the hunt for Alex reveals that Meg is not the only one keeping secrets.
I never set out to write a novel.
What I did do, on a lark, was take a fiction writing class in Manhattan. At the start of class, before workshopping each other’s short stories, each student had to share a compelling image, place, overheard conversation, etc., and read the sentence or two it inspired us to write.
One week, I shared a photo of a New Hampshire general store I visited on vacation. Taxidermy covered its walls, and hunting and fishing paraphernalia filled every conceivable space—except for one nook, which was crammed with antiques. There were albums of old photos, vintage tablecloths, delicate nightgowns, silver, china—the undeniable touch of a woman in an outdoorsman’s world, I imagined. I wondered about her; the contrast struck me enough to share it in class.
At the same time, I had heard of several local families experiencing difficulties with their teens—enough to resort to hiring a teen transport service similar to the one run by DELIVER HER’s transporter, Carl Alden.
I’m not sure what compelled me to combine these two very disparate elements into a story about a transporter whose delivery goes awry. Originally, I intended for Carl to stumble into Swiftriver (a log cabin general store inspired by the New England depot) and fall in love with the antiques-loving shopkeeper Iris.
However, the characters I created to be Carl’s clients had other ideas. I had barely written twenty pages when DELIVER HER’s distraught mom Meg Carmody hijacked the story, and Carl’s romance took a back seat to the mother-daughter drama.
How, then, did those twenty pages become a book? At a friend’s suggestion, I entered The Book Doctors’ Pitchapalooza, a kind of American Idol for authors, and pitched a novel (then titled TRANSPORTED) based on this kernel of a story idea.
To my astonishment, I won. My prize was an agent to review my manuscript…which meant I had to complete one! Over the next year, I furiously expanded those twenty pages into a novel. (Interestingly, during this period, Hurricane Sandy tore through our region, an experience that inspired my second book, AT WAVE’S END, coming August 2017, about a woman who wins a dilapidated bed-and-breakfast at the Jersey shore in the weeks leading up to a major storm.)
Although this agent graciously read TRANSPORTED in 2013 and provided valuable feedback, she ultimately passed on the novel. Undeterred, I set out to find an agent on my own, and after querying about a dozen, received an offer of representation from Elisabeth Weed of The Book Group, who in 2015 found a home for DELIVER HER with Lake Union. DELIVER HER became an Amazon Kindle First selection in April 2016, and was published in May 2016.
I’ve learned a great deal over the last four years—about writing and rejection, publishing and marketing. About trying to focus on book two when you’d rather keep the conversation going on book one. About ignoring stinging reviews and cherishing the positive feedback.
The process of delivering a book is a journey—and like Carl and Alex’s voyage in DELIVER HER, it’s often perilous, fraught with detours, wrong turns and roadblocks. Despite all of that, I’d do it again in a heartbeat (minus the hurricane, of course), because at the end of the day, I wrote a book.
And no matter what anyone thinks of DELIVER HER, or of AT WAVE’S END, or of any future novel I hope to write, no one can take that accomplishment away from me.
Patricia Perry Donovan is an American journalist who writes about healthcare. Her second novel, AT WAVE’S END, arrives in August 2017 from Lake Union. Her fiction has appeared in Gravel Literary, Flash Fiction Magazine, Bethlehem Writers Roundtable and other literary journals. The mother of two grown daughters, she lives at the Jersey shore with her husband. Connect with her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/PatriciaPerryDonovanBooks/ and on Twitter at @PatPDonovan.
WEB SITE: https://patriciaperrydonovan.com
Thank you Patricia for sharing your book’s journey and offering a copy of DELIVER HER to one lucky winner. Don’t miss this book. Here’s the link to Amazon.