About the Author
Prior to pursuing the literary dream of novel writing, Lisa Lipkind Leibow practiced law for over a decade, drafting legal briefs and memoranda much like the young attorney in her novel. This professional environment was the inspiration for the characters and settings in her debut novel, Double Out and Back. After being stuck at her office on 9/11, a month-long siege on the city by a sniper, and discovering that the other parents at her twins’ preschool thought her au pair was her sons’ mom, Lisa decided to trade the billable hour lifestyle for fiction writing from home. Her work has appeared in the Pisgah Review. She is currently working on her second novel.
About the Book
Today is a special day for me. It’s the day I delete the adjective aspiring from “aspiring novelist” when I describe myself. I’m thrilled that Kim Smith invited me to celebrate the moment on her blog.
Double Out and Back by Lisa Lipkind Leibow is now available as an e-book from Red Rose Publishing. Be among the first to read it!
Not every woman who rides the fertility treatment roller coaster winds up like Octomom.
Who will find friends, family, and fertility?
Three women’s lives are intricately intertwined, as Amelia Schwartz and Summer Curtis struggle with the complex dynamics of intrafamily embryo adoption, and Chandy Markum strives to make her patients’ dreams a reality.
After more than a decade, of mourning her parents’ deaths, anal-retentive Amelia Schwartz decides to take control of her life, pursuing single motherhood via embryo adoption. While her fertility doctor, Chandy, is preoccupied with the destruction of the cosmopolitan Cape Town of her youth and her first love in apartheid-torn South Africa, believing all is lost, her niece, a young, married, overachieving attorney Summer Curtis, juggles zealous career ambitions, demanding bosses, and friction with her husband over family and fertility issues. They must confront the painful reality that, no matter what technology humans devise to manipulate reproduction, prolong life, and construct family units, they have not yet mastered control over their beginnings and endings.
Thrown all into this is one story that can make or break. Are you up to it?
In honor of the first day Double Out and Back is available for sale, I thought I’d share with you some of the tools in my writer’s toolkit that helped bring to life characters and settings in the novel.
I write novels because I tend to think on a grand scale and I love the challenge of weaving together multi-faceted plots with large casts of characters.
I spend a lot of time getting to know my characters before I set out to animate them in a written scene. I “interview” them and craft detailed back stories for them. Much of this never makes it into the story. But knowing a character’s motivations and how she would react in a given situation based on her past experiences helps me to make a character come alive on the page when I drop her into the plot.
For me, writing fiction is a lot like method acting. A director might give an actor a five-minute explanation of what his motivations should be to utter one line of dialogue. And these motivations permeate the performance, coming through with facial expression, posture, gesticulations, and inflection of the actor’s voice. Someone watching the performance can infer a lot about an actor’s motivations and emotions without a lengthy narrative explaining where he’s coming from. When I write prose, I work hard to balance dialogue and narrative to give the reader a vivid, sensory experience with realistic, fully-drawn characters.
Bringing a character to life is merely one layer of detail, in the crafting of a novel. One must also bring a location to life on the page.
Avoiding talking heads by having characters interact with their surroundings not only adds depth to a written scene by developing characters, it also enhances the total reader experience by revealing the world in which the characters inhabit, enhancing the fictive dream, transporting them to the environs.
Early readers of Double Out and Back praised my knack for creating an interesting setting. The opening chapter of the novel takes place at an old, abandoned Drive-in theater.
Here’s the paragraph I wrote to begin to bring this unique setting to life for my readers:
They had arrived at the old drive-in site, now a vacant lot. The pavement was cracked, and random clumps of crabgrass had sprung through gaps in the blacktop. Nature had commenced reclamation of land with which man had interfered. The evenly-spaced posts still stood, though most of the speakers that used to hang from them were missing. Someone had scribbled graffiti across the old movie screen, a huge abandoned wall that loomed before them like an enormous billboard.
In a broader sense, the settings in my upcoming novel make a statement about the nature of our small world—the broadening circles of families, and how we rely on, and impact, one another across continents and oceans. Three main settings in my upcoming novel are Washington, DC, San Francisco, and Cape Town, South Africa. These locales feature prominently on the cover. I hope my readers will be able to visualize the banks of the Potomac, Fisherman’s Wharf, and Table Mountain in Cape Town, as they page through my story. It is my job as a writer to help a reader escape into another world – realistic or fantastic, familiar or foreign.
Thank you, again to Kim Smith for allowing me to celebrate my big debut on her blog!
If you wish to learn more about Lisa and her writing you can visit her website at http://www.LLLeibow.com and her blog, Lisa Leibow’s Fodder for Fiction. She is also a member of the Roses of Prose, five fabulous authors out to bring you the very best in fiction. You can find them at RosesOfProse
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