Book Review: The Ones That Got Away by Suanne Laqueur

I was provided with an ARC of Suanne Laqueur’s upcoming book in the Fish Tales series. Read on to know my take on the book. The book will be available on Amazon on July 7th.

Please note that the review may contain some spoilers, but for those who have already read the book, there aren’t too many surprises.

About the Book:

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Plenty of fish in the sea. But none like the ones that got away.

Author Suanne Laqueur gives her readers an intimate, guided tour of the award-winning novel, The Man I Love. From the embryonic chapters written over twenty years ago to scenes cut from the final draft, you’ll witness the crafting of an emotional journey and the evolution of the beloved characters within The Fish Tales.

Includes never-before-seen material and an excerpt from Laqueur’s next novel, An Exaltation of Larks.

My Thoughts:

Suanne Laqueur is back with yet another book and this time it is not a story per se, but an insight into the making of one of the stories we have read and loved, The Fish Tales. It is the story of the journey, the behind the scenes, the creation of Erik and all the other people whom we love and mourn. In a simple and slightly humorous manner, Suanne has shared excerpts from her early writing interspersed with quirky thoughts/comments that she has added now, almost 20 years after she first penned those words.

The story behind the story, this gives us an insight into how the characters were born, how they developed and became the people we came to meet and know so well. As Suanne mentioned at the beginning. This is definitely along the lines of fan fiction and some may even point out that it is inclined towards obsession. However, those who have read TMIL, will completely understand this as they, like me, have taken this journey with Erik and Daisy, not just at a superficial level, but also at the emotional level. The stories will strike your emotional chord and through this book, Suanne keeps the thoughts, emotions and memories alive.

This book brings a sense of nostalgia with it as well as a sense of belonging. It is interesting to see how Suanne first pictured Erik and Daisy and how they grew from there to become who they are now. Somehow, it is clear that some of the basic ideas of the plot never changed. We are also introduced to some people she created, but they never made an appearance in the final story. It is wonderful to meet them however, and knowing how Suanne pictured them fitting into the lives of the characters we know sheds a great deal of light into her way of thinking and her style of writing. The glimpses she provides into some of her written material show us how raw and real her writing is. The style never changes and the emotions are there, no matter what she writes about.

Suanne provides insights into two of the most wonderful people of these stories, Will Kreager and Lucia Dare. She brings us parts of the story from their perspective, mainly from Will’s and shows us how the various events that occur affect them. She clearly brings out Will’s interest in Lucky, Daisy and Erik, his relationship with James and his feelings throughout the story. Seeing everything from his perspective, will bring the reader closer to him than before. As endearing as he was previously, this insight gives new meaning to his existence.

Reading this book feels as though we are sitting with an old friend and taking a stroll down memory lane.

Suanne also expands on how the trauma of the shooting affected not just Daisy and Erik, which we have already seen in TMIL and GMYAT, but also Will and Lucky. She expands on what they feel, how they react, how their relationship develops, breaks and then returns, stronger than ever. She also brings out how Will’s actions eventually lead to the shooting and all events that led to it and that happened after. Even though it cannot be said that everything that happened is his fault, he was a part of what set everything in motion. One decision changes all.

This book only adds to the beauty of the story Suanne has crafted and will make the reader love it more. It will no doubt leave the reader with a heavy heart, but it was worth it. The characters and chapters that were created and written but got left behind or removed from the story are well worth the effort of writing them. Sometimes, as Suanne has mentioned, it’s better to just write what you think and then see the usage later on. The bonus insight into Erik’s younger days when his father was still there and after he leaves are wonderful and I hope Suanne uses this in a story sometime in the future.

Unfortunately, it is difficult for me to summarize my thoughts about this book in a nutshell, and given a chance, I will keep talking about it. This is the first time I have written so much about a book and it has made me experience emotions so deeply that it is slightly difficult to come back to reality. However, I will say this, everyone should, at some point, read The Man I Love and enjoy this story and world as much as I have.

Finally, Suanne gives us a glimpse of her upcoming novel, An Exaltation of Larks which is definitely much awaited for by fans of her books.

 

Guest Post : The Cyclist and an Inspiration by Fredrik Nath

We have the pleasure of hosting Fredrik Nath on our blog. He would like to share some of his thoughts and has shared the following post with us. Read on to know what he has to say. Readers can find more information about the author at his website: http://www.frednath.com/

The Cyclist and an Inspiration

Fredrik Nath

The early morning sunlight flickered from behind the high clouds and reflected golden and crisp from the monument in Bergerac’s market square. Around me, shoppers bustled and in the roadway a car beeped its horn. The grey stone pillar rose fifteen feet above me, its shadow pointing away towards the elm trees that line the roadway. A smell of garlic wafted as I read those brave words that showed the strength of the French and France’s indomitable leaders. The monument was a reminder of the valour and sacrifice of those brave local partisans who gave up their lives in the struggle against the occupying Nazi forces all those years ago.

Yes, it is moving. Surely there’s a story here.

