Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Tour Kick Off - Meet and Greet - Unsettled Spirits by Sophie Weeks

Contemporary Romance
Date Published: 5/30/13

Sarah Markham always assumed that the Ivy League was her ticket to a new life. But after graduating from Harvard at the height of the Great Recession, she finds herself with no job offers and not much hope. That all changes when she enters a bookshop owned by Samuel, an eccentric intellectual who offers her not just a job, but also a place to stay. Sarah soon discovers a small catch though: her room is haunted by Lucy Larch, an opinionated and strong-willed ghost from the 1940s. As Sarah tries to help Lucy move on, she meets handsome Irishman Ian Flynn and falls in love, but her insecurities soon threaten every relationship she’s built.

As Sarah grapples with questions of faith, love, and identity, she must learn to embrace not just the spirits of the present, but the haunting pain of the past. Can she accept her past, and more importantly herself, in order to let love in?

#1 – Do You See Writing as a Career?
            I see writing as more of a vocation than a career.  And it has to be.  Writing pays all the bills for a few people, but not many.  Most of us have a supportive patron, a day job, or both.  But I do imagine things associated with a writing career.  Sometimes I think about my “complete works” and wonder what kinds of books will be predominant.  It's exciting to imagine all the different sorts of books that I could choose to tackle.  That kind of global thinking has always been very energizing for me.  I think of writing as my high purpose in life.

#2 – What was the Hardest Part of Your Writing Process?
            Learning to rewrite has been really difficult for me.  I have a knack for laying down neat, workmanlike prose that flows, but it's returning to that prose and crafting it that makes a book really stand out.  Right now I'm deliberately writing scenes and dialogue in the most fragmentary form possible just to force myself to come back to those scenes and give them time and attention once I've gotten my ideas out.  There's an old saying—which does not originate with Ernest Hemingway—that you should “write drunk, revise sober.”  Whether or not you're a tippler, you're always drunk when you're first writing: drunk on the heady flow of concept and dialogue and learning more about your characters.  But the sober revision is where you refine all that valuable material and turn it into something exceptional. 

#3 – Did you have any One Person Who Helped You Out with Your Writing Outside of Your Family?
            A dear friend of mine has had a long career directing theatre, and she's been very influential to my work.  She's really helped me learn how to balance dramatic elements and sculpt a narrative arc.  She's also just a wonderful listener and cheerleader, very happy to sit for an hour and have me tell her stories.  I think every writer ought to have someone—be it a child, a lover, or a friend—who wants to hear his or her stories.  That energy is invaluable.

#4 – What is next for your writing?
            Well, my third book, The Soured Earth is forthcoming this month, so I'm really excited to share that with readers.  It's a story about native land spirits in Alberta who rise up and blight a whole area, and one family's struggle to hold together in the face of this disaster. It's about a community coming together and the struggle for a young woman to discover her life's purpose.
            In terms of my future writing, I hope to incorporate more historical elements.  I've always loved history and been a collector of strange historical anecdotes and facts, so I want to work those things more into my books.  Certain time periods just fascinate me, like World War II and the Highland Rebellions.  But at the same time, I don't think the paranormal and fantasy elements will ever be far from me.  I tend to spend a lot of time asking myself “what if?” in the grand tradition of Stephen King and others.  Unsettled Spirits began with just such a question: “What if there was a ghost?”

#5 – Do you have an addiction to reading as well as writing? If so, what are you currently reading?
            I love reading, although nine years in graduate school studying English literature have made it a vexed relationship.  I spent so many years reading for scholarly purposes that reading for pleasure still feels very new for me, even though that pleasure was the reason I went to graduate school in the first place!  So it's been a fun journey for me to discover different kinds of books that I really enjoy.
            I'm never reading only one book—I require several to suit my moods, and in the course of finishing one book, I'm quite likely to begin three others.  That said, right now I'm reading Rob Roy and Nalini Singh's Angels' Blood.  I'm learning more about the history surrounding the Highland Rebellions, and Scott is, of course, a meticulous historian as well as a master storyteller. Singh's book is a fun urban fantasy with a swoon-worthy Archangel Raphael, and I'm enjoying the book's fast pace and plotting.

DESCRIBE Your Book in 1 Tweet:
Introverted college grad finds herself shoved out of her comfort zone by an extroverted ghost! UNSETTLED SPIRITS http://ow.ly/p16CP

This or That?

#1 - iPd or Mp3?

#2 – Chocolate or Vanilla?

#3 – Mashed Potatoes or French Fries?
Mashed potatoes, if they're from scratch.

#4 – Comedy or Drama?
Drama, with a touch of wit.

#5 – Danielle Steel or Nicholas Sparks?
Danielle Steel.

#6 – Fantasy or Reality?
Fantasy, absolutely.  Reality is made to be transcended.

#7 – Call or Text?
Call.  It's good to hear a friend's voice.

#8 – Public School or Home School?
High quality public education is the great project of democracy.

#9 – Coffee or Hot Chocolate?
Coffee.  Way too much coffee.

#10 – eBook or Paperback?

Ebook—I lost several hundred physical books in a hasty and dramatic move a couple of years ago.  An e-reader is far easier to pack than boxes and boxes of books.

Sophie Weeks was born in Phoenix, Arizona, Sophie Weeks received a Masters degree in English Literature from Mills College in 2006 and completed her PhD in Victorian Literature at Rice University in 2013. Sophie resides in Payson, Arizona with three furry miscreants, who are wanted in multiple states for criminal adorableness. She is also the author of Outside the Spotlight. Learn more at http://sophieweeks.net

October 2 - Pure Jonel - Review
October 3 - Texas Book Nook - Review
October 4 - A Life Through Books - Review
October 7 - All in One Place - Review
October 8 - My Reading Addiction - Review
October 9 -  Once Upon a Book - Review
October 10 - Beth Art From The Heart - Review
October 11 - Mythical Books - Review
October 12 - Deal Sharing Aunt- Review/Guest Post
October 13 - Zili in the Sky Reviews - Review
October 14 -  RABT Reviews - Review


  1. Thank you for hosting!

  2. Thanks for sharing! Looking forward to the rest of the tour. :-D

  3. the study is a good good way of learning.thank you for sharing.