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Sunday, August 19, 2012

Having fun with Still Life in Shadows: Stepping Outside the Norm

Novelist Alice Wisler creates unforgettable characters in a plot that keeps turning up surprises. Read it and weep. Or laugh. Maybe even pray. ~ Eugene H. Peterson, Translator of The Message

So, I am having much more fun than I should ever since my fifth novel, Still Life in Shadows, came out this month.

Having a new novel means a lot can happen and a lot has the potential to happen. Besides book events, there are tweets to post on Twitter, with the hopes of enticing folks to read. Some of the ones I've posted include:

* What's an ex-Amish man doing in the South? Find out for only 99 cents.

* Want to get inside of the mind of a 13-year-old autistic girl? Still Life in Shadows' Kiki is just waiting for you to read her thoughts.

*What do an ex-Amish man and an autistic girl have in common?"

There are photos to share. The one below is of the tranquil Smoky Mountains, since my novel is set there.

And speaking of photos, one of my influencers has set up a Gideon Photo Album, showcasing my character, Gideon Miller. How fun is that! Kimberli Buffaloe, my own photo journalist, takes her copy of Still Life in Shadows with her. The book has been photographed in various locations including the cute one below with Baby Silas. I call it "Still Life with Baby in Shadow."

Kimberli's captions for each photo are intriguing. For the photo with the baby she writes, "As I read Still Life in Shadows, I noticed Gideon is experiencing an emptiness in his life. He misses some things about his family--he definitely misses blackberry pie--and I get the impression he feels another family will fill that cavern. But Gideon's need is deeper, and from what I can tell, he hasn't yet learned he must be "like one of these". Thanks for allowing Silas to explain it to him, Sheri!"

My favorite aspects of this publicity season centers around what others are saying. This includes reading the comments from those who have read Still Life in Shadows. Since the story is an ex-Amish one, dealing with the not-so-pure sides of Amish life, I'm grateful when someone "gets" what my novel is trying to say.

* "None of the typical Amish fluff stuff in it." ~ Rachel Overton

* "This book brought to light the "other side" of the Amish world. Christian fiction has an overabundance of books, in my opinion, in which the Amish are portrayed in an overly positive light, one of purity and simplicity. While Wisler's goal is not in any way seeking to denigrate the Amish, she did draw on true-life experiences of those who have "escaped" the Amish culture in writing her novel. I've only read one other novel (Christian fiction) that dealt with the Amish way of life, and frankly, never much considered the negative aspects of it before reading this book. Wisler handles the topic thoughtfully and tastefully, yet honestly at the same time." ~ Angela McClendon

* "I have your book and I am really looking forward to reading it. I do love the peacefulness portrayed by Amish stories... the canning and the quilting bees, but life's NOT perfect, and I want that portrayed in books too. Thanks for stepping outside the norm!" ~ Ladette Collins Kerr

Others plan to read it, and confess the following:

* "For a long time, I placed the Amish community on a pedestal, thinking they were more pure and holy than the rest of us. Now I have come to realize that they are people just like the rest of us! Thanks for making that point, Alice Jay Wisler." ~ Andrea Schultz

* ". . . Quite frankly I believe that some (not all) Amish communities are not following the Gospel of Christ. There is a strong currency of legalism and works mentality. I'm not saying there are not Amish that are Christians, I definitely believe that there are. Amish is a closed community and also has a high rate of child abuse sadly. I pray that those that leave would come to know Christ and not be caught up in all the false sparkle of the world." ~ Julia Reffner

Pam Kellogg thanked me for having the "guts" to write my novel. I thank her for realizing that in an in-love-with-Amish-books mentality we have created in the Christian fiction world, some might see me stepping out of the norm as a little risky. But I feel the Amish, like the rest of us, are not beyond needing God's compassion, mercy and grace.

And if writing a novel can get someone to get out there and be inspired to be creative, then I like that, too!

* "Just finished it last night. Alice Jay Wisler, I'm truly in awe of this book. It's fantastic. Not what I was expecting (and of course I was expecting it to be good) but it was even better than my expectations. It even inspired me to do some of my own writing today. It doesn't get better than that for me!" ~ Sandra Smith

Hop over to get your own copy!

Hopefully, you'll agree with Kim Snoddy, "I really appreciate that your books have complex characters with real-life heart issues."


Grace said...

Alice, I thought that I would stop by and visit your blog. I've started a new blog of mine and wanted to reconnect with my favorite bloggers. =)

Oh, and I bought your newest book on Kindle, and I cannot wait to read it!! I plan on reviewing it for my blog. I wish you well in your writing. Have a fantastic day!!

~ Grace

Alice J. Wisler said...

Thanks for stopping by, Grace!