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Goddess Fish Promotions has organized Virtual Book Tour for MY LETTER TO FEAR by Patricia Steffy, a Essays/Memoir available now. I hope that you enjoy my interview with author!





My Letter to Fear

by Patricia Steffy

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GENRE:  Essays/Memoir

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BLURB:

Over the course of two years, Steffy conducted interviews with the fabulous women around her and their equally fantastic friends. She put no restrictions on age, or ethnicity. They just needed to be willing to answer some questions. The questions covered a variety of topics, including aging, body image, abuse, rape, addiction, confidence, loss, beauty myths, and fear. Steffy asked them about the expectations they had for their lives when they were very young versus their current realities as adults. She asked them to tell her the best things about themselves (a question which was surprisingly difficult for people to answer) and the worst things. Those answers—the funny, the heartbreaking, and the hysterical—and her own experiences became the basis for these essays.


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EXCERPT:

From Worry

Like most young girls, I was once told that everyone is good at something. All you have to do is find the one thing you are absolutely passionate about and make it your own. Once you do that, or so I was told, life would unfold according to plan.
Question: what happens when the one thing you are good at is worrying? Because I'm really, really good at that.:

I once got into a heated discussion with an ex because he thought worrying was a ridiculous waste of time, and this astounded me. Of course worrying is useful! Without worry, you don't plan for every possible contingency. Without worry, you can't possibly cheat Murphy's Law, Destiny and the Fates. With worry, you might just pull one over on them.

I worry about everything. I can do it anywhere and at any time. Ninety-eight percent of my brain can be thoroughly engaged, but that shifty two percent is secretly trying to figure out what to do in case of an earthquake, flood, famine, poverty or the cancellation of my favorite television show.


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AUTHOR INTERVIEW:
   

Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book?


I used to say that the essays in “My Letter to Fear” appealed to women ages 18 to 80 (which is roughly close to the age range of the women interviewed for the essays). Having gone through two staged readings with different pieces from the collection (one very early on and one when all the pieces were written), I have found that men also respond to it. I think issues like aging and unmet life expectations speak to a lot of people. Naturally, there are some that are more geared to specific female experiences. While I think all the pieces are relatable, I have found that depending on where you are in life, you are more likely to respond to specific ones. This collection will make you think, particularly if you are going through a “searching” phase when you read it.


How did you come up with the title of your book or series?


I was looking for a unifying theme for the early collection of essays. I originally set them up in a mind, body, soul configuration, but found that they weren't so easily categorized. It also wasn't as helpful when it came to writing new pieces. As it happened, I was talking to a therapist friend of mine who told me about a technique where patients wrote letters directly to the issues they were dealing with at the time. So, if they were dealing with anxiety, they would literally write a letter that started, “Dear Anxiety.” I thought the idea was fascinating. While not every essay begins with the salutation, many of them do, and, of course, it became the foundation for the title.


Tell us a little bit about your cover art. Who designed it? Why did you go with that particular image/artwork?


This was my first book, and I think I put a lot of pressure on the whole process of trying to find the right image. I knew I wanted something that could express the serious nature of some of the pieces, but not so deadly serious that the cover didn't allow for the humorous pieces that were also inside. I tried some abstract pattern ideas. I thought about just using one big color block. In the end, I went through a competitive process at 99designs.com. I saw a lot of great options and landed on this one from Owik Studio. Everything from the easy to read font to the letter imagery spoke to me. And I'm a sucker for old typewriters – in fact, there is one in my boyfriend's office that I got him as a gift.


If you could change ONE thing about your novel, what would it be? Why?


I would add a Forward to the book that explains how the book was created. While that information is available on the back cover and in the sales blurbs (things I always read when buying a book), people don't always remember them when they actually sit down to read. I also didn't take into account that people who read the e-version probably wouldn't see the back cover until they finished the book. As it is, I think there have been some people who got initially confused reading the book, thinking that all the experiences discussed inside were my own. They are not. They are a mix of my own experiences and the experiences of the women I interviewed.


What other books are similar to your own? What makes them alike?


