I am so glad that Allison Winn Scotch could join us for our final week with her brand new book, The Song Remains the Same.
This is Allison’s fourth novel since her first novel, The Department of Lost and Found came out in 2008. Prior to then, she freelanced for seven years.
I always appreciate Allison’s sense of humor, honesty, and how much she gives back to other writers who are coming up the ranks. Please help me welcome her!
About Allison Winn Scotch
Allison Winn Scotch is the bestselling author of The One That I Want, Time of My Life , and The Department of Lost and Found. Prior to delving into fiction, she was a frequent contributor to numerous magazines and websites including Cooking Light, Men’s Health, Fitness, Glamour, and Redbook. She lives in New York with her family and their dog. For more, go to allisonwinn.com or follow her on Twitter at @aswinn.
About The Song Remains The Same
From the New York Times-bestselling author comes a novel that asks the question, who are we without our memories? And how much of our future is defined by our past?
One of only two survivors of a plane crash, Nell Slattery wakes in the hospital with no memory of the crash – or who she is, or was. Now she must piece together both body and mind — with the help of family and friends who have their own agendas. She filters through photos, art, music and stories, hoping something will jog her memory, and soon – in tiny bits and pieces – Nell starts remembering…
It isn’t long before she learns to question the stories presented by her mother, her sister and business partner, and her husband. In the end she will learn that forgiving betrayals small and large will be the only true path to healing herself — and to finding happiness.
The Very Short Interview
When did you know for sure that you were a writer and that writing would be a major energy focus in your life?
If we’re talking strictly professionally, then I’d say when I was 28. I’d putzed around in a bunch of other careers, all of which eventually led me to magazine writing. Through a long-series of fortuitous events and coincidences (and hard work), I landed a gig to ghost-write a book at 28. The pay was awful (and the experience wasn’t much better), but it did help me sort of sink in and plant my roots and say, “Hey, maybe there is something here.” From there, I sold my first major magazine piece, and I guess that solidified it. I still worked my tush off for many years (I still do work my tush off, actually) to establish myself and my reputation in the magazine world, but I suppose that the book and that feature were the pivotal moments. Eventually, I wanted to stretch myself, and I started writing fiction. I definitely never believed that fiction would be the crux of my career until, probably, my second book sold.
Who has always been behind your writing career and who helped pull you up the ladder of success?
Well, obviously my husband has always been supportive, and my parents raised me to have the type of confidence that you need to succeed among a lot of rejection. Also, my agent is my true advocate and friend: we’ve worked together since my very first book, and she has lobbied on my behalf more times than I can count. But honestly, I rely a lot on myself, which isn’t meant to sound narcissistic, only to say that when the going gets tough in this career – and it will inevitably get tough – you have to be able to dig deep and figure out how to not let yourself down.
What is the most frequent comment you hear about your book (or books) from readers? Tell us a little story about the response to your work.
Oh gosh. That’s a hard question. I guess I do get a lot of emails from women who thank me for writing books that reflect their own lives or that resonate with their own feelings. And that truly is the most gratifying part of being a writer: to know that you put something down on paper, and that it’s helping someone make her own way in the world. With Time of My Life, for example, I got/get a lot of emails from women who always wondered about their “what ifs,” such that it took emphasis away from their marriages or their current happiness. A lot of them wrote to say that the book helped shift their perspective. And that, well, that’s just humbling and amazing. But I get it too: I’m a reader as well, and there’s nothing better than learning about yourself when you’re deep into the pages of a book.
And Now, Your Turn
Now it’s your turn. You remember how this works right?
I ask you a question. You answer in the comments for your chance to win a book each day.
Please just respond once, even if you make a typo.
Answer in the comments in 50-200 words (no less and no more to qualify to win one of today’s books). Please read the complete rules at least once!
Thanks for participating in the Writer Mama Every-Day-In-May Book Giveaway! I hope to see you here every day this month. Bring your friends!
In a recent interview about her new book with Emily Griffin, Allison Winn Scotch says that she is “deathly afraid of plane crashes.”
