Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Let's Have a Warm Welcome for Susan Helene Gottfried!!!

A few months back I had the absolute pleasure of reviewing a book by the title of ShapeShifter: The Demo Tapes, Year 1. (Read my review HERE.) And today I am pleased and excited to have the author, Susan Helene Gottfried, here to guest blog at Bookish Mom Reviews. So, without further ado....

Here's Susan!


Before I say another word, I need to start off thaking Bekah for hosting me today. Being here is an absolute and total thrill. Read on and you'll see why. When I created ShapeShifter: The Demo Tapes -- Year 1, my original intent was that it would be something fun for my current groupies and the more casual readers of my blog. It was going to be a collector's item, I thought. Something to help them further see my fictional world through my eyes. It wasn't going to be anything major. Nothing Earth-shattering.

But something happened. As I began talking of my intent to republish certain content from The Meet and Greet, people got excited. I had to include an ISBN on the book, they said, so they could list it on the various book trading and social networking sites. I had to do this, I had to do that.

Given their excitement, I had to say 'yes' to all their requests.

I'm glad I did. Response to The Demo Tapes so far has blown me away. Yes, I was expecting my friends to really like it. After all, for most of those friends, The Demo Tapes was going to be a visit with an old friend. Many of my groupies had already read these short pieces when I first posted them. They already loved Trevor Wolff and his best friend-slash-pseudo brother, Mitchell Voss.

I figured I'd get a love-fest from my friends and a lot of head scratches and questions from anyone else who happened across my book.

Something else happened.

First, people who knew me but didn't know about Trevor and Mitchell picked up The Demo Tapes. I figured that at least part of their enthusiasm for the book came from understanding the references I frequently make to the boys. "This is so Trevor," I'll often say. Or, "Like Mitchell, I tried grilling this to see what would happen and …" If a person didn't know any better, they'd think Trevor and Mitchell are real people. In a sense, they are. But in the bigger sense, they're as fictional as Jane Eyre.

After that, people I know casually but who don't hang around the Meet and Greet came along. They knew me well enough to see me in the prose and the characters. They, too, were hooked.

The big test came right here. My friend Breeni, of Breeni Books fame, connected me with Bekah. I mailed off a review copy and waited…

I'm not surprised by Bekah's positive reaction to The Demo Tapes… and I am. Sometimes, I worry that Trevor's become an inside joke, that his longevity puts newcomers off. But then I have to remind myself that this was one of the reasons for putting out The Demo Tapes: to give new friends the proper entry into my fiction. The Demo Tapes begins, after all, with Trevor and Mitchell meeting. Not just seeing each other in school, but speaking. It's the beginning of their friendship.

And through the book, you get to watch them grow, as friends, as band mates. From boys into men.

That's why I'm not surprised that Bekah loved The Demo Tapes. I said to my husband the other morning that once I make a personal connection with a reader, they pick up the book and love it. But without the personal contact, it's much harder for them to pick it up. It seems strange. It's not the norm. Short pieces from a blog? About a rock band? What the heck?

Consider this the first of hopefully many personal contacts between us, then, dear reader. I invite you into my goofy-fun fictional world. Meet Trevor and Mitchell. Share their joy when things go well -- and feel their pain when they don't. Watch what happens when Mitchell goes and commits an act of monogamy.

Oh, I could go on forever about these guys. They're fun; the book is light-hearted, despite having some pretty serious themes mulling around, outside the concert hall, so to speak. And best of all, others who meet my fictional boys seem to agree. Come join the Trevolution.

-Susan Helene Gottfried


Note from Rebekah... Be sure to check out Susan's links.

The website: http://westofmars.com/
The books page (including buy links): http://westofmars.com/west-of-mars/the-books/
The Meet and Greet: http://westofmars.com/blog

3 comments:

Ruby (Mouth) said...

This sounds like an awesome book. I am so gonna have to get it. Susan, I love West of Mars and go there everyday to see what contests to enter. Thanks for making it available. And thanks for taking the time to blog here.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

Thank you for having Susan. Susan, I think you're so wonderful from your CONSTANTLY witty remarks on West of Mars! So I am determined to read your work that contains an actual ISBN number! Without that, you would be fabulous, but unformed! Classy, but unclassified! Darling, but not Dewey Decimaled! Can't wait to get ahold of a copy and read it! I'm glad it has been going well for you!

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Well, thanks, guys! I'm glad you dig Win a Book so thoroughly; it's truly a labor of love.

As for the fiction... that's more like a birth defect. No matter how I try, I'm stuck writing it. I may as well get really good at it and set it free in the world -- so come on by the main West of Mars site and buy yourselves a book!