The closest comparison I can make to “My Letter to Fear” is “The Vagina Monologues” by Eve Ensler. Obviously, they are pretty different in terms of subject matter, but style-wise there are similarities. Each piece in “My Letter to Fear” can stand alone. There is a mix of very serious and very funny subjects. The collection came out of conversations with women about their own lives, feelings, triumphs and insecurities.  


How can we contact you or find out more about your books?


In terms of social media, I'm most active on Twitter (@PLSteffy). I've also started a site just for my creative writing projects here: http://www.patriciasteffy.com. This has everything from clips of the professional staged reading of “My Letter to Fear” to project announcements. I'm hoping to expand it to include my thoughts on writing and behind-the-scenes material.


What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?


I'd love for people to leave reviews on sites like Amazon, Goodreads, Smashwords, their blogs, etc. As an indie author, getting reviews has been the most difficult part of the post-publishing process. Every review, even critical ones, lets me see how people are responding to the thoughts and experiences expressed. I learn from every one of them. Plus, it helps other readers decide if this collection is something they would like to try. Also, tweeting to your followers about the book is always helpful (or sharing on whichever social media platform is your favorite).


Thank you for introducing me to your readers!



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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Patricia Steffy attended Kenyon College and American University. She is a recent refugee from the corporate world where she worked as an analyst for a law firm for more than 16 years. An escape plan started to develop as she pursued her interests as a writer and producer through Circe’s World Films. She has been involved in co- and exec-producing a number of feature and short films ranging from broad comedy to psychological drama, including the award-winning short Touch. She is currently developing Dating in LA and Other Urban Myths as a web series. The series is based on her long-running blog of the same name.

Showcase

Pieces from My Letter to Fear were featured in a one-night only special showcase event. The showcase was directed by Danielle Turchiano and featured readings from Nikki DeLoach (Awkward.), Lesley Fera (Pretty Little Liars), Stevie Lynn Jones (Crisis), Jen Lilley (Days of Our Lives), Roma Maffia (Pretty Little Liars), Dennisha Pratt (The Sunny Side Up Show), and Carla Renata (Hart of Dixie).

You can see excerpts from the readings here: http://www.patriciasteffy.com/showcase/



Useful links:




Book Buy Links:







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GIVEAWAY:

Patricia Steffy will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


TOUR PARTICIPANTS:

December 5: Christine Young
December 6: The Broke Book Bank
December 7: Book Lover Promo
December 8: Lisa Haselton's Reviews and Interviews
December 9: Kissing Bandits
December 9: The Reading Addict
December 12: BooksChatter
December 13: Straight from the Library
December 14: T's Stuff
December 15: The Silver Dagger Scriptorium
December 16: Readeropolis

About Mayor Sonni

Reader extraordinaire. Mayor of Readeropolis. Lover of books, lists, sweet tea, and vacations. Well, not necessarily in that order.
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15 comments:

  1. Congrats on the tour and thanks for the chance to win :)

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  2. Thank you for hosting me here at Readeropolis!

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    Replies
    1. It's my pleasure! Thank you for doing the interview. I hope 2017 brings you much success with My Letter to Fear.

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  3. I have enjoyed the tour. The book sounds great.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for following the tour and giving a new author a chance!

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  4. I look forward to reading more about "My Letter to Fear". Is this the first project of this kind that you've done?

    Besos Sarah.

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    1. Thank you for joining the tour! This is the first project like this that I've even considered doing. It evolved as just a spark of an idea, and before I knew it I was starting the interviews. I have to say, I met a lot of fascinating people along the way!

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  5. What is the best book that you have read recently? Thanks for the giveaway. I hope that I win.Bernie W BWallace1980(at)hotmail(d0t)com

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    1. Thanks for following the tour! I just finished The Master Blaster by PF Kluge. It was a slow build kind of book, but the last third really came together and the ending was very powerful. Now I'm going back to pick up some classic books that I haven't read for one reason or another. Today, I started "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest" by Ken Kesey.

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  6. I've absolutely loved following the tour for My Letter To Fear and I can't wait to read it! Thanks for sharing all of the excerpts and interviews along the way :)

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    Replies
    1. I'm so glad you were part of the tour! I hope you enjoy reading it!

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  7. Excellent interview! This book sounds like a very interesting and intriguing read!

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