What are you deathly afraid of and could you write about it?
Have you ever tried? Why or why not?
After thinking it over and writing this comment, what do you think? Do you dare write about it?
Ready, set, comment!
Comments on this entry are closed.
On and off I considered writing my story but didn’t want to face the facts. The year I turned sixty I faced a choice, deal with it or write about it. I decided to do both. My father left before I was born. As a child I thought he must be looking for me. Growing up, I was ashamed of the fact I didn’t know my father. His reappearance over the years, in documents and by his actions, disrupted my life, yet I still didn’t know who he was.
Now I’m writing, looking for answers and trying to get past the fear of how my family will react.
I don’t know about “deathly” afraid because that’s
a very (which I rarely use) strong word. I can’t stand looking at sp**ers, not
even Miss Sp**er or any stuffed toys. As you can see, I don’t even like writing
the word. Conquering a fear or writing about it doesn’t always work. I went
skydiving — but it took a LOT of effort to do it — and as amazing as the
experience was, I don’t think I will ever do it again. I’ve written about the
skydiving experience and I’ve mentioned the insect in my writing like this 🙂
Like Allison, I am extremely worried about plane crashes. I
don’t travel by plane too often, but when I do, landings always scare the
bejeezus out of me! As I’ve gotten older, I’ve also grown more frightened of
amusement park rides, particularly thrill rides and roller coasters. In fact,
as I was sitting on a bench at an amusement park this past summer waiting for
my husband “the thrillseeker” to get off a ride, a story idea for a book based
on this particular fear did come to me. I don’t want to say too much about it
here, but it is my story idea files now! Maybe one day I can channel these fears
into a book.
Hitting a child while I’m driving is what I am deathly afraid of doing. I grew up across the street from a playground, and kids where always darting from between parked cars. One of the neighbor’s children did get hit by a car and survived. I was only a baby then, but it was a story told so often that it took root in my psyche. The fear became more pronounced after I became a mother myself. Someday I will write about it. Writing is a great way to face our worst fears.
Writing fiction scares me. Mainly, I think, because I’d have to explore some fears and go to a negative, scary place to flesh out the story, and stay there for awhile (nobody wants to read a story that’s flowers and daisies and happiness all the way through). And that I’d have to stick with one project for months on end. With magazine writing, I get to move from project to project quickly. The thought of waking up to the same project day after day for months on end is scary in a major way! But it’s a challenge I’ll face, sooner or later.
I love to discover a new author….her books sound like wonderfully engaging books for the summer! Thanks!
I don’t think I’m deathly afraid of anything — maybe I should be! I consider myself a pretty courageous person, and I think most people can conquer the things they fear most if they are motivated to do so. Writing about fears can certainly make you confront your feelings in an interesting way. Sometimes things seem more true when you see them on paper. Sometimes they lose their power. I LOVE that about writing — it can serve many different purposes. Inspiration, catharsis, you name it!
Alison, I’m afraid of plane crashes. My other fear (I’m sure all parents have
it) is anything happening to my children and I’m unable to help.
That fear took
a whole new turn one day. I have identical eleven year-old twin boys. They are very
close and have no boundaries with each other. They will sit head-to-head and
play their DS. One was quite sick and I had to take him to the hospital. His
brother was concerned and it was tough keeping him apprised of what was
happening without scaring him. Even though the one’s illness wasn’t
life-threatening, I had a moment where I thought about what life would be like
if one didn’t have the other. It horrified me and brought me to tears.
I am working on
a young-adult novel that deals with that theme. However, I had to change the
MC. I was trying to write from the surviving twin’s point-of-view and I just
couldn’t do it. I had to change POV to another character and I’ve just recently
added the twin’s POV at the end of each chapter, and even that’s emotionally
For 3-1/2 years, I was in
a writing group for cancer survivors. There wasn’t much we didn’t tackle. On
one particularly memorable occasion, we were asked to make a list of things we
were afraid of. That was the easy part. Death, physical pain, and loss of a
loved one were right there at the top of my list. Then we had to pick our
greatest fear and write about it. That was intense. I silently promised myself
I would never come back to writing group, but the next week, there I was, ready
to write again.
