Monday, July 21, 2014

Guest Blog and Giveaway: The Spirit and The Shadow by Thomas Lavalle and Brandon Swope

The Partnership that Created the Book

I met Brandon nearly 20 years ago in college; where we did what college kids do ... drink, watch the reruns of “the Simpsons”, and drank some more.  I joke with him that we weren’t friends in college ... for example, on a recent trip to visit him I kindly pointed out that in his photo albums from college, I’m not in a single picture.  His wife, who went to college with us also, laughs and says I’m right, just to turn the screws a little on her husband.  Brandon, frustrated with both of us says, “have you seen yourself in college, you should be happy there is no photographic evidence of that part of your life.”

After college, Brandon moved west, I stayed east, and something unexpected happened.  I went surfing for the first time, stood on my first wave, and spent the next 14 years in the water as much as I possibly could.  Over those years, Brandon and I (with a group of friends) grabbed our boards and trekked the world surfing ... surf trips were a string that tied all the travel and adventure in our twenties. 

Our thirties came, and so did marriage and children.  Our jobs turned to careers.   Free time for reading books, listening to albums, or whatever other things we felt like doing were being lost to our growing list of responsibilities each day.  It had hit a breaking point for both of us.  So one day out in California (after a surf and over a beer) I said, “I have an idea” ... and that started the book. 

A year in, JennaRose (a friend of my wife’s since diapers) was out visiting us on an annual trip she makes to the east coast.  She was going on and on about obscure sci-fi shows and books (all stuff I have heard her talk in pain-staking detail since I’ve known her), but this time was different.  I asked her, “Have you ever wanted to create something of your own?”  

When she expressed her interest in book editing, I said, “I have something to show you...”
During this book blog tour, I had an interview question “What is my favorite part about writing?”  I didn’t have an answer, because I am not sure I have a favorite part of writing.  To me, writing is only one part of the entire creative process.  And while many (if not most writers) enjoy the solitude and privacy of writing ... I thrive on the collaboration with my creative partners.  Brainstorming ideas, developing story concepts, and maturing characters with Brandon and JennaRose were the most rewarding parts of creating this book.

I did not want to write a book on my own.  There was no fun in that - creating a book with people who share a similar vision, enthusiasm, and creative drive was.  I guess it’s like being in a band rather than being a solo artist.   There is something about feeding off the creative energy of people working together – to actually see each of our ideas grow and become something more than any one of us individually could have conceived.

Something we wanted to achieve in the first book was a full experience in a single sitting.  We wanted a fast pace read, that could be read in a single sitting.  We have the entire journey planned to the end, but we wanted each installment to be fully self-contained and able to be enjoyed within a couple hours.  A reviewer likened it to watching an hour episode of an HBO or Netflix show, and that was really what we set out to do.

The second book in our series is already underway.  I am in the middle of my rewrite of the first draft, Brandon is sketching the new characters, and Jenna is waiting impatiently for the first pages to review.

I encourage any writer out there, to explore creative partnerships.  Working with people who I trust and enjoy spending time with –  where imagination is fostered through a sharing of ideas and thoughts has been incredibly rewarding for me as a writer!

Thank you for reading!  Please check out our book: The Spirit and The Shadow, and enter to win the free book giveaway.  Also, please share your comments below, and I will be checking in throughout the day to respond to any comments or questions!

The Spirit and The Shadow
Book 1
Author: Thomas Lavalle
Illustrator: Brandon Swope

Genre: Paranormal, Suspense, Thriller
Publisher: No Rules Media Publishing, LLC

ISBN: 9780991461004

Number of pages: 180
Word Count: 11,000

Cover Artist: Brandon Swope

Book Description:

A fast-paced, paranormal suspense thriller from a new creative team that keeps you on the edge of your seat as you are pulled into the chase for a vampire by those who want his secret, others who are out for justice, and one man seeking revenge.

In a world where vampires and humans coexist, Detectives Aiden Lawson and Robert Garrison are after a vampire wanted for murder. This accused vampire is also hunted by the murder victim's brother, an assassin gone rogue from his clandestine agency. What these men will learn, is that this vampire has a secret – a secret that very powerful men and vampire alike will go to great lengths to acquire. The story follows the paths of these individuals as they uncover the truth. THE SPIRIT AND THE SHADOW is a mash-up of conspiracy and paranormal genres with suspense, vengeance, and BLOOD!

Available at  iTunes    Lulu    Amazon   Google Play

About the Author:

I have been advised against announcing that I am a first-time author – that it is basically asking a reader to take a chance in my book even though I have no track record.  I have no history in fiction writing, never won any awards, and never took a literature or writing class (outside of basic 101 level college courses).  While not advised, it is the truth, and as honest as this bio is, so is my writing.  My name is Thomas Lavalle.  I am a first time writer. I also surf, read comics, and I’m a dedicated father and husband. If you’re interested in paranormal suspense - take a chance and check out my book, it’s awesome!

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1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thank you for kicking off our book blog tour by hosting our first guest blog ... looking forward to our week-long tour!!!