In my head a story began to form. What would it have been like to have to make the choices needed to protect oneself and one’s family yet still remain French? The main character would need to do something admirable. He would need to depart from the norm. If you became a partisan you would endanger the people nearest you. What if you were caught?

I began to think of how it would be to be the one who is rounding up the local Jewish people. Would you hate it? Of course you would, even if you were forced to it for fear of endangering your family. For a religious man it would be even harder. Surely one would do anything to avoid such ‘duties’ if you had a conscience?

The story began to form. A Vichy French policeman, a man of conscience, a family man working with evil Nazis whom he secretly hated. I created Auguste Ran, a good policeman, but in essence weak, until a certain event tips him over the edge and slowly he begins to fight back.

That’s where THE CYCLIST came from and it was my springboard for the other books in my French resistance books. Each take a character and makes life hard for them, allowing them to become. In the end, THE CYCLIST sold 30,000 copies. It was Editor’s choice in the Historical Novel Review in 2011.

You can catch the Books on Amazon – all six books: a policeman, a teacher, an artist, a chef, a philosopher and in THE PROMISE a medical student.

If you like drama and character-based plots check them out!

Review: Latina Authors and their Muses

Promo blurb:

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An inspirational, entertaining, and informative book focusing on the craft of writing and the practical business of publishing, one that provides aspiring authors with the nuts and bolts of the business. A book that not only showcases prominent figures but emerging voices as well, writers working on a wide range of genres from the literary to the commercial.

In spite of their different backgrounds, education levels, and jobs, two factors more than any others bind these writers together: their passion and commitment to their craft and to sharing their stories with the world in spite of the odds.

Latina Authors and Their Muses is a celebration of creativity, the writer’s life, the passionate quest for spiritual and artistic freedom.

From the Foreword by Leticia Gomez

Latina Authors and Their Muses is a celebration of creativity and the creative writing process, but it also offers savvy information about the industry itself, as well as agents and publishers. It also provides helpful hints and strategies regarding promotion and marketing, whether you are a fledgling Latina writer just getting started or a multi-published, seasoned author who has been around the publishing block once or twice.”

Purchase links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Latina-Authors-Their-Muses-Calvani-ebook/dp/B015T99EE4

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/latina-authors-and-their-muses-mayra-calvani/1122707628?ean=2940151127851

About the editor

Mayra Calvani

Award-winning author Mayra Calvani has penned over ten books for children and adults in genres ranging from picture books to nonfiction to paranormal fantasy novels. She’s had over 300 articles, short stories, interviews and reviews published in magazines such as The WriterWriter’s Journal and Bloomsbury Review, among others. A native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, she now resides in Brussels, Belgium.

Connect with Mayra on the Web:

Website: www.MayraCalvani.com (newsletter signup: http://www.mayracalvani.com/signup-newsletter)

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mcalvani

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Author-Mayra-Calvani-162383023775888/

 

Book info:

Title: Latina Authors and Their Muses
Author: Mayra Calvani, Editor
Author web sitehttp://www.mayracalvani.com/
Publisher: Twilight Times Books
url: http://twilighttimesbooks.com/
Genre: Reference/Writing Skills
*Print ISBN: 978-1-60619-063-0
Format: 6×9 trade paperback; 340 pages; $19.95 USD
Distributors: Ingram, Baker & Taylor, Brodart, Follett, etc.
*eBook ISBN: 978-1-60619-062-3; $6.50 USD
Format: ebook in pdf, ePub, Kindle, Mobi, PRC, etc.
Distributors: Amazon Kindle; Apple iBookstore; BN.com Nook; Kobo Books; OmniLit; OverDrive, etc
Release date: September 25, 2015 ebook; December 15, 2015 print
LCCN: 2015952662
Chapter excerpt:
http://twilighttimesbooks.com/LatinaAuthors_ch1.html

My Thoughts:

This is a wonderful idea for a book and is a unique way of publicity and marketing. There are about 40 compilations and they follow a general common pattern, starting off with a photograph, followed by the author’s details, education, profession and then styles of writing. This is then followed by an interview. It was interesting to note that though the basis of each interview was the same, many questions were very specific and personal and seem to have been formed after careful and meticulous research. The entire compilation for each author is very informative and provides a good insight into what makes them tick. The authors also talk about the hardships they face while writing a book, after it is completed and then the process of publishing and marketing. One thing that is common is the emphasis on a good agent, who understands the author’s style of writing and knows the correct way to market the same.

This intriguing concept of bringing together author interviews as a book makes it for a great read. There are many books to pick out from here and I must admit I have already compiled a list of my own from this. There are a mix of authors who are already famous and well-established and then some who have started out and are sure to get there. We come to know of the struggles they face and the effort they put in to achieve their dreams. They also emphasize collectively on the need for someone or more than one person who continuously supports the person through their writing process.

This book will not only have an impact on readers, but also on other authors out there. It is a great effort and a lot of research and planning has gone into this book. I recommend this to all readers out there. I am sure that every one of you will find something to take away from it, however small the information.