Friday, June 12, 2015

Release Blitz! Finding Me by: Mariah Dietz...guest post and giveaway!!

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Title: Finding Me (His, #3)
Author: Mariah Dietz
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: June 1, 2015

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Synopsis
I came here to escape. Leave the debris and avoid the inevitable truths.
Things are better. Worse. Different. I’m finding me, but in the process I fear I’m forgetting those I have left, and the ones who have left me. Maybe I’m losing who I was. Can I forget my past and move forward? Can I forget him?  

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Excerpt
Walking the short distance through the apartment and down to the parking lot, time slows down, allowing me to fixate on the fact that I look like a mess, and feel like I’m walking too straight. I slump my shoulders slightly to try and look more relaxed and then feel even more awkward, and straighten again and feel even more rigid. He unlocks the truck with the press of a button and unlike he did when we rode in his Jeep together, he doesn’t come to open the passenger door. I’m still debating if I wanted him to when I notice a water bottle lying in the middle seat. It was mine. I carried it in here from the hospital Sunday. I never would have remembered it if I didn’t see it again, that entire night is sort of a blur, but at some point, someone had passed it to me while we waited for the doctor. I don’t remember carrying it out. It’s still mostly full, showing proof I barely touched it. Did I carry it out? The truck starts with a soft rumble. It sounds so different than his Jeep. My mind turns with the gears. What do I say to the guy that was everything and is now supposed to mean nothing to me? This silence is unbearably uncomfortable. I can’t stop from guessing what he’s thinking. Is he wishing I wasn’t here? In his truck? In California? “So, how’s medical school?” Max’s head turns and his eyes focus on me for a second before he turns back to the road. I keep my attention on him, confused by his delayed response. Of all topics, this seems like a safe route. “I have my own set of flashcards.” I smile out of relief more than humor. “I used the wrong set of flashcards to study for a test last semester.” I shake my head and release a short breath. “It’s amazing that I passed it.” “I bet you got an A on the paper, didn’t you?” I glance at Max and he’s looking at me. His head shakes and a soft chuckle mingles with the music. “You’re the smartest person I know. You’re astrophysicist material.” “Says the guy studying to be a brain surgeon.” “Neurosurgeon.” My laughter fills the truck. It’s not even that his joke was all that funny, but having an easy conversation with Max makes laughing easier. Better. When my laughter fades into a smile I expect to feel the same stab of nostalgia I experienced earlier with the knowledge that I will miss this, but I don’t. I simply appreciate the moment, and attempt to stretch it. “Do you remember the Maximus flashcard?” Max’s truck pulls into a parking spot, and he shifts into park before turning to me. “I remember everything.” His tone is solemn, but his face is relaxed. I keep his stare without abashment. I want to stay here and continue to draw out this moment. To feel this emotion that’s flushing through me, warming me, and filling me with something I have forgotten about. I don’t know how to describe it: it’s not the same comfort that I get from being around my sisters, or the adrenaline I receive when I reach that point while running; it’s a rightness, a completeness that makes my heart swell and my smile broaden. My head starts to race with interpretations of what this means, but a fog fills my thoughts because I know. My heart understands exactly what he’s saying to me … I think. “I do too.” My admission makes me feel brave. My phone rings, and we’re back in his driveway almost two years ago when his phone rang, back to where neither of us knows how to say the right thing to one another, but this time it’s both of us walking a gray tightrope, one that felt less intimidating to cross because I could see him at the other side. His eyes close and he looks embarrassed, or possibly ashamed. It awakens old tendencies, making me question the reality of the moment. My phone rings again, and Max’s entire body shifts away from me. Opening the door, he climbs out in one fluid movement. I don’t know if I can go out there and face him right now. I feel as though he’s rejecting me all over again, and it makes my eyes and throat burn.   

Guest Post:

It's so much fun to get to learn about the author's process and how they delevelop their characters. I was able to ask Mariah "how she gives her characters a voice," and this is her answer.
 



How to Give your Characters a Voice:

One of my favorite books of all time is Harry Potter. I fell in love with not only the story and the magic, but also all of the characters. They were my friends, my classmates, my sisters, brothers, and teachers. J.K. Rowling is of course brilliant in so many ways, but while you read the books, you start knowing who is talking before you’re told, and able to guess their reactions because you know each character and their personality so thoroughly.  Before I wrote The His Series, I simply lived with the characters for several months. I listened and waited, until I had a feeling for each of them.  That really helped me to write them because I felt as though I knew each of them quite intimately. I knew their strengths and weaknesses, their humor, passions, as well as how much they cared for each other.

Once I began writing the series, I started writing pretty much all three books at once depending upon my mood. Book one is light, funny, romantic, sweet, so when I was feeling playful or silly I would work on it. If I was frustrated or feeling any sort of pain, I would work on book two where there’s so much emotion and anger. Finding Me, the third book, was a little different because it really encompasses every human emotion possible. It was both the easiest and hardest book for me to write because I knew exactly what I wanted to share, but it was so emotionally draining for me that it was hard to keep going even when I was in a writing mood, because I felt like I was putting parts of my heart into that book.

I never set a deadline for writing the first three books of the His Series, I just wrote. I think this was positive for me and my first time publishing because it allowed me to go back through each novel several times and really fine tune each character because once I was done with book three, I went back and changed or added small details and dialogue with each character because I became SO familiar with all of them.

When I work on books now and try to ensure each character is unique, I try to think of a group of people that I know well. Sometimes it’s past co-workers, friends, teammates, family, etc. I’m simply focusing on distinctions and similarities. Then I begin creating character profiles. These include their physical characteristics as well as their personality traits. I keep those close when I start a story, and continue adding on to them as I go and become closer to the characters. Eventually, I set them aside and can write each character with what I hope is an individualized sound, but before I do any of my proofreads, I go back and revisit those profiles to ensure that I’m not losing anyone’s voice.

Something else that I truly believe helps with creating characters that have a unique voice is to remove yourself from the situation. You have to become your characters. So when you’re writing and the person has a fear, or a passion, you can’t think “what would I do in this scenario?” you have to ask, “What would they do in this scenario?” It’s easy to allow our personal emotions to get involved while writing, but that can be dangerous because your characters will all start being fairly similar.

I really hope this helps or offers clarity into the writing process. On my website: www.ariahdietz.com, I was keeping a blog of my writing adventure in an attempt to help other aspiring authors with different hurdles that I faced. It’s been inactive for a while because I get sidetracked easily when I’m writing new material, but intend to begin posting again this month.

Thank you TLBC for this opportunity! I love discussing any and all things book related and this was a fun question to delve into!

   

About The Author
Mariah
Mariah Dietz lives in Eastern Washington with her husband and two sons that are the axis of her crazy and wonderful world. Mariah grew up in a tiny town outside of Portland, Oregon where she spent the majority of her time immersed in the pages of books that she both read and created. She has a love for all things that include her sons, good coffee, books, travel, and dark chocolate. She also has a deep passion for the stories she writes, and hopes readers enjoy the journeys she takes them on, as much as she loves creating them.
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