I write about all sorts
of things these days. Some pieces are light and fun. Some are a bit worrying
and uncomfortable. And some take me places I’d rather not explore. But it is
the latter kind of writing that is perhaps the most necessary—if I learned
anything from my cancer saga, and I think I did, it is that ignoring issues and
problems don’t make them go away; in fact, quite the contrary is true. It’s
only by working through fears that you can move past them. And writing about
them is the best way I know to do this.
I do share the fear of flying, however it seems like each time I do, my fear lessens. I usually say a prayer and close my eyes during the take-offs and landings. As the mom of a toddler, my greatest fear is something happening to my child. I’m also afraid that this fear won’t really lessen. As he grows, there are more dangers out there. I’m definitely not looking forward to the day that he will drive.
I am so NOT afraid of plane crashes. Once when our plane was bucking through a thunderstorm over the Rockies it got hit by lightning. The lights flickered and we dropped. I looked around and everyone was white knuckled, including my husband. The more terrified other passengers got, the calmer I got. Another time while descending into Denver our plane hit some air currents. It pitched and then rolled side to side, drinks spilling into the aisles, laptops flying like Frisbees. Again, I wasn’t even fazed because somehow I just know I won’t die in a plane crash. And if I do, it won’t matter. I’ll be dead.
The one thing I am deathly afraid of – the thing that every so often wakes me up in the middle of the night – is that one of my children will die before me. And no, I will never ever write about that subject because that’s part of the fear; something happens to one of my children and my Muse says, “Now you have something to write about.” I would rather be dead than have to spend the rest of my life mourning the loss of a child.
I am deathly afraid of heights and clowns. I fear heights so badly that I feel the same sensation when one of my kids is up high. I sway and get a massive headache, and become light-headed. Clowns make me crazy, and I’ve yet to take me or my kiddos to a circus or carnival. Never will. I never thought to write about either, as just the thought generates panic. Okay, ’nuff. I feel the panic coming… 😉
My only deathly fear would be the same one that Mar posted about here, and she said it well so I won’t repeat, except to say I also would never write about it.
Years ago I had a deathly fear of driving on the highway, which seemed pretty crazy to everyone, including me. I would write about this, because I think phobias are very common but nobody talks about them, and my experience could be helpful to others. Of course writing about fear you no longer have is much easier…
I don’t have a deathly fear that pops into my head, but I do worry about the safety of my daughter a LOT (most moms do, I guess). We found out when I was pregnant that she had a kidney problem, and it required surgery when she was about seven weeks old. Thankfully it is correctable and she is doing well – hopefully won’t need more surgery. But as a new mom, I was (and am still) so anxious about her health. I know people who have lost children or dealt with major illness, and it scares me a lot. I think I could write about it – and have, in a sense with a short story I’m working on, but it is very difficult.
I am deathly afraid of being attacked in a city and being outnumbered. Of course, I could write about it. I love to write and have been writing all my life. Whenever, a scary situation arises, I have incredible adrenaline and a level head. (delayed reaction)
I’m deathly afraid of a plane crash too. But it is a fear I could write about. My most deep seated fear as a mother, is something bad happening to my child. And no, I can not and will not write about that ever. I just couldn’t do it. It would be too hard and I wouldn’t see the point. I can’t even read books about bad things happening to children that are around my child’s age because it just freaks me out beyond belief.
One of my greatest fears is losing my loved ones. My dad passed away very suddenly and completely unexpectected about two months after my 20th birthday. Losing someone so important changed my perspective in many ways, and left me with the realization that life is not something to be taken for granted. As a result, I’ve overcome many of my fears because they no longer seem to be all that important. I have recently begun to write about this a little, and appreciate the way writing about it allows me to grow a little stronger and find some peace.
Judy wins The Song Remains The Same!